Monday, January 2, 2017

The Story of the World

"Trying to protect his students' innocence
he told them the Ice Age was really just
the Chilly Age, a period of a million years
when everyone had to wear sweaters,"  -The History Teacher, Billy Collins.

Ever try to teach someone the story of the world?
"And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age... 

Ever held a life so precious in your hands that it mattered? 
Named after the long driveways of the time,"  -The History Teacher, Billy Collins

Ever gone back and traced every line and step and significant event in history and laid them on a year's schedule for someone to discover, to read, to learn, to know?
"The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
than an outbreak of questions such as
'How far is if from here to Madrid?' 'What do you call the matador's hat?'"  -The History Teacher, Billy Collins

Do you even know?
"The War of the Roses took place in a garden, and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan."  -The History Teacher, Billy Collins

So that the Story of the World has become real to you?
"The children would leave his classroom
for the playground to torment the weak
and the smart, mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses..." 
-The History Teacher, Billy Collins

What madness there is in teaching someone the past.  What heartbreak.  What sublime joy.
"While he gathered up his notes and walked home
past flower beds and white picket fences,
wondering if they would believe that soldiers
in the Boer War told long, rambling stories
designed to make the enemy nod off."  -The History Teacher, Billy Collins

It's taken me five years to plan... this year of discovery with my girls.
Five years... and we're just getting started!

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