Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Eclecticism: a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.

I realize that my posts can be a bit eclectic at times.  I post a Bible study each Sunday, a poem each Tuesday, and a "moment of zen" picture each Saturday.  The rest of my posts can be about anything.  I used to post more historically oriented posts, yet there is just so much that I can write about LGBT history without spending way too much time on this blog.  After all, I do teach during the day, try to spend time working on my dissertation (maybe one day soon it will be finished), and I have, though limited as it is, a social life.  So I wanted to do a post on who I am.  At least, who I am intellectually.

I'm a simple history teacher, who also teaches government and English.  I received my bachelor's and master's degrees in history (the M.A. was in American military history, believe it or not) and am currently working on my PhD in US History.  I had minor fields in jurisprudence (undergrad) and gender and American literature for my graduate degrees.  I have a wide range of interests.  Some of them are things that I love, others are things that I wanted to understand more about myself, which leads me to the main point of this post.  Some people mistake me for an English teacher, and others mistake me for a religious scholar.  I'm neither.  As I said, I'm simply an historian who teaches.

My posts are generally things that interest me, and I am always gratified when it interests others as well.  I think that what makes a great teacher is someone who is intellectually curious and wants to share that knowledge.  That might sound like I called myself a "great teacher," I'm not.  I constantly work hard to become a better teacher, but I enjoy sharing the knowledge that I have.  So why do I write my posts on religion and poetry?

My posts on religion are for my study of the Bible and for those who want to go on that journey with me.  I am by no means a religious scholar.  I study the Bible to help me be a better person.  I share these studies hoping that I will make a difference in this world, however small it may be.  I know that some of my readers are not big fans of my religious posts, but I enjoy writing them.  Those posts help me to deal with life.  Just as hearing a sermon on Sunday morning generates warmth in my heart, so does writing my posts on religion.

As for my poetry posts, I happen to have a personal passion for poetry.  I love the melodic structure of poetry and how a poem can resonate a special meaning to different people. For me, poetry is not about the literary analysis that so many people want to associate with poetry.  Yes some of it does take a deeper look, just look at the poetry of Ezra Pound, some of which have so few words that each word must be dissected for its meaning.  When I read poetry, I look at what it says to me, not necessarily what I am told that it is supposed to mean.  Because of my love of poetry, my English students always get more poetry than they ever wanted to learn about.  I often even use poetry when teaching history.

I am an eclectic person. I have always believed that a good historian has as much working knowledge of as many subjects as he or she can.  Therefore, I always find it hard to find anyone to play a trivia game with me. It's not that I am incredibly smart, but it's that I have a wide range of trivia knowledge.  It helps me make my lectures interesting, and to be able to answer questions that I get from students by using what I consider informed bullshit.  I can generally come up with an answer to most question, but that does not make me an expert.  There are really only two things that I would consider myself an expert on.  Those two things have to do with topics of my master's thesis and my PhD dissertation.  Other than that, I am constantly adding to my repertoire of knowledge.

Anyway, that's me, at least, the intellectual side.  I don't want to give anyone the impression that I am an expert on anything I post.  I think that I am credible because I do my research on my posts, but I hate for anyone to think that I provide "the" answer for anything.

Oh, and I didn't address my other regular feature, my "moments of zen."  Those posts are eye candy to wind down the week.  Thank you all for reading my blog.  I will continue to endeavor to provide you with quality posts each day.

P.S. I hope that this is not just a totally narcissistic post.


tonyitalian1951 said...

I am proud of your accomplishments. Surely one day you will finish your doctoral dissertation. I try reading your blog daily.

silvereagle said...

"Eclectic"---that keeps your post lively and unpredictable, on those days when you stray from your given journey that is....and we enjoy it!!

Now, get that dissertation finished, damn it!!! LOL