Archive for October, 2014

Five things to know about human trafficking

As your typical composition teacher, I have the proverbial stack of papers about human trafficking that I need to grade before tomorrow’s classes. Thirty-five for tomorrow and 15 more for Thursday are due BACK to the students with my corrections.  I am distracting myself with updating my WordPress account with this new posting.  I have been remiss in writing because I have been so busy staying ahead of my students.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, we only have about five weeks left before they will be giving their ppt presentations to go with their research papers.  Thankfully I am having them write a persuasive research paper on something they choose to write on, with my approval, of course.

The following is something I found in an old folder and relates to the tough things I need to be reading from my students’ papers.  It IS a reality that is so far removed from our university setting…yet we are part of the problem when we remain unaware of other people’s suffering.  One thing I had shown a part of was a clip off of YouTube titled “Dark Side of Chocolate.”  Unfortunately, I did not share what a reporter from CNN, Amanda Kloer had written about “5 things to know about human trafficking:”

Editor’s Note: Amanda Kloer is an editor with, where she organizes and promotes campaigns to end human trafficking. She has created numerous reports, documentaries and training materials on human trafficking in the United States and around the world.

Human trafficking might not be something we think about on a daily basis, but this crime affects the communities where we live, the products which we buy and the people who we care about. Want to learn more? Here are the five most important things to know about human trafficking:

  1. Human trafficking is slavery.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It involves one person controlling another and exploiting him or her for work. Like historical slavery, human trafficking is a business that generates billions of dollars a year. But unlike historical slavery, human trafficking is not legal anywhere in the world. Instead of being held by law, victims are trapped physically, psychologically, financially or emotionally by their traffickers.

  1. It’s happening where you live.

Stories about human trafficking are often set in far-away places, like cities in Cambodia, small towns in Moldova, or rural parts of Brazil. But human trafficking happens in cities and towns all over the world, including in the United States. Enslaved farmworkers have been found harvesting tomatoes in Florida and picking strawberries in California. Young girls have been forced into prostitution in Toledo, Atlanta, Wichita, Los Angeles, and other cities and towns across America. Women have been enslaved as domestic workers in homes in Maryland and New York. And human trafficking victims have been found working in restaurants, hotels, nail salons, and shops in small towns and booming cities. Wherever you live, chances are some form of human trafficking has taken place there.

  1. It’s happening to people just like you.

Human trafficking doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender, or religion. Anyone can be a victim. Most of the human trafficking victims in the world are female and under 18, but men and older adults can be trafficking victims too. While poverty, lack of education, and belonging to a marginalized group are all factors that increase risk of trafficking, victims of modern-day slavery have included children from middle-class families, women with college degrees, and people from dominant religious or ethnic groups.

  1. Products you eat, wear, and use every day may have been made by human trafficking victims.

Human trafficking isn’t just in your town – it’s in your home, since human trafficking victims are forced to make many of the products we use everyday, according to If your kitchen is stocked with rice, chocolate, fresh produce, fish, or coffee, those edibles might have been harvested by trafficking victims. If you’re wearing gold jewelry, athletic shoes, or cotton underwear, you might be wearing something made by slaves. And if your home contains a rug, a soccer ball, fresh flowers, a cell phone, or Christmas decorations, then slavery is quite possibly in your house. Human trafficking in the production of consumer goods is so widespread, most people in America have worn, touched, or consumed a product of slavery at some point.

  1. We can stop human trafficking in our lifetime.

The good news is not only that we can end human trafficking around the world, we can end it within a generation. But to achieve that goal, everyone needs to work together. Already, activists around the world are launching and winning campaigns to hold governments and companies accountable for human trafficking, create better laws, and prevent trafficking in their communities. You can start a campaign on to fight trafficking in your community. You can also fight trafficking by buying from companies that have transparent and slave-free supply chains, volunteering for or donating to organizations fighting trafficking, and talking to your friends and family about the issue. Together, we can fight human trafficking … and win.

