Issue in historical method and pedagogy.*

So. Internets. I’m almost finished with my thesis. Well, a rough draft. Almost. Tomorrow. Probably. I just have to tie up some loose ends and throw a paragraph about Rembert Weakland in there and we’re good to go.

Except I’ve run into a few problems.

My major problem is that I’m at the final chapter where I’m talking about John Paul II and his apostolic visit to Poland in 1979. My thesis advisor? The guy who is going to be reading and grading this? Was there. Literally. In Poland, at his Mass, the whole shebang.

So how the hell do I write about that? Like I have anything to offer? I’m sure he was sitting at that Mass thinking, “Hmm. I’ll bet in eight years a girl is going to be born who can shed some light on this experience for me.”

I mean, I know that if I ever get handed a paper by some young whippersnapper who has the gall to write an analysis of something that I was a sentient adult for? I will be unable to refrain myself from scrawling “Let me tell you something about life, kid…” across the cover page.

(Warning for my future students: 9/11 is off the list of possible topics. As are any and all Presidential elections post-2000. Because I made phone calls for W in 2004. And I wore a McCain/Palin button around campus for three months. THAT’S POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT, CHILD.)

So. That’s kind of difficult.

My other problem is that I’m using a Google translation of John Paul II’s address at the synagogue in Rome.

Yes, I know that’s not exactly a perfect source. But it was only available in Italian and my grasp of Italian is…well, I know the Starbuck’s cup sizes. But I can’t exactly quote it, because while it’s a good enough translation that I can understand what it’s saying, most of the verbs are in entirely the wrong place. Which makes quoting kind of difficult.

Oh, whatever. This guy quotes Wikipedia. I think I can forgo footnotes for a few paragraphs.

*I’m not going to lie, a huge part of the reason I’m going to grad school is so that I can use the word “pedagogy” in everyday conversation.

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