Wednesday, October 1, 2014


My students are writing out-of-class argumentation papers. I let them choose their own topics, and I have been meeting and emailing with them all week helping them shape their arguments. One of my students asked if she had to write an argumentation paper at all because she "hates arguing." I explained it's not necessarily fighting--it's about seeing a change that should be made in the world and trying to get others to see your point of view. She grimaced and stalked away. A couple days later I get an email full of exclamation points because she picked! Her! Topic! Abortion should be illegal! And here! Is! Why!

It was so very hard for me to accept her supporting points. We met after class Tuesday and we went over her outline and research piece by piece. "Here's how you can explain a woman's right to choice is secondary to keeping a fetus alive," I had to say. I DID NOT LIKE IT. But this student was completely lit up. She kept saying over and over again how good it feels to really care about her homework. She wants to include a poem from an aborted baby's perspective. "It would add a few pages to the paper though," she said. "Maybe you could include one line," I reasoned.
Venice. 2014.

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