Princeton Visit ’09


Left: Friend and former student Alejandro Penafiel

I have spent the past four days here in Princeton working with a group of great friends and excellent colleagues; I like to think that I am pretty smart, but when I am around this group I realize I have much to read. I find this most exciting. I am always rethinking what to add to my library. While in Princeton, my good friend and former student Alejandro Penafiel drove up from American University in DC to go out in to the town and catch up. Alejandro, as I discovered, fit in very well with my colleagues on the committee. Though not surprised, I was impressed with his ability and willingness to engage in our many academic and non academic conversations, which ranged from why 18 should be the drinking age to John Defelice’s research and forthcoming book addressing the church and slavery. Alejandro took me for four courses during his upper school days: AP Macroeconomics, AP Government, AP US History, and AP European  History. He is one of the most academic and intellectual students I have taught, earning top scores  (4 and 5) on every exam.


While at dinner last night with Alejandro and the rest of the committee, I jokingly stated to Jeff Hamilton, who is the chairperson at Baylor University, that I would only accept a teaching post in this area if they paid me at least $150,000 per year; Jeff, who grew up and went to high school in Princeton, told me that would not be enough; I would need at least $250,000. It is safe to say that I will never live here. I love this area.

 Development Committee Members

3 thoughts on “Princeton Visit ’09

  1. hi history lovers of all kinds…. i have a random question that has been rattling around in my brain. i’d like your thoughts. if you had to boil american history down to it’s most basic, important 24 facts to teach at the elementary grade level ( and spend one week studying/elaborating on each fact) what would they be? what are the 24 most basic, fundamentally important to understand items that make us proud of, ashamed of, knowledgeable about our country and makes us distinctly set apart as a unique entity in this world. what do all children coming out of elementary school need to know about america?

    background note, i do believe that world history is vital to our understanding of our place in this world. however, while i do spend 2 years studying world history sequentially, i ask this specific question because i also spend one year studying american history in depth. every year around this time i asses my curricula to make sure i offer my students the best i can. so… any thoughts?

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Princeton is a great city. Good luck finding a teaching position that pays $250,000/year…

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