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Richard,

You are amusing.

I was simply delighted with the opportunity to reinforce good
questioning. Perhaps the question did come out of a stereotype.
She can perhaps come to that conclusion herself, with the info.
I have been able to pass on to her. I think she was sharp to see
the apparent inconsistency. It is one I never spotted in all
the years I've delighted in working with the poem. Remember,
she asked a question, she didn't make a judgemnt. I am always
delighted when students ask questions for which I don't have
good answers. It gives us both a chance to grow.

I've been teaching too many years to think I can change a
student's thinking by preaching at her, as you would seem to
be suggesting.

P.

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Seddon
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2/9/04 8:46 AM
Subject: Re: steak

Peter

Sounds like "Reader Response"  to my admittedly uneducated ears.  I
always
did like the notion that my ignorant guesses were superior to the
purpose of
literary genius.

???????The question is:  what is inconsistent about a steak in a
slum???????????

????????What is inconsistent about the mobile phone hanging from the
pocket
of the student who needs grants to go to college??????????

!!!!!The point is that free people make free choices throughout their
free
lives.  That the free poor are free to indulge themselves with symbolic
luxury and freely enjoy it!!!!!!

!!!!!!That it is the unfree poor, enslaved by ideology and  bureaucracy,
that are truly poor!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!That because a person's behavior doesn't meet the theoretical
requirements of a category is no reason to reject that behavior.  It may
indicate that rejection of the theory is needed.  Growth may be needed
on
the part of your student!!!!!!

!!!!!!This of course would required a basic belief in the dignity of all
people regardless of their circumstance!!!!!!!

Instead of denying the poor the desire and capability to make their
world
more beautiful why not enjoy that beauty with them.

An instructor might have asked his student what she made of the
following
lines of prose by an obsolete author writing with very expired shelf
life
imagery.

"In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered; flushed but smiling proudly;
with
the pudding; like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm; blazing in
half
a quantern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck
into
the top.
     Oh what a wonderful pudding!  Bob Cractchit said, and calmly too,
that
he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since
their
marriage.  Mrs. Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she
would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour."
(pg 94 "A Christmas Carol" Charles Dickens)

You and your student would deny Mrs. Cratchit her pride in the Christmas
pudding that they had scrimped for ( who would have thought that the
poor
could have afforded to burn brandy).  Or, you would deny that Charles
Dickens really meant what he wrote!!!!!!!!

The inconsistency of burning brandy in a poor house, my goodness, there
must
be some explanation for this aberrant and abhorrent behavior.  Some way
that
an instructor can help the student realize the student's potential. The
Cratchits should have all gotten drunk on the brandy, gone out and
burned
down the poulterer's shop along with the turkey that Scrooge was going
to
buy them.  That would have been proper slum behavior.  But they didn't,
oh
my, oh my, the inconsistency.  It must have been bad brandy that was
thrown
out in the garbage behind the gentlemen's club that Tiny Tim stumble
over
while huddling from the cold wind.  Or, maybe Dickens just didn't
appreciate
the circumstances of his characters.  Or, Or!!!!

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM