Thursday, January 21, 2010

Teaching Has Its Rewards

Teaching Has Its Rewards

Not generally financial rewards, but hey, I've got a full-time computer job so I can afford it.

Idaho taxpayers should be glad to know that you provided me with a stupendously nice and technologically sophisticated classroom in which to teach: the fruits of Western Civilization in which to teach Western Civilization! As near as I can tell, I can press a couple of buttons and feed the video projector from the desktop PC, from a laptop, from a DVD player, from a VCR--heck, probably straight from my cerebral cortex, if I was prepared to have it upgraded appropriately. (Yes, I'm using PowerPoint instead of torturing the students by expecting them to read my horrible scribbles on the blackboard.)

As part of my, "Why do we inflict history classes on you" lecture, I told my story about the woman from whom I used to get my ice cream cones--the one with the unfashionable tattoo: just the letter A and some numbers--and why history matters. As I mentioned some of the crimes of the Holocaust (before giving a brief summary of other atrocities of the twentieth century), I could see that some of the students were actually startled by what they were hearing. I know that a lot of kids are getting out of high school now with almost no awareness of the Holocaust., but I was a bit startled that some of them were startled.

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