History 104A, November 7: School Used to be Fun & Now it is a Riot!


               For those that were not here on Friday, I postponed the exam


          until Monday.  And the reason was that I did have some material I did


          want to cover before we went to the exam.  Now there's no class Friday


          or I would have given it on Friday.  In any case, we were dealing with


          knowledge and learning in the high middle ages and specifically


          entering what is often known as the 12th century which is the 1100s




               And we sort of ended up, as I identified last time, on a major


          dispute that was to reign throughout most of the 12th century, and


          that was a dispute between nominalists and rationalists -- the


          nominalists who believe that basically things we saw were the reality


          and that there was nothing beyond that in the  universal.  We created


          the universals by what we see, a table is a table is a table and then


          we get the concept of the table; versus the rationalists, who believe


          that somewhere God has revealed to us truth, beauty, wisdom, justice


          and tables.  Usually they talk about apples for teachers.  I deal with


          tables.  And that we understand the differences between tables because


          of the higher plane of tableness, if you will.


               Abelard famous for his book Sec Et Non, "yes and no", brought


          together -- and that's about where I ended -- the various commentaries


          made by all of the church fathers to show that there were differences


          what they held.  Where do you draw truth?  Of course in the medieval


          period, like in the legal system which is really derived from this


          whole basis of what we're dealing with in yes and no, i.e. precedent.



          We weigh precedent.  In our legal system, the highest precedent comes


          from the supreme court.  And supreme court cases are used for arguing


          what is valid, what is not.  And this was the work later of a man


          named Peter Lombard who put together these yes and no's and argued


          which was more valid based on weighing of the arguments.  So he took


          on Abelard in that sense.


               Abelard's greatest opponent was a French bishop by the name of


          Saint Bernard.  Don't ask me if the Saint Bernard dog comes from Saint


          Bernard.  Saint Bernard did take him on and demanded that the Pope


          take him to task for his views.  And in 114l Abelard was forced to


          come to Rome to defend his position.  Abelard said that he believed in


          reason as long as the reason doesn't interfere with his faith.  In


          that sense, he was not what many people refer to him as a free


          thinker.  He certainly restricted his own thinking to his faith.


          Abelard, on the way to Rome in 1142, died.  And with that, the


          controversy ceased for a period of time, although it kept reappearing


          until the 13th century when it was somewhat resolved -- and I'm


          jumping ahead here -- by Saint Thomas Aquinas, although they were not


          saints at that particular point in time.


               What we then have emerging, in the 13th century, is something


          known as scholasticism.  Although in reality, I refer to most of the


          learning in the high middle ages as scholasticism, which basically


          means knowledge comes from deductive reasoning.  You take a theorem


          and you accept the theorem and you deduct truth from that concept.


          Syllogisms -- all men are mortal; Socrates is a man; Socrates



          therefore is mortal.  We find then that we move into, again, jumping


          ahead, some of these changes that are going on.  As I mentioned Peter


          Lombard coming forth and deducting based on weighing of authority, his


          book became the standard text for learning.  And it was called The


          Four Books of Sentences.


               We have Gartian G-A-R-T-I-A-N who basically uses that same


          process in law and in the development of law and canon law, which


          becomes basically the foundation or precedent in, shall we say, our


          western law.  And of course much of the law code is again picked up


          from the Arab world, from the Muslim world, who has maintained much of


          the Roman and Greek traditions.


               We also begin to see, in this 12th century, the beginning of


          universities.  The universities in Italy are more or less graduate


          schools for medicine, for law, for scribes.  Balonia is quite famous


          or its educational process or a graduate level.  And the students have


          a lot of input and say because they're more mature.  As we found years


          back in Europe, and perhaps it's still the same at the university,


          students often stay on, not just 18, 19, 20, 21.  They're sort of like


          Ohlone College students; they stay here for 20 years and graduate in


          their thirties.  Not all of you, but, you know.  Only those in student


          government used to stay here for centuries.  They felt powerful.


