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Paul Swendson (Freeway Flyer)

Joined 7 years ago

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My name is Paul Swendson, and I have been teaching history for more than 20 years, with the last sixteen (or so) spent at the community college level. Here is a little hub explaining the origin of my user name:

http://hubpages.com/hub/What-is-a-Freeway-Flyer

My subject area as a professor is history, but my hubs, like my classes, cover a wide range of topics: education, politics, history, culture, religion, sports, and life in general. They always involve some personal commentary, and I do my best to make the information relevant to the average person today.

I recently published the second edition of a book that is a collection of many of the history essays that I originally published here. Here is a hub that provides more information, including links to where it can be purchased:

http://freewayflyer.hubpages.com/hub/I-Published-My-First-Book

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  • Types of Bad Teachers
    14

    Types of Bad Teachers

    5 years ago

    My last hub was an attempt to understand and explain why some community college students fail. I placed these unsuccessful people into various general categories, with each representing the typical categories of failing...

  • Why do Some Community College Students Fail?
    27

    Why do Some Community College Students Fail?

    2 years ago

    In a world of glass half empty and glass half full people, I have a tendency to lean toward the former. On average, the majority of people who take my classes each year manage to get at least a passing grade. In...

  • American Ignorance of Global Geography: A History
    5

    American Ignorance of Global Geography: A History

    2 years ago

    For years, I have heard (and seen at times for myself) that Americans are terrible in geography. I decided to do a little quick research, and sure enough, when I googled “Americans Geography Knowledge,” several...

  • What is a Freeway Flyer?
    8

    What is a Freeway Flyer?

    7 years ago

    So what is a “freeway flyer”? I remember hearing this term for the first time about ten years ago when I first became a “part-timer,” “adjunct faculty member,” or whatever other term you might prefer. It...

  • The Mortal vs. The Divine
    2

    The Mortal vs. The Divine

    6 years ago

    Our latest summer vacation had two distinct parts. Part one was a weekend in Las Vegas staying at “Mandalay Bay.” This hotel, like all of the big hotels/ casinos/ theaters/ shopping malls on The Strip – and the...

  • Laker Fans & Global Competitiion
    2

    Laker Fans & Global Competitiion

    7 years ago

    The new basketball season is around the corner, and as usual, only a few teams have any realistic chance of raising a championship banner in 2011. Barring any major injuries, the Lakers should have their easiest trip to...

  • Comparing Vietnam to Iraq & Afghanistan
    11

    Comparing Vietnam to Iraq & Afghanistan

    5 years ago

    When it became clear that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were going to drag on for a while, the inevitable comparisons to Vietnam began. In some basic ways, however, the current wars bear little resemblance to...

  • Is Education a Right?
    17

    Is Education a Right?

    3 years ago

    Throughout our history, Americans have struggled with the question of what constitutes a human right What do people deserve by virtue of being human, and what are merely privileges reserved to those who have earned (or...

  • Church / State Issues & Public Education
    7

    Church / State Issues & Public Education

    5 years ago

    Every year, controversial issues come up that raise questions about the meaning of  “separation of church and state.” Often, these seem to deal with religious language, objects, and symbols. For some, monuments of...

  • Does School Work? (Or is it a Flawed Concept?)
    6

    Does School Work? (Or is it a Flawed Concept?)

    5 years ago

    To modern Americans, going to school is both an inevitable and perfectly natural stage in the human experience. It’s as natural for a child as learning to walk, becoming potty trained, or discovering the joys...

  • The Oregon Trail: Could We Survive It?
    19

    The Oregon Trail: Could We Survive It?

    2 years ago

    In my early American History courses, I have students watch a brief documentary about the “Oregon Trail” and list all of the difficulties that one might face on this perilous journey. Topics such as this always...

  • The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Meaning of Holidays
    4

    The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Meaning of Holidays

    4 years ago

    Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, the central event in Christian theology. What I have always found fascinating, however, is the fact that the...

  • Don't Confuse Punishment With Justice
    9

    Don't Confuse Punishment With Justice

    7 years ago

    I am not a big fan of the name, “Justice Department.” The implication of this title is that our legal system – cops, courts, and jails – is in the business of carrying out justice. A better title, in my view,...

  • How I Became a Unitarian Universalist
    13

    How I Became a Unitarian Universalist

    7 years ago

    I was raised in the Catholic Church, and like many people who are brought up in a particular religious tradition, I more or less accepted without much questioning the basic tenets of my faith. The only problem was that...

  • Gay Marriage: Why It's Fine With Me
    17

    Gay Marriage: Why It's Fine With Me

    6 years ago

    In recent years, gay marriage has been one of the most contentious and emotionally charged issues in the United States. Just yesterday, a federal court struck down Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage. The...

  • 6

    "Those Who Can't Do, Teach"??

    5 years ago

    “Those who can’t do, teach.” Statements like this have annoyed teachers (like me) for generations. It is based on some flawed but understandable assumptions. For many people, teaching is not a distinct activity...

  • Was the Civil War Worth the Cost?
    3

    Was the Civil War Worth the Cost?

    2 years ago

    620,000 Americans died in the United States’ only Civil War, and another 400,000 were wounded. These numbers in themselves are difficult for Americans to wrap their minds around. But when you consider the fact that...

  • Why is everything in Life Temporary?
    11

    Why is everything in Life Temporary?

    19 months ago

    A while ago, I went to my parents' home to do a little house sitting while they were gone on vacation. They live in the same house today where I grew up, not ten minutes from where I live now. (I have come far!) On some...

  • The Future of Energy
    4

    The Future of Energy

    7 years ago

    I do not envy President Obama or anyone else who has ever held or will someday hold his job. As presidents go, he has been particularly unlucky, inheriting one hell of a mess. He has been in continual crisis mode from...

  • Impact of Legalizing Marijuana in California
    1

    Impact of Legalizing Marijuana in California

    7 years ago

    A few months ago, I heard a story on one of my favorite NPR shows: “Marketplace.” (See bottom of post for link.) It talked about the potential impact of a proposed ballot measure that may soon make marijuana fully...

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