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These are the intangibles I take with me on my journey through life.  The first is my girlfriend, who I have had the pleasure of dating since February.  She is funny and sweet and always makes me happy.  The second is my pets. They, with their simple mannerisms, can somehow be the most annoying yet cute animals on Earth. The third is Martin Luther King Jr. I really built up a respect for his work during this class. Finally, I take with me my family and friends because they are what helps me most through this journey.

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Teacher-Student Relationships and the Positive Effect on Education

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A positive teacher-student relationship

A common problem within the United States has been a lack of positive emotional relationships between teachers and students, which is one of the reasons many students fail to complete high school or to continue after graduation for higher education in college. Dead Poet’s Society is a movie, which explores the benefits and detriments of this type of relationship, but ultimately, the themes within Dead Poet’s Society are not effectively explored due to the dramatic nature of the film.

A teacher’s contribution in molding students is undeniable. They are some of the first examples of how an adult should act aside from the student’s family, and often, “teachers spend more time with students than their parents do” (Strauss).  This time is spent during an individual’s most formative years, when people establish creative autonomy and free thought and morality etc, but if there is no emotional connection between students and teachers, what motivates students to learn and apply themselves? Over time, teachers begin to represent all things boring and drab within student’s lives. They learn, not because they want to, but because they are required to, and a barrier similar to boss and employee builds between teachers and students. In Dead Poet’s Society, John Keating overcomes the barriers between himself and his students by teaching them about thinking for themselves specifically in the scene where he tells them to rip out pages of their textbook. This appeals to his student’s inherent rebellious nature at their age and places himself on a different level from other teachers, breaking through the “teacher-student professionalism barrier”, but this barrier is broken somewhat too easily.

This is perhaps more of a two part introduction? Need advice on how to present analysis and explanation of the issue then analysis and explanation of how the movie presents and solves (or fails to solve) the issue without making paragraphs too convoluted with added research etc. I’ll read the example researched argument several times I suppose.

Teacher-Student Relationships and the Positive Effect on Education

The Effectiveness of Thoreau and King’s Appeals to Change the Government

 

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The Star-bellied Sneetches by Dr. Seus is a metaphor for different races.

Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. are two men who used words, not violence, to change the popular belief of how the United States of America should function. Using appeals to good nature, emotion, and authority, King sways the hearts of people to peacefully petition the government to promote equality between blacks and whites. Using analogies, appeals to emotion, and his own authority as a man unfettered by the machinations of the government, Thoreau beats against the bars entrapping a man’s conscience as a result of the role government believes they should hold, so he can become free from the influence of others, transforming into an individual. These two men achieve their goals of changing people’s perception of the government and how it should treat them in ways that are similar and also different, one with the slight arrogance of a scholar and the other with the kind words of a brother.

 

The Effectiveness of Thoreau and King’s Appeals to Change the Government

Satire as Effective Argument

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The dreaded left hand coming to consume your soul.

Although in the beginning he offers somewhat straightforward criticism of the government of North Carolina with statements such as “The elimination of the compulsory attendance law, ‘to prevent any child from being forced to attend a school with a child of another race,'” Harry Golden in “The Vertical Negro Plan” portrays himself as well-intentioned to solve the problem of the “‘decisions’ involving the elimination of racial discrimination in public schools,”.  His absurd proposals of the “WHITE BABY PLAN”, the “GOLDEN ‘OUT-OF-ORDER’ PLAN”, and the “VERTICAL NEGRO PLAN” poke fun at the government’s small and hardly useful efforts to desegregate North Carolina in a way that seems like he truly wants to use these plans to help North Carolina.

Roger Guffey in “Left-Handers (Those Sickos) Got No Reason to Live!” makes his point by suggesting to get rid of left-handed people, which is a very clever comparison to homosexual groups, but this suggestion is not made in a way that seems to be nice or helpful with statements such as “We should all band together and pray fervently that God will strike these little perverts dead,”.

Satire as Effective Argument

Issue Proposal

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Keating’s Class in Dead Poet’s Society

There is no doubt about the fact that the US educational system struggles where many other countries continually outperform. I believe this issue arises mainly due to an emotional distance between teachers and students as a result of American culture fearing illicit relationships between them. The movie Dead Poet’s Society explores the benefits and detriments of closeness between teachers and students. The emotional bond between Keating and his students allows him to guide them in both education and their individual lives, and some of its ideas could be effectively applied to today’s educational system. How can emotional connections help teachers and students better understand each other to the point that students want to learn and teachers want to teach.

