Thursday, November 3, 2011

My New School

I know I need to improve my blogging, it’s been way to long since I made my last post. When I first began this blog, I posted on a regular basis and I need to get back to writing. I have been told by very wise men that the greatest way to improve your writing skills is to write something every day. Until I began blogging I never knew what to write, but with a blog I have a place. Many exciting things have happened in the past few months. We have moved to Oklahoma and have began teaching at my new position. I could not be happier at my new school. I have been asked about my school, so I thought I could fill everyone in. there are only two history professors so I have all the flexibility I could want. The other professor's field is Greece and Rome, so I get to teach all the American classes while he teaches everything else. I do teach the Modern Middle East, while he teaches ancient. I love the freedom I have here. Any American class I can think of I can teach it. I do have to teach one of the sequence classes each semester, which here are broken into four parts. There is a Colonial America class that goes to 1789; then a class from 1789 to 1877; one from 1877 to 1945, then finally a modern American class.

The other class that I teach every semester is part of our IDS curriculum, which is what sets our university apart from most. All of our core classes are IDS or interdisciplinary studies. What is meant by IDS is that all our core or IDS classes are team taught by professors in different disciplines. The classes I teach are American Civ I and II. This semester I am teaching Civ I with an economics professor but next semester it might be an English professor, then maybe a philosophy, music, art, or poly sci professor. It is an awesome approach to teaching and learning from a truly liberal arts approach to allow students to learn subjects from different interpretations. I love teaching with the professor I am teaching with now, economic history is one of my weaknesses and I have actually learned a lot teaching with her. I think our students really enjoy they way we teach together, it is very informal like we are having a conversation between them and ourselves.

So every semester I teach either Civ I or II and one of the history sequences and then I can choose any other class I want to teach after that. I love that I will have a variety and not just the same classes. I love the Civil War but even that can get old after a while. Next semester I am teaching Civ II, American History 1877 to 1945, The history of Presidents and Political Parties, and a reading seminar on early America history. I am excited about this class. We are going to read some of the most important historians each week and come together and talk about them. I have wanted to teach this class for some time. One reason is that there are some books I wanted to read for some time, that I have not found the time, now I will have to read them.

Lastly, I really am enjoying my school, because of the people. I am at a small school, with about 1,100 students, so we have around 30 faculty. Because of the size, we are close. In Texas I only knew a few people outside the history department, here I work with everyone. I do not know everyone well yet, but there are several I have become friends with.

This is enough for now, but I will be better at posting. I have more to say including the publication of two books due out this spring, so I will give information about these soon.