Teaching Christians world history at Kennesaw State 1998
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"30 years, 30 schools: an adjunct's journey"
In 1997 I taught world history, part-time, at Kennesaw State, while I was living in an apartment on MLK Dr in Atlanta. At the time, Kennesaw's students were 95% white and largely Fundamentalist Christians, so my commute crossed the border between two social worlds. As the janitor-handyman for the apartment complex, I caught intimate glimpses of my neighbors' lives, and they turned out to be more accepting of me, a middle aged grey haired white male, than my students. To be blunt, I felt safer on MLK Drive than at Kennesaw. I'd like to share what I learned about teaching "Big History" to students whose world view revolves around the literal interpretation of Scripture. The right's mocking of leftist "pc snowflakes" on campus today is ironic in the face of what I confronted when I presented human and cosmological evolution to that student body. Moreover, the contrast between the intolerance of the Kennesaw students and the more nuanced but equally fervent beliefs I encountered on MLK Drive suggests that race (and class, and perhaps age) played a larger role in the flexibility of our thinking than the Christian religion per se
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