I just completed an American History course of the Civil War era. I loved it; it was totally cool. I've never enjoyed studying as much as I did for this class. I'm not sure if prior I'd ever enjoyed studying--probably not--so I can't say if it was just that I'm older and more curious about history, or if the class was great or it's just the material is in my wheelhouse, or what. Growing up in Northern Virginia and going to school in Charlottesville for a couple years turned out to be a dormant catalyst for my interest. Between drives on Int 81 and Rts 29 and 50, two years in Charlottesville, I'd inadvertently taken a thorough tour of the Virginia war theater. I blame Fairfax County Public Schools for this gap in knowledge. Anyway, the class was a good way to get my feet wet, as it'd been some time since I took a written exam, and I'm planning on starting grad school in January. So far I'm in at Brooklyn, City College and Fordham. I'm hoping to go to Hunter, which of course is the one I haven't heard from yet.
Apropos: if anyone is looking for a good read - University of Illinois' Lincoln Studies Center's printing of the Lincoln Douglas Debates is great. There's a small intro at the beginning of each of the seven debates, and with just a little refresher on Wikipedia re. some of the bills discussed, it's totally readable. Lincoln is a sass-master and sounds like the most thoughtfully measured and witty person who's ever lived.