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Museums and Teachers Need to Unite

The following is the title of a presentation I took notes on about a month ago: “Collections in the Classroom: Museums and Teachers unite”
Currently as an instructor with 85 university students in Composition, I have not had much time to devote to our museum these days. I am glad I went to the AALSH conference when I did, before the heavy duty papers were coming at me to grade. It is good to be in the middle of October yet with our temps, it still feels like September, Indian Summer. Soon it will be snowing here and we will forget about all the wonderful tree colors that are ablaze and green grass that will be covered in white.

Anyway, I am glad I have a job and I am glad I can volunteer at the museum, just the two are not getting equal time…kind of like this blog. Too busy to write. Soon I will have a break, I’m happy that my husband bought tickets for us to see the grandkids in December when we will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Difficult to believe, but true. The following are my notes from what I took at one of the AALSH sessions:

Pick primary sources that are available for teachers – they had it wired so that people could ask questions simultaneously to their giving their presentation. They had people choose what picture the teachers would like over what the museum people from MNHS chose. The museum chose people with the billboards while the teachers chose the crowd shot that had more going on and not as obvious. Differences exist in what museum people look at and what teachers know kids will like. The eye opener was to find out that the museum people picked the wrong photo

Standards – state and national – there is no social studies common core. There is C3 = Career, College and Civic Life
Historical thinking skill
Inquiry based learning
Stanford History education group (SHEG)
Library of Congress teaching
National archives – Tent Summer Institute
Teachers prefer smaller created displays and not large databases (takes too much time to pore over)

Students want something that is relevant and to answer the question “Why does it matter?”
“Primary Source Speak” – become fluent in primary source lingo
Students need to feel engaged and connected.
The MNHS had a hard tack, a cracker that was 120 years old but you have to give context for the students to appreciate that.
There is a Primary Source disconnect – teachers and students are a unique audience
Teachers are typically not experienced researchers
Eisenhower wrote an eloquent letter to the troops before D-Day (a museum person would appreciate this) However, a letter WITH a photo of Eisenhower talking to the troops is much more appreciated by the students. Connect letter with photo.

Collections Speak – create resources with teacher collaboration – organize by theme and topic. “If you Walked in My Shoes” from Smithsonian, each pair of shoes tells a different story. Everyone wears shoes, they can relate to this exhibit
Host focus groups – LOC (Library of Congress) primary sources, apply for the $5,000 to $15,000 grants…hold institutes

Primary Source camps – teaching students to be histories – posing and answering questions about…

What teachers want – need to use a selection criteria – encourage critical thinking and inquiry, provide historical evidence. Multiple perspectives, relevant to students, invokes emotions (The preference for K-Grade 4 = everyday objects but for Grades 5-12 students = event based)

Give historical context – using high quality photography is very important but written at a 6th grade level, use links to additional info

Website for National History Day – tons of resources. MNHS History Day – designed with Smithsonian such as the 100 year anniversary of WWI
Talk about the Distinguished Service Cross medal for example, list the soldiers, personalize this by getting to learn about ONE soldier from that long list. Digging into battle fields, some 6th graders wrote an editorial about this and it got published.
Need a personal book, use another HOOK – turning the classroom into the collection, make the students mini-curators of their own artifact. For example some student might bring a piggy bank to the classroom the first week of school. They have to dig and find the background of what piggy banks were used originally for. How do you record – tell a story of the artifact, some get very personal, but it is relevant to the students – info graphics
Virgil FOL Tangborn Itunes course
Am. Assoc. for State – Outline 1) purpose 2) resources 3) results
Social Media – Twitter, digital artifacts
Author Gary Paulson “Charlie Doddard – Civil War
Ipads, ibooks, homework completion rates went up
Copyright Addendum
Educational clause (Sec. 11011) doesn’t provide for unlimited classroom use
1 created before 1923 – it is okay to use
2 created by federal government
3 if lives in public domain

Primary source accessibility – consider maintenance
“Tumbler” museum
Housing covenant for Ramsey County – restrictive
1947 post WWII, there was a contract that was against blacks, Mongolians to move into that area of the Twin Cities
Civil Right movement, it did happen here, segregation
Inside-out – happened in our locality – Andrew Volstead was from MN but hated by many for the stand he took against
Outside in – restrictive out, Jim Crowe lynching
Personalizing – not just a range of dates, statistics
1 LOC – primary source sets – created a teachers guide
2 Montgomery County in Maryland – created a website
3 Smithsonian project

