Thursday, February 12, 2009


If you were a big social studies geek, and you could study whatever you wanted during your six weeks at nerd camp, what would you want to study?

Note: Those of you who never comment, now would be a good time. *coughcoughPetercoughcoughBarrettcoughcough*


Barrett Conrad said...

Ok. First off, I have posted before.

Second, and for those of us outside of the education field, define social studies. I just remember that class as en extended issue of National Geographic, but I'm not 100% what we actually studied.

Jerusalem said...

We are a household of nerds - especially history nerds.

My boys (ages 4 and 8) would want to study the Revolutionary War or the Civil War, or anything about Egypt. Mummies are always a big hit. They especially would love it if it involved costumes and re-enactments of any kind.

I personally always liked the domestic side of history. How people lived, what they wore, ate, did for entertainment. And the more hands on the better. I would have loved to create a mock-Museum focusing on a certain place or time period. To this day when I walk through small museums that show domestic scenes from recent history I always wonder who is lucky enough to have the job to go find all the old stuff and then arrange it just so.

Lennye said...

The Dust Bowl/Depression Era. I think it has long been overlooked as teachers concentrate on wars and it looks like we may be doomed to repeat this page of history!

Peter said...

Do you get to do special studies? There's a a guy named Peter Bernstein who has written "The Power of Gold" and "Against the Gods: The remarkable story of risk". I would want to do a special topic like that, something you would never get to do in school.

Barrett Conrad said...

Having reviewed the comments of other's and given it more thought for myself, here is my pitch:

Survey the history and influence of myth in human culture. Begin with the origins of myths and legends, how they were devised and used in ancient times and follow their transformations from practical and necessary advice to fantastic stories and cultural archetypes. Along the way, study the effects of a culture's interpretation of myths as it effects their political, social and environmental decisions.

(Are there careers as professional syllabus writers? I think I missed my calling.)

It's obviously a broad and esoteric topic, but it's a major topic in my own personal nerd camp which I call my life. It's probably also considered a special topic like Mr. Peter's, but way on the other side of the spectrum.

A couple of easy references from my book shelf and the top of my head:

When They Severed Earth From Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth an excellent re-examination of the source of myths.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces: The seminal work for the topic even through I imagine it is akin to studying Freud when covering psychology.

Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth is an insightful interview of Campbell by Bill Moyers; required watching for anyone.

American Gods is an enjoyable work of fiction with an interesting sub-layer inspecting our forgotten pasts.

It really is funny you asked that question, because I am actually considering putting together a similar experience on my topic here in NOLA.

Hope that helps. I should really put this much effort into my own blog.

K2daK said...

I like World War II...the whole thing gets my attention from the debates to the real reasons the war was fought to the cruelty.

I am sitting ingiessm shoes. :)

Natalie said...

I think that I would study geography so Kevin would quit making fun of me because I once said South Dakota was more north than North Dakota. I thought it was a trick question. :)

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Nerd camp? Hmmm. Geography for me --in elementary school I totally missed taking it because the curriculum was changed. It's why I never became a weather-girl. :)