Tag Archives: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Let’s Talk About Hawthorne (and a few other things, too)

27 Aug

Another semester is upon us, and a new crop of freshmen have arrived.

That sentence popped into my head last night as I contemplated that start of a new academic year. It is always an interesting time as the faculty scramble to get their classes organized and new students scramble to figure out what they have gotten themselves into. The returning members of the sophomore, junior and senior classes are the only ones to be taking things in stride. This is old news to them.

For the first time in a couple of months, the campus is buzzing with activity. The freshmen have been divided into pods and are making their way around the place. I am not sure what they did this morning, but one session was spent going over The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Each group met with a different faculty member and discussed what they read.Nathaniel Hawthorne

My group had a decent meeting. They did not like what they had to read but understood that it would probably happen more than once in the next few years.

I enjoyed the part where they talked about themselves. Most were from around this area, but a couple had traveled some distance. A student from Alabama, who is here to play basketball, had been to All Steak. Another student from Lawrence, Kansas is here to be on the cycling team. I told them that I had been to Holcomb, Kansas, and, to my surprise, a student from around here knew why that place is famous.

Another student from a nearby town came from a graduating class of thirteen people. Our discussion group was bigger than that. We advertise about having small classes, but we can’t compare to that.

I learned a lot from the students – more than they probably learned from me. I learned that they already know how to complain about the cafeteria food. I learned that most of our students still come from the general vicinity. I learned that they are generally glad to be here and are looking forward to what lies ahead.

Some of them will make it to graduation. Some of them will wash out within a few semesters. All of them have the experience of reading The Birth-Mark by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

It Must Have Been the Fourth of July

4 Jul

Here in the United States, the Fourth of July is a big day. Back in 1776, there were a couple of days in the first week of July that were important. John Adams thought the Second of July would be celebrated for years to come, but we have settled on doing it two days later. Of course, other things have happened on that date. These are just a few.July 4

965 – Pope Benedict V passed away.

1054 – People in China and Arabia looked in the sky and see a supernova.

1634 – Quebec, Canada was founded. Back then, it was called Trois-Rivieres and was in the colony of New France.

1636 – Providence, Rhode Island came into existence.

1754 – George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to the French. That was an important event during the French and Indian War.

1802 – The United States Military Academy opened in West Point, New York.

1803 – The American people learned of the Louisiana Purchase.

1804 – Nathaniel Hawthorne was born.

1816 – Hiram Walker, founder of Canadian club whiskey, was born.

1826 – John Adams, the second president of the United States, and Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, passed away.

1831 – James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States passed away.

1837 – Grand Junction Railway opened between Birmingham and Liverpool.

1865 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published.

1879 – British forces captured and destroyed Ulundi, the Zululand capital.

1882 – Louis B. Mayer was born.

1902 – Gangster Meyer Lansky was born.

1903 – Dorothy Levitt competed in a motor race. That made her the first woman to do that.

1914 – A funeral was held for Archbishop Franz Ferdinand and his wife.

1922 – Lothar von Richtofen, younger brother of the Red Baron, passed away.

1929 – Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, was born.

1934 – Marie Curie, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the Nobel Prize in Physics, passed away.

1939 – Lou Gehrig told the fans in Yankee Stadium that he considered himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

1943 – Geraldo Rivera, who looked in Al Capone’s vault, was born.

1946 – The Philippines gained independence from the United States.

1966 – Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act.

2009 – Steve McNair, former quarterback of the Tennessee Titans, was killed.