Here is your weekly dose of Star Wars related content for a blog.
It hurts my pride to agree with Langer so much on mindful learning ideas, because I despise her examples so much. I can get around her wad of gum example by saying it depends on who you ask and how they determine what a wads of is. It is to the point that facts are context dependent. One of my favorite subjects as a kid was history, and I was an eager pupil. Many years later, I started reading different perspectives on the history of the United States. It makes me sad to realize how distorted the narrative that I learned was, and probably still is. I know full well that I believed what I read was fact. It was in the textbook, it was on the worksheets, I wrote reports on it, and it was on the tests. I always got those answers right, always. I appreciate having read other perspectives of U.S. history, as it has reengaged me in a topic that I once loved. For me personally, it has helped me realize that other perspectives need to be listened to.
With that said though, I have difficulty in listening to everyone’s perspective. The class I was a TA for in the fall involved a lot of reading papers and having discussions in class. We would be sailing along smoothly then, inevitably, one particular student would say something that could have only made sense to him. We could ask follow-up questions, but I don’t think they helped us better understand where he was coming from. For me, my internal reaction was always why would you say that, and what are we supposed to do with this nonsense now? It was very difficult to ever offer any validity to the things he said, but we couldn’t ignore him. He was making an effort to be part of the conversation, and you can’t be mad at him for trying. We never really figured out what to do in responding to him. We waited out the semester, and were done with it.