Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Prince

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Would anyone like to purchase a slightly used parrot? Bargain rates. Drop me a line.

Please do not tell the staff at the Vo-Tech where I substitute that I never got a decent world history course in high school and therefore shunned the topic in college. Because starting Monday, I will be teaching world history to a student body that is 100 percent minority (actually, 99.23 or something like that).

I will be teaching these students about the French Revolution. I am not allowed to use audio visuals. This calls for some creativity, and I'm not a very creative person when push comes to shove. I hate to take in the miniature guillotine The Spare and I built to give swift dispatch to the basement cricket population (our resident aristocrats).

Just kidding about the cricket guillotine. I love my basement crickets. And they have a right to life.

Today the Vo-Tech students were prepping for their mid-term examination. This fall they learned about ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Italian Renaissance, and world religions.

Much of the information danced through their brains and made quick exit. Hey, if you thought those long-dead white dudes were dull, imagine how these students feel!

Anyway, I was encouraging them to sift through the memory banks, because one of the dead white dudes on the list was Machiavelli, and the test features an essay question about The Prince.

Call me weird, but I've read The Prince three times all the way through, and more than that chapter by chapter. There's just something so refreshingly forthright about Machiavelli's cold assessment of how to gain and consolidate power.

Turns out good ol' Machiavelli resonates pretty well in these times. When I prompted the students to tell me anything ... anything ... about The Prince, they could do it:

1. Don't trust flattery.

2. Don't make a promise unless it's to your advantage to keep it.

3. The ends justify the means.

4. Make sure people fear you but don't hate you.

I think I'll park this post under "politics as usual."

5 comments:

yellowdog granny said...

send me the bird..I love birds..plus annie won't eat her canned cat food anymore and it would be a nice change for her..
i think if anyone of our candidates knew that list of 4...they'd get elected..

laura2663 said...

Good luck with that assignment! Let me know if you find any magic way to get the kids interested. Why no audio visuals?

Take care cousin--good luck!

Angela-Eloise said...

Someone recently recommended to me that I read the book "Why Men Love Bitches." OMG - what a load of crap! I think we would find better relationship advice in "The Prince."

Buzzardbilly said...

You could always bring cake as a visual aid.

BBC said...

"2. Don't make a promise unless it's to your advantage to keep it."

Um, I don't know if it is to my advantage to keep it, but if I make one I do keep it if at all possible.