Soul

Soul

One of the primary reasons I enjoy history is because it helps me to gain perspective. As bad as things may seem now, there is always the distinct possibility that someone, somewhere has been through this (or worse) before. Yet humanity moves forward. Possibly after taking a step or two back, but always forward. That [...]

Sapiens

Sapiens

Another book recommendation that showed up on my Kindle recently was Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I'd seen the book at the store and on the Internet, but I had no idea what it was about except that it said it was the history of homo sapiens. Kind of a broad topic, but it was [...]

Hamilton

Hamilton

One of the nice things about being a history nerd is that it's often easy to find good deals on books. If you're patient enough, even highly acclaimed books will show up in the bargain section of the book store, as recently happened when I found Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton for $5. If it would [...]

Cherries

Cherries

After my aunt took me to Hawaii as a college graduation present, I came home with a newfound distaste for pineapple. It didn’t start that way. I used to really like pineapple. But after a week of having pineapple served to me with everything I ate and drank, I’d had enough. So far, that sentiment [...]

Ideals

Ideals

Once upon a time, I would hear politicians speak of returning the United States to its “Founding Principles,” and I would simply chalk it up to a type of misguided patriotism - the “Spirit of 1776,” if you will. Recently, I’ve come to realize that either through my own naivety or a lack of understanding [...]

Facts

Imagine the following scene in a high school classroom near you. "Good morning class! My name is Mr. T and welcome to US History. I can see some of you looking around the room for your old teacher, Mr. O. He's been fired, and I'll be taking his place. Let me tell you, this class [...]

Hope

Hope

Warning: This is a post about the election. If you're sick of reading about it, stop now. You're still reading. You've been warned. This is your last chance to turn back. Still here? Well okay then. Here we go.   After teaching AP US History for a little over a decade, I've come to realize [...]

Fishing

Fishing

In the days leading up to the Cub Scout camping trip that we went on in October, my son asked over and over if we would be able to go fishing while we were there. He had asked to go fishing numerous times before, and like any good father I just kept saying, "I'll take you sometime [...]

Breathing

Today, I started the fifth week of school. I managed to survive the first four weeks, and I finally feel like I'm mostly caught up...for now. As any teacher can tell you, there is always work to do, even over the summer. It just happens from time to time that there may not be anything [...]

Backward

When I first began teaching AP US History, I thought I knew a great deal about our nation's history. I was wrong. Partly through completing graduate school, partly from leisure reading, and partly out of necessity, I've learned more about US History in the past nine years than I could possibly teach to my students [...]

Reading

I don't really like to travel. Okay, that's not completely accurate. I enjoy visiting different locations away from home. I just don't enjoy the travelling part of travel. I need to get a teleportation device of some kind to beam me where I want to go. At any rate, I am currently in Louisville, Kentucky [...]

S

When my wife and I found out that our first born was going to be a boy, we did what every set of parents does...we tried to pick a name. We could have just named him after me, but I'm a Junior, and I really didn't want a Third. We probably had more difficulties than [...]

Half

Teaching AP US History requires me to deal with unpleasant topics from time to time. Slavery is one of those topics and it basically is an undercurrent of most of the content during the first semester of the course. Typically when I teach about slavery in class, I use the standard historical narrative that goes [...]