Sunday, May 18, 2014

NOT from Student Papers: The Top Three Weirdest Things I've Heard About the Middle Ages

I'm in grading jail for the next 48 hours, though close enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and even justify a yoga class or two. But I've been trying to remind myself that a blog, like a garden, needs regular tending, and not just "too busy to post!" posts -- there needs to be some content.

So, for today's pathetic gesture towards content (and perhaps even some much-needed entertainment during grading season), here is my post on The Top Three Weirdest Things I've Heard About the Middle Ages.

And here's a switch-up: none of these come from student papers. Not a one.

Number Three: I posted about this one recently: the member of our campus' media relations office who wanted to interview me, but specifically wanted to talk about (a) What caused the fall of Rome and the beginning of the Dark Ages, and (b) whether there was any connection with the Third Reich.

Number Two: The student who very enthusiastically brought up on the first day of class the idea ("I read somewhere...") that the stories about dragons came from the fact that there were places in the remotest regions of medieval Europe where pterodactyls had survived.

And the number-one weird thing: The ladies overheard in the coffee shop:

"Why did they call it the Dark Ages?"
"Oh, well it was because there was so much death and disease and warfare and violence."
"Really? I heard it was because there was this big comet that hit the earth. And the comet threw up a lot of dust and so the sun couldn't shine for a few hundred years. And so that's why it's the Dark Ages."

There. Those student papers don't seem quite so bad now, do they? Happy grading season, everyone!


Bardiac said...

I thought there was a lightbulb shortage?

And a lack of toothbrushes caused the black plaque, no?

Historiann said...

HA-ha. The K-T boundary = The Dark Ages.

Does no one understand the boundaries between prehistory and history?

Belle said...

Berks? I sent an email to your .mac address. Hoping to see you there.