Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Chapter 2, History of the Medieval World

This chapter was about the time period 220-420 AD in China. I know nothing about Eastern history, so it's all new to me. 

In this time period, there was the rise and fall of several rulers. After the Han dynasty fell, there was the rise of three kingdoms--Shu Han, Cao Wei,  and Dong Wu. Then, in 265, the Jin dynasty started. In 280, the Jin unified China for a short period, until 316. Then there were small city states in the north, and the Eastern Jin in the south. 

In 357, Fu Jian started conquering cities in the north, and in 383 tried to defeat the Jin at the Battle of the Fei River. Even though Fu Jian had a much bigger army, the Jin defeated them. At that pont, Fu Jian's cities started falling away. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The History of the Medieval World Chapter 1

I'm reading The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer this year. History is a weak spot of mine, and I am going to attempt to close the weak spot. This is especially good because my freshman engineering students will be taking World History next year. I like to sound intelligent when I speak with them on subjects other than math and engineering. I want them to realize that it is good to be well-rounded. So I had better get myself well-rounded!

The book starts with Constantine taking over as ruler of the Roman Empire. At this point, the previous emperor, Maxentius has died, but the two "under rulers", Licinius and Maximinus Daia are still in power. Constantine offers his half sister in marriage to Licinius to get rid of Maximinus. It works. The two get married, and Constantine declares Christianity legal in the empire. Later, Constantine has Licinius and his wife banished to Thessaloniki and later killed. 

Big things that happen--

Christianity is made legal in the Roman Empire

The Council of Nicaea meets and pens the Nicene Creed, which is still the definition of Christianity today

Constantine moves the capital of the Empire to Byzantium, including the governing people and many of the art works and relics from all of the great cities

Book 1 2015

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone and Benjamin Zander

This book was recommended to me by a friend who is a executive consultant. I am not sure exactly what she does, but it has something to do with helping executives guide their companies and employees into a productive future, however they see that future being. I took on a new challenge this school year--helping to coordinate a new engineering academy within a large high school. I will have these students for the next four years, to help guide them into college and life. So, in my own way, I have become an executive. My friend is helping me on that journey.

This book looks at life as possibilities. Everything is invented, why not invent a new outlook on life? There are 12 practices that the authors go through, with stories from their lives to back them up, to make life about the possibilities instead of about the barriers.

Rosamund Stone Zander is a family therapist and Benjamin Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. Together they narrate the reader to seeing the possibilities in life. You get to travel the world with youth orchestras, see inside the Boston Philharmonic, meet interesting characters, all while being inspired to change how you see yourself positioned in the world.

I will definitely have my students read excerpts from this book.

Monday, September 05, 2011

And it has started

Soccer season officially starts next weekend. Alex is playing on two teams. The rest are just playing on one team each. Dave is coaching 3 of the 5 teams. My job is kid switch at practice one night a week and chauffeuring and texting game updates on the weekend.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

19th Anniversary

On top of the White Tower in Thessaloniki, Greece

Having had two sets of grandparents who were married for more than 50 years, 19 years seems like a short time. But this week I heard of yet another friend whose marriage is ending. That is five friends in less than a year. Now, I have no problem with people getting divorced. Really, I don't. But it does make these 19 years seem like more of an achievement.

My parents share our anniversary. (They, too, got married and left for grad school the next week.) This year is 47 for them. That is amazing.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Last Day Off

I go back to work on Monday. I do like my job, but I love being at home with my kids all summer. So today I decided we would have a fun morning.

I took the little people to Build-A-Bear Workshop. They had never been there before. Sam made a monkey, and Amy made a heart bear. Then we went to McD for lunch. We don't do that a lot, but we did it today.

This afternoon, the boys all need to go for a celiac test. Not so fun...

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Thessaloniki

It seemed to me that Thessaloniki was a city of apartment buildings. Once you got away from the waterfront, there was very little open space in the city--just tall buildings and roads. So, here is a gas station. Right there, under someone's apartment, is the Shell station.But, then, you come across something like this...

These ruins are surrounded by apartment/shop/restaurant buildings. And people just walk by like they aren't there. I wonder how long you have to live with these to stop noticing them. (Kind of like I don't notice the Civil War era cemetery I drive by a few times a week.) How many times do people walk under this arch ...

and miss this detail?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apple Camp

Ed is attending a three day camp at the Apple Store. It is 90 minutes each day, and it is free. Well, we didn't pay anything for the camp, but so far we have bought a new app for the iPad and I am sitting here eying accessories for the iPad, my MacBook, and my iPhone. I think Dave was tempted to bring home a new iPhone 4 yesterday. I am pretty sure the only reason he didn't was because he was trying to decide if the white one was girly. (In case you're wondering, yes it is.)

I think I am going to wander over to the Genius Bar (which is not a bar and is not staffed by geniuses) to inquire about a mouse for my Mac Book. Oh, and which color iPad cover should I get? (I am not going to ask the geniuses that one.)

(and why are other camp children wandering around the store not paying attention?)

And they got me... I got a much needed cover for the iPad and a much wanted wireless mouse for the MacBook. I told the "genius" that they got me in for the free camp, and I made the purchase. He thought that was really funny.