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Justin Q. Olmstead

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About Justin Q. Olmstead

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    Experienced Member
  • Birthday 07/19/1970

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  • Location
    Winfield, Kansas USA
  • Interests
    I am a history teacher currently working on my masters degree. I have also created an on-line American History course for my school district. While I currently teach about lthe US Constitution, American History and Middle Eastern Studies, I have always been very interested in the 1860's to 1990's time period in European history. I am also a member of the National Council for History Education. I own a small cattle ranch and coach soccer. In this respect I am a huge ManU and Reading fan but follow European Football as a general rule.

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  1. Who Won the Second World War?

    While I am not trying to take away the role of the Soviet Army in defeating Hitler, or the role of the British or American soldiers in doing the same, I don't think that we can discount Hitler's meddeling in the Wehrmacht's business. believe that most military historians agree that Hitler caused every soldier from his Generals on down the line headaches because of his insane orders, to hold a certain line or to attack when regrouping was what was needed. In fact his tactics tend to parallel the French and British tactis of the First World War. Additionally, one can argue that the Nazi decision at Wansee to destroy the Jewish population of Europe cost the Germans additional manpower that could have been used at the front. Along this same line of thought, the brutality with which the military dealt with the civilian population in the east turned many who welcomed the German Army as liberators into enemies that tied up countless supplies behind the front lines. So while the Soviet army did eventually destroy 150 German divisions, we have to remember Hitlers blunders played a rather large part in the Wehrmacht's defeat.
  2. WWI - causes simulation

    Very well done! The fact that it is interactive is wonderful. This is the type of thing that "hooks" students and invites them to look at history in a new way. By actively engaging students in this excercise they will be able to understand the small details that are often over looked in grade 10-11 classes here in America. I also like the worksheets, in particular the International relations chart. I will be beginning WWI this week and look forward to seeing who well this web site works. Again, Good Job!
  3. George Bush and Global Warming

    If there is a moral imerative, as George Monbiot has suggested (and for the record, I believe there is), then individuals bear as much of a responsiblity to change global worming as much as governments. Individual's must learn to recycle, or not wast. The important piece of this, is that many people do not view this as really making a difference. Along this same line, it is important for business and governments to make it not neccessarily easy but at least a bit more convienent for people to do their part. Tax breaks for companies that are engaged in actually cutting waste or recycling will go a long way towards new or companies/businesses that are "making a difference." Now don't get me wrong, Government's have their role in the process by passing laws or adopting laws that are "green" friendly. The problem is that many people don't believe that they can make a difference. Is this due to the adds of ExxonMobile, or Philipmorris? Maybe, but here in the cultural and intillectual wastland of Kansas, the main complaints are that: 1. It is hard to find somewhere to actually recycle. 2. It is very, very inconvienient (while I personally think this is a weak argument it is still an argument I hear often) 3. Many people believe that they are being lied to about the worth of recycling and that the items that they believe they are recycling are in fact being dumped into a landfill. Another issue that must be dealt with is the subborn position of the US government and corporations. A year ago or so I read an article in Utne magazine, where US corporations were doing everything that they could to thwart the attempts of European countries to impliment environmentally favorable laws. Needless to say I was embarrased to be an American before I was finished reading. I came to the conclusion that other countries, in particular those in Europe and large trading partners elsewhere must take the stand and place sanctions on the US in an attempt to force it to take a responsible role in dealing with global warming.
  4. Life in Hitler's Germany

    Wonderful work Andy! I am just about to begin lessons on World War II and look forward to trying your lessons out. I do have two questions though. First, on the plenary, is there a way for them to print it out in order to either turn it in or keep it? Secondly, what program (s) did you use to create the plenary? My school uses moodle and I have yet to be able to create something like this. The same goes for the interactive diagram. I love both exercises and commend you for your work. I would also like to applaud your commitment to sharing your work. For the most part I have found teachers willing to share, but upon occasion some refuse to share "their" work. Thanks for helping better the education of students around the world.
  5. Churchill and Hitler

    It is interesting indeed. Here in the states, at least in the Mid-West, Churchill is portrayed as one of the great men in history, and he is. The problem arrises from the fact that we are not allowed to see his "bad side." I would say that John's initial position that these documents could change the way we see Churchill, will be dulled by the fact that many will claim that anyone who writes about this aspect of Churchill is a revisionist. Much in the same way Howard Zinn is seen in this country. People won't, or don't want to find fault in someone they have been taught is infallable. Interestingly, Franklin Roosevelt is seen in much that same way in the U.S. Most are taught that the man could do no wrong, and was loved by all, when in fact many people blame him for making them go hungry, during the depression due to his farming policies. While doing oral histories with members of my family that were alive during the depression, most of them adore FDR and credit him for saving them and America. But a few, blame him for their remaining literally hungry during the depression. Oddly enough Teddy Roosevelt is almost always shown in this "perfect light" as well, despite the fact that he was a proponent of eugenics. I would love to see more books, articles, etc. written discussing the "alternative" views about some of these great men.
  6. European Phd vs. U.S. Phd

    Indeed, from the little information I have, the course work at Crichton campus within the University of Glasgow (yes, Terry you were correct) would be 100% research, while the U.S. coursework is approximately 50/50 course to research. Is one better than the other? My understanding is that in the U.S. the programs are designed to be broad early and narrow your focus as you progress, while in Europe you begin with your primary focus and then broaden your view after you have compleated your PhD. I have asked this question of a former professor of mine here in Kansas and her response was that she would be hesitant to hire someone with a PhD from Europe because her fear is that they would want to do nothing but research and no teaching. Personally, I think this is a false view, but this is something that I would have to deal with. I have also been told that the supervisor makes a real difference, but I am a little limited (I think) to my research into the different programs because of my distance from Crichton campus. I have to admit that if I can get the funding, I am leaning towards Crichton campus. Secondary question: How does one choose their dissertation? I have a great interest in history in general, but my focus goes from anything dealing with the age of empire to WWI and WWII, the Cold War, etc. My masters thesis is dealing with Eisenhowers decision to allow the U-2 flight that was shot down over the USSR, but I have such an intense interest in these other areas that I am finding it hard to try and narrow it down. Additionally, I wonder if the topic of my dissertation will have an impact on my ability to get hired. Do you have any info about Crichton Campus within the University of Glasgow?
  7. European Phd vs. U.S. Phd

    This may or may not be the place for this but I wanted to get more opinions before I proceed. I will be finishing my MA in American History this coming May and I intend on pursuing my PhD hopefully the following Fall. I have been in contact with a couple of local Universities (Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University) but I have also been afforded the opportunity to study at Crichton University in Scotland. My masters advisor and another of my professors say that it would be a mistake to get my PhD from a European University, for a variety of reasons. Another professor, who received his PhD from Sheffield, argues that while the process of gaining the PhD is different, there is essentially little difference when it comes time to look for a job. I would like your input in this matter if possible. What is your opinion? Does it matter where one receives his/her PhD as long as he/she has earned it? The more info. I get the better decision I hope to make so please don't hold back. Additionally, I think this could turn into a great discussion about educational programs on both sides of the Atlantic.