qotd: activity


Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.

—Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior

3 thoughts on “qotd: activity

  1. My last year of teaching I got a new chairperson. At the time, I was struggling in my head to justify to students why they should get an English degree. What would it do for them in the post-recession economy? My new chair wrote a description for the college explaining that in everything we do, we tell stories: to the doctor when we don’t feel well, to the mechanic when our cars make a funny noise, to our loved ones when we get home from work, etc. Since the basis of existence is storytelling, and English degree would never be a bad choice. I wanted to add that we naturally tell stories and don’t need a degree to do that, that anyone with an English degree will likely end up going to get a master’s degree in something else to be able to work in society, but I was also encouraged by her approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that approach as well — I think an English degree has a lot of value in teaching students how to think historically, argue well, and read/listen effectively. I came across this article last year (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/08/the-humanities-face-a-crisisof-confidence/567565/), which suggests the decline in students studying the humanities might reflect not the fields’ (supposed) worthlessness but merely students’ fear that they are worthless.


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