The Cotton Anniversary

Speaking of not getting divorced, my wife and I celebrated our second anniversary on Monday. I rewarded her participation in the marriage with a leather briefcase from the Tumi Women's Collection. This gift made sense. She started a new job this week, and I had recently ruined her previous bag (There was an incident with a faulty travel mug.)

While the gift was perfect, it was not appropriate. I was getting ahead of myself. The third anniversary is the leather anniversary. Though I knew my wife couldn't care less, I slipped a bag of cotton balls inside to be safe. Crisis averted.

If you like to adhere strictly to tradition, here's what you need to know:

1st Anniversary = paper
2nd Anniversary = cotton
3rd = leather
4th = linen
5th = wood
6th = iron
7th = wool
8th = bronze
9th = pottery
10th = tin
11th = steel
12th = silk
13th = lace
14th = ivory
15th = crystal
20th = china
25th = silver
30th = pearl
35th = coral/jade
40th = ruby
45th = sapphire
50th = gold
55th = emerald
60th = diamond
70th = platinum

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


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