          However, a different kind of university which was basically


          undergraduate training, training for the development of the priesthood


          begins in other parts of Europe.  And perhaps the most famous is the


          university of Paris which, in 1200, receives a charter from Phillip



          Augustus who is the king of France at the time.  It is an official


          charter which somewhat separates itself from the cathedral and


          cathedral schools of Notre Dame, yet it really still appoints the


          chancellor or president.  You have letters, information from the


          students at that period of time.  And humans are humans and students


          are students.  Most of the letters that we have are students writing


          back home for money which is spent in the local bars.  They had no


          restrictions on 3/2 beer or being 21.  We also have records of who


          rebel against their professors.  And a couple of cases where they


          threw him out of windows.  I'm not recommending that.


          A    Good thing you don't have windows.


               THE PROFESSOR:  That's why I chose this classroom.  I wasn't


          going to take any chances.  In other words, there used to be bumper


          stickers in the late 1960s, early vice -- I don't know, cars had


          bumpers then that said that school used to be fun, now it's a riot.


          And of course riots broke out at the University in Paris.  The young


          people roamed the street when they got pissed off at exams.  Here in


          America, instead we see how many people we can stuff into a phone


          booth or how many goldfish we can down.  We have our fraternity


          rampant.  But in Paris, they loved the violence.  That's why they like


          Jerry Lewis.  Amad and I were just discussing the riots that are now


          going on in France by young people.  And if you haven't been -- and


          that's why I'm playing on this realm right now, it's been 11 days


          going into the 12th day of basically Muslim and black young people


          rampaging through the suburbs of France and now through Paris itself



          busting windows, burning cars, and specifically burning schools.  How


          many of you have heard about this?  And part of the reason that some


          of you may know is that France, in its recent separation of church and


          state, decided to get even with all those bastards who demanded that


          religion be taken out of the schools.  You see in France, up until


          three years ago, when you went to a public school, you had to see a


          large cross with Christ's crucifixion on it in the public schools.  It


          was used basically to warn students what would happen to them if they


          screwed around.  Never mind.  But in any case, with the demands from


          Muslims and to some extent the Jews that remain in France, for the


          separation of church and state, they demanded secular schools.  And


          the French government in its nasty way got even by excreting law that


          insisted that there be no religion, which meant that Muslim women


          could not wear their head scarves, sheiks could not wear theirs,


          anything reflective of religion including crosses, whatever, had to be


          removed from any of the secular education.  And that was not what


          Muslims and others had wanted or anticipated.  The French get even.


          And so the question being:  What is France going to do at this


          particular point?  By the way, I should also note that there were


          large numbers of houses of prostitution around the university as well


          that came exam time were pretty active.


               I might note that the European system also has exams once a year,


          has exams only once a year, and that's at the end of the year.  And


          those exams determine whether you go on or not.  And so the tension


          for a yearly exam is quite heavy to say the least.  Can you imagine



          just one exam?  A friend of mine went to medical school in Belgium and


          he went crazy because he just wasn't used to that yearly approach and


          the tensions that built up around it.  Obviously suicides and other


          kinds of pressures built on the educational system in Paris and


          elsewhere throughout Europe.


