Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy ColumbusWegieIcelandicmess day

So I'm preparing next week's lessons & there are a million & one ideas on what to do for 'Columbus Day' but in my infinite research I've found that not only has Pluto been eliminated from our lineup of planets but Good Ol' Chris didn't discover America!!

I've been led to believe that a Wegie named Leiv, who's family has a sorted past, actually stumbled across our great nation. Well & maybe Canada too but we're not quite sure on the specifics. Here's the information to the best of my interpretation:

This guy named Erik Thorson (yup, just like my neighbor... the THOR) got exiled from Norway due to a misfortunate confrontation with an unfriendly neighbor - they didn't imprison you for murder then in 978 - they just said 'don't let the door hit ya in the pelt on the way out.' He heaved his fam into his ship the equivalent of today's minivan & schelped them all to Iceland. There he decided that the dispute with his previous neighbor ended so much in his favor that he tried conquering other places like oh the southern half of the next country over Greenland. This went about the same for him as in Norway; he was then banished from another country. Bad Viking, bad! So his son takes off to "explore" not conquer. He gets lost & ends up somewhere between Labrador & Province Town. Records get a little sketchy here. He made a village, stayed for a winter & summer, had a little scuffle with the local color (Indians with the feathers) then went on his merry way back to Greenland without being banished from any countries, much to the dismay of his dear ol'dad. This was the first European to explore America! Why do we not sing little rhyming songs to children about him? I have several thoughts:

1. He comes from much too sorted a family lineage to be brought up in public school.

2. The old man's minivan that Leiv borrowed to schelp his happy butt over in was not loaded with any kind of trinkets which would have made making new friends a lot easier. He was probably consumed with pure survival - unlike Chris who had the backing of the Spanish & English royal banks.

3. I'm guessing our friend Leiv was all but illiterate. He didn't take a lot of notes, draw any detailed maps or even keep a log of his voyage. Thus the sketchy details as to where he hit bottom.

If I had to make a moral out of this mess, I'd say that you should always take a map & some extra pocket money when you borrow the folk's minivan & for the love of all things Holy - write it down when you get lost in a foreign country & into fights with the natives. You never know what kind of crazy shit people can manage to name a national holiday after!

Sunday, October 01, 2006