Archive for August, 2014

Welcome IB HL class of 2015

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Welcome all.  I am very excited about our upcoming year here.  Many of you I know from years past in TOK and even from my very first year teaching Big History.  It’ll be very nice to see you again. Others I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing but seeing you here, in what is generally regarded as one of the most demanding classes on campus, already tells me somthing about you.

There is much going on in the world today.  There are events in the Ukraine which are the subject of the article we will read on the first day and events in China and Hong Kong which are likely to unfurl in our first few meetings.  How has the world gotten this way?  Why do we live where we live with the particular culture that we have?  Why do we live next to the world’s busiest border and the world’s longest border fence?

These are the questions that historians are likely to ask.  Historians deal with the deeper past than yesterday’s news of course but they are often inspired by yesterday’s news to look into the deeper past to come to some understanding of our world today. If you know your history, as the famous song goes, then you know where you’re coming from.  In this course you will get to know “where you’re coming from” in a much deeper way.

We will have many guides in this investigation.  dr. Henry Kissinger;


The author of the piece we will read on the first day and of the book “Diplomacy” which you will carry with you throughout the year.

Stephen Ambrose and Douglass Brinkley;


Oh wait.  Wrong picture.  Who are those guys?

Anyway, we will have many guides including myself, your humble servant.

This website is one you should bookmark.  You should check on it every single day before class.  If you make an intelligent comment on my entry of the day, which is usually my personal musings about what is interesting or important about the reading along with some interesting (I hope) tangents, it will net you one extra credit point on the day’s quiz.  The comments section is protected from trolls so I have to approve you once.  Go ahead and leave a comment now and try to say something unique, like not, “this is the greatest blog ever!” which is likely to excite my filtering efforts.  Once I approve you you are in and your future comments will post immediatly.

I am very excited to meet you all (but I do hope my AC is fixed).  Welcome 2015ers.  Its going to be a great year.