Carol Berkin’s Visit to WHHS

By Annie Chen, Sophomore Editor

Frank Fabiano caught the attention of the historian Carol Berkin, a woman with a PhD. from Columbia and who has been a commentator in many PBS history videos. He did so by dressing in drag as the historian herself in a history video that was shot when he was a U.S. History I student. Astoundingly, this led to Carol Berkin visiting WHHS, holding an assembly for the U.S. History I and II classes in the auditorium on February 22, 2016.

Carol Berkin, who prefers to be called either “Professor Berkin”, “Carol”, or my personal favorite, “Your Highness”, discussed the Bill of Rights in the auditorium eighth and ninth period.

Professor Berkin spent the periods helping the students in the auditorium brush up on their knowledge of the Bill of Rights. Despite the anxiety of having such a knowledgeable historian in the room, Berkin lightened the mood with her incredibly witty remarks, making comments about how “Madison was a nerd. Not a geek, a nerd”.

Berkin seemed to discuss everything from Anti-Federalists to the reasons (or lack of thereof) for the “hot” Dolley Payne Todd to marry James Madison.

Students were able to ask Professor Berkin questions surrounding the Bill of Rights, which somehow led to Berkin’s hard-hitting conclusion about the differing views of the Constitution. Berkin explained that throughout time, the meaning of the Constitution is interpreted differently based on the issues, values, and world changing around it.

Of course, a visit from a famed historian would not be complete without pictures. As the bell rang, students took group photos with Carol, ending her visit at WHHS.