History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Civil Rights Court Cases

For the assignment this week you will need to know the background facts of each case, the legal issues argued, the decision in the case along with the rationale for the decision.

  • Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County
  • Gong Lum v. Rice
  • State of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada
  • Sweatt v. Painter
  • McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
  • Henderson v. United States
  • Bolling v. Sharpe

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Without Sanctuary

ASSIGNMENT: Today you will have the opportunity to view some photographs. The goal is to interpret the photographs to gain an understanding of photographers’ motivations. Choose Five photographs from http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/. Answer the following questions about it to gain and deeper appreciation then view another photograph and do the same. You will be asked to present you ideas about the photograph.

1. Why does James Allen search for post cards of lynching?
2. What does he mean that even "shame is for sale" in America?
3. Is the photograph seem natural or do you think it was staged? What evidence supports your idea?
4. What is the emotional mood of the photograph?
5. Consider the overall setting of the photograph. What do you see?
6. What is the time of day, the season, or the ambiance of the scene?
7. What is the central message or story of the image?
8. What do think was the photographers purpose or point of view in taking this picture?
9. For what audience might the image have been intended?
10. How was the photographer more than a neutral spectator at the lynching. How is the photo itself part of the ritual?
11. Was it made for private consumption, as in a family portrait, or for public commentary, as in a political cartoon?
12. What is the historical context for the image?
13. Finally, analyze the image for the issues it does not raise, the objects and people not included, as much as for what is included. Does the image raise questions that are left unanswered about the scene?
14. List or make a table of all the items you see.
15. What details stand out to you?

Feel free to cut and past this assignment to a word document to answer the questions or you may email them to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

War Without Mercy

For a class I am taking this spring, I have just finished reading War Without Mercy by John Dower. This is an impressive book that was both readable a full of new information that can readily be incorporated into my US History classroom. The overall push of the book is to expose the influence of race in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The book does an excellent job at pointing out the visceral hatred between the two sides in World War II and its basis in the idea of racial hatred that permeated both sides during the conflict.

This basis of the book is excellent but I was amazed and all of the supporting history that Dower was able to provide to support his thesis. There preoccupation of race ran from being subtly mentioned to extremely overt. The way that Winston Churchill called the Chinese “little yellow men”, the Navy’s view that Japanese pilots could not shoot well at night, or the songs against the Japanese were fascinating to read about. In addition to this, the chapter about Japanese views during the war was brand new information. While, I probably could have inferred that Japanese views of the Allies were parallel to American views the confirmation was interesting to read. Another interesting aspect was the report “Of Global Policy With the Yamato Race As the Nucleus.” This report was to be used in the future once Japan had established itself as a world leader. It talked about the role of islands over continents as innovators of society and the need for a population increase.

This book offers a lot of important information that can be intertwined into my classes. It is tough to be able to present a global view to a students (and teachers) lack global experiences. By looking at how different leaders and countries thought during the war one can have a class reflect on earlier policies that might have spawned and supported the views held during the war.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

World Geography Questions Should Be Posted Here

My World Geopgraphy class is going to post their "Where am I?" here. They should be posted in the following format:

List your clues in in order from easiest to hardest like this:

1. Easiest clue
2. Second easiest clue
10. Hardest clue

Do not include the answer.

Monday, January 02, 2006

An Interesting School Debate

Mr. Gerber (the other social science teacher) and me have been having an interesting debate over President Bush and the legality of the wiretaps on international calls. While I think the wire taps seem to be legal, I totally disagree with there use. My feeling on the whole deal are reflected in this article, We Need Domestic Spying

What I am afraid we will see is a tug-of-war between those who place a greater priority on preventing terrorist attacks and those who place a greater priority on reining in the spying agencies. Instead, an independent agency responsible for auditing domestic intelligence could add a layer of protection against abuse while also identifying weaknesses and shortcomings in our intelligence system.

Without an independent audit agency, the oversight of domestic intelligence is going to be spotty and ineffective. There will be Congressional hearings now and then, the occasional official study (think of the 9/11 Commission), and other episodic checks in response to notable events or revelations. However, the issue of domestic spying is too important to be dealt with in such an irregular, incomplete fashion. Auditing our security apparatus needs to be a process, not an event.

I also concur with this statement from James Joyner

While Drum'’s speculation about the nature of the program is just that, he'’s almost certainly right that there is more going on here than meets the eye. We'’ll learn more in the coming days and months, as the press, the Congress, and the courts do their jobs.

This story will not die easily and I think the ramifications might be large.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006!

I hope that htis year is enjoyable, productive and fufilling as 2005. Overall, I am happy where I am in my life but still looking to improve a few aspects. The plans for 2006:
  1. Do a bettter job grading papers in a timely fashion
  2. Play more with with my daughter (time to play golf with her)
  3. Redecorate the bedroom
  4. Eat more healthy foods
  5. Finish my Masters degree

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