Archive for June 13th, 2008

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Are You Smarter Than a 12th Grader?

June 13, 2008

The latest thing in humanities education in Indiana is a new high school social studies course called Geography and History of the World. Introduced a couple of years ago, the curriculum is going to be mandatory for students graduating in 2011, unless they take World History and Civilization.

Geography and History of the World begins with the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, Indus, and Huang Ho/Yellow Rivers (3300–500 B.C.E.) and ends with global climate change (the present). In between are such rich and substantive questions as: What are culture hearths? How are national identities and forms of government affected by world religions? How have the functions of cities changed over time? How do innovative art forms and scientific thought spread from their origins to other world regions? What has been the impact of changing global patterns of trade and commerce on the local community? And believe me, there’s a lot more.

Last summer a few workshops were offered by universities for teachers of this new course, and they were packed. Here’s the kicker: there is no textbook.

Will this ambitious program work in real life schools? We can only wait and see. But the intent is clear, and it has to do with turning Hoosiers into global citizens who are literate in the humanities.

This entry was posted by: Nancy
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Ten Random Songs from my iPod

June 13, 2008
  1. Louisiana Blues–Muddy Waters–The Blues: the Smithsonian Collection
  2. Saltwater–Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel–The Day the Finger Pickers Took Over the World
  3. Deep–Outkast–Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
  4. A Song for You–Graham Parsons–G.P/Grievous Angel
  5. Nasal Retentive Calliope Music–Frank Zappa–We’re Only in it for the Money
  6. By the Time I get to Phoenix–Johnny Rivers–Johnny Rivers Anthology
  7. You Drive me Crazy–Greg Brown–If I had Known
  8. Can it All be So Simple–Wu-Tang Clan–Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
  9. Too Many Drivers–Lightnin’ Hopkins
  10. Confessin- the Blues–Chuck Berry–His Best, Volume 2
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Friday Blincoln Blog

June 13, 2008

I’m going to get at Lincoln in a very roundabout fashion for today’s Blincoln Blog. I was reviewing the list of the grants that the IHC awarded in its second 2008 round and I noticed that one of them went to the Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society. I thought the name, Lew Wallace, sounded familiar, so I looked him up. And let me just tell you, he’s an impressive cat.

I first learned of Lew Wallace’s Indiana connection when I was working as an intern for the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports a few years ago. INShape Indiana’s office was right on The Circle in downtown Indianapolis and that’s when I first began taking an interest in the architecture here.

Several buildings would stand out enough for me to look up after my lunch break was over and the Blacherne was one. Or, more accurately, the Blacherne is a fine looking building but it has it’s name written on it, which makes it easy to remember and look up. And that’s when I learned about Lew Wallace, Civil War general, and architect.

I also learned that tidbit that he is certainly most famous for: He is the author of Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, a book that, Wikipeidia will tell, you has never been out of print in 137 years and has had been adapted to film an incredible four times.

In addition to battlefield and authorial success (and architectural) Wallace also served as governor of the New Mexico territory and as the U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire. The list really goes on and on.

He was born in Brookville, Indiana and died in Crawfordsville.

Abraham Lincoln connection:

Well, in addition to serving in the Union Army, he also served on the military commission that tried Lincoln’s assassins.