Although an educator by profession, I have dabbled in many different trades, hobbies, skills, etc. At times I am a tailor, woodworker, blacksmith, bagpiper, gardener, brewer, farmer, and many more. I am certainly not a high level craftsman, master, or artist. I embody the old phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none." I therefore am a Factotum.

Factotum present singular imperative of faciō (“do, make”) + tōtum (“everything”); attested in English from 1566.

1. (dated) A person having many diverse activities or responsibilities.

2. (dated) A general servant.

3. A jack of all trades.

4. An individual employed to do all sorts of duties.

I LOVE history, and simply reading about it leaves many of my senses neglected. The many things I have taken on are an attempt at re-living elements of history that allows me to experience, taste, feel, smell, etc. the history that I love. There is also a sense of tradition, maintaining/carrying on tradition, and continuing the old that I love (and embrace in various aspects in my life). Friends have referred to this using the term “revival.” I like that term as it embraces what I do in my life. A lot of my attitudes (now more than even a year or two ago) are to really revive ways of doing things; honoring and remembering the past and those that came before us, as well as enriching the way I live in a more deep, cultural, and full way. I like to think I am living a better life because of this and that my family is living and learning in a great way as well.

The mortality of the older generation of my family has been pressing a lot upon my mind. My wife and I have had numerous discussions about what we know of our families and all of the traditions. We have been discussing how we can teach our children about their family and about their heritage in an everyday sort of way. I am pleased that my interest in traditional elements of my paternal Scottish ancestry fits into this. We also want our children to indulge in their German, Norwegian, and other roots as well. As a teacher, I too often see how traditions and family knowledge disappear between generations.

Perhaps this is best left by giving the following quotes:

"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame” - Gustav Mahler

"I seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old. I seek the things they sought." - Basho

Also feel free to check out my history website, a site that archives my old French in Wisconsin site and blog as well as has additions