So, who in the heck is Mr. Lewis and why am I thanking him?
Mr. Lewis a history teacher at the CC I'm attending. And he is FABULOUS! As a conservative I hold certain views as truths, Mr. Lewis has given me an incredible body of historical information to enlighten me as to why my truths are, indeed, truths.
To say it shortly: he reads a lot and he is really good at explaining stuff.
Some of what he talked about has really stuck with me and caused me to think (yes, it hurts some, but I press through). I've had what are called thoughts, and these thoughts have led to what are referred to as ideas. Some of these ideas I may force you to read at some point in the future. Needless to say, though, if I think enough of a teacher to A) remember them, B) read stuff that isn't required of them C) ask them for personal advice, and D) actually take multiple classes from them just to get to listen to lecture, you know they are good.
He has taught me about the Natural Rights theory and Natural Rights law; he has introduced me to men such as John Locke and Edmund Burke (though why I kept confusing an Irish writer and the American VP (Aaron Burr) that was shot I don't know. Sometimes my brain is more convinced of it's greatness than is reasonable!). He has also told me about Voltaire and Rousseau... Rousseau especially, and his initiation of the Western World into liberalism.
I've gained an understanding, albeit a small one thus far, of the above concepts and how they have shaped our modern world. I now understand more why the idea of the modern American "Separation of Church and State" is ludicrous, and why the welfare state is idiotic.
Now, with all that said, let me make a point: Mr. Lewis is about ideas. He brings to the student historical information and attempts to form it to give the students an idea of the theories of the time and the men of which we are speaking. He acknowledges that each person is responsible for their own beliefs and understandings; his goal is to present the information in such a manner that we can form our own ideas. My ideas have simply been more firmly ground in factual background information.
And he's pretty funny to boot. And did I mention he's from Texas?
So, thank you Mr. Lewis, for a whole new obsession in my life that I must follow, books I must now own, and ideas I must inform people of. I'm sure they all thank you, too.