Tag Archives: Education

Leftists Secretly Gathering for History Book Conference

Actually By Cassidy Pen

From The National Report, August 25, 2015

Students across America will soon be taught the far left’s take on American History should proposals agreed on during high-level closed door meetings ever see the light of day.

A secret panel has convened to re-write history books in accordance with Common Core principles under the direction of civil rights leaders and advocacy groups. Unconfirmed, but reported attendees of the conference include President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, GLAAD Executive Director Sarah Kate Ellis, and members of the “Black Lives Matter” group.

Dr. Cornel West was invited to the conference, but a prior commitment made him unavailable.

The meeting is being hosted by the Howard Zinn Education Project, which coordinates two non-profit organizations advocating what they claim to be “more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of American History.” In other words, prepare for a socialist indoctrination of your children underwritten by one of the furthest left authors in American History…a naked socialist, if you will.

Topics of special urgency among the attendees include the Constitutional Convention, Causes of the Civil War, the 1960’s radical anti-war and civil rights movements, and a thorough rethinking of the Reagan Administration. The gathering wishes to expunge God from society and classify the Constitution as a secular document. The Civil War would be looked at as a class struggle, as will other noble wars fought during our nation’s growing period and development as a world leader. Special praise to the radical 60’s peace and civil rights movements and equal disdain for the Reagan Revolution are also proposed.

This is the kind of garbage that your children will be learning should this revisionist history be forced down their throats.

By Howard_Zinn_at_lectern.jpg: Jim from Stevens Point, WI, USA derivative work: Gobonobo (Howard_Zinn_at_lectern.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Howard_Zinn_at_lectern.jpg: Jim from Stevens Point, WI, USA derivative work: Gobonobo (Howard_Zinn_at_lectern.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Howard Zinn, author of the popular screed, “The People’s History of the United States,” advocates abject Socialism under the guise of how America has oppressed working people, women, and minorities through a discriminatory capitalist system that rewards the rich and “continues to steal from everyone else.”

Read the Rest Here

Was History Class Ever Easy?

 

Curator’s Comment: The real question is was it ever not boring?


How to Make History Dates Stick

Actually By Mark Twain

Curator’s Comment: “Only effective when done by the pupil and not the master.” It seems that learning dates has always been hard and interactive history interpretation is nothing new.

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Poll Shows 67% Of High Schoolers Think MLK Was An American President

Actually From The Daily Currant

Jan 19, 2015

[Sans titre]In a stunning Pewter Poll, it was revealed today that a majority of American high schoolers think civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. was president of the United States before his assassination in 1968.

About 3,169 high schoolers from grade 9 through 12 were polled on Jan. 16 in a survey that simply asked if Martin Luther King Jr. was ever the president of the United States. The results shocked Pewter, who reported 67 percent of high schoolers thought King has held that office.

Sarah Small, a 9th grader in Ohio, told USA Today, “Of course he was president. I follow politics. He was the first black president. That’s why we celebrate his birthday, duh.”

“He was a great man,” said Tommy Jones of Los Angeles. “Too bad they killed him for being the first black president.”

Results were equal among male and female students but the percent of incorrectness actually rose through the grade with more 12th graders getting the question wrong compared to 9th graders.

New York Times editor Wally Joyce said, “It was a remarkable poll. How could a teenager think MLK was president? The students weren’t that young when Barack Obama became president. How did they not know Obama was the first black president?”

Some statisticians say the report shows how much more accepting the younger generation is of different races and culture. “It’s as if these kids didn’t know of America’s racist past,” pollster Matt Tenison told Yahoo! News. “I’m not sure if that part of history is being glossed over by the history books but the results of the poll were amazing. We are still studying the implications of this seemingly simple poll and our conclusion will be reported in the next few months.”

[Click HERE to read the rest, which is worth it]

 


Bringing History and Visitors Back to Colonial Williamsburg

Curator’s Comment: In the past the American Hysterical Society has been openly critical of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s 2013 and 2014 advertising campaigns (it seems they have deleted the most egregious; we hope it’s because of something we said). The following is our attempt to make amends and offer some helpful suggestions.

