Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I will share one stanza from my favourite NZ Poem by James.K. Baxter:
These are poems that New Zealanders genuinely treasure, both high-brow and popular, traditional and contemporary, and while this anthology is firmly rooted in NZ, it retains a strong international flavour.
POEM IN THE MATUKITUKI VALLEY
Some few yards from the hut the standing beeches
Let fall their dead limbs,overgrown
With feathered moss and filigree of bracken.
The rotted wood splits clean and hard
Close-grained to the driven axe, with sound of water
Sibilant falling and high nested birds.
All you fathers out there have a great day.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So what is a primary source? A primary source can be defined as: a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study. Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. (Definition accessed at http://www.library.unr.edu/instruction/help/primary.html)
So the definition of a primary source is wider than just a document or textual evidence. It can include music, folksongs, novels, paintings, sculptures, clothing and a host of other things. Today in our electronic age we have blogs, videos, social networking sites and YouTube clips that will be used by future generations of historians as primary sources to see how we lived. No doubt in hundreds of years time, people will watch clips of the 9/11 tragedy and gain an insight into our age and particular concerns. To really get to grips with history it is important to engage with a range of primary sources. It is too easy to look at books about primary sources (called secondary sources because they are at one remove from primary sources) or read what the experts see and miss the crucial evidence of handling the primary source materials ourselves. Read the Declaration of Independence instead of reading what Prof X says about it.
However, primary sources differ in relevance and there are some questions we need to ask ourselves when evaluating primary sources. What questions should we ask about Primary Sources? Lets take as an example the Civil War in the US.
1. How close to the time is the source? Generally the closer to the time of the action, the more valuable the source (documents/letters etc from the time period covered by the Civil War would be the most useful. Those written 10, 30 or 50 years later would have a decreasing relevance.
2. Who created the source? What was their position in society, Lord, General, maid, slave? Different people bring different perspectives on events.
3. Did the person have a view on the action? Are they biased in their view. Were they a Confederate or Union supporter, slave owner or abolitionist, neutral or partisan? You have to weigh up how honest and unbiased a source is before putting heavy reliance on it. In truth though, no human source can be completely unbiased, but some are more unbiased than others.
4. What does the source reveal between the lines? Sometimes in history we have to scan a document for examples of what is not there. You would expect a victorious General in a battle to say how wonderful everything was, but the losing General may well leave out pertinent material that would attribute blame to his actions. History is all around us and increasing in volume with every second. Handle the primary sources. Try to get a selection of sources from different stratas of society, gender and rank positions, from people with different levels of education and from different sides of a conflict or action. Weigh their respective validities and make your own conclusions. Learn to love learning, evaluating history is something we do every day without thinking about it. Keep the points above in mind and history will come alive.
First published on Qassia http://drkelp.qassia.com
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
It has been estimated that the average, young, American will change their career 7 times over the course of their working life. The chances are high that the 5th to 7th career changes will be in areas that we don't even know about now. If you were trained as a blacksmith in 1890 you would not have envisaged that the art of the blacksmith would almost regress to extinction while computer engineering, molecular biology, aeronautic engineering would arise out of the ashes of the foundry.
Even in my working life of 30+ years I have had careers in medical science, health management, software development, sales/marketing and consulting.
The general undergraduate degree does two very valuable things:
1. It exposes you to a number of fields and the relationships between them such as literature, politics, history, classical studies and languages. (My undergraduate BA covered 8 humanities subjects and then two courses studying the subjects across the Enlightenment and Renaissance periods of history).
2. It teaches you to think, ask questions, learn to live with ambiguity and realize that the same question can have more than one valid answer. The skill required to write a humanities essay involves thinking, research, collation, evaluation and the development and defense of a thesis. These are very transportable skills.
There is plenty of time in graduate school to tackle more focused vocational content (if you go to a professional school). The subject matter from my own Masters degree in business, completed in 1998 has been superseded in many aspects, whereas the knowledge from my BA is still relevant and the skills learned will help me to my dying day.
I understand the pressure that students come under from their parents to do something useful in college, but the downside is that narrowly focused vocational based education loses currency much quicker than the general skills gained from a good, sound. liberal undergraduate education.
Do a general degree such as a BA or BS and you won't regret it।
First published on Qassia http://drkelp.qassia.com