“Learning in the Key of Life”
This article is about different styles of learning and what is really important in education. I agree that everything should not be about computers. If we all focus on computers, then no one will write or paint anything to inspire us. Life would become very boring. I like the idea of teaching classics as well as modern pieces in art and literature. Some teachers have already begun to do this, with books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games as a part of high school reading lists. Reading books like these keeps students interested, because they are easier to relate to than many classics. Students can learn the same lessons from these books. The lessons have not changed. I think letting students choose what inspires them is a great idea. This style of education would create a love of learning.
“The Idea of a University”
This article is about some of the negative parts of college education. College is very expensive, and jobs are not always waiting at the end. The article describes a cyber-university, and this would help with the costs of attending college. However, I think a lot of subjects would not be the same online. Courses like music, theatre, and art would not the same if taught online. Learning in the arts requires an audience and discussion. It takes time to open up and feel comfortable. This could not be accomplished in a two week session in the summer. I think a cyber-university would cater more to classes outside of the arts.
“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
This article is a speech given by Frederick Douglass in 1852. He described how the United States broke free from Great Britain, and how noble the forefathers were. He then described how badly the slaves were treated, and how that was not at all noble. He gave examples such as crimes that a black man would be killed for committing, even though a white man would not be killed for committing the same crime. He was very upset that slavery now existed all over the United States, not just in the South. Overall, he argued that all slavery should be stopped, and he did this on a national holiday to make people think hard about it.
“A Letter To America”
This article is a letter to America, written by Margaret Atwood in 2003. Atwood is a writer from Canada and uses the letter as a way to warn America about the path it is on. I agree with what she says about the economy. There is a lot of national debt, and it only seems to be getting worse. I think she is partly right about how other countries see the United States. There is so much arguing in this country. I don’t think either side can fix all the problems Atwood talks about.
“And Our Flag Was Still There”
This article was written by Barbara Kingsolver just after the attacks on September 11th, 2001. It was very interesting to read about all the images that go along with the American flag. It is hard to break away from the war images when that is how the country began. Anger over the attacks caused a mob mentality, and that can be very dangerous. I think Kingsolver’s ideas about retiring old, violent images and celebrating new, peaceful images are wonderful.