This has been a really packed but really productive first week! We hope you are enjoying the class and that you are adjusting to the different style of learning history!
Today we began with a debrief discussion over the reading selection from last night on Indian Slavery in South Carolina. We then shifted to examining early English settler colonialism by first debriefing your HAPP Recitation analysis of the Hakluyt document you read yesterday. We followed this up with a discussion and analysis of a letter home to England by Richard Frethorne, a young indentured servant in Virginia about 20 years after it's founding. We finished up by drawing some conclusions from passenger lists for two different ships bringing settlers to early colonial America and an examination of some documents related to the struggles in early Jamestown. (Note: if your class did not finish Jamestown in class it is homework. Use the documents posted at the top of Period 2 to determine in general how long a new arrival in Jamestown could expect to live on average and then hypothesize reasons for that life expectancy based on the included documents.)
This weekend, you should listen to the podcast linked below from 99% Invisible on the Great Dismal Swamp and Maroon Communities and be prepared to discuss on Tuesday. Have a GREAT, LONG WEEKEND!
Today we took our first Chapter Quiz over Chapter 3. Following the quiz we discussed Spanish colonization through the lens of a primary source document by Bartolome de las Casas. We began with a detailed explanation of the HAPP heuristic that we will use for our recitations in class, followed by a guided analysis of the las Casas document.
Tonight, you need to click/tap on "Period Materials," then on "Period 2: 1607-1754." Open the first file under "Document Recitation," Richard Hakluyt on Colonization, and write a HAPP analysis like we modeled in class today. You also need to read the brief selection "Indian Slavery in South Carolina" found at the top of the Period 2 webpage and be prepared to discuss it in class tomorrow.
After you discussed your Chapter 2 reading in your table teams, we shifted focus to discuss the Columbian Exchange and it's effects on ecosystems and people. We took some side trips along the way to interweave other historical developments and events into the narrative, for instance, discussing the role of trade across the Pacific, the development of corn (maize) in the Americas, and the Castas which resulted from racial mixing in Spanish controlled territories.
Chapter 3 is due tomorrow! Have a great evening!
For our second day, we tackled some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the pre-Columbian Native American populations. We examined some media representations and compared that to the primary sources to develop an appreciation for the level of sophistication and diversity of the Indigenous nations of the east coast of North America.
We also discussed note taking from the textbook. I have included the graphic of the "foursquare" which we will require with each set of Chapter notes, starting with Chapter 3. Don't forget that chapter 2 is due tomorrow!
WELCOME TO APUSH!!!
Great first day today! I'm excited about what's in store for this semester! Today we mainly discussed the approach of the class, the expectations we have of you and what you could expect from us, and the policies of the syllabus. Remember that you can find the syllabus via the syllabus tile on the main page of this website if you have questions.
Please be sure to return your signed contracts and student information sheets by this Friday. Also, don't forget that Chapter 2 is due Wednesday and Chapter 3 on Thursday. Review your Silas Deane reading selection from the summer assignment tonight to be prepared for tomorrow's discussion. If you joined the class late in the summer and haven't read the Sials Deane selection, you may want to scan over it so you can participate in the discussion.
We have two semesters worth of college level course work to wrestle with in one high school semester, so this class can be challenging. Remember, we are always here to help you, support you, and encourage you. If you ever have questions or need direction, please seek us out and we will be more than happy to work with you.
A few notes that will help you be successful in this class:
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns as we get started with the 2018-2019 School Year. See everyone tomorrow!
Every year I look forward to reading some great books over summer. This year I read books that were fun, challenging, and energizing for the new school year. Here are my thoughts on some of them.
-Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxanne Gay. A+. I picked up this book thinking it would be interesting to add to Sociology and was absolutely shook by it. This should be required reading for every man in America. An absolutely incredible collection of stories that brought home a lot of things I have allowed myself to think about academically for the past few years. Loved Aubrey Hirsch, shook by Vanessa Martir, informed by Bodies against Borders. The variety of voices, experiences, and messages made this a fantastic read, and a few were excellent choices that came out of left field, like a graphic novel chapter, “what we didn’t say,” and “why I stopped talking.” I genuinely believe the country would be better if everyone read, internalized, and acted on this book.
