Around the campfire

This is sort of what I look like. I left out the wrinkles, of course.

Hi guys!

I love teaching Year 7 students. You are still so young, bright, hard-working and curious.

You may not have seen me around the school because last term I was travelling in Europe with my family. We wanted to see the ancient world, but of course it was often mixed up with the modern one. These two guys were dressed up like Roman soldiers near the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Even though their costumes looked quite authentic, the phone gave them away…

I have left my youth far behind me, but I’m still pretty curious myself. I love a good story and that’s why being a history teacher gives me so much pleasure. Don’t tell the Ministry of Education, but teaching history to Year 7 students is hardly work at all. It’s like sitting around a campfire telling stories. Every now and then I like to ask a few questions as well, just to check that you haven’t fallen asleep in your sleeping bags under the stars.

Then you get to tell some stories too, especially the story of a great person who has somehow made the world a better place. That’s what happens during the Night of Notables, of course: you have your moment on stage, your moment in the bright light of the campfire.

In the meantime, this blog is a way for me to give you things to read, recommend websites, remind you of revision and work due, and ask you for comments and ideas. You can type comments (using your first name only) and ask questions. In a sense this blog is like a little tunnel through cyberspace between you and me.

I hope you like learning to be a historian and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you are historians already.

Kind regards from

Ms Green

Arrangements for the Night of Notables

Commit these details to memory and keep working!

N of N clockDate: Tuesday 26 October

Morning: Students are to bring display materials to school with them (except heavy or expensive items).

After lunch: Students prepare their displays in the rooms surrounding the quadrangle.

2.55p.m: Dismissal as usual

6p.m: Students return to school wearing their costumes and bringing heavy or expensive items for display.

6.30p.m: Presentation in hall to family and friends

7p.m. – 8p.m: Students go to the display rooms where family and friends visit them, ask them questions and admire their displays.

8p.m: End of evening; students take home heavy or expensive items.

Quotable Quotes

Ros cartoon 2008 sepiaSorry I’m away today, 7E. That ankle of mine is black and blue. Work hard on your research for the Night of Notables in my absence. If you are inspired, leave a quotation as a comment below.

One of my former students, Tina of 7F, has kindly added several of her favourite quotations in her comments. This inspired me to write a post about my favourite quotations, in the hope that all of you, as you do your research for the Night of Notables, might like to add some of yours in a comment too. Sam, for instance, must undoubtedly have found many pithy quotations already. He is studying Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher and the founder of Taoism, which has been translated as “The Way” or “The Way of Life”. I’m sure many others in the class will have some ideas too.

Here are some of my favourite quotations:

AV001628Ancora imparo.

I am still learning.

This was evidently Michelangelo’s motto. It inspires me never to stop reading, never to think I know enough.

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You can’t know everything in the world. Whatever happens you’ll die a fool.

These are the words of one of my favourite characters in literature, Oleg Kostoglotov from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book, Cancer Ward. That book is also one of my favourites. I love this quotation because it is the converse of the first; no matter how much you think you know, how much you have learned and striven to achieve, you can never hope to know everything. This is a humbling but strangely reassuring thought.

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And while I’m on Solzhenitsyn, here’s what he said when he finally accepted his Nobel Prize for literature:

A word of truth shall outweigh the world.

This is evidently a Russian proverb. Solzhenitsyn was a political dissident who was eventually exiled for writing books that were critical of the brutal regime in his country. He exposed the cruelty of Stalin and the horror of the forced labour camps where so many people suffered, starved and died. So you see, this is like a motto for his life work.   

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You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt, American diplomat and writer

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BE060435We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Oscar Wilde, English playwright

(But my favourite quotation from this man, whose every word is a joy, is “I can resist everything except temptation”.)

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Jane Austen, public domain image drawn by her sister CassandraA COMMENT ON HISTORY: The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all — it is very tiresome.

Jane Austen   (You should also read every word she ever wrote.)

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The creative adult is the child who has survived.

Ursula Le Guin

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