Bwog unearths repressed childhood memories in an attempt to piece together the state curricula of (19/50 of) the United States.

Maybe it’s the vestiges of federalism; maybe it’s a reflection of the failures of America’s public education system (or maybe it’s just…feverish childhood memories of how we were taught history and State Pride in our youth.) Regardless, Bwog has spent far too long in their respective home states and has… reflected. We have compiled our hazy recollections of the state-specific historical curricula we endured and excursions we went on as children for your edification.

  1. Alabama
    1. A trip to Hellen Keller’s home.
    2. A robotics trip to the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
  2. California
    1. A lot of time spent researching and building models of the Missions of California. Not nearly enough time spent discussing the evils of the Mission system.
  3. Florida
    1. A trip to Big Cat Rescue (of Tiger King renown.)
  4. Illinois
    1. A trip to the Lincoln museum in Springfield IL. They had a recreation of his log cabin! Wow!
    2. Also, the Decatur zoo (as per the Sufijan Stevens song.)
  5. Kansas
    1. At least one field trip to a farm which entailed attending a cattle auction and learning how to carry a hay bale with dangerous hook things.
    2. Also, a lot of learning about all of the state *things* in every year of elementary school. (If you were wondering, the state tree is a Cottonwood, the state reptile is an ornate Box turtle, the bird is a meadowlark, flower is a sunflower, and the state rock is limestone.)
  6. Massachusetts
    1. A trip to Plimoth Plantation. The viewing of many historical reenactors and inexplicably coming home with a bunch of apples.
    2. As students get older, trips to Boston where they are generally let loose around the place. (Bwog was particularly fond of the Duck Tours, which are open-air buses that also go in the water.) 
  7. Minnesota
    1. A trip to the possibly haunted Glensheen Mansion. A tour of Charles Lindbergh’s house. Spending the day doing chores on an old pioneer farm.
  8. Mississippi
    1. A very strong emphasis on the Civil War NOT being fought over slavery!
    2. Performances in a graveyard wearing historical garb.
      1. Also, a LOT of Civil War-era dress-ups each year.
    3. A local shouting competition(?) based on Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
  9. Nevada
    1. A milk field trip?? To a dairy farm specific to the Las Vegas area??
  10. New Hampshire
    1. In elementary school, a day on which everyone would bring in a white t-shirt and the teachers would each get a fish from the fish market in the morning and each class would be assigned a color and a fish. The fish would be dipped into the paint of that color and then pressed onto the shirts to make a print. On future field trips, that was how teachers would identify their students, by the color of the fish print on their shirt. 
    2. A truly horrifying number of Revolutionary War monument/battle sites. Students were also taught how to load an antique rifle and march in battle positions.
  11. New York
    1. Long Island: 
      1. Multiple fishing trips. Raising crayfish in elementary school.
    2. NYC Area:
      1. Museum Village: make candles, recreate life in 1600s America, and become weirdly convinced that you’re going to meet a ghost or a witch.
    3. Upstate NY:
      1. A trip to a one-room schoolhouse wherein you learn cursive in an 1800s outfit and have a school “marm.”
      2. Many trips to various kinds of farms (orchards, dairy, etc.) despite the fact that many students lived on farms.
      3. A middle school end of year picnic in which students could hike to the different nearby waterfalls. 
  12. North Carolina
    1. A trip to the Appalachian Mountains in which there was an excursion into caves(?) wherein groups of fourth-graders are allegedly told about children going missing in the total darkness and being forced to crawl their way out over the course of several days. The adults in charge proceeded to turn out the lights. 
    2. An inexplicable amount of time learning about the origin of the state nickname, “The Rip Van Winkle State.” (Fun fact: it’s because there was a period of almost no development of infrastructure for a few decades in the early 1800s.)
  13. Oregon
    1. Just. So much time spent studying the Oregon Trail. 
  14. Pennsylvania
    1. Studying Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day, William Penn™, Washington crossing the Delaware River, and the Lenni Lenape tribe.
    2. Historical field trips to Independence Hall, Penn Manor, and the Liberty Bell.
    3. A trip to a  “living history exhibit” of a Lenni Lenape village set in the early 1400s.
    4. A trip to the local state park for an archeology dig (an old garbage pit from like the 1900s where they had us unearth like old bottles and stuff.) 
    5. And, of course, the Constitution Center (also the site of many a senior prom.)
  15. Rhode Island
    1. Many trips involving loading a lot of children onto ferries and taking them to random semi-desolate islands around Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Sometimes these islands had an Outward Bound/team-building thing; sometimes the children were truly just released into the wild.
  16. Tennessee
    1. A trip to Andrew Jackson’s home and museum.
  17. Texas
    1. Reciting the Texas pledge every morning in elementary school.
    2. Spending an entire year of middle school only studying Texas history.
    3. Visiting the Alamo.
    4. Multiple field trips to a museum focus on JFK being shot in Dallas.
  18. Virginia
    1. Many trips to the DC monuments… so many.
    2. George Washington’s Ferry Farm (his boyhood home).
    3. George Washington’s Mount Vernon (where he’s buried).
    4. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
    5. The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
    6. Many, many, many Civil War museums/battle sites.
  19. Washington
    1. A trip to Leavenworth, a town that, for some reason, is a recreation of a German city in the alps?? (Featuring cute shops and a lot of bratwurst places.)
    2. A lot of time learning about and doing reenactments of the Oregon Trail.
    3. Learning about and field trips to Pike Place Market.
    4. Visiting the “state of the art” wastewater treatment plant. One Bwogger was forced to visit this literal sewage plant FOUR times. Apparently, they have these state of the art membranes. The Bwogger in question, however, did not give a f*ck.

In conclusion, the U.S. and the inside of Bwoggers’ minds are both strange, strange places.

Bwog takes over the U.S. via Pixabay (and Bwog Staff)