-For White Folks Who Teach in The Hood (and the rest of y’all, too)by Chris Emdin. B. A very nice book about reality pedagogy and connecting with students. I enjoyed reminiscing about when I WAS the white guy teaching in inner-city Houston and how vital family connections were to my success. Looking forward to seeing students soon.
-Subtle art of not giving a F. C+. Read at a friend’s insistence it becomes more than a self-consciously “out there” treatise, this is a nice intro to practical philosophy and stoicism for those who didn’t take PHIL101. Good content but I couldn’t get over the delivery and gratuitous use of the titular vulgarity.
-Mans Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. A. Wow, this book blew me away. This is the memoir of a psychologist who survived Nazi camps. He essentially argues no matter what external conditions the world presents, we have the choice of how we will respond to the world. Embracing that power, Frankl argues, is ultimately key to living a meaningful life. I might add this to the end of my sociology course – loved it.
-Boy in the Striped Pajamas. B+. Book recommendations from students are so great. It often takes me a while to get to reading them (I had Mr. Kehn’s copy of this on my shelf for a year) but this was much better than I expected. I liked the unreliable narrator, and the final twist was much stronger than I expected. A good companion read to “Search for Meaning”
-So We Read On by Maureen Corrigan. B. NYT critics take on Gatsby. Fun to read and helpful to move beyond the HS analysis we’re all familiar with. I placed out of all required intro English classes with AP credit, and regret that. It would have been interesting to read more “classics” in that context.
-Hard Work “by” Roy Williams. B. Roy’s writer did a good job and the role that UNC played in his life, as a lifeline and “way out” really moved me. An enjoyable read for UNC fans.
-Storm before the Storm by Mike Duncan. B+. Fascinating book about the period before the fall of the Roman Republic. The first half is incredible and Duncan does a great job of hinting at modern parallels without breaking the narrative to make them explicit. This was a fun read with lots of “oh crap, that sounds familiar” moments. Lost steam in the second half.
-The Path to Power by Robert Caro. A-. This is the second summer I’ve read one of Caro’s megatomes and it is so inspiring to read brilliant analysis in beautiful writing. The beginning of his biography of Lyndon Johnson, who I feel like I now know tons more about and understand way less. His father’s idealistic politics! Pappy O’Daniel’s Trumpism! How power actually works. Much as “The Power Broker” changed the way I look at streets, this definitely changed the way I look at public works.
-The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States by Jeffrey Lewis. B+. This book is very interesting. The conceit is similar to world war z, one of my favorite sci-fi books, in that it takes a formalized system of reporting and using that to methodically examine a big idea to comment on existing issues. World War Z took Turkel’s oral history and added zombies. 2020 commission takes congressional reports and adds Trump. The cascading events all seem extremely plausible, especially because each plot event has an explainer of how this is exactly what happened in the past. Those explainers, however, really drag down the book and might have been better as footnotes, but then there wouldn’t be much of a book left. The most incredible part of the book was the section of “witness” testimony that is breathtakingly painful to read. He drew those excerpts from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 9/11. A really interesting book, one you can read in a day.
-“To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar and “My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West. I had listened to both of these albums before, but this summer I found a podcast called “Dissect” that spends ~15 hours analyzing each. I loved the depth and enjoy these albums on a whole new level now. Listened to these while running in Prague. Highly recommend.
Taking time to read can open us up to new worlds. These books helped me understand the politics and people of today better. Something I want to be better about in the future is being more purposeful in getting more diverse perspectives: only 2/10 of these books are by women and 2/10 are by POC (excluding albums). I hope you enjoyed reading this summer!
Monday is the big day and it's only a weekend away! We are excited for another semester of APUSH and are looking forward to meeting and working with all of you! As a reminder for those of you already checking out the site, during class on Monday you will have an assessment over the summer assignment, specifically, the textbook assignment (Chapter 1). If you have any questions or concerns are you prepare for the first day, feel free to mail us. our emails are:
Mr. Hutchison - email@example.com
Mr. Greenblatt - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Richardson - email@example.com
Enjoy this last weekend of the summer!