Your Teachers and The Purpose of This Class...
About Your Teachers
(Filming in Assisi, Italy)
My name is Mr. Joseph Garza and I have been teaching since 1999. That gives me a little more than ten years teaching experience. I have taught the 3rd, 5th, and 6th grades.
I have a bachelors degree from Azusa Pacific University in history with a minor in philosophy and religion.
You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(A fencing duel in the French countryside)
One of the things I enjoy doing is reading and writing. I read constantly to better myself and be an informed citizen. I do a lot of writing in blogs because I find "connective writing" to be a more mobile and powerful form of communication.
In addition, I enjoy cooking and eating new kinds of food. Currently, I am exploring Middle Eastern foods and foods from North Africa. So far I have worked with Italian and French methods of cooking but I would like to learn different styles of cooking.
I stay active through running, going to the gym, and fencing. I have been fencing for about eight years and I really enjoy the sport. It teaches me patience, precision, and discipline.
( One of my favorite places on Earth, Venice, Italy)
For me traveling has always been an important element in my life. The impressions and thoughts that I gather from traveling formulate who I am. I have traveled to Romania, Hungary, Italy, Spain, France, Mexico, Ecuador, Canada, and several cities in the U.S. such as Seattle, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, and San Diego to name a few. Through travel I have a greater appreciation for history and through history I have gained a greater appreciation for travel. I have learned more through travel than anything else.
PUC Alumni Teach Project
The Purpose of History
“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”
For me, history is about gaining perspective, judgment, and being awake to the world. History is thinking about the past and how the actions and thoughts of others have influenced the present. In gaining an understanding of the past you will better appreciate your humanity. You will understand the ebb and flow of the grand human narrative. The actions and thoughts of the past leading to the present are so connected and intertwined that understanding it is bewildering. However, the job and duty of the historian, anthropologist, and archaeologist is to to make sense of it and give it meaning to the rest of the world. It is my hope that my class will create this love to understand the peoples of the past and the present, and nurture a sense of wanderlust in you.
This Class in Particular...
( The Imperfection of History)
This course is designed to focus on the ancient civilizations of Africa, Asia, and Europe. You will be exposed to the intellectual achievements of the ancient world. It is my hope that through careful study you are rewarded with insight on how the past affects the present.
You will first observe the emergence of civilization through the study of our early ancestors (hunter-gatherers). The discovery of fire and the evolution of culture will be emphasized. From these nomadic tribes you will examine how the ancient mighty empires came to be, such as: Ancient Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt. You will discover the influence of water in these regions and learn how cooperation became necessary for Mesopotamian civilization. In following Egypt, you will develop an understanding of funerary culture through mummification and the philosophy behind pyramid building. From the outskirts of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia, a Semitic group of people called the ancient Israelites existed. They contributed to the humanities by giving us an understanding of ethical law through the power of meta-narratives. After Ancient Israel, we turn to Europe, and learn about the Ancient Greeks who we still live under their shadow. We have been endowed with the gift of democracy from them. Ancient Rome, then takes Hellenic culture (Greek culture) and spreads it to the rest of the world. These civilizations define us to a large degree today.