As we have noted before, history doesn’t sell. Just ask any site who offers a well-researched horse engine day or tea party, or if that tight stitch count has got ‘em flocking in. If history did sell then our work would be well funded, we would all be rockstars, and Colonial Williamsburg would still be a historic site.

In case you haven’t noticed, Williamsburg has spent the better part of the last year transforming into a low-rent Busch Gardens. Or to quote President & CEO Mitchell Reiss, trying “to do some things we’ve never done before to make this special place even better.”[1] So with tenuous historical connections and what their marketing folks think has mass appeal, the Foundation has added a shooting range, a petting zoo, a doggy mascot, pirates, and an ice skating rink to their “historic” experience.

As Reiss said, “You’ll notice us paying more attention to first-time visitors and families who have chosen to invest their hard earned vacation dollars for a trip to Colonial Williamsburg instead of [Disney’s] Magic Kingdom.” They’re targeting families because they think that’s where the money is. However, most families are too budget conscious to feed Williamsburg’s voracious coffers.

No, the real revenue is in providing extreme lifestyle experiences for underserved audiences looking for the unique, the challenging, and the thrilling.[2] This audience includes masochists, sadists, body modifiers, and mixed martial artists. There’s a lot of money in pain and blood. And Williamsburg is perfectly suited to simultaneously profit from this growing demand while creating historically-grounded interpretation.

This soon-to-be wildly-popular and award-winning program includes: [3]

  • Public Shaming: Did you ever want to let that loved one know you knew about their lies/theft/infidelity/stupidity? Well now you can all while allowing the whole world to share in your pain and righteousness. It’s the eighteenth-century version of Facebook.
  • Standing the Pillory: The stocks are already a popular stop, this would just add the missing ingredient, human drama. Once a prisoner is locked in, his or her ears are nailed to the stock and they are left standing there. Later, just before their allotted time is up, their ears are first sliced off and then they are released. Siblings of all ages, with their mischievous rivalries, will love this one.
  • Flogging: Depending on your tastes, you or a person of your choice can be publicly flogged. It can be for almost any infraction, real or imagined, or just because the experience is so delicious.
  • Branding: You may or may not have committed a felony, but now you can look like you have. Scarification by branding makes tattoos seem as dangerous as body paint.
  • Dueling: You and an opponent of your choice could rent weapons (swords or the more expensive pistols) and, after a five-minute orientation, take your positions on the palace lawn and have at each other. First blood or death, it’s your choice.
  • Public Execution: We’re already heading toward this in modern America, so why not be on the cutting edge? Executions were popular mass entertainment back in the day, and they would draw even larger crowds (and oodles of publicity) today. The best thing about a historically-accurate hanging is that, unlike later nineteenth-century hanging practices where the neck was broken almost immediately, the show could last for several minutes thanks to the short drop drop and slow strangulation. Popular as this will be with spectators, we suggest brushing up your “not it” skills.

Along with being immersive experiences, they are also a fully interactive ones. And boy will they draw a crowd! This has every potential to be the first truly exciting museum program ever.

Each of these ideas brings to bear all of CW’s resources, historic trades to make the nails, weapons, gallows, and rope, educators to help explain the background of each option to participants and guests alike, living history skills to ensure authenticity, and food service to help keep tummies full and wallets empty.

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The choice is simple: Does Williamsburg want public programs that look like this…
Source.

William_Hogarth_-_Industry_and_Idleness,_Plate_11;_The_Idle_'Prentice_Executed_at_Tyburn - Copy

…or like this?

We know what you’re thinking: that doing any, much less all, of this would take real audacity. We say it’s less audacious than opening a skating rink on Duke of Gloucester Street and, with a straight face, calling it a “magical experience.”[4]

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1. We truly thought he was going to say “specialer.”

2. And need we mention they are likely first-time visitors?

3. All  medical or coroner’s bills are included in your fees!

4. The Disneyfication isn’t even subtle.


History Has a Liberal Bias?

