Category: Snyderian Truisms

Truths that apply to all of life.

Snyderian Truism #8

There is no particular order to my truisms. As I think of one, I write it down and it takes its place numerically. We are now up to #8, which is one I’ve had to learn from experience and also one I’ve seen in history; that’s one reason I share it in class. It goes like this: Bitterness may make you feel good temporarily, but it leads to personal destruction. One of the prime examples I use in American history… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #7

Regular readers will know by now that I periodically present what I call Snyderian truisms. These are statements that I consider to be general principles that apply to all of life. We’re now up to #7: The Lord is always more interested in developing character than providing a quick fix. This is not a “fun” truism. Most of us wish it could be modified. We live in a society of quick fixes; we don’t like lingering problems. For those of… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #6

When I teach history, the emphasis is not on statistics, charts, or graphs, helpful as they all are. Instead, I concentrate on individuals and their impact on events. I believe history is a story, which includes themes, plots, and character development. As we begin to delve into the events of history in class, I reveal to my students another Snyderian Truism that I hope will make them see a significant distinction: Personality and character are not the same: the first… Read more »

Snyderian Truisms #4 & #5

Some of my truisms are generated in the classroom. They aren’t always things I’ve sat down and considered beforehand; at times, they pop out unexpectedly. For instance, a number of years ago, I was teaching about the founding of Jamestown and was relating the fact that the first ships that arrived had no women in them. The investors in the company who sent over the ships were primarily interested in trade, so they concentrated on setting up a trading post… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #3

Some of my “truisms” come from personal experience in the classroom. As I embark upon my twenty-fifth year of teaching at the college level, I can attest to the accuracy of Snyderian Truism #3, which states, Ignorance can be corrected, but apathy makes learning impossible. The word “ignorance” sometimes gets an undeserved image. To be ignorant is not to be immoral or foolish or stupid or anything necessarily negative with respect to character. It simply means to be uninformed. I… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #2

Last week I introduced “Snyderian Truisms.” These are comments I’ve been making in class for quite some time, so I decided to turn them into official truths that I believe are undeniable. The first one was “Since God gave you a brain, He undoubtedly expects you to use it.” I give that one to my students in my American history survey courses on the very first day of class. Hopefully, it gets their attention and lets them know my expectations… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #1

When I teach, I try to impress upon students certain truths. I know that sounds impertinent to the ears of some. “What is truth?” they may say. I seem to recall a historical figure named Pontius Pilate who asked the same thing. Jesus, standing before him, had already made it clear He was the truth. So, yes, I believe truth exists. There are certain things I’ve gotten in the habit of telling students over the years, so last summer, before… Read more »