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Non-Fictional Prose Course

Owl's picture

Where I was, where I am now

So when I started off the class, I was a Carl Sagan. I used to have arguments with my family about how science is fact, or rather that there is only one truth out there and scientific facts come closest to reaching that truth. My mom and aunts would say that I was too stubborn to realize that everyone can have their own truth, and theirs was God. As I've come to the end of the semester I have seen how it is that there isn't only one truth, there isn't only one answer. I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to human beings in a social world, we all have our own truths which are based on experiences; and as far as prose goes, we write from different perspectives and angles. 
PS. To pull from one of the presentations:

EVD's picture

Final Post

I really enjoyed the presentations today. I think they really highlighted a lot of the topics we have discussed in this class and each gave an interesting perspective. Even though I originally took this class because I needed an English credit, I have enjoyed the opportunity to read so many different types of literature. This class has given me a new perspective on analyzing the scientific writing that I use every day. I have learned that even what I might consider to be completely unbiased scientific literature cannot really be so. Happy holidays!


veritatemdilexi's picture

Class Notes-12/2


 Email a meeting time for the final paper

Sign up for group members on Tuesday

-youtube video- you should watch this!

-links to more creative writing projects, changing paradigms

-conversation about Karl Sagan’s skepticism- crickets!

-TyL-should question, especially if it feels right

-aya-it would be exhaustive, science looks for an endpoint

EVD-endpoint-we are escaping this demon haunted world through constant investigation

Anne: Use value of Demon Haunted World

veritatemdilexi's picture

Higher Education in America-Polls blame students for poor graduation rates

 The url bellow is a link to a Huffington Post article that sites a recent Stanford Poll that asked the American Public about the graduation rate from four year institutions.  As discussed in class last Thursday, this poll reveals that many people blame the students, rather than the institutions themselves, for an individuals inability to finish college. 


maht91's picture

Studying to be a medical student

 When I was reading the Call of Stories by Robert Coles, I really enjoyed the advice he gave to his students. I am a current EMT and I really feel that Robert Coles's advice to listen and find meaning in the stories that the patients tell the doctors or care-providers even if they don't particularly identify or share the same cultural or literacy backgrounds, resonates well with my experiences talking to patients on the ambulance. My conversations with the patients have gone beyond how are you feeling, and can you point to where the pain is coming from or have you lost consciousness, and they go deeper into listening to the stories of patients, their current lives, their families or what they wish they have done 10 years ago.

maht91's picture

Final thoughts on last class discsussion

 During our discussion about the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, I feel that we no longer need those boundaries, neither do we need a spectrum. I think that the author presents the text to the reader with an intent in mind and a genre to focus on, but the reader is free in every way to read the text through his/her own lens and incorporate his/her own experiences in giving meaning and interpretation of the text. This is part of a theory known as the "Reader's Response Theory" which says that the text does not come into existence until it is read and responded to. There is no right or wrong answer, the reader should just allow his/herself to actively read the book and try to respond to it in the most appropriate way.

Owl's picture

Class Notes for Tuesday 12-7-10

We begun today talking about our final performance groups and our professor asked what it was we wanted to eat that day for class. Let me just say that our choices were wild! (i.e. chocolate and vanilla). A burst of laughter filled the room of course and then we begun class discussion. We started off the discussion by asking yet about other ways we could go about "changing education paradigms".

tgarber's picture

Something I've learned about humans while studying non fiction

 I've learned that humans feel the need to categorize everything. There are always things that break the categories in our lives: gender, race, politics, etc. In order to make sense of our lives we use categories. This adds a greater question that I have yet to answer: Why do we have to categorize in order to make sense of our lives? What would happen to our lives if we didn't have these categories to "organize" our lives?  

ckosarek's picture

Coles: Narrative Psychologist?

The area of "narrative therapy" focuses on the construction of stories as a way of making sense - of giving "meaning" - to our world. It postulates that behavior is not governed by laws, but by the fact that humans are looking for ways to construct a story that gives sense and meaning to their lives. While reading Coles' book, I couldn't help considering whether his theoretical orientation was toward narrative therapy as opposed to psychoanalytic theory. What's interesting about narrative therapy is that is allows a patient to deconstruct his present identity in favor of a new, more functional identity. He cannot rewrite his past story, but can begin writing himself as a different character as he moves through life.

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