Traveling trunks are very popular
Send stuff Ohio history Connection – rent boxes
Collection of replicas and artifacts
Olmstead County (Rochester) – kids are tactile
British Museum – teaching history 100 organizations, from 5,000 B.C. to present, connected to all the teaching standards
Fire Museum of Maryland – example of Jesse James duster in Northfield, bring in other facts about the banks, robberies
Newseum: Digital Classrooms
Freeborn County Historical Society: Discover History in Albert Lea, this is a HUGE community event

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So, I want to publish a book on Kazakhstan

I attended a national history conference in St. Paul, Minnesota two weeks ago. These notes are from the seventh out of ten sessions that I attended in three days. I went to this session because I want to publish much of my notes and anecdotes that I picked up from my Kazakh students the three years I taught there. I have the title of my book already, I just have to have time to organize and pare the material down. The following are my notes, obviously I could see it would not work for my international audience. I also know I would need to do an e-book because I have such a niche market.

“So you want to Publish a History Book?”
First identify your reading audience, once you have that answer, that will determine your media. Potential audience ranges widely. Micro-histories, duplicated, print on demand, broad readership, old proverb “Graduate students start out knowing a lot but end up knowing less and less. By the time they get their degree, they know nothing.”
Non specialist audience
Cross-over – converge on specialist, context, provide background
Get balance right, succeed
AALSH committee Writing Local History today
Thomas Phelp wrote before 1976 “Researching, writing, and publishing local history” reprinted 4 times
Thomas Phelp wrote: “Analyze your audience, there are five major types: 1) dedicated and knowledgeable of subject; 2) adults in real interest in subject; 3) adults who are affluent, causual interest in history, coffee table book 4 juvenile readers aimed at schools and library sales; 5) adults living outside of your area, the sophisticated author

Good news these days, it is easier to get published; bad news is that the specialist monograph only sells about 200-300 copies on average.

Midlists title – appeal to non specialists, ex military, history, Civil war
Fixed costs and variable costs – the first being about research, design, etc.
You may save on paper and binder if you go with e-books. Savings in electronic, short essay “Why Books Cost” Convert to files for e-readers, desktop composition
Important to distinguish audience vs. paying customers
Research tools on web, customer base vs. audience to justify expense of book 7% of book titles sell more than 1,000 copies.
We live in an age of do-it-yourself, actually selling a book is hard. You want a full service publisher, an intl. publisher, someone who can effectively promote your book

Syracuse Univ. Press has served as an incubator
10 important questions 1) what are the design strategies, how are you involved?
2) 70% of e-books bringing books to where the readers are, order e-books
3) where publisher sells books
4) individual bookstore, publisher websites, find out the places books are sold
Figure out who buys the book
Editorial vision – narrow focused to do well
5) ask publisher what subject they front list and back list 400 titles, look at their catalogs
Editors in Chief – hands on editors
They spend a LOT on covers
6) what is the most important thing to publish this book (honor a community?)
Community building, digital shorts, library aggregators, Project Muse or J-Stor
Repurposed for sale, chapters
Wendy freshman, living History
7) are there ways my book be a part of public, publishing IS community
8) what partnership they have developed, events, promotions, newspaper, radio, pod-casts
Finally, Books + MNopedia + MN history journal (5,000 word article)
9) keep content alive and audiences active, get help from Debbie Miller,

Kent Calder talked with Univ. press, it is different than Historical society presses
This is an extention of the parent institution, scholarly, intellectual, and creative
Titles related to a regional community of interest

Monograph – 700-1000, you would be lucky to sell 200-300 copies
Offer broader presentations for general public, “peer review” the University can find a bigger audience
They like well crafted proposals, how to send out a proposal

Successful proposals – In house editorial committee, expert readers in 4 weeks and then Faculty Advisory board, multidisciplinary, you can suggest readers in proposal

P&L Project 750 copies at $29.95 hard cover, 68% (must be higher than 50%)

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