She began pacing the stage, using her hands as much as her voice to speak, which clearly confused the other professors and administrators in the first couple of rows. She had no lecture notes, had no presentation, no digital apparatus to control a slideshow, not even an assistant to control things from behind the scenes.
I’m just going to talk.
“Before coming here, I had the opportunity to go to Gettysburg. The place is alive with old ghosts. The history of that place is in every stone, every blade of grass, and not a year goes by when some lucky visitor discovers a slug from an old rifle.”
She pulled the small, clear plastic container from her pocket with the slug in it. The slug was covered with lead oxide, but had landed soft on the ground with no deformity. There were some oohs and ahhs, but they quickly faded.
“Don’t tell the park police I have this.”
That drew some laughs.
“History is not found in a textbook, despite what we professors might tell you. It’s not even found in the writings of the people who were there. History is alive. It must be experienced to truly know it. What is not recorded is just as important, or even more important than what was.