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Hey everyone! Welcome back, hope you had a good summer! Welcome to 9th grade honors American history. I’m Miss Walton, and I’m really happy you’re in my class.

Anybody stop by the cafeteria this morning? It smelled like the inside of that fish tube, if you know what I mean!

 We’ll get into the syllabus in just a bit, but first, I wanted to talk about this past summer.

So we’re back to school, back to the normal routine. It’s the end of “hot girl summer.” You all hear about this, “hot girl summer?” I guess it’s girls just having fun, drinking White Claws. Not that you would be! Since you’re underage. But it’s girls—well, people—living their best lives, and not caring about boys.

Well, “hot girl summer” might be over, but I hope you’re ready for Hot Fort SumTER—that’s right!

First quarter, we’re getting ALL UP in the Civil War, baby! And Fort Sumter was bombed by the Confederate Army, so it was literally on fire. Hot Fort Sumter. You get it!

Hot Fort Sumter

“Old Town Road” was at the top of the charts all summer long. You know, there were some people in American history who literally took their horse to the old town road, and they rode ‘til they couldn’t no more: on the OREGON TRAIL. (air horn)

The U.S. Women’s National Team won its fourth World Cup this year, but this isn’t the first time American women showed their dominance. Of course, we’ll be covering women’s suffrage this year. Because if there’s one thing the suffragettes wanted to see above all else, it’s that a member of the USWNT would eat a page from their equal pay lawsuit on the day of their victory parade. It’s what they were fighting for!

Among the victories the U.S. won during the World Cup was their defeat of England, 2-1. It was England’s most devastating defeat since Neville Chamberlain decided to appease Hitler! World War II. Spending a loooot of time on it.

You all like Billie Eilish? Her song “Bad Guy” was everywhere this summer.

Well, get ready because in American history, there are a lot of bad guys. Christopher Columbus. Benedict Arnold. Jefferson Davis. Hitler. We’ll get into every one through the course of the year!

TikTok blew up over the past few months. TikTok is a social media platform that showcases short videos set to music, sort of a natural successor to Vine. Because of how easy TikToks are to share, you could also say that it’s sort of a natural successor to the Zapruder film! JFK’s assassination footage. Don’t bother Googling it—we’ll be breaking it down frame by frame, folks!

Lotta movies hit theaters this summer. Toy Story 4. The Lion King.

You know who the real lyin’ king was? Richard Nixon!  Watergate—we’re diving deep into every aspect. This is gonna be a big group project, you’ll all present on a piece of pop culture that was either directly inspired by Watergate or directly addresses it. Think beyond All the President’s Men!

As I’m sure you know, Taylor Swift dropped her new album, Lover, this summer.

Did you pick it up yet? She’s recently declared herself an LGBTQ activist, which is great. I don’t really have a segue here but we WILL be going over the civil rights movement, women’s movement, LGBT movement, and more.

Lover is pretty good, though it’s no 1989, which of course, we all remember, is the album Taylor wrote to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall! Just kidding, I know that’s not what it’s about. But we will be talking about the Berlin Wall!

Spider-Man: Far from Home swung into theaters in July. And just like Peter Parker, we’ll be swinging through the streets of Manhattan! Tenements, factories, the Great Depression, Hoovervilles, you name it, we’re talking about it!

Okay, I’ve got one more for you all. As always, there’s been a lot of partisanship and division across our country, thanks in large part to President Trump’s rhetoric. Like Abe Lincoln once said, “A house divided cannot stand.” Well, the same goes for this classroom: You can’t STAND until the bell rings! Ayo. I’m so sorry. Class policy.

Anyways, homework for tomorrow: there are discussion questions at the end of chapter three. They’re due tomorrow! At least five sentences per each answer. Don’t make me the “bad guy” if you don’t turn it in. Thank you so much, Wyomissing! You’ve been a wonderful audience. I am Miss Walton, good night!

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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