So – here is my first ever attempt at blogging. I’ve been interested in writing online for sometime, but just have never found the impetus to do it. So thank you Ed Computers 355 for giving me the motivation to write about things that I normally just think about in deep, profound, meditative and contemplative silences.
A few weeks ago, when designing a unit plan for English Language Arts 30, I was researching the notion of public memory and its affect on social consciousness. After considering the myriad ways public memory manifests and is accessed, I came across a website dedicated to the memory of educator and historian, Howard Zinn.
After having nosed around the site a bit I noticed a lot of really interesting material one could use teaching lessons of all kinds. I also realized I had never read Zinn’s most important work entitled A People’s History of the United States. So, on our next mission to Regina’s only giant book store, Chapters, we promptly located and purchased the book. Over the last few weeks I’ve read the first hundred pages or so of the 700 page account and, predictably, it has left me informed and depressed. Zinn begins the book by discussing Columbus and the other Spanish conquistadors who colonized much of South America. In their insatiable pursuit of gold, Columbus and company shed so much blood that within a hundred years entire races had vanished from the earth. After colonization, Zinn moves into the American Slave Trade and recounts how millions of Africans from various countries were caught and death marched to the shores where boats awaited them. Only one in four Africans survived the marches and the trip across the sea – and, even then, only survived to live a life of enslavement.
Anyway, enough doom and gloom for the moment. In a brief discussion I had with the professor of Ed Computers 355, the notion of “paying it forward” was mentioned in relation to the spreading of technological knowledge. Although I am big believer in this concept, for some reason it didn’t resonate as well with me in regard to technology. For whatever reason I’ve never seen technology and social media as reliable forms of knowledge. However, when I consider the work Zinn has done for us, there is little difference between the text in his pages and what could potentially be posted in this blog. So, I will discontinue my spurn for the Web 2.0 and join the masses who write for the pleasure of writing and possibility of being read.
And so I say to you good reader: Feel content when reading, when writing, and when eating and drinking with friends and family. After all, what else is there?
Ciao for now.