Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

09 March 2009

The History Teacher

"A survey of around 1,000 high school students aged 11 to 16 found 10 percent of youngsters were unsure of what it was and 2 percent thought it was a brand of beer. One percent thought it was a type of bread" (FNC). Of what were these British teens and pre-teens ignorant?


A representative of the London Jewish Cultural Centre stated that the Centre was not surprised, though disappointed. "If we are not careful, the Holocaust will disappear into the realms of history like the battle of Trafalgar. It is vital that children are made aware of the effects of ignorance" (FNC).

You're telling me that people don't know what the battle of Trafalgar was, either (even though there's the famous Trafalgar Square in London)? This is completely inconceiveable to me. Then again, Papa raised me on Henry Fonda's "Battle of the Bulge." And when I was sick and stayed home from school and my aunt babysat me, we'd watch "Gettysburg" to kill time. And, to encourage my sister and me to read, my dad used to always buy our books when we went to Waldenbooks.

What are these parents teaching their children? What are these schools teaching the next generation -- or, more aptly, what are these schools not teaching the next generation? If they aren't teaching about the Holocaust, they certainly can't be teaching about the Rape of Nanjing (Nanking). And what about the Berlin Airlift? And the White Rose?

This reminds me of a poem I read last year in AP English Literature. It's titled "The History Teacher" and was written by Billy Collins.

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.

And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
named after the long driveways of the time.
The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
than an outbreak of questions such as
"How far is it from here to Madrid?"
"What do you call the matador's hat?

The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan.

The children would leave his classroom
for the playground to torment the weak
and the smart,
mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,

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.

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