(Re)searching for an Intern

Hey floss community, I need your help! I'm just starting a book project on Sherlock Holmes for an awesome publisher, Quirk Books, and I'm looking for an intern/research assistant who's a bit of a Sherlock him/herself. The book itself will be really fun -- a guide to being a detective like Holmes, packed with info about what life in Victorian-era London was like. There's no pay, but you'll get my copious thanks in the book acknowledgments, and anyone interested in the publishing world could do a whole lot worse than getting connected with Quirk, who as I mentioned earlier, are awesome.

The schedule's pretty tight, so we'd ideally start working sometime next week. The gig would mainly entail doing research on interesting and obscure things related to Sherlock Holmes' work -- for instance, info on how fingerprinting worked at the turn of the century, how to analyze footprints and different kinds of tracks (animal tracks, wheel tracks, person tracks, etc) and 19th century life as relates to Holmes -- he visits opium dens in Conan Doyle's stories; what were they like in reality? Could you buy cocaine over the counter?

To apply, send me an email at sherlock.book@gmail.com with

1) a paragraph about yourself
2) a brief writing sample (a couple of pages is fine, non-fiction) and
3) a well-organized brief -- a page should do it -- on how to analyze typography. The more specific you can make it to Holmes' time period, the better.

Looking forward to reading your submissions!

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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