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What kind of future for education in the U.S. or UCSC would you like to see?

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Part 1: Self-introduction (300-word min.)
What are your passions and interests?
Do you read science fiction? Who do you like? Dislike?
What makes SF different from other fiction?
Why did you take this course?
What type/s (genre/s) of reading do you read “for fun” (which are not required for school)?
Do you prefer reading in hard copy or on electronic media? Describe the difference.
Why might it be important to think about or imagine the future?

What kind of future for education in the U.S. or UCSC would you like to see?
Part 2: Short Story (500-word min.) Note: No Plot Summaries. Your critical evaluation.
Choose either Asimov, LeGuin, or Jemison. Using critical reflection, close reading, criticism, contextualization, personal experience, historical knowledge, research, or a combination of these methods, discuss what your chosen text means to you.

For this and all Response Papers, please be sure to support your view with at least two quotations from the text.
Asimov:
What is your main take-away from Asimov’s story?
What does the story imply that learning (and teaching) loses with mechanical teaching machines?
Is anything gained? What has your year-plus learning experience on Zoom been like?
What does having the technological capacity for remote learning presuppose? Who inhabits or makes up this fictional world of the future?

What do the drawings suggest? (This short story first appeared in a children’s periodical–in 1951.)
What gender, class, and race relations are explored in this story?
Do you think education was “fun” before remote or mechanical learning
What do you think of the ubiquity of grades, exams, and competition in education?
What do you think needs to change or be changed in that world?

LeGuin:
Describe the world of Omelas?
What is it a metaphor of?
Would you look the other way or leave? Why (in either case)? What principle/s are at stake?
Is there a third alternative?
Should any survivor of abuse or neglect be declared a “lost cause” for whom nothing can be done?
Who or what system/s perpetuate the imprisonment and abuse of the one child?
What does the ending (walking away out of Omelas) imply to you?

What system or person/s decreed that the happiness of all but one is based on the misery of one? Who/what systems sustain this arrangement?
Jemison
Describe the world of the Um-Helat.
Do you think that cruelty, immiseration, scarcity, and competition are “natural”?
Do you hold out hope for an equitable and just society? Explain.

What fuels the commitment to act in the name of the most oppressed people/person?
How does contempt attach itself to words like “kinky-haired,” “fat,” or “deaf”?
What is the toxin that Um-Helatians fight?
What role does the narrator think belief (or imagining what-is-not) plays as a motivation for action? Can this go either way?
Is Um-Helat a utopia? Why or why not?
Why is the girl’s father executed? Because he broke the law of spreading oppressive ideologies (hate and fear practices in other places) from past worlds?

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