Class Notes: Thursday (02/25)

After taking attendance at the beginning of the class, professor announced the winners of the People’s Choice #2: Self-Help (Samuel Smiles). Congratulations to Crystal for her 2nd time in a row as the 1st place winner, who tied with Courtney. Then we went on to presenting our group discussion of the Self-Help Book by Samuel Smiles.

  • Group 1 consisted of Maria, Crystal and Reem, who presented the section called, “Preface, Information and Table of Contents.”
  • Group 2 consisted of Courtney, Niyomi and I, who presented the section called, “Chapter 1: National and Individual.”
  • Group 3 consisted of Robby, Anil, and Aryanna, who presented the section called, “Chapter IV: Application and Perseverance.”

After each group presented, we all made reflections on what each group did well and should improve on. We then came together as a class with professor and shared our notes that we jotted down, which consists of things some of us learned in a previous class we took called, “Public Speaking.” This includes:

  • Do not have lengthy wording on your PowerPoint because this has the audience focus on reading it than listening to the speaker.
  • Keep the slides simple and short with main points but have more information on flashcards or paper that emphasize your main points more.
  • Try to avoid using words like ‘umm’ and ‘like’ when you are speaking because it is not proper language, and it creates your speech run longer than expected.
  • Establish the right order when giving the information and presenting, for example, start with giving out the main points of what you are trying to get across, then give examples, and lastly finalize or summarize your presentation.

We went on to speaking about vocabulary words, phrases, authors, books, quotes, and narrative devices. We just discussed briefly, and will get into more details later on in the semester:

En media res or In medias res – A narrative work beginning in medias res opens in the midst of the plot. Often, exposition is bypassed and filled in gradually, through dialogue, flashbacks, or description of past events.

Individual over institution – The ideology of the Individual versus the Institution is defined by an individual unable to make their own choices due to a society or institutions in which they are making the individual conform.

Focus on success rather failure.

Upward mobility – moving to a higher social class; acquiring wealth and status.

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

Rugged individualism, derived from individualism, is a term that indicates the ideal whereby an individual is totally self-reliant and independent from outside, usually state or government, assistance.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He wrote the essay called, “Self-Reliance” in 1841.

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the most famous and influential transcendentalists.

The New Age movement is a religious or spiritual movement that developed in Western nations during the 1970s.

Positive thinking

Non-conformity is failure or refusal to conform to a prevailing rule or practice.

Chapter 1, “Self-Help’s Portable Wisdom” (from Beth Blum, The Self-Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature).

  • “genre’s manic citation practice” (Blum 41)
  • “Contemporary readers may be incredulous that a book so popular could contain so many dry and lengthy catalogs. But Smiles’ readers found these inventories anything but dull; their sheer quantity intensified, and substantiated Self-Help’s thrilling promises of upward mobility. [. . .]. From Franklin’s list of virtues to Smiles’ inventories to Reddit’s listicles, the list has become a staple of self-help discourse” (Blum 45-46)
  • “Unlike most contemporary self-help handbooks, Smiles advocated prosaic labor above magical solutions and extolled hard work in the name of civic progress rather than material gain” (Blum 47).

For Next Week’s Class on Tuesday 03/02:

  1. Read – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey) [excerpts]
  2. Due – Annotations of Covey text & Reading Response #3: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  3. Class Notes will be done by Anil

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