Learning and Adventures
This whole series is going to address two main subjects: the History of the Cherokee Removal and a new, unique viewpoint about “how to” view, study, and research history. The simultaneous presentation of these two subjects is an ambitious undertaking to be sure and, like all good adventures, it may take some unexpected turns.
There are two vital traits a person needs in order to learn things, discover things, or have an adventure.
The first is to have a curiosity or interest in the thing, and the second is to be brave enough to momentarily set aside everything one “knows” or “fears” and just observe or experience what is in front of you. One has to embrace change because learning, discovery, and adventure all, inherently, DEMAND change.
It appears that every bit of life swings somewhere between a symphony or a chaos of change depending on one’s viewpoint, skills and, abilities. All of the tools that will be presented here can help make life, or chaos, easier to understand.
If you still don’t think you can handle change, stop reading this right now, don’t read another word!!!
For those of you still with us, we’ll continue…
In preparation for “one of my stories”
It seems like children and old people have the greatest interests in History and, during the middle years, most people have that “What relevance does History have, at this point?” attitude. This series is going to examine that phenomenon, also.
While reading this series, the reader will soon come to the conclusion that the writer is an “old guy”. That is true, but relative. To be kind, let’s use the term: a man with “lots of experiences”. That still translates to “Geezer” but sounds better.
As “a child of the 60’s”, I had a college education that was a very liberal experience. After all, I was enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and it was the 1960’s! “Peace, Love, Flower-power”
I always had a curiosity to investigate every different viewpoint, movement, fad, craze, trend, philosophy, religion, dogma, or new age concept that I could find. I guess my personal mantra, since about five years old, has been something like… “What’s that all about?”
A Story that will eventually lead back… I promise.
So, things being as they are, here is some Primary Source material for you researchers:
As a freshman at University of Illinois, in February of 1968, I experienced one of those life-changing events.
There were always quite a few events scheduled around campus. There were concerts, movies, parties, and open houses everywhere. One particular event caught my attention, when I saw it advertised in the Student Affairs Newsletter. The lecture only cost 50 cents and several of us were up for the adventure of learning something about which we knew nothing. That event was an evening, special guest, lecture at the Assembly Hall.
The Assembly Hall was a kind of Space-age, flying saucer building, right out of movies like “Martian Encounters” or “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. At that time, the saucer was located alone, out in a cornfield at the far, southwestern frontier of the University’s property.
The night of the lecture came and we decided to get there early to avoid a crowd or a line, as it was cold outside.
Just walking out, through the cold darkness, to that “glowing” saucer was a surreal experience in itself. There was no crowd and we walked right in… How odd is that!, I thought, looking back over my shoulder.
Walking further, we noticed that the area delineated for the lecture was only a small portion of the vast, open arena. We got seats right in the front row! There was a low, modest stage directly in front of us. No question, we were going to be “up close and personal” with none other than… Timothy Leary!
Timothy Leary, for those who are unfamiliar with the name, was the Guru of LSD and drugs in the 1960’s. He, almost single-handedly, created the “drug-culture” of that era. A few years earlier, he was considered by some to be one of the leading academic, psychologist/researchers in the country.
None of our small group were “stoners”. We just wanted to hear what he had to say, as he was quite controversial at that time.
As 8 o’clock grew close, a legion of Campus and City Police, along with State Troopers, briskly filed in, circled the stage, and posted at every exit. Wow… What’s that all about? I thought to myself, as an odd sense of unwarranted paranoia crept through my senses.
A few moments later Timothy Leary appeared; dressed in white shirt, white baggy bell-bottoms, “love beads” and all; and took the stage.
As I recall, he thanked us for coming and acknowledged the great work the officers were doing. It looked as though they were protecting him, but it seemed, more likely, they were waiting for him to do or say something that would require handcuffs and a paddy wagon ride.
I was young, naive, and had little interest in politics, social movements, or drugs. Most of what he said during that next hour or two, went “in one ear and out the other”, EXCEPT for one statement. The gist of that statement was:
Think for yourself and question authority.
I got the sense that when he said “Question authority”, he meant observe, examine, and judge for yourself whether established “truths” and “realities” are accurate and valid based on your experience. I did not get the sense that he meant to refute, reject, resist, or deny the validity of everything from the past. A lot of Hippies jumped on the “Old ways are bad and everything has to be new, to be true” bandwagon; I did not.
From the moment Leary uttered that resonating statement, I immediately started to think and question his authority, too. While I never “bought into” Leary’s world or movement, I did continue to apply that one statement, often.
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places!
Fast Forward to 2019…
Putting words of wisdom to work
In the study of history and in all aspects of life – things change.
“Change is the only constant.” – Heraclitus (another old guy)
In order to adjust to change, Leary’s advice to “think for yourself and question things” is a vital viewpoint.
As we begin to examine the Removal and Trail of Tears, we will use these steps:
- Observe the subject of interest while boldly thinking for yourself and questioning previous information through the use of Primary Sources, as the main data*.
*When we use the word “Data” we mean recorded information, usually from Primary Sources; as opposed to thoughts, ideas, comments, or conjecture on the part of other later writers. A check of any history writer’s footnotes and bibliography will show whether the writer is referencing Primary Sources or just using other historian’s information and conclusions. The “rightness”, “wrongness”, or accuracy of even Primary data must be taken into consideration when researching or reaching conclusions.
