A Little History Of The World

In 4th grade, I wanted to be a History teacher. That is, until I got a C in my social studies class. Not that great of a start. Although I either Aced or got a B in all History related classes since then, I never enjoyed it for two reasons.

The first is that all the history school teaches is memorization of dates, places, names. That’s it.

The second is that as I grew I thought, why are we so focused on finding out who the step-brother of a churchgoer was and what they ate each day? Why aren’t we focusing on the future? Sure you can learn a lot from the past that can help in the present and future but is that what we are teaching and focusing on when it comes to history? What happens when we find out everything from history and pre-history (no longer making there such a thing as pre-history)? Will we then finally focus on the future, or wont there be one by then?

Nevertheless, this book was given to me and I’ve been on a reading spell to read all the books on my shelf before I move. So with that, let’s start this book regurgitation!

– I know this is sort of trivia, but I never actually knew how each day of the week was named. You will find the answer in this book. (or Google)

– Gombrich explains the difference between history and pre-history. I think pre-history is hilarious. All we can do is “act” like we know what happened. But we don’t and I’m unsure if we ever will. Afterall, nor am I sure that we should be enlightened with that information.

– I had a good laugh when I finally made the connection of why the language teaching software, Rosetta Stone, is called that. *sigh*

– What was also mentally stimulating was understanding where the original alphabet, reading and writing was created. The Phoenicians are the ones who established them and the place in which they expanded was in the marketplace. The Phoenicians were merchants and marketers!

– What I loved about the Greeks and Athenians was that they came up with something new every year, they were always creating and everything was always changing. If you think you have trouble keeping up with the technological advancements now, try living back then!

– And guess where all this change was brought and transferred at? The marketplace! Makes you wonder if in this consumerism world that is so badly reputed, is actually benefiting us. Afterall, it’s in the marketplace that  ideas, painting, sculpture, architecture, plays, poetry, inventions, experiments, discussions and arguments took place.

– “While the Spartans only ever thought about fighting fit, ready to crush any who created an uprise and protect themselves so that they may stay liberated. The Athenians took a similar hard strategy to life. They weren’t looking for an easy, comfortable life, but one which had meaning. A life of which something remained after one’s death. Something of benefit to those who came after.” (Pg 46)

This is powerful, the change and improvements in life were just that because of the previous generations efforts to make it so. Something we need to consider and take more seriously? I think so.

– The Greeks conquered everything. Then, of course – just like every other culture – they were eventually defeated. But in this defeat, they decided to conquer people in a different way, the alternative to war: knowledge.

A similar transition we must take. We have tried to conquer everything and rule through politics but war has shifted what politics means. A rebirth of education can change this and we can again begin to think of politics as a trustworthy answer like the Greeks once had.

Note: If you haven’t noticed my point. I’m relaying history in the way it should be taught, with the theme of improving the now, the present and quite possibly even the future. So far, no names, no dates and no places. Cool huh?

– I never heard of this term: Pyrrhic Victory. But I’m going to find a way to use it. It means that you won but at too great of a cost.

– The Americans fight to the bottom was a Pyrrhic Victory. (Find a way to use Pyrrhic Victory, Check.)

– Another awesome piece of “trivia”. Vandals were a tribe that ravaged Rome and insisted in the downfall of any and every other tribe. They were terrible. That is where we get the term Vandalism, which is actually charity work when compared to the type of destruction the Vandals actually implemented.

– “When people take sides they are usually unfair” (Pg 134)

– Paris has so much more history than I imagined and more than any movie or book can relate! Especially in the time of enlightenment. No matter what anyone says, and I know it, and I haven’t even been to Paris, but there’s something thought-provikingly radiant about the city. It’s as if the historic fumes of the enlightened still travel through the air to inspire artists of all kinds from all over the world who go to visit Paris. I can just imagine…

– “Citizens were excluded from politics, which suited many of them very well.” (Pg 240)

– “The history of all the inventions that followed is not as simple as you might think. In most cases they began with an idea. This idea led to experiments and trials, after which it was often abandoned, only to be picked up again later, perhaps by somebody else. it was only when a person came along who had the determination and persistence to carry the idea through to its conclusion, and make it generally useful, that that person became known as the ‘inventor'” (Pg 241)

The way I see the world, is that every idea is truly unfinished. There isn’t a tower in the world that you can’t put one more block onto and there’s not one single idea that you can’t find a way to add to. That is all creativity is: playing off a million other ideas and inventions to create something new. It’s the alchemy of the world.

