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Mid-Semester Evaluation

kgould's picture

 I enjoy this course and I've noticed that I've been able to find something in each of the books useful or interesting, even if the work as a whole did not impress me. 

I like what we've done and I'm really interested to see where we're going, especially now that we're going to be shaping the course ourselves. 

But it's our discussions that are be far the most interesting and, as others have mentioned, the most troubling. I think we end up arguing because that's how we've been taught to approach "discussion." In our academic papers we are told to make an argument and prove it. When reality and facts are subjective, it sometimes seems more important to make sure that everyone sees and agrees with our perspective, to validate our understandings and observations, rather than give other perspectives equal acknowledgement. 

I know I talk too much. It's a work in progress but I regularly infringe on Naess's suggestions (rules? mandates? commands?) for discussion... And on the suggestions of Stringfellow Barr who, while writing on concise, constructive, respectful discussion, manages to write quite a lot while saying very little. But if anyone wants to take a look, there is an article by Barr here that discusses constructive dialogue--and the bottom ten bullet points are really the point of the paper.

I want to be a better dialoguer. I think we all do. The question is, how will we get better?... What can we do?...


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