This issue is compelling because of the widespread nature of the problem as well as the time that the problem has persisted despite continual attempts of reform. Although there have been improvements in recent years, many students still perform less than expected on standardized tests and drop out due to poor grades in classes.

I know that this somewhat arises due to the aspect of American culture of convenience. Results from school require patience and several years of study. Students, seeing this daunting education decide to give up before they even finish or quit as a result of the educational system being less accommodating to their type of learning. Changing the culture of American students requires a strong emotional bond between the student and the person they view as a role model in order to influence their values in a beneficial way. Optimally, their role model would be their teachers who can influence the students to take their studies to heart.

I need to learn more about other culture’s values of education, more specifically about what they are able to do better than the US in order to draw parallels between what we are doing and what we should be doing. Learning more specifically about the reasons behind students quitting school would also be helpful in providing a solution  to the problem.

Issue Proposal

“‘Honey Boo Boo’s’ Come, Society’s Values Go” by Kathleen Parker

 

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Honey Boo Boo’s family

I am arguing against Kathleen Parker’s claim that television series such as Honey Boo Boo are a detrimental form of entertainment to society, specifically to the intellectual aspect. This will be interesting because I actually agree with her.

Summary
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a “spectacle” similar to the “diversions… reminiscent of carnival sideshows”, and even “more offensive than the show [itself]” is that the audience “enjoys the misfortunes and disadvantages of others”. Ultimately, this leads to a “complicit…decline of community values”.

One thing I question is not a particular claim, but Parker’s intended audience, and her diction, which seems to alienate her audience at times. At the beginning of her article it seems as if she is writing to an audience of people who generally agree with her or have not yet seen Honey Boo Boo, but towards the end of the article, she makes a short quip, “I changed the channel and, lurching past my usual flat-line pursuits, landed in a documentary about Alexandria (ancient Egypt, not modern Virginia)”.  This jab seems to suggest that anyone reading the article may not be at the general intellectual level to understand the relative historical importance between a modern and an ancient city, which leads to the question of what is she attempting to achieve by saying this.

“‘Honey Boo Boo’s’ Come, Society’s Values Go” by Kathleen Parker

Analysis of My Writing Style

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Men’s Soccer Tournament, November 15, 3rd Place

The last time I argued was with, not so unexpectedly, my parents.  It was also over a slightly cliche topic, whether or not my sister had done the dishes last or not.  I will admit that my memory was slightly hazy if not opaque about the day in question, but that didn’t stop me from insisting emphatically that it wasn’t my turn.  I pointed at several pieces of evidence. The forks and knives were facing down, which is my sister’s trademark (I prefer to have them face up to avoid getting the forks stuck in the holes of the basket), but all of the dishes were covered in a slight coating of slime and small bits of food, and the dish washer gave off a slightly pungent odor similar to cauliflower and overripe milk. This indicated that although she had put all of the dishes in the dishwasher, she had not turned it on. I also pointed to the pots and pans with last night’s dinner plastered on the insides and conclusively deduced that it was not, in fact, my turn for dishes and thus got out of two more days of dishes as I watched my sister begrudgingly and angrily clean them.

This argument is generally typical of my normal style because I prefer a more logical approach, listing facts to prove my points, rather than an emotional approach.  Although this is my general approach, I also enjoy changing up my style a lot to occasionally parody or admire another’s writing.  Writing in different ways and from different perspectives helps to form a larger amount of empathy for that person or argument.  I believe writing is a gateway to understanding other cultures.

The greatest influence on my writing would be my English teacher in High School.  I had him for three years in a row for AP classes and honors English.  He helped guide each of his students to a hone their writing styles, and I, being an aspiring Chemical Engineer, generally took a more analytical approach.

I like most that my style of writing is generally direct, but I would like to add more emotional appeal to my essays and arguments because facts may logically make sense to someone but tugging on a person’s heart makes them truly devote themselves to your argument (not in a manipulative way of course).  When people devote themselves to your argument, you have truly created a cause worth fighting for and agreeing with, so my writing generally lacks because of this missing component.

Analysis of My Writing Style