For more on how Texas dictates history education in America see this report from The Daily Show.


Your Questions Reveal All

If you have ever attended a lecture or public presentation you’ve been subjected to the dreaded Q & A session. The only real benefit of such sessions being that the speaker is absolved from having to write anything for the last fifteen to twenty minutes of his or her time.

In our attempt to stave off the creeping madness such moments threaten us with, we obviously missed a golden opportunity for an anthropological study of our peers. Fortunately, a colleague was able to focus long enough to create this study of professional and amateur questioners:

Every Question in a Q & A Session Ever


“What I Learned” by Professor Sedaris

https://i1.wp.com/www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/davidsedaris.jpg

He knows because he was there.

Curator’s Comment: It’s graduation season again. Which means it is time to gather on the quad and suffer through graduation speeches while sitting on uncomfortable folding chairs. The following is Professor Sedaris’s 2006 Princeton commencement speech, itself rooted in Princeton’s own history.

It’s been interesting to walk around campus this afternoon, as when I went to Princeton things were completely different. This chapel, for instance—I remember when it was just a clearing, cordoned off with sharp sticks. Prayer was compulsory back then, and you couldn’t just fake it by moving your lips; you had to know the words, and really mean them. I’m dating myself, but this was before Jesus Christ. We worshipped a God named Sashatiba, who had five eyes, including one right here, on the Adam’s apple. None of us ever met him, but word had it that he might appear at any moment, so we were always at the ready. Whatever you do, don’t look at his neck, I used to tell myself.

It’s funny now, but I thought about it a lot. Some people thought about it a little too much, and it really affected their academic performance. Again, I date myself, but back then we were on a pass-fail system. If you passed, you got to live, and if you failed you were burned alive on a pyre that’s now the Transgender Studies Building. Following the first grading period, the air was so thick with smoke you could barely find your way across campus. There were those who said that it smelled like meat, no different from a barbecue, but I could tell the difference. I mean, really. Since when do you grill hair? Or those ugly, chunky shoes we all used to wear?

It kept you on your toes, though, I’ll say that much. If I’d been burned alive because of bad grades, my parents would have killed me, especially my father, who meant well but was just a little too gung ho for my taste. He had the whole outfit: Princeton breastplate, Princeton nightcap; he even got the velvet cape with the tiger head hanging like a rucksack from between the shoulder blades. In those days, the mascot was a sabretooth, so you can imagine how silly it looked, and how painful it was to sit down. Then, there was his wagon, completely covered with decals and bumper stickers: “I hold my horses for Ivy League schools,” “My son was accepted at the best university in the United States and all I got was a bill for a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars.” On and on, which was just so . . . wrong.

One of the things they did back then was start you off with a modesty seminar, an eight-hour session that all the freshmen had to sit through. It might be different today, but in my time it took the form of a role-playing exercise, my classmates and I pretending to be graduates, and the teacher assuming the part of an average citizen: the soldier, the bloodletter, the whore with a heart of gold.

“Tell me, young man. Did you attend a university of higher learning?”

To anyone holding a tool or a weapon, we were trained to respond, “What? Me go to college?” If, on the other hand, the character held a degree, you were allowed to say, “Sort of,” or, sometimes, “I think so.”

“So where do you sort of think you went?”

And it was the next bit that you had to get just right. Inflection was everything, and it took the foreign students forever to master it.

“Where do you sort of think you went?”

And we’d say, “Umm, Princeton?”—as if it were an oral exam, and we weren’t quite sure that this was the correct answer.

“Princeton, my goodness,” the teacher would say. “That must have been quite something!”

You had to let him get it out, but once he started in on how brilliant and committed you must be it was time to hold up your hands, saying, “Oh, it isn’t that hard to get into.”

Then he’d say, “Really? But I heard—”

“Wrong,” you’d tell him. “You heard wrong. It’s not that great of a school.”

This was the way it had to be done—you had to play it down, which wasn’t easy when your dad was out there, reading your acceptance letter into a bullhorn.

