Welcome New History Students

By , January 31, 2019 8:45 pm

Hello everyone! Welcome to my CHY4U class, whether you’re a new student, or familiar with me. I’m really looking forward to a good semester; this will be my third time around with my revised version of grade 12 World History. It’s very different from grade 11 – be prepared for a very different style. If you’re new, the course will hopefully make you realize the incredible horizons of history!


First Activity

If you scroll through my blog you’ll notice that I like to write book reviews. I would like you to write either a book review, a movie review, a documentary review, a YouTube review, a website review, or a tv show review. The one catch is that it has to have something to do with HISTORY! Any time period, not necessarily just 1450-present (the time frame for CHY4U).

Also, please reveal something of yourself in your review: what do you like when it comes to history and reading/viewing? What does this review say about you? Your preferences? Tastes? Personality traits? Interests? Curiosities?


Or, If You Don’t Like That Idea

If a review is not to your liking, write me a blurb telling me which historical time period (and place) you think you would have liked to live in.  My answer is below.


Length: a good paragraph at least – it doesn’t have to be as long as some of my reviews or my sample below.


Send It To Me

My email risa.gluskin@tdsb.on.ca. Please send your review by Monday Feb. 4. As a courtesy, always put a message in your email, not just an attachment. Thank you.


Ms. G: My Historical Time and Place (slightly adapted from a 2016 blog post)

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 survived 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. Perhaps I would not even have had a concept of atheism.

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 yet 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, drawing the ire of my fellow Romans.

A few years ago my final decision was this: 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.

Now, I don’t think so anymore. This time, I’m going with the Renaissance. A very appealing possibility is living in Florence or Venice in the late 1400s to late 1500s. There was so much creative license and artistic expression. Even though I’m not a creative person, I think I would have enjoyed the climate of exploration and self-expression. I would have made a good humanist, I think, because I believe education can change people’s lives. Still, there was a lot of emphasis on religion. But it was getting safer and safer to express more secular ideas. As a woman I would have had to be quite extraordinary to make my voice heard. Maybe I could have been a writer.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, a Renaissance masterpiece.

One Response to “Welcome New History Students”

  1. Jason Zhao says:

    My favourite historic period to be live in would be the Age of Exploration, the period which many of the portions on the planet’s surface still remains uncharted and unknown, more specifically, from the early 1700s to the late 1700s. I understand I will experience a lot more excitement if I chose to live in 1519 when Fernando de Magallanes launched the first globe-wide exploration of mankind, but that was also the period when “navigation etiquette” has not came out yet which means when Magallanes and his exploration team encountered a new civilization situation could get very nasty. Nevertheless, essential long-range cruise technologies such as the sextant and food reserve technology were not invented back then, therefore, unnecessary casualties are also quite common during the early period of the age of exploration.

    Now the reason I decide to live in early 1700s as an explorer are quite sample, technologies has improved tremendously compare with 1519 and after 200-years of development and explorers in this period no longer turn into hostile attitude rapidly when encountered a new civilization. Most importantly, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Antarctic Ocean still remains unknown at this period. Oh and just one last thing, naval officer’s uniform are very fancy in 1700s.

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