Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Black Infantry of the West

The big reason I love History, and the reason I am a History teacher is because of Grandpa.  He was a college History professor for many years.  Growing up he would always discuss History with us, and it must have stuck.  I love HISTORY!!!  I am so proud to post that my grandfather is the author of this book above.  He was inspired by this subjuect matter because he served in one of the last all black infantries during the Korean War.  This was before they desegragated the US Military.  Of course he served as a white officier, but he saw first hand how they were treated by the US and civilians.  So when he was done with his duty, he went back for his Phd.  He had to write about something, and he had the perfect topic!  Here is a review of his book:

he Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891, by Arlen L. Fowler, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1996, $12.95 paperback.
Arlen Fowler's interest in the "buffalo soldiers" grew out of his 1952 assignment as a white officer in the 25th Armored Infantry Battalion, the last remnant of the all black 25th Infantry Regiment. Fowler became a firsthand witness to the prejudices and outright discrimination that still existed; his research showed that such attitudes and practices could be traced back to the organization of the first six black regiments (two cavalry and four infantry) between the summers of 1866 and 1867.
Fowler meticulously documents the black infantry's service through military records, personal letters and newspaper accounts from the 1860s through 1890s. Black regiments served in the harshest environments, fought Indians throughout the West and drew the most monotonous duties. Even so, their alcoholism and desertion rates ranked among the lowest. (At times white truancy reached 20 to 50 percent higher than black truancy.) Commanders, reporters and other eyewitnesses noted the black units' valor in battle, but most officers continued to consider it a blot on their record to serve with blacks or took a lower rank in order to serve in a white outfit, George Armstrong Custer among them.
This book offers fascinating insights into the struggles and pride of the black regiments. As William H. Leckie, author of The Buffalo Soldiers, states in the new foreword to this 1996 edition (hardcover edition printed by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1971), "Fowler's book is still essential reading for a comprehensive understanding of the role of the black infantry on the expanding western frontier."
Sierra Adare

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Power of One

As I said in an earlier post - I love the theme "The Power of One."  The idea that we all could change the world.  I love to show this video on the first day of class because its short but powerful.  The other day I saw this quote and it applies to this.  There are no ordinary people - we are all EXTRAORDINARY!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Power of One

One of my favorite themes in History is The Power of One.  My grandfather is a Holocaust Historian and told me about this catholic priest in Germany during the Holocaust.  The Nazis were going to kill a young Jewish father who had small children.  This priest couldn't bear that so he did the most compassionate and selfless thing anyone could do.  He offered himself instead.  The Nazis looked at him like he was crazy, but said ok.  So instead of killing the young Jewish father they killed the priest.  When I heard this story I got goose bumps, and got teary eyed.  I am blown away by his story.  After the war he became a Saint in the Catholic Church - Saint Maximilian Kolbe.  This is his icon.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Presidential Library

Everyone always asks me, "Who is your favorite president?"  I don't even have to think about it because I know - Abraham Lincoln!  I truly believe he was our greatest president.  He was president at the worst time - America's Civil War.  He was the right man for the job, and even during his lifetime people didn't understand him or his decisions.  A few times people demanded for his impeachment, but they couldn't see his wisdom. 

A few years ago I was visiting my grandmother, and she took me to Lincoln's Presidential Library.  WOW!!!  There are no words to describe it.  It got a multi-million dollar face lift, and is an amazing museum.  It's engaging and interactive.  The curator of the museum said he just didn't want things on the wall.  He wanted the public to interact with Lincoln's life.  And you do.  Since I can't say in words how fantastic it is - here are some of my pictures from that visit.

Me and Lincoln.  When you walk in - the room is a huge oval.  On one side is a log cabin representing his early life.  The other side is a huge replica of the white house depicting his time as president.

You can even take a picture with the Lincoln Family!  This is me with my sister and grandparents.  Behind us is the replica of the white house.

Here is the log cabin when you first walk in.

Next to the White House they have John Wilkes Booth just hanging out.  Of course he is the one who shot Lincoln - so Abbey is taking out all of our aggression!

