In March 1836, at the Alamo Mission, a brave band of Texan brothers held off a superior force of Mexican soldiers for 13 days before succumbing to inevitable defeat. Their heroic effort is not forgotten, thanks to a song celebrating the exploits of their leader, Captain William B Travis. The chorus of this rousing air is:
MOST historians agree that Athens was the cradle of democracy. In that ancient city state, citizens who were not slaves or female participated directly in the political process.
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Where are intimidating security men in sharp suits and sunglasses with one hand on a bulging breast pocket when you really need them?
Despite what my detractors may opine, I am a sensitive man. For example, as a young boy I cried my eyes out at the 1948 film Oliver Twist, unable to control my sobbing as I watched a nice workhouse master face financial penury due to the sheer gluttony of an ungrateful orphan.
EIS national officials believe Daniel had it easy when he entered a pit filled with pacing, roaring, hot-breathed lions. A week tomorrow, the mutinous EIS Glasgow Committee of Management is holding a meeting calling for a rejection of the revised pay and conditions deal that the EIS leadership are recommending the membership accept.
It's tiresome but every piece of junk mail dumped at a school's office with the words "democracy" or "election" on it is shovelled towards the modern studies department.
It's been a fantastic season for my school's Under-13 football team. The manager, Stuart, a fellow Modern Studies teacher, led his young side to the latter stages of a national cup competition.
With only four teaching weeks left till the start of this year's SQA diet of examinations, there has been a predictable spike in sales of Immodium Plus to terrified teenagers. The fear of failure is palpable. To be honest, it's a wonderful time to be a teacher. Arrogant youths who bought into the praise culture and believed, despite the absence of objective evidence, that they were gifted pupils, find themselves staring down the barrel of a gun, a big gun, something like Big Bertha.
IN OCTOBER 2002, Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq, displayed his faith in democracy by sanctioning a simple "yes/no" referendum on his leadership.
Monarchists with a misguided sense of tradition will be aghast to discover that my Buckingham Palace mole informs me the carriage taking Kate Windsor (née Middleton) back to the honeymoon suite will have a tasteful "Princess on Board" sign daintily hanging from the rear window.
IN THE autumn of 1986, six years after I qualified as a teacher, I left the profession.
AT THE Battle of the Little Big Horn, it would be fair to say that things went a tad awry for George Armstrong Custer.
IN CUP competitions, the function of a preliminary stage is to knock out the no-hopers who would otherwise bring shame to the main event. School prelims are no different.
I'd LIKE to wish the McCormac review of teaching well, but in my view it has all the credibility of an investigation by President Mubarak into human rights abuses in Egypt.
TOUCH wood, I've never been the superstitious type. Rubbing the amputated foot of a rabbit or stalking a black cat for miles means nothing to a man whose life is ruled by logic. Experience has caused me to dismiss the irrational. For example, bad luck has dogged me all of my 54 years yet I don't recall breaking eight bathroom mirrors or having a Black Spot pressed into my palm at birth.
Like most classroom teachers, the weals on my back are now slightly less visible after last week's scourging of the profession in the media. Claims of illiterate chalkies catched the public's attention and matters growed worser when it emerged that many of those trusted to teach our fine young people struggle with basic numeracy.
It's the news every parent dreads: their child has received an unconditional acceptance at a distant university.
As I write, it's likely that Labour leader Iain Gray is sitting at the hearth, totally engrossed in reading The Broons Annual 2011, a book he mistakenly believes to be a ghost-written account of Gordon and Sarah's final days at Number 10.
I don't work Wednesdays, part of my work/life balance arrangement with my model employer. Last midweek, I had planned to watch repeats of Homes Under the Hammer but, on receiving a cabin-fever induced phone call from mother, I trudged through the snow to clear her path.
It's a moral dilemma of our time: at the workplace, on receiving an e-mail containing an allegedly humorous attachment, should one open it or hit the delete button?