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Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

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I've been thinking about teaching history. Not me teaching history, rather the ongoing challenge of teaching history. Every year there is a new year of history to be included and perspectives being changed such that curriculum evolves and changes. We hear constant (and valid) criticisms of things that someone believes to be important being left off of standard curriculum.

Obviously, and logically, there is too much history for us to teach everything. At the same time, it is provably the wrong decision to not teach any history.

I suspect the right solution bears a remarkable similarity to Michael Pollan's advice for healthy eating, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

"Teach history. Not too much drama. Mostly important events." - Meaning that while it might be fun to do the popcorn bits of history, the truth is that it is clear that if we don't teach history that people are too easily swayed by fake news and skewed views. America's true history including the genocide and theft from Native Americans. The Holocaust. Civil Rights.

We need to move away from the elementary school history of pilgrims peacefully living with the indians. And we need to, from a young age, build up awareness of the our and the world's history.

Had a doctor-prescribed chat with a dietician which ended up being much more of a food therapy session as my issue isn't necessarily what I'm eating as much as it is how much I eat. She had some great insights:

  1. "Why this food?" - Be more mindful of what you eat and why you're eating it.

  2. The Broccoli test - If you are going to the kitchen to eat, and you ask yourself, "Would I eat raw broccoli?" If the answer is no, then you're not physically hungry, you're mentally hungry.

  3. Screens make us passive - As many people do this day, I tend to eat in front of a screen. And she noted that doing so leads to eating more and eating without mindfulness.

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