Thursday, October 29, 2009
And the rest, as they say, is history
History is cool. I swear.
I have this piece of flair that says "History Buff" that I wear occasionally.
I'm really not, but I like to think I am. And wish I was.
If I could go back in time, I would have majored in history and became a history teacher instead of an elementary school teacher. And the reason I didnt major in it is because people kept throwing the there- are- too- many- History- teachers- out- there- and- you-will-never-find-a-job-no-matter-how-hard-you-look-and-how-far-you-go line at me.So what was I to do but decide to major in what everyone thinks is always in demand: Science.
I used to do a "This day in History" segment here at Symphonic Discord too, but eventually I ceased to continue because they were labeled as being "super lame" or something. Whatever.
Anyways, there's something about how events that happened in the past altering the future that really fascinates me. And how because of one specific event a whole new set of events took place. Perfect example: Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination and World War I. I always like to ask and wonder to myself, well if that didnt happen, would it be like this today.
When I took my first political science class at University, my teacher made us buy this book called A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn and I fell in love with that book.It's not a textbook but not a novel. It's just a really well written book.
To sum up, it was history told from the viewpoint of the victims or the people who never really got to tell their side of the story. It's a history book told by women during the suffrage, history told by slaves during slavery, history told by the true Native Americans, history telling us what Columbus was really about when he came to the New World, and history told by the individuals that lost their loved ones during the September 11 attacks.
Basically, the history that we so rarely hear and learn about.
Some people might say that the book is completely biased but Zinn himself defends and affirms his biased views by saying:
This makes it a biased account, one that leans in a certain direction. I am not troubled by that, because the mountain of history books under which we all stand leans so heavily in the other direction — so tremblingly respectful of states and statesmen and so disrespectful, by inattention, to people's movements — that we need some counterforce to avoid being crushed into submission.
As a teacher, I'm always torn between teaching what is in a textbook as opposed to what I believe to be true.
Some people believe when it comes to History, there is a fine line between fact and opinion.
So, where exactly, as educators, do we draw the line?