Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Obligatory Initial Post

So it's become somewhat obligatory (and, I'm sure, cliche) to have a "first post" post, so here's mine. Let me provide a little background about what this blog covers and, probably more interesting to you, the potential reader, why I am remotely qualified to be doing this.
Several years ago I was a graduate student at the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder in the Early Modern British History program. I was studying the Wars of the Roses, the noble civil war in the 14th century. I had always fostered a strong attraction, however, to the Norman period in English period (William the Conqueror, Richard the Lionhearted, John, et al) and, associated with that, the Crusades. CU didn't offer a medieval program, just early modern to modern, so I figured I'd get my master's at CU and then transfer somewhere else to get my Ph.D. in medieval history. The preparatory classes to take a medieval program, even in English or British history, were pretty significant - at least 3 semesters of classical (Roman) Latin plus French (at least enough to be able to read modern French) and then additional extracurricular work to learn ecclesiastical Latin (the version used by the Church in the middle ages) and Norman French (which is different than medieval French). Unfortunately, I had to drop out to do the whole "work" thing (which is where my other blog about Otto Von Productions comes in) to pay bills and such. The trouble was that I had relatively marketable skills in software engineering that made it difficult to let go of the corporate teat called a salary. I decided instead to focus on becoming independently wealthy. Or, failing to win Powerball, to generate enough residual income from a self-employment standpoint that I could return to school and get my degree.
Well, far too many years have passed to make my return to school an easy one. My grades, while good, have aged likely too far to be useful, and my GRE scores are nearly a decade past expiration. The skills I learned in grad school, though, are still fresh and I continue to read the journals, books, and other accoutrement of medieval studies. My Latin's pretty rusty these days, but I'm hoping that with some extra effort over the coming months that I'll be able to bring that back up to snuff (although I was only ever a B+ student in Latin, so be forewarned). The things that have never left me are my desire to learn and desire to teach. And to correct fallacies. I cannot tell you how many things I've read or heard about the Templars or the Freemasons or some "esoteric agenda" dating back to King Solomon or whatnot - and they're almost (all) bunk.
I hope that you'll find the journey a lot educational, a fair bit iconoclastic, and a little humorous. Okay, a lot humorous. But I hope you'll come along and enjoy the ride through the middle ages and even some modern day stuff.

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