Student Snippets


Educational Experience

The semester has only just begun, and already, I can tell that this is going to be a semester that makes me think.

 So how do I know that I will be really thinking deeply this semester? Well, in my Narrative non-fiction class we got into a discussion about biographies, and how they sometimes present a person as an inspirational ideal which raised some new questions for me:

  • How do we pick the people we want to hold up as heroes?
  • How true can an account ever be?
  • What makes a person extraordinary?
  • What if the heroes we hold up in biographies are not actually the great people we believe them to be? Do the actions they are famous for cancel out the actions they are not famous for? Should we be more realistic in presenting them?
  • Are we creating role models, or modeling life in these portrayals?

 Then I went to my class, Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults (Realism) and, before the first class even began, more questions floated up:

  • How do I define reality? Is that different than how other people define reality?
  • What is real? How do I know?
  • If reality is based on plausibility, is it possible that reality changes over time (because what was impossible in the past may be possible now, or what is improbable today could have been common in the past)?
  • Where do we draw the line between realistic fiction and fantasy?
  • What "truths" challenge reality (mine or someone else's)?

 These are big questions to grapple with, and it will be good for my brain to stretch and grow in understanding.

 If any of you have any answers, thoughts, or questions of your own, let me know.

 Best for now,


Children's Literature | classes