Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Hero

Heroes are hard to come by.  And when you find one, invariably they let us down.  The fault lies in Human Nature.  We are irrational and emotional.  We keep secrets far from our public personas, and the information age increasingly brings them to light.  Heroes fall to earth and become as human as the rest of us.

Until now.  I've found my hero, and it's this man here:

Meet John Green.  I met him through his online Youtube series Crash Course World History, a channel of quick, funny and totally fresh takes on the story of man.  I loved it, devouring the episodes like a new series on Netflix.  This man has a unique ability to take very complex things and make them understandable.  Though my class couldn't handle too much of the fast paced videos, they enriched my understanding of world history, and made me a better teacher.

As I'm coming to learn, that's just a drop in the bucket of what this guy does.  There's a great primer here, that I won't retype.  He doesn't just make history fun, he's on a bigger mission to fight "world suck."  He does this largely by making videos that take confusing, contentious and often politicized issues and explaining them in a remarkably clear, and remarkably fact based way.  And that gives you hope, once you can grasp the issues and problems in your mind, you know you can find a solution.  This video on why health care in America costs so much opened my eyes, pissed me off, and cheered me up all at the same time.

John Green is who I want to be.  He is why I became a teacher.  Funny and engaging, he inspires me.  To learn.  To understand the world.  And to make the world a better place.  That's essentially what I've been hoping to impart to my students these last seven years.  Who knows if I've made an impact, but I've tried and will keep trying.  And now it's a little bit easier since I've got someone showing me the way.

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