Keenan Fitzpatrick, History Portfolio, and My Adventures

''A place for me to publish my history work, my photos and my adventures "

“Doing” History at the End of the Semester

As the semester carried on, I learned more and more about how to look into the past and come to conclusions about the material that I was presented with. Dr. Tracy Penny Light gave us great insights into the life and everyday occurrences that happened in the time period, on whichever area the lecture was covering that day. As we learned more and more, I noticed myself picking different things out of the information I was given, came to conclusions and had ideas that  I wouldn’t have really thought of before this class. At the end of my first semester of university, my answer to the question, “What is ‘doing’ history?” would have to be this; ‘doing’ history is the act of looking through documents and any resources available to you to learn about a certain subject in history, and come to your own conclusion about that topic.

“Doing” History at the Beginning of the Semester

A common thing that began at the starting of the semester was that our professor, Tracy Penny Light, asked us “What is ‘doing’ history, in your mind?” At the beginning of the semester, I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that question. I quickly jotted down something along the lines of learning about how the world has become the way that it is, and how there is history behind everything around us. This question really threw me off guard, and as someone who had been interested in history almost their whole life, it was humbling to realize I didn’t exactly have a great answer to that question. Luckily I would have a couple months to develop my answer on the question.

Researching and Writing a Research Paper

A major part of the history course that this website was created for was for a research paper that we would have to write about a topic of our choosing in pre-confederation Canada. As my main interest is military history, the topic I choose was the Battle of York, which occurred during the War of 1812.  A requirement for this assignment was to find a primary source from the topic chosen, and I spent too many hours searching for a primary source from the Battle of York. After countless hours searching the one book the university had on the subject, plus many pages on different websites, I finally found about two paragraphs from an American soldier who was present at the Battle of York.

As a first year student, all this research and looking deep into a subject was brand new to me, and the force  of this researching hit me hard. After reading over all my sources, 2-3 I believe, and writing the first one or two paragraphs of my paper, my mind hit a wall. I spent an hour or so just sitting there, trying to formulate a way to put the jumble of words and ideas that were stuck in my head in to organized paragraphs in my paper.   -You see, I kind of think this is a pretty regular occurrence to students attempting to write papers. One minute you’re typing along, getting those required amount of words in, then the next minute you just can’t seem to put anything down. – At my wit’s end, I finally thought of something that may be able to help my mind organize my thoughts and my train of thought: Coffee! Like any good Canadian, I threw on my plaid jacket, and hopped into my truck to head down to the closest Tim Hortons in search of a delicious French Vanilla latte.

Upon returning home, I quickly drank my coffee, sat down, and buckled in, ready to power through this paper. I’m the type of guy who sits down and says, “I’m going to finish this paper, no matter what time it may be when I finish it.” This paper is a prime example of this. Sure, the paper wasn’t due the next day or anything, but I was intent to finish this thing, once and for all. To avoid a long story about my struggle through the night while writing it, I finally finished the paper at around 3:30 am, a day or so before it was due. I had a great sleep that night.

Sunset and Cloud

You know, Kamloops has some beautiful mountains around it. Occasionally, the weather will be just right to get a good shot of clouds hugging Mount Peter and Mount Paul, just as the sun sets.

The Ripple

Looking out over Kamloops Lake from a nice viewpoint, a lone boat moves across the surface of the water. It’s pretty cool to see how that one boat can have such an effect on the lake, sending ripples through the water, obstructing the mirror-like surface the lake had once been.

The Beetle

Not much is better than getting out into the Canadian wilderness with an old VW Beetle and a couple buddies.


Greenstone Mountain is an absolutely gorgeous view, if you ever take the adventure to the top. Atop of this windy mountain, is this small hut, which I can only assume was a forestry fire lookout. Nowadays it has a couple bunkbeds, a table and a chair for visitors to use, as well as a logbook to write down when you visited this place and see who did the adventure before you.

A Nice Sunset

Taken the same night as the photo of my friends. A lot of people say Kamloops doesn’t have much to look at, but I’d say our summer sunsets are killer.

A Happy Couple

Ah, an attempt at an actual sunset photo, starring two of my good friends, actually! They hadn’t been dating for too long at this point, but I thought I’d snap a photo of them anyway. Cause, why have a relationship when you can just take photos of your friends’ relationships… Right….

A Nice Spot

I know, I know… ANOTHER gold panning photo… This photo was taken just a week or two after the last post of the cans, even further along the trail. By this time, my buddy Brad and I convinced three other friends to join us on our panning adventures. After an hour or so of walking (including walking up the creek itself) we came to this absolutely gorgeous spot. Although this spot was terrible for gold panning, it gave us a nice little island almost to relax on, and just do what teenage boys in the wilderness do: mess around with the scenery.  We stayed at this spot for an hour or two, skipping rocks across that little open water area you see in front of Brad, and discussing whatever was going on in our lives at the time.

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