All Posts By

Rebecca Koerselman

Essay

Teaching…Activism (?)

Historian and international relations theorist E.H. Carr famously defined history this way: “My first answer, therefore, to the question, What is History?, is that it is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his (or her) facts, an…
Northwestern College
Essay

The Unexpected

One of my favorite sounds in the world is the deep laughter of children. A few nights ago, while reading a bedtime story, my two-year-old was clutching her stuffed narwhal, and the tusk somehow managed poke into my nose. My…
Northwestern College
Essay

What are they thinking?

I regularly meet with prospective college students and always end up asking the same question. “Out of curiosity, how do you decide where to attend college? How do you make your decision?” I have since learned that I do not…
Northwestern College
Essay

Hospitable Discourse

In twentieth century America, hospitality began to regain some cultural footing. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement in the 1930s and offered soup kitchens, communitarian farms, and voluntary poverty as a way of expressing Christian hospitality.…
Northwestern College
Essay

Should Historians be more Hospitable?

In the past few decades, professional historians have been in decline in the United States. Historians, professional organizations, and even non-historians have spent a great deal of time wringing their hands and kvetching about this decline.  Historian Gordon Wood identified…
Northwestern College
Essay

The Valley of Vision

The curmudgeonly journalist H.L. Mencken pronounced Puritanism as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. In popular culture, the Puritans are generally considered devout and devoid of fun. Yet the Puritans were complicated and complex people, much like…
Northwestern College
Essay

Questions are the Answer

After World War II, colleges were full of GIs securing the benefits of the 1944 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (the “GI Bill”). Benjamin Samuel Bloom, a professor of education at the University of Chicago, worked with colleagues to organize the multiplicity…
Northwestern College
Essay

Google Cannot Teach Discernment

Between 2015 and 2016, Sam Wineburg and his team tested students in twelve states and studied 7,804 responses. The team specifically analyzed online civic reasoning, the students’ ability to judge information that streams across smartphones, tablets, and computers. Sam WineburgMargaret…
Northwestern College
Essay

A Memorial Reflection

The absence of space startled me. The longer I stood there, the more I was struck by the weightiness of that lack of space. Next, I became emotional, which surprised me. I have been listening to the discussions and debates…
Northwestern College