Wednesday, July 01, 2009

day +680

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the school where I'll be teaching this fall to pick up some helpful reading materials for the summer. As I prepare for my first professional teaching experience, these books should help.

Aside from these newly added books, I've been making some headway on the others on my seemingly infinite reading list. Very recently, I finished Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. A gripping history of the life of the Great Khan and his descendants, Weatherford's text offers further insight and appreciation for the legacy of the Mongols on world culture. At the moment, I'm working on the last 60 or so pages of E.H. Gombrich's A Little History of the World. Though this book was written with children as the intended audience back in the 1930s, it has become a well-known favorite of people of all ages. A simple, general history, it's an interesting read as I'm reminded of some of the key people and events in human history. At the same time, however, Gombrich's analysis of the past is largely Eurocentric. Almost token attention is given to the peoples of the Americas, Asia, and so far in my readings, I haven't come across anything dealing seriously with Africa with the exception of ancient Egypt. Though concise and charming, Gombrich, in my opinion, does a big disservice to the richness of human civilization by avoiding these other areas.

In thinking about how I'd like to teach, I've been thinking increasingly about teaching history as a global, interdependent discipline. Reading Genghis Khan has reminded me of this. Moreover, my studies in Chicago as well as my Watson research were focused on this very belief in global interdependence and complexity.

Though I'll be teaching U.S. history, there are many ways in which I think I'll be able to shape the lessons within a global context.

Finally, I'm just one quarter shy of completing my collection of the 50 state commemorative quarter collection. In a bundle of change I received a couple of days ago, I found Alaska for the first time. And then, yesterday I stumbled upon Utah which had eluded me for a long time. So, what's the state that's holding out? It's Hawaii.

But interestingly, I've also found Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. So, there must be a commemorative set for territories as well. I need to look more into this. In addition to the states, I've been looking out for the commemorative one dollar presidential coins.

4 Comments:

Comment Blogger Mary said...

what grade are you teaching next fall? that's so exciting!

7:05 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Mary,

I'll be teaching 7th and 8th grade U.S. history.

12:48 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUANE!!!

I didn't know you collected the quarters too! I knew I liked you for a reason :P


~Sarah formerly up the street~

6:39 PM  
Comment Blogger Mary said...

wow, that's exciting. If you ever need any advice from the trenches, you have my email!

1:25 AM  

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