Discussion Questions

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Your discussion grade will depend on the thoroughness of your responses, which would include your familiarity with the reading and your ability to tie in to and respond to others’ ideas. As noted in the course objectives, one of our goals is to synthesize information from others’ thoughts along with your own. To be a relevant part of the historical conversation, it’s important to know what has been said before and to demonstrate that knowledge.  Write discussion posts, each at least a paragraph in length in order for you to develop your thoughts.

1.       Respond to the prompt for Knowledge Its Own End (pp 31-37) here

Newman says, “Knowledge is capable of being its own end. Such is the constitution of the human mind, that any kind of knowledge, if it really be such, is its own reward.”

Comment on the value of your general education studies classes. Do you think universities have a responsibility to deliver a liberal education alongside training for a profession? (Please develop your ideas into a thoughtful, cohesive, and grammatically sound paragraph. Remember to synthesize some of Newman’s thoughts into your response.)

2.       Respond to the prompt for Learning to Read (pp 24-29) here

“I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition without the remedy.”–Frederick Douglass (1845)

Comment on whether your personal education has produced a similar paradigm shift in your life similar to the one that Douglass describes. Have you read things that caused you to revise your worldviews in ways that initially produced mental, spiritual, or perceptual chaos? (Remember to synthesize some of Douglass’ thoughts into your response.)

3.       Respond to the prompt on How to Tame a Wild Tongue (pp 205-216)

“If you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity–I am my language.” Gloria Anzaldúa (1987)

Has attending college made you more aware of the different languages and dialects people speak? Do you feel pressure to conform to one way of speaking? Or does the college environment (in and out of class) embrace diversity and encourage people to preserve their identities through language? (Remember to synthesize some of Anzaldúa’s thoughts into your response. Also, keep in mind that accents in names are part of the spelling.)