Well hello there, everyone–suffice it to say it’s been a while. Since I last made a post on this blog, I’ve changed both schools and countries; I’m now teaching at The Columbus School here in Medellin, Colombia. As is always the case when...
Maxwell: Embrya (1998) I saw Maxwell live once while I was living in Columbus, Ohio in 2000 and will never forget it. In my opinion, there is not a more under-appreciated musical artist out there today–this guy has got some serious vocal chops. He is not...
Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats That is no country for old men. The young In one another’s arms, birds in the trees— Those dying generations—at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long Whatever...
So last spring I began to hear more and more about a book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. A couple friends in particular had told me that if you’re a fan of 80’s pop culture and video games (ummm…check), it was a definite must-read. Once I...
Today was the official celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival here in Taiwan. It’s one of the most important days on the calendar here and an official national holiday. Although most of my local friends here were...
Let’s see, I think this week we’ll talk about…what’s that, you say? There hasn’t been anything posted to this blog for four months? Oh yes…making actual entries on your blog…riiiiiight. So sorry, folks. Turns out that once one...
Ahoy, dear readers! Sincerest apologies for my dearth of posts this spring. It began when my phone got splashed by an ocean wave in the Philippines over the Chinese New Year and I lost all the photos I had planned on putting up from that vacation. After that I was...
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am definitely committed to learning as much Mandarin as possible during my time here in Taiwan, for any number of reasons. At first, it was mainly because I was frustrated with not being able to communicate with the locals...
From the Bene Gesserit rite: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its...
The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite Civil War novels, The Killer Angels, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. We are approaching the point in our World History class (after first semester final exams next week) where we would normally be covering the...
The students are arriving back at school today and classes start tomorrow after about 2-1/2 weeks off. I took advantage of the time to take a break from posting to the blog for a while too, so to ease back into things I’m just going to post a number of random...
Even though this blog is primarily supposed to be a blog about teaching history, I haven’t actually made very many posts yet about my day-to-day life in this new vocation. Partly this is because I have found that what many teachers often claim about the workload...
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I happily volunteered to be the head of our school’s Model UN team this year. After prepping for our first conference for the past couple of months, all of us (7 students and 2 teachers) made the short trek across the...
So I finally finished reading Moby-Dick a week or two ago. I had started it shortly after arriving here in the summer but it got put on the back burner after school started, as it got quickly bumped down the priority list about, oh, fifteen notches or so. As...
At the beginning of the school year, the teachers at our school are all assigned to a group of students in order to act as their official advisors for the year. We get to know them pretty well, mainly because we always sit with our advisees at lunchtime, whether we...
So we typically have a quiz every Friday in our Modern History class, and they normally take up roughly the first half of the period. For the first couple weeks I didn’t really have a great plan in terms of what to do with the leftover 25 minutes or so that we...
Last Saturday was Confucius’ birthday, which is also traditionally celebrated in China and here in Taiwan as “Teacher’s Day” (as Confucius was himself a teacher too). I wasn’t really aware of this until I got another round of touching cards from some of our students...
"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?"
"Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity."
"He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"What is history, but a fable agreed upon?"
"If history were told in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten."
"No greater mistake can be made than to imagine that what has been written latest is always the more correct; that what is written later on is an improvement on what was written previously; and that every change means progress."
"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
"Whoever controls the present, controls the past. Whoever controls the past, controls the future."
"Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity."
"Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as 'was'--only 'is'."
"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."
"To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn't just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is."
"It is the great arrogance of the present to forget the intelligence of the past."
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach."
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."
"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good."
"The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future."
-Stephen E. Ambrose
"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."
"History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again."
-George R.R. Martin
"May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children."
-Rainer Maria Rilke
"Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way."
"Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle...the wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round...even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves."
-Black Elk of the Lakota Sioux, "Black Elk Speaks"