Thinking Citizen Blog — Mexico — Level 1 (“Cielito Lindo”), Level 2 (Hidalgo), Level 3 (the PRI)
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Mexico — Level 1 (“Cielito Lindo”), Level 2 (Hidalgo), Level 3 (the PRI)
So what should every 5th grader know about Mexico? How about 8th grader? How about every 12th grader? Today, a little exercise for all of us. Let’s crowd-source the optimal graphic “Orion” for each of these learning stages. Let’s start with the three most important facts — the stars of Orion’s belt. I view today’s post as a first stab at a very challenging problem. It is not really an answer. It is an extended question. Each of these 10 topics would have their own seven-starred Orions. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
WHAT EVERY FIFTH GRADER SHOULD KNOW (PRIORITIZED)
1. Music — “Cielito Lindo” — if there is one song that every Mexican knows, it is this. If you want to tear down all cultural barriers between you and a Mexican, sing them this song (in Spanish). Would not take more than 3 hours for the average elementary school student learn “Cielito Lindo.”
2. Geography — the North, Central, South — the center and the coasts, the deserts, the mountains, and the rain forests. Should every US 5th grader know the names of the Mexican provinces bordering the US? Why? Why not?
3. Demography — population, diversity, the meaning of “Mexican.” Should every fifth grader know the population of Mexico (125 million) or what it was in 1900 (12 million) or 1940 (25 million)? How about the mix of white/European/castizo (47%), mestizo (25%), indigenous (21%)?
WHAT SHOULD EVERY 8TH GRADER KNOW (PRIORITIZED)
1. The Mexican Conquest, Mayans, Aztecs, Cortes and Montezuma What facts about each are most important?
2. Mexican Independence — Hidalgo (“Father of the Nation”) — above How much context (eg. the Napoleonic Wars) should be known?
3. The Mexican War — Santa Anna and Zachary Taylor and how about the Cinco de Mayo, Maximilian, and the Battle of Puebla?
NB: The Mexican Revolution — Porfirio Diaz, Zapata, and Pancho Villa
WHAT SHOULD EVERY 12TH GRADER KNOW
1. From the PRI to the PAN to AMLO — Salinas to Fox (above) to AMLO
2. The Drug Cartels — El Chapo/Sinaloa, the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas
3. NAFTA — from Reagan to Clinton to Trump
Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:
Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought.
The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.