I am 41 years old. I love education. I love history, English, mathematics, you name it if it was education, I loved it.
This year I recently learned about the Tulsa Massacre. How did I not know about this? Why was it not in my history book? I understand history can be embarrassing. Slavery is pretty embarrassing, but I still learned about it oh, now I am beginning to question everything I ever learned.
I know I learned the battles of the Civil War different from students that live in the southern states. They choose to name them after creeks, but Northerners like to name them after fort or towns. Doesn’t make them different battles. Sherman’s marching to the sea no matter what you called the battles. But at least we learned about them.
The Tulsa Massacre happened in 1921. That is 59 years before I was born. And I know more about the Civil War. My white Anglo-Saxon Protestant brain is deeply troubled by this.
What else did I get wrong? By occupation I am an English teacher. I learned all about William Shakespeare. I am classically trained. Yet, today we question who William Shakespeare was! How much of what he wrote in Henry the fourth was truly fiction? How much did Socrates and Plato actually know? When I read Plato my favorite was allegory of the cave. What if someone else wrote it and he took credit?
Yes, I know probably not. But because I just learned about the Tulsa Massacre now I question everything. And I don’t want to question everything. I have always relied on my education to get me through anything. I have never doubted it. Greenwood in Tulsa Oklahoma has ruined that for me.
As a teacher, I would never lie to my students. But how do I know the facts I am teaching them are the truth?