montagnarde1793: (OMSBWTF?)

...Seeing how I've been shamefully neglecting LJ these last few weeks, I thought I would just pop in for a moment to reassure everyone that I am indeed alive, as well as to apologize for not replying to people's posts. I have been extremely busy, as you might guess, and I have something of a one-track mind when I have an exam or a presentation or a paper due. So I do hope you'll excuse me. And I'm afraid I'm not out of the woods yet either, as I have a Latin test tomorrow for which I need to know large swathes of De divinatione and Pro lege manilia, as well as several of Cicero's letters. Not to mention grammar. >__>

But anyway, now for your random (or possibly not so random) fact for the day: 216 years ago Saint-Just gave his "rapport sur la police générale". I'm not sure why I wrote that on my calendar, but I'm sure I must have had a good reason... If I were less busy I would quote from it or something, but I really shouldn't considering. Again: >__>

Also, what post would be complete without at least a mini-rant? Have you ever read a (history) book in which you can't (for the most part anyway) fault the author on facts or even really interpretations, but where in the author's attitude is really annoying? The background text for my history class this semester is a bit like that. (Though there is one thing he asserts - without actually ever attempting to prove it - that really annoys me, which is that he seems convinced that capitalism existed in the Middle Ages just because there were merchants.)

For example:

"However much modern democratic sensibilities are offended by restriction of the franchise, that does not always translate into bad government." -- Nicolas, Urban Europe, 111. (This is followed by a defense of pre-modern oligarchical municipalities.)

I mean, seriously: No, this does not "offend" my democratic "sensibilities" this outrages my democratic principles, you pretentious reactionary.... Ugh. I think maybe I should quit while I'm ahead.

montagnarde1793: (l'an CCXVIII)
...But especially for that of [ profile] maelicia, I bring you a Carnot macro. Enjoy:

I don't know why it's so small. Hm. Hopefully it's still legible...?

Also, admire my new layout--and my new icon--for they are shiny.

ALSO, don't you hate it when you're minding your own business reading a biography of Robespierre and one of your friends comes up to you and starts talking about how interesting the subject of said biography is considering what a clinically insane, bloodthirsty dictator he was? Because this happened to me for the nth time yesterday, and everytime it happens I just want to say:

"Look, I have neither the time nor the energy to go into professor mode and give a lecture that you have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to explaining the entire history and historiography of the Revolution in order to give you enough background to allow you to understand why everything you just said is ignorant, reactionary, and just plain untrue. Moreover, you would probably attack me for attempting it the moment I open my mouth. So. Is this a subject you're genuinely interested in or were you just trying to be polite? Because if you're open-minded enough to really want to understand why I hold the opinions I do, I can recommend some books for you to read. Failing that, take this pamphlet [I still need to make some kind of handy pamphlet along the lines of "Robespierre and the French Revolution for Dummies"]. If you don't feel like reading it, that's fine, but kindly do not try to tell *me* what you learned in AP European History/The Scarlet Pimpernel/Simon Schama about Robespierre. I don't have the time."

Of course, what I really said was more like, "I don't believe that, but let's not argue. Have you done the Latin homework yet?"

montagnarde1793: (la douce melancolie)

I can only take one of the following classes next semester and I have no idea which one to take. Any recommendations? Which sound most interesting to you?

ANTH 102: Human Origins
"This course focuses on paleoanthropology and is an introduction to the evolutionary development of humans. We will examine biological relationships between humans and other primates, primate behavior and classification, and the fossil evidence for human evolution. Emphasis will be placed on the methods used in the study of prehistoric human biological and cultural development."

ARTS 305: Architecture of the Enlightenment
"History of architecture and architectural theory from emergence of academic theory in France in latter quarter of 17th century through French Revolution will be covered. Emphasis will be given to central importance of French architectural culture for European architecture as a whole. Significant architects and writers from England, Germany, Italy and Portugal will be covered in detail. Among historical themes covered will be integration of applied sciences and archaeology into architectural theory, meteoric rise of bourgeois culture, philosophies of sensation and rationalism, birth of the police, and 'revolutionary architecture.'"

ARTS 345: Roman Art and Architecture
"All roads lead to Rome. Once the ruler of the entire Mediterranean world, Rome remains a central element in our culture consciousness through its legacy of political, cultural and artistic achievements. This course provides an introduction to the art and architecture of Rome and her empire from its Italic beginnings, through the Republic and into the late Imperial period (8th century B.C.-A.D. 400)."

POLT 136: Understanding Political Community
"This is an introductory course in political theory. It involves a study of classical, and classic, texts of political thought by thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, and John Stuart Mill. Through an examination of their reflections on the nature of political community, it explores the meaning of concepts such as justice, the good life, liberty, toleration, equality, and political obligation."

POLT 216: THe Political Economy of Advanced Capitalism
"This course is an introduction to comparative political economy, broadly defined as the ways in which the triangular relationship between the state, labor, and capital differs from one advanced capitalist country to another. Thie course will examine the political economies of Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, the United States and Japan, paying particular attention to international economic integration, the position of women and minorities, and challenges to the welfare state and trade unions."

