In class, we created a Venn diagram version of the essay "Why I Ride." We identified three ways the author shows a reader who she is--and who she is is sort of complicated, both good and bad, brave and scared, happy and sad, etc. (I will make the Venn diagram slide available on the syllabus once class is over for those folks who weren't in class--which is most of you).
FIRST: So, for your 250 words, summarize the three big things that Richman writes about as her way of telling us about who she is.
And, then: do some analysis (as always), which would tell me the thesis of this essay. And that thesis is, as you might expect, is the answer to this question: Who is Jana Richman? Connect the summary you write about for the first part with the analysis you are doing here.
THEN: As a way to start the final project for our class, identify who you are prior to showing up here in college--what are the things that made you you before landing at BSU? You can consult some of the question from the We Are Bridgewater assignment to help you to answer this part.
AND REMEMBER: Cookie deal is still in play, people, still in play.
In today's listening assignment, the host, Nadia Bolz-Weber, opens the show talking about how her own perspective, as a white, middle-class woman, to seeing a cop car on the street is probably pretty different from the Black woman whose house the cop was sitting outside of.
Her point is to say that when we learn the perspectives of others, we have to rethink our own ideas, our own perspectives. Her interview with Wilhelm Verwoerd, the grandson of a chief architect of the policy of Apartheid (read more about that here), is a further exploration of that idea.
For this discussion board post, you have two jobs. First: give a summary and analysis of the podcast assigned for homework. We will have worked on this in class in our google doc/group format. Second: Respond to the prompt above: What did talking to your alum make you think about your own self? Did it make you think about how you are approaching college? Did it make you think about your own student habits or personality traits and what that might mean for a future? Did it make you think about the time we are living in (going to school during 9/11 or going to school during a pandemic or election year)?
By answering the second part of this, you will potentially have a thesis and a way to shape and organize the information that your alums have given you.
FOR THIS IN-CLASS DISCUSSION BOARD POST: Everyone should have at least some information from their alum at this point. Even if you haven't completed your interviews or have more questions for them, you at least have the information they've shared with you so far. In a series of in-class writings that you will post to this space, I hope you will start to do the work of ANALYSIS. This involves summarizing information and then analyzing it for what is important and significant. That analysis will turn into your thesis for this paper. Your evidence will be the information that your alum has given you.
This is a good place to see what you've got to work with so far. This paper is due to me at the end of next week. So it's good to know where you are at and what more you need to do. Remember what I keep saying: the more information you have from your alum, the easier it is to write this paper. And, two, you can't--cannot, cannot--just put a bunch of answers to a bunch of questions.
1. What are the top three most interesting things you've learned about your alum? Why are they interesting to you?
2. In what ways, if any, do you feel like your alum and you have something in common? What are those things?
3. Do you notice a difference in how your alums think about their time at BSU from how you think about it? Has talking with them made you reconsider how you approach your college career at all? Why or Why not?
4. What things do you want to know more about from your alum?
5. Are there things from the in-class alums that you see your alum has in common with them? What are they?
6. Finally, what could a tentative thesis be for your profile of your alum be based on the information you have so far. Write down what that thesis sentence could be and what evidence you feel proves it--also include what other questions you might ask to get information that could help you prove that point.
PART I: Using the material that you and your group mates produced in class on the shared google.doc, produce your 250 word summary of Ngozi Adiche's Danger of A Single Story (here is that link). You should feel free to edit or change what got written in your 250 words on the google.doc in anyway that makes sense to you--you might include parts of your group's writing. You might include parts from other group's writing that makes sense to use.
PART II: As we discussed in class, one single story can deeply affect how you are understood in the world and how the world understands you. So, for the last part of your post, in at least 100 words, what is the dangerous single story of your alum? What is the story that could be told about your alum that would limit who they can be in the world--or what story could have limited how they saw themselves but they made decisions to NOT let it determine who they are and what is possible in their world? Answering this question, even just using the info you got from them in the initial greeting email, will help you think about how to shape your essay around a thesis.
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