I can't say nicer things about this museum - it is simply the best!  If you are ever in Springfield, Il you should go.  You won't regret it!!!  Here is their official website if you want to see more about the museum: Official website for Lincoln's Presidential Library


Thursday, December 22, 2011

BTW Homecoming

I have never seen anything like a Booker T. Homecoming!!!  This school has so much School Spirit!  I don't know how the school does it, but every student comes in with such love for their school.  It is inspiring to see, and it is fun to experience.  The best week to witness their love for Booker T. is Homecoming.  The school goes all out!  Every day is a dress up, 2nd hour has a door decorating contest, the four classes each decorate a hallway, thursday they have a big Pep Rally, and on friday they have their Mr. and Miss Hornet Cornotation.  Mr. and Miss Hornet is like Homecoming King and Queen, but it is so much bigger.  Mr. and Miss Hornet are chosen completely by the student body, and represent the student body the whole year.  Miss Hornet will always be remembered because they have all the Miss Hornet's pictures on the wall.  It is a great honor!  Here are some of my Homecoming pictures.

Me on dress up day in 2010 - Super Hero Day.  I'm Jack Bauer from the TV Show "24."

Here are a series of doors for the 2nd Floor Door Decorating Contest.  They go all ou!

The best part of the door decorating contest everyone wants to win!  So during 2nd Hour on Tuesday of Homecoming Week everyone is in the halls decorating their doors trying to make it the best they can!

Pep Rally and Outrageous Orange and Black Day.

Homecoming Pep Rally.

The thing ever class covets the Spirit Stick!  Which ever class is the most spirited and loudest wins the Spirit Stick.

The stage for the Cornoation of Mr. and Miss Hornet.  They even get thrones!

The Making of Miss Hornet:  A great article about the legacy of Miss Hornet!

Student Trips to Europe

I love to travel!  There is something about seeing History up close and personal that makes it even more special.  I decided when I became a teacher I would take students to Europe - so they could have that experience of seeing History and experiencing History.  My very first trip with students I had an "A Ha" moment.  One of the girls who came loved the artist Degas and his ballerinas.  The prints covered her bedroom walls.  One day in Paris, France we went to the Muse d'Orsay and saw the real thing!  When the student saw them - she began crying. It wasn't a print. You could see every paint stroke and clump of paint.  It was so inspiring to watch her, and made that trip worth it!  I have taken 3 trips to Europe with High School students, and I hope there are many more to come! 

The teacher who came with me, and she is one of my best friends.  Here we are in front of Notre Dame de Paris.  We had just arrived in Paris!

The girls were wanting to take a "jumping" picture, and this is what I caught on my camera.  I was so amazed, and she is a dancer.  I could never do this!  This was our afternoon to visit the Eiffel Tower!

Here is me in Rome!  The kids loved Rome!

This was from my first trip to Europe.  There is a legend that you touch this with your feet - you will come back to Paris.  So we all touched it with our feet and took a photo!

This is the most proud of picture I have taken in Europe.  This is the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.  A lot of history happened in this room.  The American Revolution and World War 2 ended in this room.  They signed the Peace Treaties in this room.  Usually there are literally thousands of people in this room when you visit - it's amazing I got this shot with no one in the room.  We had a free day in Paris, and we made the students wake up bright and early so we could get to Versailles early.  We got there 30 minutes before they opened, and were the first people there.  It was magical we had the palace all to ourselves.  When we walked into the Hall of Mirrors - I immediately noticed that we were the only people.  I made the announcement to stand behind me because I wanted to get this shot!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

French Revolution Video

One of my fellow teachers showed me this video.  One of my favorite time periods to study is the French Revolution!  So this video is from a teacher who has her students after they study a topic - write a song about it to a popular song.  This is her class's rendition of the French Revolution to Lady Gaga.  Secretly I love Lady Gaga - it is two loves put together!

American Revolution Video

This is a History Teacher's Dream Video.  This video takes the popular song Too Late To Apologize by One Republic, and applies it to the American Revolution.  I love to do this in my own class.  Make things revelant, and relateable to the students.  This is so well done!