Josh S: Two Ways to Look at History

I am now one month into my TOSS semester.

TOSS is the last thing I do before student teaching.  TOSS is not something that we do to children or to anyone else, but it is something they do to us where those who survive get to go on to student teaching.

Just kidding.  TOSS is actually an acronym; the education world is rife with acronyms and I can tell you right now that I will be running a lot more by you before it’s all said and done.  This particular acronym stands for Teaching Of Specific Subjects.

TOSS is a very intense field experience.  For the first ten weeks of the semester I will be in class two days a week and spend one day a week observing and helping out with a real live teacher in a real live classroom in a real live school somewhere.  During the next five weeks I will be at this school full time for five days a week.

There is a lot of work to go along with this experience as well.  In each of my classes I must write a lesson plan and complete other projects as well.  And then when I am out in my school full-time, I must plan and teach a full unit.  As I am now finding out, there’s a good reason why I only have class three days a week this semester.

All that to say:  I will not be blogging very much this semester.  It will probably be a while until I am able to write anything original that is of any serious length or depth of thought.  In the meantime, you will have to be content with feasting upon the work of others.

So now let me direct your attention to this piece by Josh S. over at the MetaLutheran blog.  Josh S. disappeared from the blogosphere for a while, but now he’s back, and I’m glad.

In this piece, Josh looks at an Eastern Orthodox author’s interpretation of certain historical facts and their influence on the difference between East and West.  He then rewrites the paragraph, using the exact same historical facts to say the exact opposite.

All that to say:  We all have our own lenses through we view history, and we make it support whatever we want to believe.  The author whom Josh cites believes that Eastern Orthodoxy has answers which we in the West lack, but any of us who truly believe that we in the West have answers which the East lacks, could have turned it all around and rewritten the paragraph in the way that Josh did.  It all depends on what you believe and how those beliefs affect the way you look at history.