               So we began to see a formalization of the university system,


          including -- I think I talked about it earlier -- the final student


          rebellion settled down a little when they were able to get rectors


          into the university system.  The students elected a faculty member who


          was to be their tribune, the person who would speak for the students


          and try to prohibit the faculty from instituting any rules and


          regulations that would be detrimental to the students.  Ohlone College


          is moving to get rid of D's.  I'm not sure why.  I love the idea of


          giving dummy grades.  Those were the kinds of things that were


          approached and is approached by the faculty Senate to represent the


          faculty and students.  And the students of course at the general


          colleges do have members on the boards, and we do have a dean of


          president students or vice president of students.  The university


          system was based on the guild system.  Guilds, not G-I-L-D, but guild




               As wealth expanded, as trade expanded, as commerce expanded,


          skilled crafts also expanded.  There was a greater demand.  And so in


          the high middle ages we began to see something organized by the


          employers, if you will, the skilled labor, the guild system, which by


          the late middle ages or better said around the 14th century, the



          waning of the middle ages, we saw in northern Europe these independent


          cities developing a league of guilds.  And in northern Europe they


          were called Hanse, became known as the Hanseatic league, the Hanseatic


          league -- let me see if I can find something here.  It was sort of


          like the western hemisphere common market that they threw back at Bush


          this week or last week.  They had interaction and exchanging goods


          made up and controlled, not by kings, but by the businessmen.  We're


          somewhat familiar with the guild system, education for the trades


          basically.  The education at the university, the education at the


          cathedral schools, the education at the monasteries basically taught


          the liberal arts.  They trained people in music, in grammar, in


          mathematics, in astronomy, and of course in rhetoric talking,


          preparing them for professions, as I indicated.


               What about the masses of people who could not read generally and


          generally did not read?  What about the blacksmiths, the coppersmiths?


          And in some areas in sheep herders in Spain were members of guilds.


          They joined together.  Farmers did bring their goods together, much


          like in Minnesota and in places like that where they created


          cooperatives.  Some people called them socialists where the various


          farms bring their goods together and store them or use the mills to


          grind them and maintain them.


               Parents looking to have their kids become trained in a skilled


          labor would search out a mentor, somebody who was a master craftsman.


          If the master craftsman was willing to take on a young man or maybe


          young woman in some cases, they were brought on as apprentices.  As an



          apprentice, what it translated to was, your parents paid for your


          room/board.  They took care of and perhaps even an extra little


          tuition quote/unquote paid to the silversmith.  After a number of


          years, the apprentice who did all the work, learned skill, might reach


          a level where the master craftsman decides that they will bring them


          on as a journeyman, which meant that they received a quote/unquote


          scholarship.  Now, they worked for room and board.  Parents no longer


          had to pay the room and board, but they did not generally receive any


          salary.  After a number of years as a journeyman, they then might be


          ready to become a master craftsman.  If the master craftsman felt that


          the young man was now ready, at that point, the individual had to


          produce a masterpiece, a particular object that they would make that


          then went to, not just the master craftsman, but to the master


          craftsman guild.  And then the members of the guild, all master


          craftsmen, would examine the masterpiece.  If they approved of the


          work, they then gave to the young master, which he now became a


          hallmark, the hallmark of the craft hall where they met.  And that


          hallmark became a standard of quality.  It meant that, not only did


          this person produce good work and was recognized, licensed to sell his


          product, but he was going to sell it at a fair price.  He was not


          going to gouge anyone, a price based on the material and somewhat of a


          price for his labor, but not what the market would bear, but what was


          fair, fair quality, standard of fairness and standard of quality.  And


          at that point, the young person could take on his own apprentices.


          And that basically was a system, not of unions, but of skilled



          craftsmen who were the employers.  And I repeat that because many


          people often identify the guilds mistakenly with unions.  They were


          not protecting the workers.  The guilds created the standards and


          protection, if you will, even insurance for the employers, for the


          craftsman, for the skilled laborers.


               How does this apply to education?  Exactly the same.  Students


          who wanted an education at first came to the expert, as I said.


          Professors would lecture to students, rent a room, and the students


          would pay them.  When they began to create universities, they


          basically would have to provide housing.  Their parents would pay for


          their housing, their room and their board.  And in a sense, they built


          dorms around the schools, but usually the professors, the universities


          provided this area.  In a sense you, the undergraduates were


          journeymen -- I'm sorry, were apprentices.  And as apprentices, so


          that you would show yourself equally and nobody could show off wealth


          in the sense of equality of the medieval period, they wore uniforms.


          Of course many private schools and some public schools do insist that


          you wear a uniform, not simply for standards of decency, but to create


          a sense of uniformity so that nobody can show off their wealth in


          their clothing.  Of course I don't know why they worry about that, you


          wear nothing but jeans nowadays anyways?


