Hello again from an unsettled Canberra. We are due for rain today and it is unseasonably mild-something we are getting use to across the world with temperatures across Australia and the globe rising to record levels each year. There is still a body of people who seem to reject the scientific warning in regard to global warming but from a layman’s perspective there is certainly something screwy going on with the weather. I’m not one to get into arguments with conspiracy theorists or those with entrenched and extreme views but pumping huge amounts of gasses into the atmosphere every second of every day can hardly be doing the planet much good. But, hey, maybe it’s just some natural fluctuation but why take that for granted? I just hope we are not careening towards a situation where our planet is eventually uninhabitable. Things will probably remain relatively passive in my lifetime but who knows what is to come in the future? Anyway, that’s an argument for another place and another time among people far more intelligent and robust in opinion and interest than I.
So, with this sudden slide into the argument about climate change, why has a photo of a marble bust of the great Roman Consul, general and conqueror of Gaul (and Rome!!!) Julius Caesar, appeared at the top of the page? Well, I’m glad you asked. This may be my last blog post for a while as I am entering my second trimester of university, halfway I am to completing my Pathways course and I have taken a unit focusing on historians and their interpretation of history. So, why not lead in with a bust of Caesar, still a famous dude 2000 years after running foul of his enemies in the Roman senate house. It has only just occurred to me as I write that we are in fact in the month of July which Caesar of course named after himself. Only the most powerful of men have bent history to their will like him. Could Donald Trump rename a month after himself and have the name change survive 2000 years? As much as I’m sure it would appeal to his vanity it’s not going to happen is it? Besides, it would be embarrassing to be born in the month of Trump! And I think, despite his unpopularity in some quarters, President Trump is likely to survive a visit to the US Senate!
It’s probably pretty uncool in this day and age when political correctness abounds across the media and runs rampant on the internet to admire a dictator like Caesar. A man who broke the rules of his own country and launched an unprovoked invasion against an enemy with whom Rome had no quarrel simply for personal gain and to save his own political skin. But hey, it’s just history and it’s history that has repeated itself time and time again since Caesar won the great battle of Alesia, destroying a nascent Gallic culture and taking the first step to becoming dictator of Rome. Wild Gauls aren’t protesting outside the coliseum demanding reparations for damage done by Roman Legions. It’s all too long ago to worry about. But it’s still great history and important to know in discovering how we ended up where we are.
So, my uni courses start again next week and alongside my history unit is the second string of my pathways unit which, hopefully will see me qualify for an undergraduate degree next year. After a bit of a struggle with procrastination and confidence in the first trimester, I was looking forward, albeit with some apprehension, to starting again. But now my units are open I am feeling a little overwhelmed and, dare I say say it, scared of what lies ahead. I guess I am testing myself. My resolve. My ability to get it done. The history unit in particular looks daunting and I wonder if I will handle the concepts they are trying to teach. All this while working full-time! I came, I saw and, hopefully, I will conquer.