I hope you all had a good day. I’m bringing you something new and exciting; at least I think it is. I’m starting a new series on A Reader’s Oasis called Takeover Thursdays. The name may change, and I’ll take suggestions if you have any. Takeover Thursdays is when I will have a different person guest post every Thursday. It will be on topics related to books, reading, and writing. The usual things I like to discuss on this blog but now from different perspectives. I will also take suggestions related to these topics from all of you.
Now it is my greatest pleasure to introduce you to our guest blogger for today. This is the first post in my Takeover Thursday series and she is my best friend Tiffany Chan. She created this piece on time travel and I think it’s amazing. It’s a great prompt
*Tiffany doesn’t write regularly on her blog so stay tuned for future posts.*
On Time Travel by Tiffany Chan
If an opportunity came up for you to travel back in time to an era of human history, where would you want to go?
Wouldn’t it be nice to go back in time and fix your fuck ups? That regret you had? Fixed! Just hop into a time machine and go back and not do what you did the first time around. This won’t be a post about Dr. Who (I’ve never seen an episode in my life) or the technicalities of time machines (queue physics junkies and engineers!). Instead, I want to share with you an era of history that resonates deeply with our current age.
My infatuation with the Victorian era began when I took a British History class in my junior year of college. I had intended on dropping the course because it was a little early in the morning for me. I kept the course when I found out a close friend was also taking the course. Another reason that kept me from dropping the course was the professor. She had a great sense of style and she had the most compelling teaching voice. I think she would have been a great voice actor had she not chosen to be an academic. By the time the deadline for dropping courses came up, I was already planning out my outlines for her papers.
I took a completely different course that semester that shouldn’t have had any information coinciding with the syllabus from that history class. My epidemiology course took up the bulk of my time that semester, but when we learned about diseases during the Victorian Era I couldn’t help, but be reminded of my history class. Here were two completely different classes that seemed connected in so many ways. In one I learned about the impact of science on the microbial world, and the assault of minute pests on our population. In the other I learned about the impact of one great big nation and its involvement with the rest of the world. There shouldn’t have been any reason for me to overthink things, but somehow, I did.
I began to reminisce about life in the Victorian era. I learned about the fashion, daily life, and then my favorite, their fixation with death. The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited this obsession via their Costume Institute in Death Becomes Her in late 2014. The implications of their obsession impacted the way men and women acted and dressed during periods of mourning. Things like death photography and mourning jewelry became a trend among the upper echelons of society. But don’t get me wrong; I’m quite a squeamish person. I think all this stuff about the Victorians is weird. However, that is exactly why I would love to be transported back in time as a Victorian. Weird is great!
Penny Dreadful, a series from Showtime, began right after I took that British history course. It was almost as if a dream came true! The show mainly centers on Vanessa Ives, a young woman with a troubled past. She becomes entangled with the supernatural world as evil forces strive for her body and soul. Go watch it folks, if you haven’t already. It’s beautifully made, and Vanessa is always dressed so nicely (on the good days, at least…). As much as I loved watching the show and seeing the characters unfold, I hated how much it showcased human weakness.
The Victorian Era brought about a new age of thinkers. We have writers that wrote about the plight of the lower class, exposing the cruel world some children were thrust into from birth. Industrialization allowed for quicker production of goods and drove prices down. The world of medicine was beginning to delve into the psyches of our minds, carving out ideas and sowing the seeds for later generations of scientists to harvest.
I want to end this mishmash of words by saying that all eras of human history are important and that we should always be given the opportunity to revisit them whenever we can. In the world of science fiction, time machines are pretty cool and badass but we forget that we already have time machines. They are the books in our libraries, our online photo catalogs, and our parents. In our technological world, we spend hours playing mobile games or sitting in front of the television binge watching episodes of The Kardashians (oh god, never again). We forget about the tangible objects that make us who we are.
So remember, the next time you spend hours doing something to “pass the time”, think about what you’re losing in your present. Go have a talk with your parents. Take a trip to your local library and learn about other cultures. Use what you have left on this dying planet, so that in the future, you can look back into your past and see that your time was spent worthwhile.
I hope you enjoyed this piece and thanks for reading. ~Tiffany Chan
I just want to take this moment to thank Tiffany for being the first in this guest post series and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more post from her on my blog. I would love to see what all of you thought of this piece and if you decide to write something for this prompt on your own. Show me and Comment your piece below.