Search Results for Heritage Project Website

Title Excerpt Author Date
Corvallis Community Heritage Project Phil Leonardi Phil Leonardi 04/19/06
Phil Leonardi The Devil In The Details The use of primary accounts through personal letters and journals is much like fishing an unfamiliar creek for the first time.  First, without exploration and effort, one can never tell if there are any fish in the water.  Secondly, that next step you take in shallow water might actually be the one into a deep pool that is well over your head.  You should have left your wallet in the car if you didn’t want it to get wet!  Students, like novice anglers, should start in the slower waters, something simple so that nuance and detail are easily recognized. I’m utilitarian.  A rock makes a fine hammer in almost any case but a hammer rarely makes a good rock.  Imagine trying to “skip” a hammer on the river while fishing.  Context and specific detail are most important in my teaching.  Below is a birthday card for “Robert” dated September 2, 1956.  Look for some of the detail.  What areas need clarification? Sep 2 – 1956 Happy Birthday Robert We been thinking of you all day today knowing it is your Birthday.  We are taking a siteseeing tour of Belgium and Holland it cost us 48 dolar each for the 4 day by buss with a guide explaining everything and the Hotel room and meal included.  They bought us to the vary last Hotel.  We left yesterday morning from Paris.  We treveled 7 hours throw Belgium stoping three different time.  We are now in Ansterdam Holland, we seen most of this city today it is vary nice.  Holland and Belgium are the most modern and cleen country we seen.  The people hear dress liche in the U.S. more than any other.  All the women wear hats.  We also seen a tour where people dress like the old Holland stile but very nice and clean.  We are enjoing this trip.  Tomorrow we will be treveling to a different city agin returning to Paris Tuesday night about 8.  Hoping everybody is fine at Home. Love and best wishes, Mom & Dad These are the facts: -Modernity seems to be a guide to quality -Fashion, especially women’s hats, is important in 1956 -The cost of travel seems to be inexpensive -If it’s “clean” then it can be “nice” These are the areas that need more detail through exploration: -How old is “Robert”? -Are “Mom & Dad” frequent travelers? -What is the condition of transportation systems in post-WWII Europe? -What efforts were undertaken to “modernize” Europe in the post-WWII? -What is the value of $48.00 in 1956? -How would a trip today compare with the itinerary described in the card? Style, voice, topic, theme, diction are important but basic statements of fact are the launching pad for additional inquiry in the social studies classroom.  This card doesn’t provide a great many details but opens the door to discussion and research.  A sequential diary is a gold mine of material but a much easier source is a postcard.  Postcards usually contain very brief but detailed descriptions along with a supporting image.  Additionally, depending upon the source, postcards are sequential in that they document different stages of the same journey.  The romanticism associated with writing is better left to the teachers of English. The devil in these details?  Robert is my father and it’s his 27th birthday.  Mom & Pop are my grandparents, born in Italy, who are making their first trip to Europe in 40 years.  They were “tidy” people but not obsessive/compulsive by any means.  These facts are important to me but not a requirement needed by the student to initiate research.  I am never too worried that the student will get in over their head – most kids know how to swim. Phil Leonardi 03/11/05
Corvallis Community Heritage Project Phil Leonardi Phil Leonardi 02/28/05
Corvallis Teacher Reveals All I was raised the son of peasant farming parents in the Bitterroot.  They wished something better so I aspired to become a poor peasant teacher in the Bitterroot.  They sold the farm for a fortune and I’m still a peasant teacher.  Ironic?  We do have two things in common that have shaped me:  One, they drilled into me a sense of place; Two, they are still my parents and often order me around.  When I turn 40 in the near future I’m not going to let them get away with it any longer. I grew up in the same farmhouse in Hamilton, MT that my father did – even slept in the same bedroom he did as a kid.  We had a television, radio, running water, electricity, a record player that was later replaced with an 8 Track Tape player, and milk that came from a cow and not a grocery case.  What we didn’t have was a computer, internet, Xbox, VCR, DVD, IPod, or digital cable.  I have all those things now.  They replaced open space, shooting a .22 rifle, driving a tractor, bucking bales, feeding cows, and changing sprinkler pipes.  I’m not too nostalgic but I always seem to pause at re-runs of Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk when I’m surfing channels and can’t seem to figure out why?  My son wonders the same thing. My ticket “upâ€? had to be through education.  I attended the University of Montana, realized the most powerful influences in my life were teachers, studied madly to become one and was rewarded with a job as a wilderness ranger for the United States Forest Service.  Not exactly the classroom I was looking for.  Granted, I learned many interesting skills, one of which was blowing things up with dynamite, but hardly a good exercise of my teaching degree.  This was followed by nearly three years where I sold log homes on the retail market.  Then in one screeching moment, I was teaching in a classroom at Corvallis High School.  It is a long story of how this came to pass but I often reflect upon what de Gaulle once said along the lines of graveyards being full of indispensable people. That was 13 years ago.  Some of my happiest and most sad moments have occurred within those brick walls.  To describe that feeling can be summed up by saying that I have been “involvedâ€? with my school and community.  There has never been a day that it did not give me back just as much as I gave it.  To be honest it is a job I would do for free – if I won the lottery tomorrow.  After all, I do have a lifestyle to which I have grown accustomed.  I like what I do but I always remember that students and their parents are consumers.  They want the best for the least amount.  I want the best no matter the cost.  The middle ground is where we meet on a daily basis never forgetting that I sat in one of those desks for a long time to get to where I am at today. Phil Leonardi 02/07/05