          A    But especially with girls, you can tell the difference between


          $20 genes and $200 pair of genes.


          A    I can't.


               THE PROFESSOR:  What's the difference?



          A    By brand name.


               THE PROFESSOR:  If the brand is across their backside?


          A    Yeah.


               THE PROFESSOR:  I guess it's the brand name that does it.  I


          guess you can get away with that.  The uniforms are, of course, more


          common today.


               The gowns they wore had a flat sleeve and, of course, they're the


          gowns that you will wear upon graduation; but they were worn day in


          and day out.  Had you reached a certain level, when your skills were


          there, you became a TA.  They're using different names for it now.  I


          think at UC San Diego where my son is, it's TA.  Berkeley has a


          different name for it.  And at that point, he's getting money, room


          and board in a sense to be able to grade papers and a small seminar


          group with the professor tells him to flunk as many students as


          possible.  He becomes a journeyman.  As a journeyman, they have a


          different gown.  That gown will have a hood that indicates what his


          specialty is, as the colors on the gowns of graduation do today.  And


          they have a long pointed sleeve which is the master gown.  So the


          journeymen's gown is that master's degree gown.


               And then we enter the field of the master crafts training.  You


          need to produce an education, your dissertation, which is your


          masterpiece.  It varies from obviously discipline to discipline.  In


          history, we have to produce a unique study that ranges 3- to 600 pages


          of research, original primary source research versus secondary source,


          two terms, that is, historians and few of you that are history majors



          definitely could show.  What's the difference between primary source


          and secondary source materials?  Anybody have any idea?  Hopefully


          this is something that you will now know.  Secondary source is when


          you research terms that other people have researched and written on.


          In other words, you are taking their material and looking at what they


          researched, what their conclusions were.  Primary source is when you


          go to the actual documents, when you go into the archives and you find


          letters or you find materials that came from the original people.


          Primary source can even be oral interviews, but those are archival


          library research, not concepts or ideas that others have written


          about.  So if you read a book and you use it as part of your


          footnoting, you are footnoting secondary sources.  If you read a


          document, a letter, it becomes a primary source footnote.  In any


          case, once you turn in your masterpiece, your dissertation, you are


          examined by a panel of professors, your master craftsmen.  In most


          universities, that is five individuals who orally/verbally challenge


          you on your research and question you on the theories.  You have


          provided evidence which is supposed to be totally original.  When I


          had to do my Ph.D., one of the things we had to worry about in our


          dissertation was whether anybody else was working on it or anybody


          else had done it.  And so we had to write away to the University of


          Wisconsin, which keeps the records of any research that's being done


          or has been done.  And if it cleared them, it could be acceptable to


          our panel of professors.  That could take months.  Today, of course,


          we can Google and we can, through the computer, know almost overnight



          whether what you want to work on has ever been done before.  Again,


          it's got to be quote/unquote original research done primarily with


          primary sources.


          Q    Does this just go for the masters of like sciences or does it


          also go for arts?


               THE PROFESSOR:  Again, in the arts, you have to have a show of


          your paintings that are examined, your work.  In fact, it's


          interesting, I received just a few months back an e-mail from the


          woman who I haven't heard from in 30 years, I think, maybe longer.  I


          bought one of her pieces that she showed for her master's degree at


          her exhibit.  And she's become quite well-known in a strange world of


          lesbian art.  And that would explain the piece of bought.  She was


          married to a friend of mine at the time, man, but I'm sorry -- just in


          the arts that very common again to have a show.  And the professors


          will weigh and in a sense, grade the material.  In the sciences, it's


          a research project.  And obviously it's not 3- or 400 pages, but it's


          the sum of the original experiment that you would work on.  Does that


          answer your question?


          A    Yeah.


               THE PROFESSOR:  When you turn in the material, if the professor's


          approve it, you're given your hallmark, which is your diploma, which


          is your sheepskin because the hallmark, your diploma, was actually


          written on the sheep's skin which you could then post in your


          business, office, school, to show that you were now able to practice.


