By the time Jason gets through college, I think I’m going to feel like I’ve earned a brand new Bachelor of Arts degree . . . in Empowerment. Or at least I’d better feel that way.
This Introduction to Writing class that he’s taking this semester in Pathway is unbelievable! I mean, hey, I’m a writer and even I think it’s challenging. When I read his first assignment, this is how I looked (and felt):
One thing the class is NOT is an introduction. Jason had to dive right in on his first essay the first week and learn to debate in order to prepare to write an argumentative essay.
Now arguing doesn’t come naturally to my sweet, nonconfrontational son (except in choir when members were not paying attention or getting their notes right…he’s even tough with our ward choir). He tends to believe most anything anyone tells him because he doesn’t expect people to say anything but the truth. So I had to acquaint him with the nuances of political opinion as opposed to fact before he could take a stand one way or the other on gun control–his chosen topic.
By the time he wrote the paper, he seemed to have gotten the hang of it, though. He had argued back and forth with two different online classmates on the message board (and pretty much handed them their hat, in my unbiased opinion) and that helped him solidify his position.
Actually, the hardest part about writing his first paper was having to cite sources for EVERYTHING! The paper was supposed to be 2-3 pages long double-spaced. His was 4 and a half, so he emailed the professor and asked if that would be okay. The teacher responded affirmatively, as long as provided a source for every piece of information he brought up that he didn’t know before working on the paper. Jason ended up with 2 pages of sources!
This week’s paper wasn’t quite as demanding. It was supposed to be a problem/solution essay, so Jason wrote about the growing unemployment problem among those with autism and proposed a solution at the end. Only 3 pages long plus 1 page of sources.
He’s learning a lot, but sometimes I wonder if he and I wouldn’t have been happier living in the days before school was invented . . . say, back in the Cretaceous Period with that Dromaeosaurid up there in the first picture.
Originally posted 2013-03-01 06:00:45.