Figuring out anything these days requires wading through an incredible amount of babble. From choosing the best cell phone to deciding on a political stance, one either goes with convenience (best advertising, choice of friends/family, what’s easy/available in the moment) or deliberation (comparison and contrast). How much effort is given to deliberation is also subject to a range of choices and pressures: what information is available, how easily/soon, whether or not one wants to understand alternate points-of-view, and how carefully one studies the implications of choices.

As some of my students struggle to match what they still see as “what I want” (either the model provided by me-as-authority, or to satisfy me-as-evaluator), I too struggle to guide them deeper into their own natural intelligence. The power of the educational form of (restricted) thinking is deeply imprinted, possibly the most effectively on those who have traditionally had the most success in the educational system. I am confident all of my students will discover a place for themselves beyond the classroom, probably most of them will even be happy (such a vital element of the american mythos). (Yes, mine too.)

Will they be leaders in their generation? Will they be “the ones to change things,” as mrcapatiller believes (private conversation), even as he publicly vents his frustration that there are so many seemingly-intractable barriers along the way?

Most students (the ones I’ve had in classes) write from pathos. They think they are writing logically, but many of them still resist learning that their logic is tainted by limited and restricted exposure. Hence, potential misreading by audiences. As rocketsredflair explained (private conversation), “I didn’t mean to be one-sided or prejudiced, I was just expressing my frustration.” I know. But others do not know what I know about each of you from interpersonal contact over a few months. Readers bring their own interpretive lens, personal experiences, and various knowledges to what you – we, I! – write. These interpretations are the places (spacetimes) where social reality is maintained or changed.

The semester nears completion and students labor to produce final evidence of growth, learning, and achievement. The task is difficult, yet the means within reach.