Hello everyone, welcome to my class, whether you’re in CHW3M or CHY4U, a new student, or familiar with my ways. I’m really looking forward to a good semester: Lots of thinking and exploring. Normally, I’d have students write a profile of themselves. I’m dispensing with that in favour of something new. We’ll see how it goes – it’s okay to experiment.
New Intro to You
I’d like you to go through my blog and find something you can identify with (search the lists of recent posts and archives on the right, or just keep scrolling down and hitting ‘older’) for a post that you like, a book review of a book that sounds good, a pic of a class, whatever. Just send me a comment on that post and tell me why you like it, or what it makes you think about, or what you’re hoping for in this class. I’ll leave it open ended. Just make sure it’s more than a couple of sentences – let’s put some thought into this, please.
Or, If You Don’t Like That Idea
If that’s not to your taste, write me a short email telling me which historical time period you think you would have liked to live in. My email is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
My answer is below.
Ms. G: My Time
Believe it or not, I have given a great deal of thought to this question: if I had to live in another time period, which would it be? The catch is that I’d have to be of the time period, I couldn’t be presentist about it and say that I wouldn’t have liked to live in Tudor England because the technology was so low. I wouldn’t have known about Netflix and email at that time. So I couldn’t have missed it.
Though the technology would be different, another catch is that my personality would be similar to the way it is now. I’m not a very social person, I think a lot, I am rather moderate with the occasional radical thought. These things matter when I’m thinking about time periods. I would have been okay in the first phase of the French Revolution, expectant with change! However, in the Terror I wouldn’t have liked the extremism and would definitely have feared the guillotine.
Though I absolutely love studying ancient Egypt, I’m not sure I would have made it in that civilization; I’m an atheist and wouldn’t have had the personality for joining into the state religion. However, if I were an ordinary farmer I might have been just fine doing my thing and living my relatively good life along the banks of the Nile, especially as a woman.
I don’t think I’d have made a good Roman or Greek either. As a woman in ancient Greece, I probably would have had some complaints about how much I contributed to my society but how little I was valued for it. The Roman blood lust just wouldn’t have been acceptable to me. I’d have winced at gladiator shows.
A very appealing possibility is living in Florence or Venice during the Renaissance: so much creative license and artistic expression. Still a lot of religion though.
I guess I have to come to some kind of final decision here. Being who I am, I probably would have done best in the 1960s somewhere like Berkeley or San Francisco. It was a time of change and freedom. Young people were standing up for their beliefs, challenging society to become more progressive. Though I wouldn’t have liked the drug scene, and I for sure would have been VERY anti-war (Vietnam), I would have felt like I belonged in the forward motion of history.
“Anti-Vietnam war demonstrators fill Fulton Street in San Francisco on April 15, 1967. The five-mile march through the city will end with a peace rally at Kezar Stadium. In the background is San Francisco City Hall. (AP Photo)” from Library, University of California, Berkeley, Media Resources Centre, 2012,
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet.html (Jan. 31, 2017)