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SOCIAL STUDIES DIARY

The Winter Storm

The Winter Storm

 

Usually Texas is a sunny place

We seldom burn the fireplace

 

A great storm came and changed its face

Now we burn the fireplace

 

The wood we burn is from the farm

I gather it with saw and carried it with arm

 

I piled it up on a summer day

Knowing that my work surely would pay

 

Rain the sleet came in the night

Temperatures fell to a create frightful sight

 

The furnace toiled all threw the day

At night the fireplace would have its say

 

Log after log were fed to give more heat

We gathered near the fire so sweet

 

Soon my wood began to dwindle

Consumed by the fire like a thief with a swindle

 

The ashes were cleared with special care

A dropped ember could give one a terrible scare

 

A new fire was lit and began to take hold

The warmth it gave was better than gold

 

Texas has snow, which is not a good sign

It stopped my sunning, for which I pine

 

My walks are shorter and require a coat

If a Yankee could see me, he really would gloat

 

A Texan on ice is not a good thing

But wait a minute I think I smell spring!

 

 

The Cold Professor

 

 

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The Land of Ice and Snow

The Land of Ice and Snow

 

In my mind's –eye to my childhood I go, back to the land of ice and snow

 

A northwest wind began to blow to usher in a hint of snow

 

The grey clouds caused the light to fade, warning of things that would cover the glade

 

As the evening came to cast its pale, lights were seen as an amber vale

 

The restless city began its sleep, just as the heavens began to weep

 

Droplets of rain began to fall forming icy sheets to cover it all

 

* * * *

 

In my mind's-eye to my childhood I go, back to the land of ice and snow

 

The trees turned silver, giving off a glow just before it began to snow

 

The flakes came down a few at a time filling the landscape with something sublime

 

Deeper and deeper the whiteness grew; when it would end no one knew

 

As the hours slowly past, the constant wind gave another blast

 

A blanket of snow piled into drifts covering the ground in endless shifts

 

* * * *

 

In my mind's-eye to my childhood I go, back to the land of ice and snow

 

Ice and snow covered it all, it covered the wall and covered the lane; it covered the gravestones that gave so much pain

 

The air was clear as the night grew still; nature was showing her mighty will

 

Winter is time for nature to rest; for humankind it can be a seasonal test

 

In the silence of nature's great sleep; beauty does reign when the snow falls this deep

 

In this wondrous afterglow there comes a thought we long to know: What secret message lies within the falling snow?

 

So back to this land I shall always go, back to this land of ice and snow

 

 

          —The Professor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Outlook

Life is full of twists and turns, which is not a surprise to anyone with any age. Mostly, its an adventure with many little and big experiences and surprises. This lockdown, which is a form  of imprisonment to some of us, is a time of reflection and contemplation. Thankfully, I have a mainly supportive family to help me from makings bad decisions as well as stupid or hurtful comments. I have just completed my seventh international book and I am currently working on my next project. One might ask: What is the point on keeping on? The point is that life brings pleasure and meaning to life and life can be wonderful, that is, if you keep an open mind and live in the future and not the past. Life in other words, life is a learning adventure in regard to the "life of the mind". Believe or not, I hope to be around to finish this project and to start another project. In the mean time, may I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and may God Bless you and yours!

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Definitive Statement

Definitional Statement

 

 

Civism consists of those publicly stated or declared values and virtues, (the accepted norm of human behavior) that have become recognizable cultural forms expressed within a particular society by its citizens. The forms of society include the stated values and virtues-related to government, religion, law, and social relationships (marriage, family life, manners, and civic conduct). These ideal norms of civism vary according to specific societies, as well as specific historical or cultural settings and times. In addition, civism tends to be elastic, in that the norms of civism associated with a particular society will change as social values associated with a particular society change. These changes can be detected by the rhetoric of political leaders and shifts in public attitudes or the citizens' generally shared outlook.

 

For the individual, civism is acquired as an important aspect of childrearing in which an internal reality known as the "life of the mind" is created. The "life of the mind" consists of values and virtues that often are triggered by external stimuli. Once this internal world is formed, the individual comes to interpret social, political, and economic experiences, events, and actions from his mind's-eye perspective. This "life of the mind" influences the individual's actions and reactions to various events, crises, problems, and situations. In other words, the influences of the individual's civism are, to some extent, existential, and also generational, and while there are degrees of common or shared understandings, there also are differences.

 

Thomas L. Dynneson

 

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Rise of the Roman Empire: The Will to Endure

This new volume is a work in progress, but is a continuation of the newly published work that began this series of three possible volumes related to civism and Roman history. This second volume spans Roman history in general, but then focuses on the Middle Republic. This work contains background related to Indo-European formations and migrations and then address a chapter related to the issues of mythology transfigured into ancient history—a major problem associated with early Roman history. Part Two of this work contains a series of chapters related to the formation of the Roman “constitution”. At this time. The author is working on Chapter Six related the the emergent, development, and institutionalization of Roman law and the role that the law played in the formation of the Roman Empire.

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Book Review by Thomas L. Dynneson

Religion of the Romans by Jörg Rüpke

Content
Not understanding the forces of nature, nor possessing the scientific means needed to study the forces of nature, ancient people turned to those “experts” who claimed that they possessed special knowledge regarding natural events. In general these “experts” claimed that they could communicate with  Read More 
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Book Review by Thomas L. Dynneson

Etruscan Civilization: A Cultural History by Sybille Hanes

Content
The book authored by Sybille Hanes contains an extensive collection of photographs (almost a complete inventory) of the items of the material culture of the Etruscan civilization. In general, it should be noted that items related to the material culture  Read More 
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Italy's Lost Greece by Giovanna Ceserani

Italy’s Lost Greece: Magna Graecia and the Making of Modern Archaeology by Giovanna Ceserani (suggested essential pre-reading: T.J. Dunbabin’s The Western Greeks: The History of Sicily and South Italy from the Foundation of the Greek Colonies to 480 BC)

Content
Ceserani has authored a very complex book that explores two complex issues:  Read More 
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Mary Beard's SPQR

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
Content
This book by Mary Beard is a very ambitious work in that its content covers the entire span of Roman history from the founding of Rome, the founding of the Roman Republic, the advent of the Imperial Empire, to the “end-game”. The Roman Senate,  Read More 
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The Best Five Books -- A Disclaimer

The Best Five

The “best five” books listed and described in this article present a subjective response to the request for this article. The author’s “best five list” is based on reading and research associated with his research related to his work on an up-coming publication. In other words, there are, without doubt,  Read More 
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