I hated high school. Not enough to massacre my fellow classmates. But quite enough to sink into dark depressions laced with thoughts of suicide. I finally escaped (after barely graduating) and joined the U.S. Army in October of 1965. No regrets. The Army saved my life.
It was in college (or was it back in high school?) I learned about Summerhill. I think I would have loved that school.
These days I find myself learning the Summerhill way. This week I've been learning about D-Day.
It all started as I played Brothers in Arms. I'd read reviews about how the game was historically accurate. After playing through the first half, I watched Band of Brothers. The firefights in the film, which are noted for their realism, are faithfully reproduced in Brothers in Arms, at least as far as current videogame technology allows. In short, the game lives up to its promises. It's not perfect (a tiny bit of dodgy AI, not being able to jump over barricades, not being able to give orders to individual troopers, etc.) but it does a better job of making war real than any videogame before. The incoming mortar shells, the machine gun fire cutting down my men because I gave them a boneheaded order, learning and utilizing the Army's Four F's (Find him. Fix him. Flank him. Finish him.), the sheer terror of men under heavy fire. It's all in the game.
I've gone back to the source material for more detailed information... now reading Band of Brothers. Learned that Capt. Sobel never forgave the men of Easy Company for losing command of the company. (The men hated Sobel, although many grudgingly admitted that his harsh training tactics may have saved their lives on the battlefield.) Later in life he botched his own suicide. When he died in September of 1988, his ex-wife did not attend the funeral. Nor did his sons. Nor did any member of Easy Company.
The weapons, both American and German, also piqued my interest. Many of the weapons listed here can be used in the game. (I've had a devil of a time using the Panzerfaust, but I'm getting better.)
I think we're starting to see a new potential to computer/video games. As the technology grows ever more sophisticated, we may have a chance to virtually relive key events in world history. And maybe learn a little something while having fun.
An Exhibition That Does Little but Salute the Flag
By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 23, 2005; Page C01
The governing principle behind the exhibition "Faces of the Fallen," a homage to Americans killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan featuring more than 1,300 individual portraits, is that art adds value. Take a humble snapshot, turn it into a painting, or a sculpture, or a collage, and it is somehow more than a photograph, more serious and honorable and respectful to the subject portrayed. As the producers of the project say in a printed statement, the artists' "vision and their inspiration offer us a tangible way to join together in deepest compassion and respect."
This basic principle needs serious examination. The more than 200 artists who have produced contributions -- in a variety of styles and media, but all required to be the same size and easily mounted on a metal rod for display -- worked from photographs of the dead. Most of their contributions are not more powerful than the rows of snapshots that have appeared in newspapers (including this one) during times of war, dating back (at least) to a galvanizing 1969 issue of Life magazine devoted to photographs of Vietnam War casualties. Most of the "Faces of the Fallen" portraits fall within the range of styles that one might find at a community art showcase, more or less skillful, more or less naive, more or less distinctive.
Images Canada provides central search access to the thousands of images held on the websites of participating Canadian cultural institutions. Through Images Canada, you can find images of the Canadian events, people, places and things that make up our collective heritage. You can search across all collections from virtually every page on the site by typing in a keyword in the search box at the top right hand corner of each page. If you would like to refine your search, try the Advanced Search feature. Search Help is also available. If you are looking for search ideas, try one of our Image Trails or browse through the Photo Essays.
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- She has just signed with one of the Southeast's major art galleries. He just finished an $8,000 month on the Internet.
Artists Jeff and Leslie Cohen share a studio, a home in Marietta, Georgia, their kids Spencer and Emily, and fast-growing status among collectors of contemporary American work.
Their venues and the strategies behind them, however, are as different as their canvases.
Together, wife and husband have explored an online art market still in a promising but uncertain infancy. Jeff has been formally recognized by his peers on eBay as Best All Around Artist, a leader in hanging wares on the auction site's digital walls. Leslie says her message-driven approach looks better under the halogens of a bricks-and-mortar showroom.
But these former graphic artists will tell you that neither traditional galleries nor the humming halls of the Internet offer the perfect answer for fine art.
"At a gallery," says Leslie Cohen, "the artist is the product. The gallery wants plenty of pieces. And it wants similar pieces. The gallery wants consistency in its product, the artist."
"Online," Jeff Cohen says, "if all your pieces look the same, collectors will buy one and move on. I never, ever paint the same thing twice."
Social Studies Losing Out to Reading, Math
By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo
Johnny may be learning more about reading and mathematics, but he may have little time to study the discoveries of Columbus, the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, or the social and political causes of the Civil War.
Those time-honored topics—as well as lesser-known events and figures throughout history—are fighting to maintain their place in the curriculum, many experts say, as schools allocate more time and attention to reading and math instruction to meet state and federal goals for student achievement.
“The unintended consequence of No Child Left Behind has been to put history into an even more marginal position,” maintained Theodore K. Rabb, a professor of history at Princeton University and a founder and board member of the National Council for History Education. “It is clear that, with some notable exceptions nationwide, the amount of class time given to history, especially in the first eight grades, has been shrinking almost by the month.”
The 3-year-old No Child Left Behind Act requires annual testing in reading and math in grades 3-8 as a key measure of schools’ progress under the federal law.
In response to what they see as a rapidly growing trend, the Westlake, Ohio-based council and other groups representing teachers of history, government, economics, geography, and other social studies are mobilizing to alert policymakers and the public to their plight and build their case for a renewed focus on those subjects.
Last week alone, a national study and a state task force in Maryland highlighted the urgent challenges facing the field.
Meanwhile, the council, which represents history teachers and scholars, is circulating a statement on what it sees as “A Crisis in History.” Signed by dozens of prominent historians and educators, it calls for the infusion of more history into reading programs and instruction at large. The document is a precursor to the group’s plan for a broader campaign to raise awareness of the problem, Mr. Rabb said.
The National Council for the Social Studies, which represents 26,000 educators, has convened a group of representatives of national organizations for reading, mathematics, and science professionals to debate the use of instructional time. The NCSS’ agenda for that group also includes discussing ways to incorporate more content-area reading, the importance of a well-rounded curriculum, and strategies for getting the message to lawmakers and school administrators.
A social studies task force appointed by the Maryland state schools superintendent is studying the “state of social studies” education statewide, as well as nationally, in order to craft recom- mendations for strengthening the teaching of the subjects there.
On the same day in 2002 as Germany and Brazil played in the World Cup Final in Japan, the national teams of Bhutan and Montserrat met in an official FIFA sanctioned, friendly match in Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital. Ranked at the very bottom of international soccer, they played strictly for the love of the game. The film (released in 2003) follows the two teams in their respective countries as they prepare for the match, travel to the stadium and play in the Other Final.