I needed to temper my dad’s enthusiasm a bit, and so I announced that I would be majoring in patricide. The Princeton program was very strong back then, the best in the country, but it wasn’t the sort of thing your father could get too worked up about. Or, at least, most fathers wouldn’t. Mine was over the moon. “Killed by a Princeton graduate!” he said. “And my own son, no less.”

My mom was actually jealous. “So what’s wrong with matricide?” she asked. “What, I’m not good enough to murder?”

They started bickering, so in order to make peace I promised to consider a double major.

“And how much more is that going to cost us?” they said.

Those last few months at home were pretty tough, but then I started my freshman year, and got caught up in the life of the mind. My idol-worship class was the best, but my dad didn’t get it. “What the hell does that have to do with patricide?” he asked.

And I said, “Umm. Everything?”

He didn’t understand that it’s all connected, that one subject leads to another and forms a kind of chain that raises its head and nods like a cobra when you’re sucking on a bong after three days of no sleep. On acid it’s even wilder, and appears to eat things. But, not having gone to college, my dad had no concept of a well-rounded liberal-arts education. He thought that all my classes should be murder-related, with no lunch breaks or anything. Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

In truth, I had no idea what I wanted to study, so for the first few years I took everything that came my way. I enjoyed pillaging and astrology, but the thing that ultimately stuck was comparative literature. There wasn’t much of it to compare back then, no more than a handful of epic poems and one novel about a lady detective, but that’s part of what I liked about it. The field was new, and full of possibilities, but try telling that to my parents.

“You mean you won’t be killing us?” my mother said. “But I told everyone you were going for that double major.”

Dad followed his “I’m so disappointed” speech with a lecture on career opportunities. “You’re going to study literature and get a job doing what?” he said. “Literaturizing?”

We spent my entire vacation arguing; then, just before I went back to school, my father approached me in my bedroom. “Promise me you’ll keep an open mind,” he said. And, as he left, he slipped an engraved dagger into my book bag.

READ THE REST


The New, More Patriotic AP History Test

Actually By Pat O’Brien

From Funny Or Die

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An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly approved a bill that would cut funding for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, claiming that the current test focuses too much on the negative parts of American history and promotes civil disobedience. Here is the updated, more patriotic test that conservatives are pushing for.


Women only began voting in the year 1920 because:
a.) they just didn’t want to before then, it was weird
b.) a woman’s tiny hands couldn’t lift the heavy paper ballots of the time
c.) they were all too busy sewing flags
d.) all of the above

Police sprayed African Americans with firehoses because:
a.) they had a bee on them
b.) it was the best way to stay cool in the Alabama heat
c.) they were all wearing suspicious, dark-colored hoodies
d.) that never happened (circle this answer and get a free Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut!)

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps because:
a.) they won a contest
b.) of a clerical error by a White House intern
c.) they were all terrorists, even the babies
d.) oh, they were Japanese? Sorry, I don’t see race.

The Founding Fathers were great because of their:
a.) muscular, syphilis-free physiques
b.) commitment to freedom for all
c.) ability to multitask (preaching freedom while simultaneously owning slaves)
d.) sick ponytails

Which word or phrase best describes the United States’ treatment of Native Americans during the age of colonization?:
a.) fun
b.) flirty
c.) super chill
d.) un-genocidal

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This drawing by Thomas Nast has become an enduring symbol of America’s:
a.) jealous cartoonists
b.) tolerance of those with non-traditional heads
c.) thriving plus-size pants industry
d.) sick shading skills

It was okay to use civil disobedience tactics during the Boston Tea Party because:
a.) it was white people doing it
b.) just shut up, alright?
c.) hey, look over there! >>>>>>>>>>
d.) seriously, there’s this really cute dog doing something crazy! you’re missing it!!! >>>>>>>>>>>

The bald eagle fucking kicks ass, right?:
a.) strongly agree
b.) patriotically agree
c.) fuck yeah it does!
d.) I once saw one eating the guts out of a smaller bird right in front of its babies, it was awesome.


