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Island's gonna sink - History Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net The challenge for the teacher, I think, is to make a connection between what happened then and the way we are now. The story that has to be told is why the world is the way it is, and why we are the way we are. That is always a long story and can include a whole lot of stuff if the teacher has the time and the resources to tell it, and the kids the patience to listen. A tall order, I know.

When it comes to StatNisland, it was easy for me to understand WWII since I was born into it, and my father worked in the shipyard building ships for it. I heard about the Depression and WWI because people, adults spoke about it. Beyond that, nothing. I never heard about how the Civil War affected people on S.I., or the American Revolution. Maybe because they were Tory, mostly. Sure, we'd heard about troops stationed on the Island, but they were Hessians, not Washington's, except he marched through. No connection was ever brought home to me that the Am.Rev. and S.I. had some connection to today, except, of course, everything, which made it kinda vague.

The important thing, I guess, is to point out that S.I., being located so close to ground zero, New York/Manhattan, played a role, meaning the people who lived here contributed just like people did from all over, and just because we were a more bucolic borough for a long time didn't mean the people who grew up and lived here were the lesser for it. More fortunate, perhaps, in many ways, as insularity has its protections as well as whatever disadvantages.

Islanders elsewhere have often been vigorous, aggressive, competitive people. I'm thinking of the British, Irish, Venetians, Sicilians, and whoever else.

The fact that we are overshown by the commercial and media center in Manhattan doesn't diminish us, it simply overaggrandizes them.

Wish I'da figured that one out a little earlier.

If I were tellin' Da Story, I think I would've.

Where's SI-Poet when we need her?

-rs



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