Pick one of the following prompts and write a paragraph response to it (here, on the blog, under this post).
1. In “The Discovery of What it Means to be an American,” James Baldwin mentions the “hidden laws” that govern all communities. It occurs to me that our class at City Tech constitutes a unique community with its own laws—hidden and not. It’s still the beginning of the semester and we are in the process of figuring out what these “laws” are—and, more broadly, what the “community” of our class should be like in order to maximize learning.
Respond below with a description or a list containing descriptions of what you want the “learning community” of our class to be like. You can (but don’t have to) respond to any of these questions: What will help you learn in this class? What might prevent you from learning? What are the “hidden laws” of City Tech? Are there any “laws” or rules that you think we should uphold in our in-class community? Be honest!
2. Baldwin’s essay “The Discover of What it Means to be an American” leads us into an “educational experience” he has after he moves to Europe. This experience leads him to a more complicated understanding of what the word “American” means (and doesn’t mean). Write about Baldwin’s new understanding of what it means to be an American—and, perhaps more specifically—how living in Europe alters his sense of race and class. You might also write about an educational experience you had while traveling to (or living in) a different place: how did this experience change your perception of the two places—the one you began in and the one you traveled to?