Howard Zinn, or Why My Children Will get in Trouble at School

January 28, 2010 at 1:05 am (Life)

Howard Zinn died yesterday at age 87.  I first heard of Zinn when a girl I was dating loaned me a copy of A People’s History of the United States. That book was the final turning point in the change I felt about history and how it is taught in schools. Reading about the genocide and slavery that Christopher Columbus participated in personally made me realize my children will probably get into a lot of trouble in school. I was taught all these amazing, wonderful, NICE things about Columbus while growing up but I was never a big fan of the guy. Even as a kid, I thought, “But he found PEOPLE! How is that discovering land?” But, as a child in school during the 80’s was taught to do, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t question my teachers.

That WON’T be what my kids do. Who knows, I’ll probably read them A People’s History… at bedtime. Most importantly, I will teach them to ask questions. I don’t think I was ever told NOT to ask questions, but I definitely wasn’t encouraged to do so. I will do my best to teach my children the rest of the story for things they are learning in school AND teach them it is okay to ask their teachers about the rest of the story as well. I’m tired of half or just plain wrong teaching in the classroom.

My favorite wrong teaching was that Columbus (back to that mass murdering f***head) was ridiculed for wanting to sail to Asia by going west because everyone at the time thought the world was flat, except him, of course. IN TRUTH, no one thought the world was flat by that time. He was ridiculed because by his calculations, the earth was  smaller than everyone else thought it was. He thought a water route to Asia would actually be shorter than a land one. We were taught Columbus was right and the rest of the world was wrong (the whole flat thing, remember?). Turns out, Columbus was the wrong one! Idiot.  If you can’t tell, I’m not a big fan of the former governor of Hispaniola.

Don’t even get me started on what Zinn taught me about emancipation and woman’s lib!  Anyway, when I send out invitations to my first baby shower, I’d appreciate it if someone bought a copy of A People’s History… as a present.

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new tattoo?! I THINK SO!!!!!!

January 26, 2010 at 1:01 am (Life) (, )

I think I’ve found my next tattoo?

I see NO reason NOT to get this

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Update: love

January 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm (Life) (, , , )

“There’s…this girl.” —The Fantasticks

In the fall of 1989, this really nerdy 7th grade boy met this slightly less nerdy 7th grade girl. Through 9th grade, these two had some classes together and talked about important things, such as U2, Depeche Mode, and animal rights. (The last one was hers alone. He didn’t even know animals could vote.)

Then, in 1992, the boy moved away. Not to some far-off place like West Virginia, but one county over. This was before everyone had cell phones and internet, though, so the boy and girl did not keep in touch.

Over the next 15 or 16 years, the boy sometimes thought about the girl, wondered where she was, what she was doing with her life.

Then came Facebook, that great reuniter…reunitor?…that great thing which reunites! The girl found the boy! Turns out she had thought about him as well!

So here it is, 2010…almost 21 years after they first met, and the boy and girl are madly, crazy in love with each other. Don’t ask them how it happened, for as Pascal* said, “Love has reasons which reason does not know.” With over 500 miles between them, they threw logic to the wind and have started dating.

I don’t know what else to say. Her name is Judith and I fancy her. She’s crazy about me too, so that works out well. Soon, I’ll be leaving NC to start a life with her in NYC. I understand all your fears and concerns and I’ll answer you biggest question here: Yes, they have disc golf courses in Brooklyn. There’s one in Prospect Park.

Here are the two of us last fall in Manhattan.

*= That would be Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and religious philosopher, not Adam Pascal, the American actor who played Roger in the musical Rent. Sorry for any confusion.

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