          You go into a real doctor's office, MD's you generally see in their



          offices the diplomas from the schools to let you know that they are


          certified to practice their medicine and by board certified extra




               Once you receive your master craftsman degree, you receive a


          different gown.  The Ph.D. gown which is also awarded to MD's and


          LLD's (lawyers) has three stripes on it.  You now become a sergeant I


          guess.  And our gowns are the colors of your schools.  Schools have


          their different colors.  And of course your hood has the color of the


          school and your discipline.  And so the different colors you see on


          the hood that is the professors wear at graduation are also including


          the discipline, doctor of philosophy, history, medicine, whatever it


          is, which again comes out of the medieval era.


               During the universities at medieval times you wear those gowns


          all the time and probably had a couple of them.  You probably not,


          people didn't care about smell, certainly the French still don't.


          Lots of perfume.  Now, when you go to graduation, if you graduate you


          will see me and understand what my gown is and why my gown is purple.


          I like to stand out and that was the color of my school, purple.


          That's my burial shroud.  I get to wear it only once a year instead of


          everyday.  It would be fun wearing it everyday and drive everybody




               In any case, as I identified the university system in itself was


          a guild and still is.  In fact, it's still difficult certainly for me


          and most professors to break away from that medieval educational proof


          which is the lecture.  Since books were not available readily, since



          they were hand copied and illuminated until the printing press was


          developed in 1450s by Gutenberg and some other printers, students


          would, on their papyrus or sheepskins, copy down slowly the


          professor's lecture and attempt to memorize them.  The concept of


          going from my notes or my memory to the student notes or the student


          memory without going through the heads of either one of us was quite


          common.  The experts in the middle ages loved and graded their


          students the highest who could memorize the most material and


          regurgitate, comma for commas, period for period.  One study I wrote


          indicated that the professors were extremely impressed by one young


          man because there were three professors questioning him for his


          masters degree or Ph.D. as we call it today on St. Augustine and three


          of the works of saint Augustine, the heavenly city, et cetera.  And he


          was able to answer questions, which meant repeat the words of various


          sections in a photographic memory approach from any point at any point


          that he was asked the question perfectly.  Now, memory was much easier


          in medieval times because that was the learning process.  Today we're


          moving into a visual age.  They're moving out of the print age.


          However, medieval was an oral age.  Learning came about -- news was


          transmitted through rhyme because it was a lot easier to remember


          things through rhyme.  Troubadours go from city to city passing on


          news -- the queen is dead or whatever, prince Charles and Camilla have


          visited Beach Blanket Babylon, I don't know.  This was done through


          song, through the troubadours.  And when they played the song other


          musicians picked up on it immediately and could replay it and remember



          the words.  We lost that with printing.  With prints we didn't need to


          remember it.  And not only did you have the troubadours, you had with


          a form of poetry known as goliardic, which comes from the clerks.


          This was by the clerks especially the students who made fun of


          authority.  Students have always made fun of authority.  And produced


          graffiti with their little pens, quills; they were write things in the


          edges of some of the prior books that were there or they'd scratch it


          in the sides of walls.  It's written of course in Latin.


               Quote, yet a second charge they bring.  I'm forever gaming.


          Yeah, the dice have many a time stripped me to my shaming.  Look again


          upon your list.  Is the tavern on it?  Yeah and never have I scorned,


          never shall I scorn it until the old holy angels come and the eyes


          discern them kin for the dying soul a requiem eternally let me ..




               This are parodies that we find, satires, scandalous attacking,


          attacking Bush, Pope Bush.  Here's one towards the Pope.


               Quote, a poor man seeks charity at the papal court.  This is


          called "The Gospel According to the Marks of Silver".  Friend, thigh


          poverty perish with thee.  Get behind me say me Satan because now


          knowist not the wisdom of cash... (reading).


               Translation in a sense, do not generalize about the medieval


          mind.  Point -- people are people, students are students and you're


          students.  We'll see you Wednesday.