5 And after the lecture the most common form of discussion was the disputation. This is at least nominally preserved in our present-day thesis defense: most people treat the words thesis and dissertation as interchangeable, but originally, at least, a thesis was a position one took and the dissertation was the argument by which one defended. Defending a position may be a necessary evil in a legal dispute, but it's not the best way to get at the truth, as I think lawyers would be the first to admit. It's not just that you miss subtleties this way. The real problem is that you can't change the question. And yet this principle is built into the very structure of the things they teach you to write in high school.
What i didnt Post on Instagram: a collection of Essays
This had two drawbacks: (a) an expert on literature need not himself be a good writer, any more than an art historian has to be a good painter, and (b) the subject of writing now tends to be literature, since that's what the professor. High schools imitate universities. The seeds of our miserable high school experiences were sown in 1892, when the national Education Association "formally recommended that literature and composition be unified in the high school course." 4 The 'riting component of the 3 Rs then morphed into English, with the bizarre. It's no wonder if this seems to the student a pointless exercise, because we're now three steps removed from real work: the students are imitating English professors, who are imitating classical scholars, who are merely the inheritors of a tradition growing out of what was. No defense The other big difference between a real essay and the things they make you write in school is that a real essay doesn't take a position and then defend. That principle, like the idea sheets that we ought to be writing about literature, turns out to be another intellectual hangover of long forgotten origins. It's often mistakenly believed that medieval universities were mostly seminaries. In fact they were more law schools. And at least in our tradition lawyers are advocates, trained to take either side of an argument and make as good a case for it as they can. Whether cause or effect, this spirit pervaded early universities. The study of rhetoric, the art of arguing persuasively, was a third of the undergraduate curriculum.
Writing was one of the casualties. Colleges had nurse long taught English composition. But how do you do research on composition? The professors who taught math could be required to do original math, the professors who taught history could be required to write scholarly articles about history, but what about the professors who taught rhetoric or composition? What should they do research on? The closest thing seemed to be English literature. 3 And so in the late 19th century the teaching of writing was inherited by English professors.
There was a good deal of resistance at first. The first courses in English literature seem to have been offered by the newer colleges, particularly American ones. Dartmouth, the University of Vermont, Amherst, and University college, london taught English literature in the 1820s. But Harvard didn't have a professor write of English literature until 1876, and Oxford not till 1885. (Oxford had a chair of Chinese before it had one of English.) 2 What tipped best the scales, at least in the us, seems to have been the idea that professors should do research as well as teach. This idea (along with the PhD, the department, and indeed the whole concept of the modern university) was imported from Germany in the late 19th century. Beginning at Johns Hopkins in 1876, the new model spread rapidly.
But schools change slower than scholarship. In the 19th century the study of ancient texts was still the backbone of the curriculum. The time was then ripe for the question: if the study of ancient texts is a valid field for scholarship, why not modern texts? The answer, of course, is that the original raison d'etre of classical scholarship was a kind of intellectual archaeology that does not need to be done in the case of contemporary authors. But for obvious reasons no one wanted to give that answer. The archaeological work being mostly done, it implied that those studying the classics were, if not wasting their time, at least working on problems of minor importance. And so began the study of modern literature.
Getting real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build
But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens. With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball. How did things get this way?
To answer that we essay have to go back almost a thousand years. Around 1100, europe at last began to catch its breath after centuries of chaos, and once they had the luxury of curiosity they rediscovered what we call "the classics." The effect was rather as if we were visited by beings from another solar system. These earlier civilizations were so much more sophisticated that for the next several centuries the main work. European scholars, in almost every field, was to assimilate what they knew. During this period snow the study of ancient texts acquired great prestige. It seemed the essence of what scholars did. European scholarship gained momentum it became less and less important; by 1350 someone who wanted to learn about science could find better teachers than Aristotle in his own era.
Love comes under the philosophical microscope. An entire chapter is devoted to the nuances and subtexts of an initial date. Another chapter mulls over the question of how and when to say i love you. Theres an essay on how uncomfortable it can be to disagree with a lovers taste in shoes and a lengthy discussion about the role of guilt in love. The book is an intriguing blend of novel and non-fiction.
As in a novel, there are characters and realistic settings, but these are blended in with a host of more abstract ideas. The book has attracted a particular following among those who have recently fallen in love - or come out of a relationship. September 2004, remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion. The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in, moby dick was a christ-like figure. So i'm going to try to give the other side of the story: what an essay really is, and how you write one. Or at least, how I write one. The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature. Certainly schools should teach students how to write.
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Cover: holographic foil stamping on uncoated paper. Designed by kj parish. Printed and bound in the United States. Buy now.99, also available for, pDF. Kindle ibooks, explore The, book, about The resume author, read"s. Chrissy Stockton, you might Also like. Essays in love is a novel about two young people, who meet on an airplane between London and Paris and rapidly fall in love. The structure of the story isnt unusual, but what lends the book its interest is the extraordinary depth with which the emotions involved in the relationship are analysed.
home the fact that we are all just trying to figure it out — we are all a little confused when it comes to life, we are all just trying to belong. The essays housed in this collection are deeply honest, and real, and they make you feel seen and connected because they reveal the humanness in a platform that has quickly become less than human. They expose an honest, softer, somewhat confronting side to social media — a side that we all need to see, a side that we all need to digest, because that is the side that inspires, that is the side that represents who we are. In an age where a single Instagram post is consumed by thousands of people, its time we started to make social media real again. This book is our first step. Paperback, 5.75.
Hire the right Customers, scale later, make opinionated Software. Feature selection, half, not Half-Assed, it good Just doesnt Matter, start With. Hidden Costs, can you handle It? Human Solutions, forget feature requests, hold the mayo. Process, race to running Software, rinse and Repeat, from Idea to Implementation. Test in the wild, shrink your Time. The Organization, unity, alone time, meetings Are toxic seek and Celebrate Small Victories Staffing Hire less and Hire later Kick the tires Actions, not Words Get Well rounded Individuals you cant fake enthusiasm Wordsmiths Interface design Interface first Epicenter Design Three state solution The Blank.
Seneca Essays book 1 - stoics Home page
Full list of essays included in the employability book, introduction, what is Getting, real? About 37signals, caveats, disclaimers, and other preemptive strikes. The Starting Line, build Less, whats your Problem? Fund yourself, fix Time and Budget, Flex Scope. Have an Enemy, it Shouldnt be a chore, stay lean. Less Mass, lower your Cost of Change, the Three musketeers. Embrace constraints, be yourself, priorities, whats the big idea? Ignore details Early On, its a problem When Its a problem.