Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today we went to the old part of Jaffa (Yafo). It is a beautiful city, neighbored by Tel Aviv (and actually the two are combined today), off the coast of the Mediterranean. I thought Jaffa would be a good topic for a post.

Archaeologists have found evidence that Jaffa existed as a port 4,000 years ago, and they served Egyptian and Phoenician sailors at sea. The word jaffa means beautiful. Historians believe Jaffa is the only port city which has been uninterruptedly inhabited through it’s entire time as a city.

Bibical account lists cedars from Lebanon coming to Jerusalem through Jaffa. Many people have passed through Jaffa; It was occasionally held by Philistia, and it became a Hebrew territory after the Babylonian Captivity. During the Crusades, Richard the Lion Heart took the city. Napoleon also visited the city. The city was a point of entry for many pilgrims until the 20th Century.

We visited the old part of Jaffa today, and were able to walk around and see some beautiful places.For more historical information, check out this site. Enjoy the pictures I took!

I went to use my camera when I landed in Israel, and my trusted camera which has been on several trips with me was broken! Thank goodness my dad brought his smaller camera with him in addition to his other camera. I am also thankful for the zoom power of the little camera! The first picture at the top of my post was taken from the beach in Tel Aviv, a couple miles away.

Saturday, May 28, 2011



Readers, I am quite sorry for the long absence. After Spring Break it took all my motivation to finish the year, so I had to make cuts in certain places, mainly my blog.

It is not that there wasn’t interesting history happening during my absence. There is one event May 13th I saved to blog about this year. Little would I realize that would be the day before my graduation, and I would be so busy I didn’t even make it to my computer for more than a 10 minute interval.

However, the next day, May 14, 2011, was an important day for me; I graduated and was able to enjoy the four years of work I put into my two majors.

May 13th I was watching my roommate graduate and saw there was a history of the academic regalia in the Colorado State Commencement book. In the spirit of graduation, I was curious what the history was behind graduation.

In the Commencement book it says the academic costume dates back to the 13th century, serving the functions of distinguishing academic rank and keeping the wearer warm. In the days of King Henry VIII of England, Oxford and Cambridge began prescribing a definite academic dress.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony (the level I have no achieved) dates back to 1432 when the first ceremony was awarded at Oxford University.

The baccalaureate was regarded as being only a preliminary step to the mastership. Following the awarding of the baccalaureate came a period of studies known as the quadrivium. After studying subjects including arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, Hebrew, Greek, philosophy and history the Master of Arts was awarded.

The cap worn today used to be a hood, which is believed to date back from Celtic Groups. The Druid priests work capes with hoods, which symbolized their superiority and higher intelligence. The tassel on the cap today is a color representing the college the degree is received from. When looking at hood worn, it is the most distinctive and its length and shape indicate whether the degree is a master’s or doctorate. The lining displays the official colors of the university granting the degree and the velvet trim indicates the field of study.

For all my music friends, “Pomp and Circumstance” was composed by Sir Edward Elgar and was first performed on October 19, 1901.

And now that I’ve graduated, it’s time for reality to set in. I wore my hat, received my diploma frame (I’m waiting for my diploma to be mailed to me), and have moved back home. Time to find a job and get on with my life. But first, time for some fun.

This summer I am fortunate enough to be traveling back to Israel. I will be participating in an archaeological dig for five weeks, and will be traveling with my family for two. The idea is to blog about my experience and sites I’ve seen. And I am going to try my hardest to make that happen.

So until next time in Israel, Happy History!