– I’m going to be socialist for a moment. In the factory days people had the opportunity to declare that they wanted to work no more than 11 hours a day and get 2 loaves of bread for them and 2 for their family. If no one was willing to work for cheap or give up bread, then they would have been treated equal. Instead they raced to the bottom.

We have the chance yet again to unite and say we want a school that matters and will not accept anything less. If you agree, I hope you come back at the beginning of August to get your copy of my eBook Start Schooling Dreams.

– Now, I like to spoil movies. I love it actually. I always ever say that “Everybody dies”. Of course that doesn’t actually happen because it would make one extremely pointless movie.

Well, I’m going to spoil the truth of this book, of history. Everybody dies. Truly, they do. In between everything I regurgitated here, there was death. Sorry.

– What I admire about Gombrich is that he ended this book with the simple action to “hope for a better future.”


Stay Positive & Act On That Hope

Garth E. Beyer

If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit

Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can be life changing.

But what if the shoe doesn’t fit? Or rather, you just don’t want to wear them because you have a well enough idea about their life that you know you would rather keep your shoes on. It’s like the saying that if everyone threw their problems in a pile to exchange for someone else’s, you would grab your own back after seeing the problems everyone else has.

Fortunately, you don’t need to wear anyone else’s shoes – whether they fit or not. The significance of shoes is that you can judge a man by the bottom of his shoes, you do not need to wear them.

“If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” – Gloria Steinem

No Gloria, despite the pressure to do so, you can learn more from looking at the bottom of the shoe than putting it on or changing your life so that the shoe fits. Meaning, you can see where the owner of the shoes has stepped. It is a waste and can often not be a pleasurable experience to live someone else’s life, but there is a significance to knowing where they have stepped rather than living their life. By seeing where they have stepped, you can discover either what got them into such a sour spot or such a sweet spot. Their history is written on the bottom of their shoes. Their legacy just so happens to be the piece of chewed gum that they stepped on.You don’t need to gain an understanding of where they are, you only need to know how they got there and wearing the shoes does not tell you that.

Stay Positive & Follow The Footsteps Of The Shoes That Stepped In Success

Garth E. Beyer

Poetry Night 002

Welcome back! I am throwing a twist to Poetry Night tonight. I want to share an imitation poem I wrote. You can read the original poem at http://poemhunter.com/poem/if-we-must-die/ After the poem, I share some history of the original to have you establish a further understanding of the poem in its entirety. I then describe the changes I made and why. I hope you take interest and I encourage you to write your own imitation poem. They can be fun if you can’t seem to get your own started quickly. Enjoy.

If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like chickens

Crammed and cornered in a humiliating spot,

While round us argue the fuming and power-hungry politicians,

Making their progress with disregard to our doomed lot.

If we must die, O let us virtuously die,

So that our unnoticed ideation may not be bled

In vain; then even the giants we defy

Shall be forced to admire us though dead!

Brotherin! We must not let our enemies grow!

Though the splinter group let us put them in the grave!

And for their million overthrows let us deal one show!

What other fight then to death for us pave?

Like bulls we’ll face the destructive, spineless pack,

Pressed to the dirt, dying, but fighting back!

If You Must Read This

We are all familiar with bullying, overbearing people who intimidate people that are weaker. The real question is if you have ever been part of racial bullying, and to what extent was the bullying? During the 1990s, white folk were harassing and torturing blacks. They would riot against the black people of the area and set attack dogs after them, they would whip them and brutally torture them. A common person these days would wonder why they did not all just get together and fight back? The answer is… they tried. The goal of Claude McKay’s “If We Must Die” was to use various metaphors and analogies to persuade the blacks to come together and fight the whites (Hunter 440). McKay, in this poem, used a very honorable, dignified, and respectful tone. This is necessary to persuade the minority to come together and fight off the oppressors. The choice of words to build up ones dignity and the use of metaphors are the two most distinguishing characteristics of the original poem.

