You are looking at a one of the newest Social Studies/History teachers in Orange County Public Schools!  I start on Tuesday teaching juniors and seniors economics, American government, and American history!  That means that I’ll be able to blog about some of my most successful lesson plans and activities and some that just plain did not go well.  I’m excited about this journey!




Immigration is not a new issue in the United States. Every half century, there is a new perceived foreign threat to our status quo. From the natives (that’s a whole other discussion regarding the definition of ‘foreign’), to the African slaves, Chinese, Italians, Irish… the list goes on. The United States has an ugly history of xenophobia. Sadly, it never seems to truly go away in some portions of the country, with ethnic slurs still muttered either intentionally or unintentionally insulting. I eagerly await more news on the “immigration reform” that the President and Congress is supposedly coming up with, especially regarding these new threats.  Hopefully this chapter in our history will close soon, but I know better than to expect that this will be the last immigration issue we hear about.  Look for a future post regarding a brief overview of our history of ugly immigration policy and some teaching tips very soon.  I thought I’d post this political cartoon from 1879 in advance just as a bit of a teaser 😉 (click on the picture to make it bigger so you can read the text)


History Harvest: Community Collectives

New York TimesThe January 2013 issue of the Perspectives on History highlighted a project of the students and faculty of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln called History Harvest.  The article called to me about a way to collect the information that is most often lost- that of the community in which we all live.  Everyone has those personal historical documents tucked away in a closet, attic, or basement that we think about rarely (or sometimes often).  These documents have a personal value, but also a historical value regarding culture and social of our given communities.  It’s a shame to let those documents sit, forgotten, tucked away when they could be digitized for use by historians and students.

The co-directors William G. Thomas and Patrick D. Jones started this project “to create a popular movement to democratize and open American history by utilizing digital technologies to share the experiences and artifacts of everyday people and local historical institutions.”  People from the community are invited to these harvest gatherings with their personal items and histories to have them digitized with photographs and digital stories.  Local organizations, museums, and others are also welcome to bring items to be digitized.

Students are heavily involved, creating, planning, and advertising for their harvest.  Its an excellent hands on experience for the students to learn what history means to people in their community and how everyone can contribute in some way.  It’s a fascinating project that begs for duplication in communities across the United States and the world.

Needless to say, I would be highly interested in starting my own “History Harvest” in my community with students.  If you would be too, you can contact the co-directors via the links on their names above or contacting them through their website at:


So today was my last class in graduate school!  I still have to turn in a final paper next week and take my comprehensive assessments in February, but that leaves a few things (ok maybe more than just a few things) that are going to change in a few months.  One of those things is this focus of this blog.  Much of what I have been writing with has been my struggles with studying, managing time, and just grad school in general.  I will be finding a new identity through this space so please bear with me and thanks for coming on this journey with me!  I appreciate you and your comments and support.

I’m considering looking more at teaching strategies, teachable moments, and effect lesson planning since my goal in life has been to be a history teacher.  Let’s hope I can find a job soon!

Secret City Symposium, a National Archives Atlanta FREE special event!

Good Monday morning all!  I received this in my email this morning so I thought I’d pass along the information!  How often do you get a free event that is just so awesome?!  I was just in Atlanta and these Archives are actually fairly easy to get to, though parking may be slightly expensive if you’re not from a big city.  I was amazing that we had to pay $10 for parking, but what do I know? Also, just an FYI, beginning October 1, 2012, these archives were opened for public research Monday through Friday and the third Saturday of the month.  For more information on the National Archives at Atlanta, please visit .  Now onward to the Secret City Symposium!

The National Archives at Atlanta is hosting the symposium Secret City in the Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power on Saturday, September 15.   The purpose of this symposium is to promote research in our historically rich records dealing with the Manhattan Engineering District and the Atomic Energy Commission and highlight scholarly works based on these holdings.  Pre-registration is required and limited to 200.   There is no cost to attend. 

For more information on the symposium access the National Archives web link

Job Posts & Educational Opportunities

Just a few announcements that have been brought to my attention this week:

EUROPEUM Summer School:

This summer there will be a summer school organized by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in co-operation with Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University.

– It is the 10th year of this European Summer School organized in Prague;
– The title is Europe at the Crossroads;
– The event will take place from July 7 to July 19, 2012;
– Summer school is open to all university students from all over the world – diversity is a crucial aspect for us, last year we had students from 26 countries!
– Please see details about this event at<> or at the information leaflet

Università di Trento:

Università di Trento, LSE IDEAS-Cold War Studies Programme, and the European University Institute are jointly convening the Fourth Annual European Summer School on Cold War History at the Università di Trento, 5-8 September 2012.

The Summer School is a unique conference specifically for PhD students and early career researchers. It consist of workshops and panel sessions focused on submitted research papers, debates on historiography, broad interpretative issues and new research directions. The school offers an informal atmosphere in which new ideas and research directions can be shared and debated, be it in panel sessions, or over morning coffee or dinner.

The school has a very high student to faculty ratio (2:1) allowing particiants to have in depth discussions about their research with established scholars in the field. The facultly includes prominent scholars, among others:

  • Sara Lorenzini (Università di Trento)
  • Leopoldo Nuti (Università Roma 3)
  • Silvio Pons (Università di Roma Tor Vergata)
  • Oliver Rathkolb (Universität Wien)
  • Antonio Varsori (Università di Padova)
  • Marilyn Young (New York University)
  • Piers Ludlow (LSE)
  • Mario Del Pero (Università di Bologna)
  • Svetozar Rajak (LSE)
  • Federico Romero (EUI)
  • Antonio Varsori (Università di Padova)

Application Guidance
PhD students and early career researchers (no more than 3 years from PhD completion) are invited to submit proposals. We encourage submissions on any aspect of the Cold War, broadly defined. Of particular interest are papers that make use of newly available primary sources and innovative methodologies. Papers should not exceed 7,000 words (including citations in Chicago style).  At the School, each participant will give a 15 minute presentation (in English) followed by discussion with the faculty and students. The best paper will be submitted to Cold War History.

Applicants should submit a 300 word abstract and a brief academic CV (in one PDF document and in English. The CV should make clear the applicants nationality and stage of research). Please send these to Wes Ullrich at by 29 April 2012. Please note in the subject line of your email “CW Summer School 2012-Trento-YourLastName”. Notification of acceptance will be made by 1 June 2012. Successful applicants will be expected to email their papers by 16 August 2012.

The accepted students will provide for their own travelling expenses to and from Trento and pay a €50 registration fee. The School will provide board and lodging in Trento.

Job Opportunity in the Netherlands

The Roosevelt Study Center, in the Netherlands, has a vacancy for a three-year Postdoc position in September. The link below contains the job description.