Reed Community- Topic of Choice

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Reed Community- Topic of Choice

Reed (1/15)

For one week at the end of January, Reed students upend the traditional classroom hierarchy and teach classes about any topic they love, academic or otherwise. This week is known as Paideia after the Greek term signifying “education” – the complete education of mind, body and spirit.

What would you teach that would contribute to the Reed community? (Limit 200 words minimum, 500 words maximum)


Student Sample Answer

Philosophy is the spark that ignites my intellectual curiosity, while art is the vehicle of expression that allows me to share my insights with others. Having a philosophical backbone as my default mode of thinking and inquiry, in addition to using art as a cathartic outlet of introspection for my whole life, I would heartily use the Paideia as an opportunity to share my appreciation for philosophy and artistry by conducting an analysis of Susan Sontag’s notorious cultural essay, “Against Interpretation.” More importantly, I would like persuade the audience of the value of questioning established conventions and fostering independent thought as a prerequisite to the development and progress of knowledge in society. Reed Community- Topic of Choice

The messy creative process in my art has shaped me to become comfortable with the unknown and to take intellectual risks in my learning. This unhindered exploration provides a….Show More Content….

However, my my love of literature, philosophy, and art were deemed futile in The the traditional Confucian values of Chinese society, which discourages the divergent thinking and creation exploration that I valued, and prefers the submission of individual to the will of the collective. I was a round peg in a square hole; all the children were good at math. I was good at the ‘useless’ stuff. Even among my American peers, I felt lonely because it was hard to find individuals who shared my voracious thirst for philosophical knowledge. I felt isolated and torn between both cultural identities. My American teachers often demand “Why do you ask questions that there are no answers to?” and tell me that my endless questioning is annoying to the rest of the class or disruptive to their lecture. The Chinese, on the other hand, monocratically silence me and….Continue Reading….



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