In my high school history class, we had two teachers. They would alternate teaching days. One of them read the lessons almost straight from the book. I guess he wanted us to take notes while putting us to sleep! The other teacher rarely went to the book. His lectures kept us awake and craving for more. He made us feel like we were experiencing what was happening in the history lesson. Great teacher!
Nowadays when I hear about history professors, I think of the first guy with his text book lecturing. Now and then one comes along like the speaker at this year's 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. No one in the crowd felt the horrors of this historical battle as the speaker gave her presentation. Instead the audience received a lecture on women and gays!
Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian who was infamously caught plagiarizing, gave the audience a history lesson on women's rights and gay movements. She did mention in passing Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Gettysburg. To her Lyndon B. Johnson and her own life were more interesting and important.
Gee, I wish she'd been that text book history lecturer!
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