Saturday, November 10, 2007


I guess I really am a historian. I already have the date of my promotions - December 17, three in teh afternoon (should write it down so that I don't forget) so I'll have the diploma. I could have got a paper that I'm a M. A. but I didn't need it. I guess I even don't need the diploma for anything else but boasting but one of the reasons why I went to this university where I am was that they still have the diplomas in Latin. And rolled up, not folded. It's much better for showing up. And it's a good university, the best art history department in this country, that needs to be admitted.
I also have a contract for a book. Well, it's not in written yet but I quite trust the guys, I worked for them for years. It's only a textbook for the fourth and fifth grade but it'll have an ISBN, actually two, it'll be in two volumes (48 pages each). It won't be quoted in The Burlington Magazine but I have the possibility to form the young brains which is much cooler than some academic exchange between people who already know.
Writing a textbook is a challenge. It's a big responsibility, first of all. I chose a bit specific approach of dual text - 'hard' history like who reigned when and who lost which war. And then the 'soft' stuff - how things worked and why they worked and why those lost the abovementioned war. When I made a bit of preliminary research, I discovered that the history textbooks are doing their best to avoid mentioning any religious matters. I know I know, forty five years of communism and all the accompanying crap but, the hell, cathedrals weren't built solely for boasting, there were church services held there. And we had religious wars here - so should religion not matter at all, why would the people fight, then? And no, omitting this is not a sign of political correctness (read: idiocy) but of ignorance. Three or so generations of people somehow didn't get the thing that kings used to be crowned by bishops. And that the cool funky churches, pride of the communities, were built for purposes of religion, not to be printed on postcards.
Of course, there's political correctness. There's been a heavy multiculti fashion lately and I just hope some reviewer appointed my the Ministry doesn't want me to add a chapter on Blacks in Czech history. (There were none, folks. Maybe some Renaissance lady had a black maid but it's not what the Ministry people want to know.) Bad enough that I read a review on a history book which complained that there's not enough space dedicated to female rulers and army generals. There was one. In the whole known history of this country.
Anyhow, I'm greatly enjoying finding ways how to explain things to kids. I started with Middle Ages, that's the part I know best and I wanted to make the structure clear so that I can stick to it in the other parts.. and in the end, explaining why the damn Church was so important or that king isn't that guy from fairy tales is not that difficult and it's a great fun.

A few days ago I talked with A. We had some discussion on places where we live and he showed me this blog. I have no idea what is it about but I love the pictures.

And some yarn porn. Noro Lily. Tähti is not really interested:D