I was cleaning up my parents' computer today (optimizing all the accumulated electronic junk similar to how people clean out their attic & garage) and came across some of my history essays from high school. Needless to say I was appalled by my unintellectual discourses from my teenagehood.
One essay I read was about the impact of Crusades on Byzantine. The essay was so hollow it was than a joke. Its thesis seems to be that the Crusaders "destroyed?" Byzantine. The essay's body is more a regurgitation of ideas from secondary sources rather than a product of original thinking. It only focused upon the superficial military impacts of the Crusaders on Byzantine but doesn't address more fundamental questions such as
1. Why did the Crusaders, who were supposed to "Reconquista" Jerusalem and Anatolia, decided to ravage Byzantine and sack Constantinople? Especially when Byzantine was supposed to be their Christian brethren?
2. Why did Byzantine, the continuation of the mighty Eastern Roman Empire, not able to fend off a disorganized army of nobles and peasants from Western Europe?
3. Can't the downfall of Byzantine be attributed to the Turks/Muslims more so than the Crusaders?
On the flip side, I'm glad that university education has had an effect on my cerebrum.