I had various specific objectives, in addition to loose ones, in creating my own imitation poem. I wanted to turn this historical and cultural poem into one of a modern perspective. My inspiration is how oppressive society is to the “common Joe” of America. My first objective was to keep the rhyming scheme, tone, and the theme of the original poem, with the exception of the modern switch. I kept the tone, by using forceful words such as “fuming” and “power-hungry” (Line 3). Extreme words such as these, I thought of when I read intense words from the original poem such as “constrained” ( Line 8 ) and “accursed” (Line 4). The tone also had to do with the rhyming scheme.  Roughly half of the rhyming scheme in my poem was made up of the ending words that created the original poem’s rhyming scheme. Though I kept some of the original works words, I did change some of the word endings, still keeping the rhyme. For example, originally line 6 used the end rhyme word “Shed”, wherein I used the word “Bled”. This also took place in lines, one, three, nine, ten, eleven and twelve. Lastly, when all of this is put together and looked at as a whole, one can see the theme of the poem to be the same: to not die with nothing but a bad image to our names, we must die for something meaningful.

I believe my poem has met my various objectives very well. When my poem is read after reading the original, one can see the “similarities of the strong tone of the speaker by the choice of words” says an anonymous friend who read them. Since I blatantly pointed out that “Politicians” ( Line 3 ) were the source of the oppression, I think I met my goal of creating a modern atmosphere. The majority of Americans declare the mass of politicians to be corrupted. In the original poem the oppressor’s were the whites. In my poem it still stands true, but it has now become more of a specific. Throughout the original poem, McKay uses metaphors such as themselves being killed like “hogs” (Line 1) and labeling the oppressors as “hungry dogs” (Line 3). In my poem I used metaphors such as us being killed like “chickens” (Line 1). I used this because it is common knowledge that the chickens we buy and consume are not raised well and are brutally slaughtered. I kept the same animal metaphor but made it to an up to date metaphor. Next, I thought it would be easier for the reader to understand the subject of the matter by clearly stating “Politicians” (Line 3) instead of making another animal metaphor like McKay did. Overall I believe my poem has met my various objectives being; keeping the tone, theme, and rhyming scheme of the original, along with making it refer to current circumstances.

I made sure there were a variety of notable literary characteristics in my poem. I believe that the more noticeable characteristics, the better. I used metaphors and imagery together to provide the best possible picture in the readers mind. Such as in line 13 when I say we (the oppressed) will act as bulls and have the reader imagine the stature and strength of a bull. This also occurs in line 7 when the pressuring societal members are declared “Giants”. This allows the image of large powerful people to pop into the readers mind as they read the poem. Another literary characteristic is word choice. As stated earlier, it was a goal to maintain the forceful dignified tone in the poem. The only way to do this was to make sure my word choice was familiar, yet allowed strong particular feelings into the reader of this poem. For example, “Crammed and cornered in a humiliating spot” (Line 2). Crammed and cornered would be perceived as very oppressive words. Humiliating, is a very decent representative word that may touch the readers emotion since it is very likely we have all felt humiliated at one point or another. The next literary term which I have already pointed out is the metaphor. Instead of giving more examples in my poem, I would like to just note that the metaphors were vital to maintain the image of the original poem since it was basically created out of various metaphors. Now, other various literary terms that you may question when reading the poem, is if there is alliteration, a protagonist, antagonist, and if you had to label the kind of poem what would it be? Well, I did not use alliteration in my replica because I thought it would take the focus away from the theme which we know to be dying for a worthy reason. Next, we can see the Shakespearian theme of the iambic pentameter, count the number of lines, and note that it is a Shakespearian sonnet. In this sonnet you will find an antagonist. The antagonist broadly speaking is society, specifically speaking, it would be politicians. As for the protagonist, we can all agree it is us! You can see the modernization through these two literary terms, with the original works protagonist being blacks, and antagonist’s whites.

As for the attitude, tone, and theme of the poem in relation to the original, after reading both poems, you can see the correlation is dead on except for the timeline. The theme stood very strong for the blacks against the whites in the original poem. The historical theme was to not die for nothing at the hands of the white people, but to die nobly and for reason. In my poem, the theme is the same, but the context is different. It has been brought into a modern perspective saying that we should not die at the hands of society, that we must make something of ourselves and fight back and if we must die, let us nobly die. The tone and attitude of each poem are exactly the same, strong, powerful, honorably, dignified. Overall, the poems are one in the same, an imitation. When each is read, the reader can have the same feeling for each and can say the theme is the same, but notice one little change; that the original poem has been brought to a modern perspective.


Stay Positive and Stand Your Ground

Garth E. Beyer

Works Cited

Hunter, J. Paul, Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. The Norton Introduction to Poetry. 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. Print.