Blogs > Cliopatria > Cigars Around ...

Apr 8, 2004 6:39 am

Cigars Around ...

Do new fathers still hand out cigars? I suppose it was just a guy thing. Is it passe both because smoking is disgusting and guy things are, ahem, suspect? I'm trying to imagine Ophelia Benson smoking a cigar. That's no big stretch, so long as it's outdoors. Anyway, Cliopatria's handing out cigars because Time Travel is Easy is up and running. Conceived by Claire H. L. George, Duckling at Blackberry Picking, and Konrad M. Lawson of Munnin, Time Travel is Easy is a sort of Cliopatria for the teen-age set. Claire George discusses the idea of it with a skeptical Jonathan Dresner in the comments here. George and Lawson say that it's in trial stages. They want to avoid becoming just another"homework" site. Posting from the UK and Japan, they have a dozen engaging trial posts, with nice graphics, up already. Have a look and consider joining their efforts. If you're interested in contributing, George's e-mail address is in the comments here. Write to her for a username and password.
comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Richard Henry Morgan - 4/10/2004

Man U?? Say it ain't so!! The only Man U player worth a tinker's damn is the Welsh Dragon, Ryan Giggs. The rest are a bunch of prima donnas who deserve to be drowned in the Mersey after a thorough thrashing at Anfield. Go Reds!!

Ralph E. Luker - 4/10/2004

I'm afraid that you caught me with a lit cigarette, but even I admit that it is a disgusting habit. I try to be very respectful of other people's space so that they will continue to tolerate me -- at least for the time being.

Charles V. Mutschler - 4/10/2004

The custom of passing out cigars is not completely extinct. Last fall a colleague handed out cigars to any of us who would accept them following the birth of his first-born. Most folks passed.

I'm dating myself, but when I completed my MA people could smoke in public buildings, and many faculty smoked in their offices, a few in their class rooms. Being a newly minted MA in History, the day after my defense, I showed up in the department office with a box of 50 moderately priced cigars, and passed them around the department. Many faculty cheerfully indulged.

Can I trouble you for a light?

Charles V. Mutschler

Claire Helen Louise George - 4/9/2004


Ralph E. Luker - 4/8/2004

Anne, I'm sure they'd be glad to have your interest in what they are doing. You might want to send Claire George an e-mail about it.

Anne Zook - 4/8/2004

Pardon the oddness in the previous message. I went on a tangent about wishing I were I history grad student so I could play too, giving my ideas for how the site could become attractive to kids, and then thought better of it and removed all of the debris, leaving an oddly truncated post.

My apologies.

Anne Zook - 4/8/2004

I know what would have made me return to the site of my own inclination (not for homework) when I was young.

I'm sure the authors on the blog have it all under control. I've bookmarked the site and will watch the development with interest.

Ralph E. Luker - 4/8/2004

When you are next in Atlanta or I am next in Seattle, we'll get together for cigars.

Ophelia Benson - 4/8/2004

I would say one way to draw adolescents might be to emphasize (over and over again, possibly, in case they're not paying attention) the inquiry aspect. The fact that history is about investigation rather than passing on known facts. I think most adolescents tend to think or assume it's the latter. I'm pretty sure I did, and I was bored by history until college. I was a pretty dense adolescent, or at least a very inattentive one (see above), so maybe that's not generalizable, but then again maybe it is. I do know that it came as a surprise to me in college to learn that history really was, you know, open-ended, a process, not just a Body of Knowledge. I know, I know - I said I was dense.

But inquiry is attractive, I would think. Hey kids, you get to investigate, you get to figure stuff out, you get to ask questions, you get to contradict other people, you get to say 'Dr Whatsit is full of crap, here's how it was.' It's good fun!

Ophelia Benson - 4/8/2004

Cigars are a guy thing? Really? Who knew!

But that's okay, I love guy things, I'm a Manchester United supporter, and a sheep fan, and an ardent consumer of movies with no dialogue or women but plenty of shooting and explosions.

I smoke my cigars indoors, too, so there.

Claire Helen Louise George - 4/8/2004

Thank you Konrad. :) It'll be interesting to hear what people have to say. I'd be very grateful for any suggestions.

Even if only a handful of teenagers regularly read it I'll be happy. My friends do keep telling me that teenagers don't like history but you've got to agree that there's a least one who really loves it in every school. I hope I don't sound elitist but they're the ones I was thinking about when I had the idea. I'm not interested in actively trying to convert the 'what's the point with history, it's useless' brigade. I'll leave that to their poor teachers. ;)

Konrad M Lawson - 4/8/2004

Dresner's comment about children and history mentioned in the posting is right on the mark. There are a whole list of questions that Claire's project got me thinking about. Who should be able to post? Should we write about our own fields only? How long should the postings be? Should the postings primarily focus on introducing young adolescents to specific things in history, or also get their minds working on thinking about history in general? Whey would a young adolescent come read our blog? How can we get them to start reading it (The 'two things' of history mentioned in a recent posting here are probably one possible answer to this)? Is a blog even useful for this sort of thing?

Whatever the answers are, Claire's project may well turn into something amazingly useful and successful. However, even if it burns out with a bang or a whimper, at least it can be said to have a Howard Dean type, 'Well, at least you got us thinking some important questions' effect.

Because I think these issues deserve more discussion, and I want her project to get every chance at success, I have slapped up a forum to discuss these kinds of 'meta' issues related to a project like hers here:

Forgive the horrible default style, I will fix this in a few days. I regret that these days, I am in one of the few areas of Tokyo where I don't have frequent internet access, and then often only on a modem (remember those?) and a Win 98 machine (try forget those).

I hope others with a love for history will join in on Claire's project and I hope that I will be able to add a posting here and there.

A great thanks for Ralph E. Luker for two mentions of this, and to Jonathan Dresner for giving us the first important questions to ask about a project like this.

Claire Helen Louise George - 4/8/2004

Thank you for your support. I'm looking for people to interview as well (see Siri Lawson's interview on the site). So I'd be pleased to hear from anyone who doesn't mind answering a few questions.

History News Network