Advanced Amateur Art History

Actually By Chas Gillespie

From McSweeney’s

Good morning, students. Today we’ll look at slides and interrogate the common hermeneutic understandings of three important art movements. The first, the Pre-Renaissance, occurred before the Renaissance. The second topic for today is the Renaissance. Finally, we’ll end by touching on what happened after the Renaissance. It was, in a way, a response to, and an expansion of the Renaissance: the Post-Renaissance.

First slide. This painting represents Post-Renaissance horse paintings, specifically, big brown horses with six-packs. They also have large, fuming noses. Write that down. Notice what the rider is wearing. Does anyone own a similar suit of armor? No? Well then I’ll have to keep looking.

Before we proceed, let’s think thematically. Based on your reading, what changed from the earliest days of painting to the Renaissance? What makes the Renaissance different? Renaissance paintings look more realistic, good. What else? There are more decapitations, absolutely. You feel slightly attracted to the naked men and women, OK. Fewer weird-looking Jesus babies. Good, good. And what about this? Slide. Remember this cave painting? Renaissance painters were far less concerned with skinny, stick-figure bird men who hold staffs and are either standing or laying down in the vicinity of bison; instead, they were more interested in religion, history, boobies, wee-wees, ca-ca’s, the Renaissance, and random people standing in the background.

Renaissance painters were heavily influenced by x-rated picnics. No, they weren’t perverts. They were just a little curious, mythologically speaking. Slide. The gals at these picnics were fair-skinned and not all too skinny, and the guys were muscular and generally leaning against things. Sometimes they had wings. This will be on the final.

Slide. OK, now what’s important about this painting? First, there are extreme contrasts between light and dark. What else? There are people pointing at each other, yes. And they all have exaggerated facial expressions and seem to be yelling at each other. Now, I’m not a great lip reader, but this guy seems to be saying, “Ruuuunnpll!” and this other guy seems to be saying, “Graaaaaa!” Or maybe “Craaaaaa!” It’s a heated moment. Too heated for real words. Though it may also be unheated.

Slide. Here’s a good example of a Pre-Renaissance painting. It’s by Giotto. Do you see how some subjects have faint orange circles around their heads? These represent basketball, Giotto’s favorite sport. Orange head circles were also a common fashion in Florence at the time. In case you were wondering, other subjects have bendy serpent necks because of a bet Giotto made with his contemporaries. They said he couldn’t make a great painting where people had bendy serpent necks. He said he could. Giotto won the bet.

Slide. This is a classic Renaissance painting. It’s called Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter. I want you to take special notice of all those rectangles. They’re everywhere. This painting was originally going to be called Rectangles Observing Christ Doing Whatever, but the artist, Perugino, decided against it. Other titles he vetoed were St. Peter Receiving the Keys from Christ, Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter, and Mona Lisa. Note how the rectangles show perspective. Remember that word. Perspective. It means rectangles. Especially when rectangles are oriented toward the vanishing point, or, in technical language, are “bent,” to show distance.

Slide. Here’s a doodle I drew of a cat making out with a duck. This is an example of post-Renaissance because I made it after the Renaissance. Notice how the canvas is a Post-it note. That’s my favorite part about it. Also see how the cat, duck, and rock are arranged in a triangle formation. That’s important, but I forget why. Questions? Questions? No? Good.

Slide. Slide. Slide. Slide. Slide. Slide. Well, looks like we’ve reached the end. I’ve graded your essays. I saw a lot of good things in them about Michelangelo and his steroid goggles, what that Mona Lisa woman is thinking about, and that gang of beneficent hoarders named The Medici. But I do want to correct a few things. I saw some analysis of mannerism, chiaroscuro, and foreshortening. I believe you have mistaken me with someone who knows what these things mean.

I’m passing around copies of a scholarly article I wrote, which was recently accepted for publication on my blog, LifeofRichard.com. Read it for next time and pay close attention to my comparative analysis of splotches, dots, dribbles, line segments, sweeps, swooshes, points, whispers, and ear slices in the lily pad explorations and impressively-neat-bedrooms of the Post-Post-Renaissance paintings of Van Gogh, Monet, and Instagram.


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