Asking Questions: the Test in Protest

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And what happens if we all don’t vote?

Consider this question and a new form of poem: The Quiz.

  • Quiz
By Linh Dinh

Invaders invariably call themselves:
a) berserkers
b) marauders
c) frankincense
d) liberators

Our enemies hate us because:
a) we’re sadists
b) we’re hypocrites
c) we shafted them
d) we value freedom

Our friends hate us because:
a) we’re bullies
b) we hate them
c) we’re hypocrites
d) we value freedom

Pushed to the ground and kicked by a gang of soldiers, about to be shot, you can save your life by brandishing:
a) an uzi
b) a crucifix
c) the Constitution
d) a poem

A poem can:
a) start a war
b) stanch a wound
c) titillate the masses
d) shame a nation
Read more, and learn the answers at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/53802/quiz

Try your own quiz poem.

Justice

just salary immigrants

I saw this sign in Llano Park:

Everyone has a right to dignified work and a just salary. Immigrants are people who have family, want work, and have rights like you.

I asked some locals who these immigrants are, where they are from, and whether this was a new message. The folks I spoke with said the immigrants are mostly folks from other Latin American countries and that this is not a new message.

I asked why it was in the park if it was not new. I asked if it had anything to do with the influx of immigrants headed to the United States. I asked if they knew immigrants who’d faced discrimination.

I always have more questions than answers.

Grades Are Posted

finalsStudents always ask questions that I cannot answer: How many people get A’s in this course?  This is in a Critical Thinking course where I want them to know what’s critical is that they are learning to think and that a grade cannot exactly measure their growth.  But I can’t tell them that grades don’t matter (to me as their teacher) because I know that they are the keys that these students are seeking, keys they can turn into universities, into careers, into happy, stable lives (no pressure). When they ask this, I offer what I can: the list of our assignments, the rubrics they are assessed by, the texts to read, the promise of lively discussions to illuminate the material, some extra credit, office hours, my willingness to respond to emails at nearly all hours of the day (provided they are not asking questions about what grade this essay would earn at this point). I want to say: you have an A; ow what will you learn?  But I know, for some of us, it would be far more productive to promise an F from day one.  It’s a tricky balance that we usually figure out by the time grades are posted.