|Nate McAlister leads a pedagogy session|
Tonight the teachers are working hard on their lesson plans and Nate is hanging out in a dorm lounge offering suggestions and help. Needless to say, it has been a great week. Here are a couple of highlights:
- A teacher from Utah found her father's 1957 Princeton doctoral dissertation on the history of the New Jersey Constitution. She had never seen the dissertation before because her father passed away shortly after he finished it. I know it has been a very meaningful week for this teacher.
- A teacher from Florida has been thinking deeply about how to lead her students into the past (the past is a "foreign country) and still make it relevant for the present. It is so rewarding to watch her come to grips with the inherent tensions that come when one pursues historical thinking at a high level. As I conversed with her today I was reminded that historical work is very tiring. We historians and history teachers are constantly "on the road," traveling back and forth (with our students) between the past and the present.
My other lecture this morning was on slavery and rice culture in colonial South Carolina. We talked about the connection between South Carolina and Barbados, the arrival of West African slaves, task and gang labor, the Stono Rebellion, and the emergence of a distinct African-American culture.
After Nate led the teachers through another great pedagogy session, we headed over to the Rare Book Library in Princeton's Firestone Library. I asked Gabriel Swift, a member of the library staff, to pull about thirty books and documents from the collection. I narrowed my choices to books mentioned in Alan Taylor's American Colonies, books we discussed in lectures, and books that Philip Vickers Fithian read at various points of his short life. The teachers got to peruse these books, hold some of them, and take pictures. Gabriel also showed the students the Fithian's diaries.
|Gabriel Swift, a Princeton Rare Books librarian, answers questions from teachers|
|Teachers reading the diary of Philip Vickers Fithian|
Tonight, while the teachers worked on their lessons, I wandered around the Princeton campus. I really hope that Princeton faculty appreciate the fact that they get to come to work every day on this campus. As someone who has spent a lot of time studying the history of this institution, I am always finding something new and interesting about the college and the town in which it resides.
But tonight my self-guided walking tour focused on another one of my loves--sports. I walked out onto the field of the new Princeton football stadium, tried (with Nate) to get into the Hobey Baker Ice Arena, and then headed over to Jadwin Gym. I went to Princeton basketball camp as a kid and became enamored with Pete Carril, the architect of the so-called "Princeton Offense." I walked into Jadwin, stood on "Pete Carrill Court," and took some pictures.
|Pete Carril is a basketball genius|
|The Princeton Tiger in Jadwin Gym|
|Pete Carril and Bill Bradley banners in background|