I enjoy studying history because history not only deals with the past (which is often inherently interesting in itself) but also with how the past led to the present (a topic which is obviously relevant to everyone currently alive). Of course, there is also the persuasive argument that those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it. I do worry sometimes that historians are not as objective as they could be -- that they go into the study of history with pre-conceived ideas and prejudices and use the study of history as a way of reinforcing ideas to which they are already committed. This problem is even more troubling if they then use their history classes as an opportunity to force their own ideas on students.
I have a love hate relationship with history. While I find history fascinating, I never did very well in history courses because much of the information was centered around dates. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy learning about history because I don't have to remember the specific dates but rather the general time periods or the order in which events occurred. As an English teacher, I have always found the historical aspects of literature intriguing. I don't think we can understand a piece of literature or the culture that created it without an appreciation for the history behind said piece.
It's not my favorite subject, but I think that is because I am a very tactile learner. History texts don't stick in my mind, but when I went to the Holocaust Museum in D.C., it made an impact because it was all there in front of me. I think I would enjoy history more if I could be there and see the ruins, the artifacts, the parts that remain and the parts that are lost except in texts.
I am also a history teacher, and I love history because historical thinking teaches empathy. It helps you to stretch your own perspective across space and time to think about how people very different from us experienced things. I would not want to live in the past, but thinking historically is a fascinating intellectual exercise.
I have spent most of my life as an English teacher, but history is my real love. I love to travel and the older the city, the more I love exploring it. It is far easier for me to get lost while reading or researching historical material, dreaming of living during past times and experiencing things no longer possible in our modern world.
I love history, which is good given that I'm a history teacher. To me, what is most interesting about it is the chance to think about why societies end up the way they do and what sorts of factors tend to change the world. I am much more interested in that than in details of names and dates and places.