Course: Tudor-Stuart England (1400-1700)
- If you’re a king, try to avoid having six sons – it makes succession a mess.
- The destruction of the “Great Chain of Being” and the rise of entrepreneurialism/individualism in early modern England destroyed village life, increased poverty, and indirectly encouraged the first English welfare system (note: I know there were positive side effects as well, but I wanted to highlight these issues because they are contrary to the popular western perspective which glorifies individualism).
- If Kings and Popes solved their problems by playing “rock-paper-scissors” we would have fewer churches.
Course: French Culture and Language (French 206)
- There are WAY more francophone countries than I ever imagined.
- The subjunctive can be tricky; it would be nice if it was easier.
- J’aime beaucoup la langue et je la veux continuer dans l’avenir !
- There are major source problems with Suetonius’ writings, but boy is his emperor-gossip entertaining.
- The morality of the Roman people was a persistent concern for many of Rome’s greatest emperors, senators, and politicians – Emperor Augustus even tried to enforce laws to eliminate adultery and divorce among the aristocracy.
- Emperor Caligula and the Joker from Batman would be fast friends if they ever met in an alternate universe.
- There are some interesting thoughts out there about the relationship between cities and Christianity (Tim Keller’s ideas are especially challenging for the suburbanite believer).
- Placematters. Cities are worth thinking about because of the cultural and historical things they can tell you about a society.
- Jane Jacobs proves that experience and good prose can outdo theoretical city planning any day (albeit, her solutions to city planning problems are a bit provincial at times).
On Wednesday I’ll post a piece on Messiah’s History on the Bridge website about how being a nerd has made me a better history major. If you want to see how I think things like games, movies, and role-playing intersect with the intellectual sphere, check it out!