English 15 A
A quick note…
Hello. We were going to talk about education and alternative schooling today. Alas.
the plague is upon me…
Instead, read “America Skips School: Why We Talk So Much About Education and
Do So Little,” by Benjamin R. Barber and respond to it. Questions
are found at the end
Answer each of the questions thoughtfully and as a professional student and place them in
the “Skipping School” dropbox on ANGEL by, let’s say, the next time we meet, the 26
And don’t forget to get started on Paper 5. I’ll be around via email over
Thanksgiving break for and questions.
Also, for fun, bring up during dinner how the Pilgrims killed off the Native Americans who
helped them survive the winter! It will make for fun and zesty dinner conversation and your
parents will ask you, “Where did you get this kind of liberal nonsense?” and you can say,
“From my English teacher and those dang books, such as…
Lies My Teacher Told
James W. Loewen.”
When they ask who the heck is that and what does he know, say, “He got his PhD in
Sociology at Harvard and has been a a Professor of Sociology for 20 years at places like the
University of Vermont, Tougaloo College, and the Catholic University of America.”
Exerpts from his seminal book:
“The Thanksgiving myth is that the Pilgrims settled the United States in 1620. They had
to fight off indians repeatedly… Few Americans know that one-third of the United States,
from San Francisco to Arkansas to Natchez to Florida, has been Spanish longer than it has
been "American," and that Hispanic Americans lived here before the first ancestor of the
Daughters of the American Revolution ever left England" (77).
“British and French fisherman, landing in Massachusetts for fresh water and supplies in
1617, brought the plague to the American indians. "Within three years the plague wiped
out between 90 percent and 96 percent of the inhabitants of coastal New England.
Unable to cope with so many corpses, the survivors abandoned their villages" (81).
“What the Pilgrims found were settled farms, with the crops already planted and
growing, deserted by Indians fleeing the plague. The Pilgrims "found it easy to infer that
God was on their side. John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, called
the plague "Miraculous"" (81).
"These epidemcs probably constituted the most important geopolitical event of the early
seventeenth century. Their net result was that the British, for their first fifty years in New
England, would face no real Indian challenge" (81).
“The plagues "continued west, racing in advance of the line of culture contact.
played the same crucial role in Mexico and Peru as it did in Massachusetts.
.. When the