Course Description


Be Your Own Historian will be a monthly on-line seminar involving both:

  • live classes, Sundays, at 1:30 p.m. Central time  (That’s 2:30 pm Eastern / 11:30 am Pacific)
  • screencast recordings available on demand on a private Youtube channel

Live classes will be taught via the Internet using a program called “Webex,” which allows the teacher and students to share their screens, and even, when called for, to share a video feed.   In my experience, the Internet isn’t quite fast enough yet for full video conferencing, so my usual approach is to present just my screen, with handouts, whiteboards, and demonstration materials shown on-screen.  In this course, for instance, there will be a lot of demoing of how to use sites like Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook to find what you need when being your own historian.


Start date and Run Time

  • Be Your Own Historian starts Sunday, March 20.
  • Live classes will typically be given on the third Sunday of every month.
  • Classes will run between 1 hour and 1.5 hours (including Q&A).
  • There will the 10 (ten) classes in all.

Does that sound like a lot / too much? One of the premises behind the course is that you are going to learn enjoy incorporating history into the way you think. Conventional history gives you information and sends you on your way. And, of course, you just jettison the data, because it’s just about the past. This course is about learning to see that history can (and should) be a vital part of your life. This course will be “habit forming.” 🙂


Participation Levels

There are three basic levels of participation — and a student discount.

  • Tier 1 ($20/month): Access to live lectures as an auditor and to all recordings means you get to listen in live, and even ask questions or make comments about discussions driven by the live participants (Tier 2).  You also get to submit your projects for discussion via the class Yahoo! group.
    • The student discount on this tier is 25% OFF.  This means students (college, or even high school) attend for only $15/month.
  • Tier 2 ($50/month): Live participant access means you get all the Tier 1 benefits, but what is more: you have a say in the content of the course!  We will discuss your projects in class, and you will get my personal feedback live.
  • Tier 3 ($100/month): Sponsorship level participants get all the benefits of lower-tier participants, plus: a monthly tutoring session on your personal projects with me!


Course Content

  • Most of the content in this course will come FROM YOU!
  • It’s the method that you can you to personally master history that I’ll be teaching.  This includes:
    • “Rapid Knowledge Acquisition” (RKA)
    • Present-centrism: how to connect past and present
    • Anchor facts: how to identify the most important information
    • Periodization: how to integrate history’s fundamental progressions