Source: Sherman Publications

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‘It’s a global community’

by Kelly Baum

April 11, 2012

From left, Maureen Esther, along with GMS students Zak VanSlyke and Brooke Bloome. VanSlyke tries on a replica of a robe worn by Chinese in about 200 B.C. Esther was at Goodrich Middle School on Wednesday. Photo by Patrick McAbee.
From King Tut to the Civil War, Maureen Esther's presentations are more than just sharing history.

Esther, a historyteller from Rochester Hills, presented "Ch'in Shi Huang Ti, First Emperor of China and his Terra Cotta Army" to Goodrich Middle School's seventh grade social studies classes on April 11. "China has always been an interest," said Esther, who has spent the last 20 years lecturing on history and culture. She has lectured over 40,000 students, and has been a returning speaker at GMS since 1999.

"I just love the community," said Esther. "I'm just honored to be here."

Her presentation on Ch'in, the first emperor of China, covered much of the ancient culture and history of what she calls the unification period in China. Among some of the artifacts she presented to the students were 250-year-old men's shoes inlaid with mother of pearl, and a 100-year-old robe from China's imperial time.

Esther discussed the Great Wall of China, calling it "the perfect example of human endeavor," as well as ancient Chinese warfare where, according to her, "the Chinese take the prize" with being the inventors of fireworks, chemical warfare, and much more. "They have successfully been able to blend art and science," said Esther of what the Chinese were able to accomplish over two thousand years ago.

Esther studied at Oakland University and the University of Michigan, double majoring in history and art history. "Most of my knowledge comes from books," she admits. Esther has not yet had the opportunity to travel to China, but is planning on doing so in the future.

"With China coming on the world scene, it's so important for us to understand," said Esther. "It's a global community. We have to study others' history."

"I'm very fortunate," she said of her opportunities to lecture. "You have to share what you have."

For more information on Maureen and her upcoming presentations, visit www.maureenesther.org.