- Judge observations and information using a system that is designed to be as impartial and accurate as possible.
- Recover or discover information or new connections that increase understanding of the subject and related subjects. Having and expressing theories, ideas, beliefs, conjecture, and possibilities is fine, as long as it is clearly recognized as such.
Back to the point
For those curious, brave adventurers who are still with us, let’s get on with discussing the main tool we will use along the way.
Note: Much of the rest of this section is taken from our book: Dautzenleins: Making Sense of Things. Be aware that you should start, now, if you haven’t already – Thinking for yourself and questioning my authority. I’m going to share some observations and some viewpoints; some may be familiar and others may be new or perhaps, unusual. If you have questions or comments, please comment or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org as you go through the series. This is the first time the Dautzenlein has been presented to such a wide and varied audience.
We’re introducing this Dautzenlein system of analysis because the Removal is such a complex historical issue, with incredibly wide-reaching, ramifications. Many of the elements and factors that created the Removal and Trail of Tears are still present and active, today.
Look at something around you. Whatever you see, there is more to it than first meets the eye. There are “hidden” connections waiting to be discovered.
Dautzenleins are these connections, the vehicles to unlock the doors of discovery and understanding.
Dautzenleins (pronounced “dots -n- lines”) are the
connections of people or things, places, dates, and events.
Dautzenleins are invitations to look and see “what else” is around you; to discover the “dots and lines” that connect everything.
Discovery makes life exciting!
Whether one discovers a new person, place, or idea, or discovers another way to look at something, it leads to understanding.
All of life and history is a continuing discovery of the Dautzenleins around us.
We’ve all played the game “Connect the Dots” where a piece of paper has a large, random, group of numbered dots on it and when lines are drawn connecting the dots, the randomness goes away and … a picture emerges. The simple “Rule” of that game is: Draw lines connecting the dots, in numerical order, starting with #1.
Had we been given the piece of paper and not known the “rule”, we might have carefully examine each dot on the page, individually, without connecting them with lines, without searching for the next dot to connect, and then wondered … What’s that all about?
History (and all of life) is like that piece of paper with many random dots on it… only the dots aren’t numbered!
“NOT NUMBERED!?! How can we play the game and connect the dots if the dots aren’t numbered?” How can we make sense of this? Well, that’s a good question!
We’ve heard the term “connecting the dots” which means to observe the elements of a situation or event, investigate their relationships, and discover the “real story” or the motivations surrounding the event so we can get the “big picture”.
We are constantly impacted by people, things, places, and events of the past and present, and how they relate to each other and to us. Some of these relationships are easy to see, while others often go unseen, almost hidden, even though they are very relevant and intriguing pieces of the picture.
If we view people, places, and things as “Dots”, and view the rivers, roads, ideas, communications, and commerce as “Lines”, we can connect the “Dots” and “Lines” and discover some amazing and interesting aspects of history!
Our “Rule”: No dot exists without, at least, one line connected to it and no line exists without at least two dots connected to it.
From the above rule, we see that the smallest Dautzenlein unit is: two dots connected by one line.
These connections act as the “missing number” of each dot by automatically connecting the dot to the next numberless dot in the sequence.
Discover any connection, and more dots and lines will begin to fall into place from there… just start connecting!
Here is a very simple example to illustrate the power of a connection:
Let’s say you want to know all about “Main Street” in your town, so you do an internet search for just “Main Street”. You will get many varied returns; all kinds of random results from all around the country and you still won’t know anything about Main Street in your town! If you just search for your zip code, you’ll get equally random results.
Now let’s search for a Dautzenlein (two dots connected by a line). Type “main street” (which is a Dot) and type your “zip code” (which is a second Dot). Hit Search. This time you get usable returns. The search engine basically looks for connections between the two terms you entered.
You entered two dots and asked for connections, and the random confusion went away.
The Vogt-Dautzenlein Theory was developed while researching and documenting historical events but was soon discovered to apply universally to every subject. Its goal is to promote fuller understandings.
While the title of this theory sounds somewhat imposing and perhaps even formidable, please be aware that the joy of life and discovery is key to understanding our world and ourselves. Serious work and studies can be accomplished without an oppressively serious attitude on the part of the researcher. To that end we present the pronunciation and meaning of Dautzenlein.
It is pronounced and means: dots n line; two dots connected by one line.
It is used in sentences like: ” The Dautzenleins converge right here!” or “Sure that’s what you think… but what do the Dautzenleins indicate?” or “The Dautzenleins predict…” or ” Why does that Dautzenlein seem to abruptly stop there?” or “I’ve just started Dautzenleining this and look what I discovered!”
“Dots and Line Theory” sounds far too simple and would fail to command the respect of academia that it is fully due, hence – “Dautzenlein Theory”
Remember, complexities are complex only because their underlying simplicities are not simply observed and understood. Those simplicities are Dautzenleins.
Trust me; we will be getting to some thought-provoking, rarely if ever cited, data about the Removal and Trail of Tears soon. We’re almost there; but first, we must examine Dautz (Dots) and Leins (lines) more fully in Part Three.
End note: image of Assembly Hall is from, https://archives.library.illinois.edu/slc/research-education/timeline/1960-1969/
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