Showing posts from June, 2012

The Strength of Demographic and Generational History

Political history, and perhaps even mythic history, dominates much of what most people know about the past. Social, cultural and economic history may appear in history classes, often bringing emphases on issues of gender and ethnic difference. However, there are a few different types of history that, as far as I can tell, rarely receive any thought or mention in common courses or in the public sphere: One of them is demographic history, and another is generational history.

Please Join Wall Street Rather Than Teach For America

I've been thinking about things college students do after they graduate, and I had recently read a somewhat critical article about the high number of students from top schools who are going into finance and banking (even after all that's happened in the last few years). As much as I, too, would be critical of such a trend, I have also noticed ever larger numbers of students applying for and joining Teach For America, a non-profit organization that will have 10,000 participants next fall. TFA believes it's out to save the country, but it is in fact pursuing a thoroughly arrogant mission with frighteningly harmful results. With the following points considered, I feel confident in claiming that it's better for college graduates to go join the banks on Wall Street, rather than join Teach For America.

An Indigenous/Non-Indigenous or Western/Non-Western Art Dichotomy?

As I've mentioned here and here, this summer I'm working at Ketchikan's Totem Heritage Center, one of the best places in the world to see old, original totem poles. They say that being a tour guide is all about saying the same things to different people every day, although after a while they sometimes seem to be the same people every day. One of my coworkers even said that tour guides are like people with Alzheimer's and OCD at the same time. In any case, the visitors who come to the Center often ask the same sorts of questions, and though I'm always happy to answer them, there is one theme of questions and comments in particular that always catches my attention. The theme is making comparisons.

Owls, Narratives, Everest and Samurai

I thought I might write a short post about the books I've read so far this summer: I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Counter-Narrative, Into Thin Air, and Chūshingura. About the best groupings I can make the books are that two concern Asia and two concern North America, and two concern the past while two concern the present. Other than that, each of the four books is as different as can be - instructive, biographical, literary, dramatic; violent, suspenseful, touching, political; challenging, amusing, saddening, incredible. Let me tell you a little bit about them.

Why Massachusetts Candidates Can't Win the Presidency

I believe Mitt Romney is just about as likely to be president as John Kerry was. We'll see how the votes turn out come November, but mark my words, the result this year may be just about the same as it was in 2004 - except the parties will be reversed. The circumstances behind the 2004 and 2012 presidential elections are very different, but there are similarities as well. What is it that the losing candidate and the predicted-to-lose candidate have in common? For one, it's Massachusetts.

Scout Willis and a Northwest Coast Design Dress

I never read celebrity news, gossip news, or anything like that. Never. However, tonight while I was reading an article on some news website about Scott Walker's election win in Wisconsin or some other thing like that, I noticed an amazing picture in the sidebar. It was a slideshow of news stories, and the picture I saw showed a woman's face with the shoulders and chest of a very distinctive dress. I clicked on the picture right away.