What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

15 October 2010

Meet My Instructor

My favourite instructor this semester, by far, is my Rhetoric instructor. (Just as well, since it's my major.)

I knew she had a brilliant sense of humour before I entered her class, because her office is across the hall from my instructor's office from over the summer, and I used to read the stuff on her door while waiting. And that's when I decided that I wanted to be in her class, whatever it was.
Turns out "whatever" is pretty darn depressing-- it's about the rhetoric of war. But it's a history of rhetoric class, so we're studying wars from so long ago (the Peloponnesian War, for instance) that, as she says, we don't care who won, so it's easy to look at the rhetoric without our own emotion getting in the way (as would certainly happen if we discussed, say, the Iraq War). We will eventually get to Vietnam, but not until we've had lots of practise looking for the rhetoric in a situation. Plus, the majority of these modern college students probably don't have parents that can remember much about Vietnam, being as they are 10 years+ younger than I and my parents were teenagers during the conflict; the emotion is still pretty well diminished.

Enough about the class: I've named this instructor Red Ball. Actually, she named herself that and I've just appropriated it, being as I can't think of anything better (I have got to practise naming things). One of her dogs was a bit OCD about his red ball, apparently, so much so that when he tore it up they had to replace it with another red ball because he wouldn't touch any other colour. This dog also wouldn't let any other dogs play with his red ball, and apparently thought the squirrels were also out to get the red ball. So, Red Ball uses illustrations that involve wars with squirrels and fights over red balls. It's great. Brings an element of fun to a class about a depressing topic.

4 comments:

Patricia A. Timms said...

The older I get the more I want to learn about the business of war. When I was younger though, it was boring or confusing. I think now I wouldn't mind learning the rhetoric of war.

The dog is funny with the red ball.

Su said...

For a while, she kept a blog from the dog's perspective, and when I need a break from classwork I read an entry or two. It's hysterical. So both my instructor and her dog have a great sense of humour. :)

It is a really interesting topic (war, that is, not dogs and red balls), for all that it is depressing. This is such a practical class beyond the writing skills we are picking up, because the themes of going to war tend to be the same throughout history. And she doesn't really come down on either side of any conflict; she just has us look for the rhetoric. Really useful skill for making our own decisions about things. (This comment is getting long. Guess I'm done.)

Marieke said...

She sounds like a brilliant teacher! But mostly, this sounds like *such* an interesting class! I've always loved rhetorics :)

Su said...

It is a totally new subject to me! I picked this major more for the writing side, but I'm loving the rhetoric. And yes, the class is great and she is a fabulous teacher. Unfortunately, she isn't teaching anything next semester that I can take! :(