Why I Teach HIS 273: The U.S. and the Vietnam War

Guest post by GCC instructor Bonnie Saunders

There’s a good chance that I taught the very first course on the Vietnam War, way back in 1984 (yes, I’ve been doing this for a while). I have no personal connection to the Vietnam War but I have had strong opinions about it, opinions that have mellowed over the years to a much more rational stance than in the past!

Throughout the teaching of this course I’ve invited Vietnam veterans to talk to my class about their experiences- everyone from the veteran who finally won the court case against the Pentagon for his injuries from Agent Orange, to a nurse who worked in a M.A.S.H. unit, to soldiers who couldn’t tell the difference between a regular peasant and a Viet Cong insurgent.

Despite the terrible consequences Vietnam veterans live with, many have returned to Vietnam to help the Vietnamese people. Some have relocated there permanently and spend all of their time doing humanitarian work. Despite the length of the Vietnam War and the bitterness that followed it, many American tourists now take spectacular vacations to that country.

In HIS273 I teach students to explore why and how the U.S. become involved in the Vietnam War, to examine the consequences, and to ask what we have learned from the experience. One of the most interesting exercises is a written dialogue assignment to write letters between two veterans, one from the Vietnam War and one from either the recent Iraq or Afghanistan wars (real people or invented veterans created from readings and research). Most importantly, I ask them to think about its relevance today, especially as we mark, in 2015, the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

I enjoy teaching and discussing this subject, and I welcome any comments or questions at bonnie.saunders@gccaz.edu.


Northern Arizona University @ GCC Welcomes Students Back

It’s already September!  Summer flew by and we’ve started a new school year.  Soon the weather will cool down (one can only hope!) and before long, autumn and holiday décor will pop up everywhere. Summer 2011 will be a memory as we turn our thoughts to our studies and class assignments.

September, traditionally the month we renew our focus on school, invites us to start fresh and commit to doing well in class. It’s a time mixed with expectation and perhaps a little anxiety, but our education is always a journey that broadens our horizons. It expands our knowledge, improves our critical thinking skills, provides job training and helps us meet the goals we dare to dream such as earning a degree and pursuing a fulfilling career. Continue reading

Don’t be dropped from your classes: An Important Announcement for all Glendale Community College Students

As you may know, there is still time to register for fall classes. In fact, the enrollment center will be open from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 in addition to their Monday-Thursday schedule. We all know that registering for classes also means paying for classes. Glendale Community College offers payment plans and financial aid options in an effort to ease the burden on you a bit. These are worth taking note of because starting this next semester, you could be dropped from your class if you don’t pay or make arrangements to pay your tuition. Continue reading

Top 14 things to look for in a college

We know that choosing a college is one of the hardest decisions you will make in your adult life. You have to know that you can afford the school you choose, be comfortable there and also trust that you will learn what you need to become a successful employee after graduation. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the “Top 14 things to look for in a college” and described how Glendale Community College tackles each concern. Whether you choose to become a Gaucho or go elsewhere, this list is a great starting point for all of those looking to pursue any type of degree or certificate. Continue reading

18 Classes You May Have Overlooked When Registering for Summer & Fall Semesters at Glendale Community College Main Campus

Before you finalize your summer and fall schedules, you need to read through these 18 classes that you may not have thought about before. This list has a little bit for everyone whether you are creative, a bit nervous about college or looking to get into shape. Complete with photos & videos, this list is sure to get you thinking about registering for next semester. But sign up soon, now that this list is out, classes may fill up fast!

If you’ve found other awesome classes that you’d like to share, please leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite courses at Glendale Community College are! Continue reading