Welcome to W.I.R.L.!

Hi there,

If you are one of my students at El Camino College — welcome to the What I’m Reading or Listening blog! (Yes, that’s W.I.R.L. for short.) ! I’m glad you are here and grateful to have you in my class. (And, if you are are not a student and happened to stop by, I’m glad to have you here, too.) This past year, it’s been a true joy to teach so many amazing students, and in our history classes together, we have rich discussions and constantly make connections to the present through our readings. However, today, the news moves so fast — and there is so “much” to think about in terms of history — and I find myself constantly reading and/or listening to fascinating and informative material that makes me think deeper about the world around us. In short, I often learn new things or read/listen to something that expands on something important outside of class, and think to myself: my students would find this interesting, too!

Unfortunately — and if you are student, you know this too well — we often do not have time in our classes or enough reading assignments (yes, you’re in luck, I’m not assigning anything from here!), to discuss everything going on in the news today. However, as a trained historian, I do my best to read and/or listen to material — historical or otherwise — that can help me make sense of the news in my spare time, or because I know there are really smart people doing really smart things that I need to learn from. Students often ask me what I am reading or listening to (via podcasts), and thought I would begin to share that information here when I think something might be interesting (and not too long, either!).. It’s wonderful to have such inquisitive and bright students like you all, and I hope this blog — if you can call it that — will be a way for you awesome students to help make sense of the world, too, in ways beyond class.

Most of what I post here will be short — usually a link, with a short description, or any other thoughts that I have. As you, students, know, I am fan of podcasts and it’s a great way to learn new things in our busy lives! Much of what I post here will, naturally, be about my interests, our courses, and related to American history in some respect: politics, voting, American government, racism (particularly historical developments to today), gender inequality, and beyond. My posts will also, naturally, reflect my persona: as a white male, thinking about how to be an anti-racist educator and person is of deep concern; as a first generation college graduate, issues of educational access and equity also shape my worldview. Notably, everything here I post is not because I necessarily agree with all that an article or a podcast says, but it makes me think critically about a topic — the same skill that we work together in class each day.

Ultimately, the idea of this blog to share things that I feel you, my students, will find informative and interesting — something to read or listen to that explains events in the news that also expands or touches upon American history in some way. I hope you enjoy and, above all, if you have anything to share, please let me know and I will add it here.

Happy learning!