In My Class and Our World
In my recent essay, I went off on one of my mantras about thinking rather than copying. The copying issue is at two levels. Copying means do not plagiarize, which is easy at one level. At another level, I want my students to read the assignment in their textbook, go over my PowerPoint, and research on the Internet. Then their weekly assignment is to write an essay on a topic about which interests them.
I love teaching, but it is often difficult to get all my class on the same page. Some students buy into my mantra and are off running regarding either level of copying. Others are more hesitant. They will question why I am pushing that mantra all the time. When they finally grasp my mindset, more than one student will comment that they rarely stumble across a professor like me. I am sure that it is true, but they never had an instructor who moved from a nice middle-class town and school system in one of the richest communities in a state and the 19th best school system in America.
I was getting ready for junior high back in the 50s when I felt both dumb and poor. Trust me. That curse haunted me for years. Feeling both dumb and poor in Mt. Lebanon was etched into my psyche. However, other people and professors had a different spin on my Weltanschauung. Louie Palmer was such a professor while I was at Muskingum University. Once I came to terms with realizing that I had made a mistake in judgment, the curse became a blessing. I don’t want my students to make the same mistake that I made over six decades ago.
I desire to push my students to believe in themselves. None of us are ranked with Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, but we all are much more intelligent than we think we are. My classes know about the effects of Mt. Lebanon on me within the first week of every semester. Over the years, I will write articles about eureka moments of students. In my most recent essay, Shada did the educational dance correctly. She read the assignment and thought, pondered, and wondered. In her essay, she mused over contradictions that she saw within the Hindu mindset related to women. Regardless of what some Hindus believe, lumping women into a second-class station in life is sexism. The sexism issue is easily spotted if the observer thinks and doesn’t copy some male’s point-of-view.
I should have planned ahead better. My web administrator, Sandy, was wondering where my article was. I was behind the eight-ball. Since the essay dealt with Shada’s musing over Hindu religious sexism, I emailed Shada late that afternoon requesting a photo of her studying on her computer. It didn’t take very long before Sandy was working on my essay in Sweden.
Sandy reads everything that I ever write. She was delighted that Shada was thinking and not merely repeating something that men said.
Every class that I have ever taught has heard that same mantra from me. Education is different than repeating what someone said or wrote. Whether my students and I agree or not on some issues is irrelevant. However, repeating isn’t learning; it’s merely repeating. My students and the rest of the world must grasp the importance of thinking about religions and everything else.
Repeating something and claiming it to be true is seen on many levels in America. We had a president who expected everyone to buy into what he said. However, that only worked for a while.
Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s lawyers, said that Dominion Voting Systems caused Trump to lose the election by flipping Trump’s votes to Biden. In some manner, the former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, request the flipping. That is an iffy notion because Chavez died on March 5, 2013, while Obama was president. Due to Chavez and Dominion, Trump beat Biden “by a landslide.”
Powell irritated a sleeping kraken. Dominion’s suit is for around $1.3. Since she is a strong female attorney, she isn’t rattled. Powell merely wants the court to dismiss Dominion’s defamation suit. Why? Her request is based upon the issue that “no reasonable person” would believe that her previous statements “were truly statements of fact.”
Allow me to explain her modus operandi is from a legal perspective. It is okay to lie, but, if one is caught lying, that person is incident of lying because no one believes the lies. Somehow, Americans need to get on the same page…by thinking and not repeating.