History Exams, Pre-History, and A Great Shout ...
I was amused yesterday by the comment at Peasants Under Glass that"Grading your first midterms is probably kind of like the feeling you get the first time your son or daughter calls and asks you to post bail." Yes, well, I suppose so. I know what grading mid-terms feels like, but my mother didn't tell me how it felt when she got that call.
Over at Baraita, Naomi Chana had the Red Sox in mind when she asked what event from the Hebrew Bible most closely parallels the final victory in the World Series. For chronology, she suggests the restoration under Zerrubabel (Ezra 3 ff; Zechariah 4 ff); but, in terms of reaction, Chana suggests that Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:25 ff) may be more appropriate. Not satisfied with either analogue, she solicits suggestions and asks if it would be a fair extra credit question on a test.
Micah, one of Chana's readers, was reminded of an extra credit question in a high school course on pre-historic people in"Early World History.""What proto-human does your instructor most resemble?" The multiple choice options included: Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, and Australopithecus, says Micah, but everyone who read the book knew that Mr. ****** looked exactly like the picture of Australopithecus. It was one of those"I know that you know that I know" moments, Micah continues, but do you check the right answer, get the extra credit, and admit that you'd thought of the resemblance already or do you opt for"none of the above" out of respect? In any case, Mr. ****** was one of Micah's favorite teachers and he thinks that he gave the right answer. For some reason, Mr. ******'s question reminded me of the discovery of homo floresiensis, but I suppose Mr. ****** was more than three feet tall.
Micah suggests that the children of Israel's repeated marches around the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6) may be the best analogue to the Red Sox victory."So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people raised a great shout, and the people raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city." (6:20) It's odd that I thought that I remembered"the people raised a great shout" of rejoicing after the walls" came a tumblin' down." Their shouts preceded it, summoning stone from stone. So, the faith of Boston fans, year in and year out, presaged victory at the last.