I could also potentially try to get into a class that's already full like "History of Greece," "Greek and Roman Mythology," "History of Medicine," "Deductive Logic," "Intro to International Relations," or "Marxist Theory," but I'm thinking that may not be worth the effort given the choices I already have.

It might also be helpful to know the rest of my (tentative) schedule:

HPRF 111: Historical Performance in Context: Music of France
HIST 132: Jewish History from the Spanish Expulsion to the Present
LATN 102: Introduction to Latin Prose (I'm taking accelerated beginning Latin over Winter Term, which is essentially the month of January.)
A private reading in French, hopefully on something Revolution-related.
And then I'll be continuing my voice and harpsichord lessons, unless by some amazing chance I'm able to get into the chorus for The Magic Flute. (I am auditioning, but the probability of my getting in is rather slim, considering I'll be competing not only against students of the College like myself, but the entire voice department in the Conservatory. :/ )


In other news, I finally got a copy of Olivier Blanc's Les hommes de Londres: histoire secrète de la Terreur through the interlibrary loan system. This is a book that, despite having been published as recently as 1989, is not for sale *anywhere* on the internet. Literally. Just *try* to find it. Compare this to Simon Schama's travesty of a book, published in the same year, that one would be hard-pressed *not* to find in any given store. Coincidence? I think not. D:< (Olivier Blanc, for those of you who don't know, is a Robespierriste historian ♥.)

...But I haven't actually had any time to read the above book, because my assigned reading never ends. This weekend alone I've finished Walden Two (that is, I read the last 150 pages or so) and started The Dispossessed (ie, I've read 90 pages so far and have another 100 to go) for my Utopian Thought class, read excerpts from Petrarch and Vergerius and Rabelais for my history class, done about 15 pages of grammar exercises for French, tried to figure out what classes I'm taking next semester, e-mailed three professors and copied 20-odd pages of sheet-music from a score that has to be returned today (I'm still not done with it, either).

Now I still have, as I said, another 100 pages to read for Utopian Thought, another 15 pages or so of music to photocopy, a score to return, a French paper to write, and research to do for my paper on May '68 for a mini-course I was foolish enough to actually enroll in when I could have just gone to the lectures. It's not as if I need any more French credits and it's driving my crazy. But I digress.

I suppose I could say the upside is that there are only 4 more weeks in the semester, but that has a downside too: in those four weeks I have to write another history paper, three more French papers, that paper on May '68, and two more papers for Utopian Thought. Not to mention the vast amounts of reading and practicing I'm going to have to do. It never lets up--and this despite the fact that I'm taking only three relatively easy academic courses. Next semester I'm going to have four, and they'll be harder! *shudders*


Wednesday, 12 December 2007 17:43
montagnarde1793: (wtfno)
I'm currently rather pissed off and depressed: after months of painstaking work, translating and putting together an alternate reenactment for use in place of that travesty that is the one I described two years ago, it seems they're going ahead with the old version. Admittedly, I don't even know if the guy running it got the reenactment and the letter I wrote to go with it--which by the way mentioned that this was the culmination of nearly two years of work--but still. I suppose I could have not been a coward and gave it to him directly instead of putting it in his box, but don't they have an obligation to read their mail from time to time? 

But this is really what pisses me off about the reenactments, apart from their gross distortions of history: the whole thing is so damn secretive. Only the guy running it's favorite students and their friends know anything about it. It's not a class project, to clarify, it more on the order of a play. But the school play posts audition and performance dates (the auditions being open to all students and the performances being open to anyone who buys a ticket). The reenactments? There are no auditions--the actors are chosen by the guy running them--and performances aren't even announced. One finds out when they're taking place by word of mouth--rumor, essentially. 

And now they're ignoring the new script that I put so much effort into entirely. Did I mention that if I complain it will look like I'm one of the new principal's cronies, because she apparently had a hugely controversial argument with Reenactment Guy (TM) about issues with the Black Death reenactment (which I haven't seen, so I can't really comment) which she claims were about safety issues and he claims were about content (ie, forcing his religious and political beliefs on students)? Which just really makes me angry, because I had been working on this long before their little tiff, and since I happened to finish it only now, *this* is what I have to deal with. *fumes*

...However: this isn't just about me. This is a whole new generation of students being brainwashed we're talking about. If it wasn't, I wouldn't give a damn--you all know that, I'm sure. But why does everyone seem to think I'm crazy for caring in the first place irl? No, it's worse than that: they would think I was crazy if I cared about anything else historical to this degree; but they, remember, are convinced that I'm crazy not merely for caring about history, but for siding with the "bloodthirsty dictators."

I am so unbelievably, immeasurably sick of dealing with this petty, pathetic, childish crap! A historical interpretation is not correct just because a textbook and a fucking secondary school teacher say so. For that matter, it doesn't matter if the world's most eminent professor says something if it's wrong. When are they going to get it into their heads that they don't have a monopoly on truth? They refuse to even listen to what I have to say because "ew, aren't those the guys who chopped off a lot of people's heads?" is the immovable object. They refuse to move beyond that to have open historical discourse. And I am so fucking tired of it. It's just disgusting.


montagnarde1793: (Default)

October 2014

5678 91011
19202122 232425


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios