Professional Experience and Personal Reflections
by Lisa Bowstead, Founder

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My Dear 10th Grader:
Studying History is NOT "Pointless"
December 30, 2013

My Dear 10th Grader, 

In a brief divergence from our Math lessons today, you proclaimed that "studying History is pointless." You argued that common sense and as-needed research would provide you with all that you needed to know about history and anything else.

I rebutted that the youth of Germany in the late 30s had plenty of common sense, backed by abundant, seemingly scientifically-sound proof written by numerous experts from prestigious universities. You listened with skepticism. I suggested that you need to have a bigger picture than what is fed to you in easy sound-bytes, and to question the sources -- always

Please watch this video:

You said that the history of foreign countries is of no consequence to you.
I urged you to learn more about your own government's activities. I suggested that proper perspective would help us understand the implications of current events (yes, current -- like NOW!). 

Please read this recent article in the NY Times:
F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups

I urged you to read 1984 (the book, not the Spark notes!!), published in 1949 by George Orwell. This short novel describes a future that results from a disregard for history and intellectual curiosity. I have suggested to you that the youth of your generation is well on its way to realizing this prophecy...

Download 1984 for FREE: (See format option in left margin)

I leave you with these sage words by Martin Niemoller, a Pastor and decorated German Naval officer, speaking about the Nazis: 
First they came for the communists, 
and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, 
and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, 
and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, 
and I did not speak out--
    because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

And so, My Dear 10th Grader, you need to open your eyes. You need to look at everything and to listen to everything and you need to
think for yourself!!

You are very lucky to live under the Rule of The Constitution of the United States of America, which bestows upon you the right for a free education, freedom of religion, the right to assemble and the freedom of speech.

It is
your responsibility to make use of these rights. Please understand that if you do not use them, you are destined to lose them!

If nothing else, history can teach us this much...