Thursday, January 7, 2010

English 101, a rebuttal, and humility (Sept 9, 2008)

(posted to Facebook, September 9, 2008)

1) English 101 = lowered self-esteem(?)

My English class is going to be generall easy, I think, but it is already
beginning to make me doubt my skills as a writer. We discussed thesis
statements and topic sentences in class tonight, as well as the importance
of thinking and planning prior to writing an assignment.
I really don't think and plan before I write. Take the SAT essay question,
for example. In the limited amount of time you're given, and even with
my speedy handwriting, I can't spare time to think and plan. I being
writing my gut instinct (since your thesis statement is really just the
question restated as a negative or positive argument) and I occasionally
pause to gather my thoughts.
Well, we're discussing freewriting and outlining and idea mapping and
dialectic talk, and it worries me because I don't do these things. You'd
think it might be different for assignments without as strict of time constraints
as the SAT essay question.
But... no, it's really not. I really don't do these things. And when I try
(because sometimes the assignment is to make a thought web), my flow
of thought gets interrupted by something that is supposed to help it.

Does that make me a poor writer? Clearly not.

Also, Prof. Barnes said that you shouldn't force yourself to write much
more than an hour, unless you're on a really good and moving train of
thought. Again, not for me. If I stop more than momentarily, I lose that
train of thought. Gone. *Poof*

And then! Our exercise to develop a thesis statement was formed around
the broad topic of: "Women are naturally superior to men."


The class then went on to suggest evidence of things along the lines of
women being more nurturing, less aggressive, more mature more quickly,
etc, etc. None of these things mean that you're superior. Actually, I
kind of think that aggressiveness is somewhat important to acheiving a
higher rank. Speaking of higher rank... (see part three)

I understand that it was just an exercise to illustrate a point, but still.

2) Rebuttal = no disrespect

rebuttal (n.) a:the act of rebutting, as in a debate
rebut (v.) a:to refute by evidence or argument; b:to oppose by contrary proof

Okay, so I volunteered to take minutes for the committee, in which I am
currently involved. At a recent meeting, a proposal was... proposed (=))
with evidence and history and an opposing side was also presented with
similar evidence. In the minutes I wrote something to the effect of...
"John Doe presented his argument for the proposal and Jane Doe presented
her rebuttal and evidence to support her statement."

Jane Doe seemed quite offended that I used the word rebuttal to describe
her speech. Hello? It's a perfectly acceptable and very common word in
minutes! Although, she didn't tell me this directly. No, she sent to the entire
committee that she "didn't mean a rebuttal, didn't intend any disrespect."

Even John Doe seemed to disagree with my choice of word. "It wasn't a
rebuttal, just opposing evidence."

(please refer to the definition of rebuttal and rebut at the beginning of this
section) to oppose by contrary proof

Goodness. Now see, I was put off that they didn't respect my choice of
word, because I consider myself a writer and I select my words very
carefully and seriously. Another example would be that most believe that
different is related to bad or weird. Sure, it can be, but I often use
different as a compliment. Oh, the looks I receive.

3) Humility does not = lack of acknowledgement

Completing a level of education means that you have acheived a new rank,
whether it be preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, highschool, college,
or even some different acheivement such as the military.

While it is well and good to be humble (lacking arrogance or haughtiness) about
things you have acheived, that does not mean that you shouldn't have any
pride over a new accomplishment.

Having pride and being proud are two entirely different things. Having pride
simply means that you acknowledge something that you have accomplished
and feel good to have accomplished it. Being proud, however, is what some
confuse with having any pride. Being proud is more than having pride, it is
shoving your accomplishment in others' faces and degrading them because
you feel that you are better than they.

Likewise, being at a higher rank than someone and feeling as if you are better
than them are also not the same thing.


whew. it's nice to write again.

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