Sword of God: The Edge, p. 4

Art by Michela Da Sacco

Art by Michela Da Sacco

City college: working students, diverse backgrounds, lots of first-gen in college – in a discussion-friendly classroom, things get heated. Cooling it down while maintaining the intellectual integrity is a necessary prof skill.

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About Ron Edwards

Game author and publisher via Adept Press / Biology author and former professor

Posted on August 16, 2016, in Adept Comics, Sword of God and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Santiago Verón

    This is sooooooo interesting to me as a person who sometimes gives scriptwriting classes. I couldn’t have thought of it beforehand, and now that I see it, it seems logical and that it would work. But how do you put that limit on personal comments without being called a “fascist”? Actually what I think I want to say it’s, why does it work? I see it working. I still think of the protagonist as a “cool prof” even though I would’ve thought I wouldn’t have if I had known he was about to say personal feelings couldn’t be discussed.

    What does it mean that the father can come speak his word without a debate? How would that take place?

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    • It took me a moment to understand your query, but I think I got it. “Personal comments” is a specific term in idiomatic U.S. English, meaning accusing or labeling or belittling another person. It does not mean simply being emotional, involved, or motivated.

      Therefore he is saying, it is OK to express disagreement, and to make clear that one is emotionally involved in the topic, even emphatically, but not (for instance) to call another speaker a liar. You can see, I hope, that the student, Randy, is visibly controlling himself because he understands that precise boundary. In my opinion, too, the prof did a nice job of avoiding being defensive.

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    • Also – he is offering to let the father speak to the class, presumably to rebut Aaronson’s book, and presumably to take questions, without the threat of a formal counter-attack, and without a dedicated win/lose context. Those latter two features are what he means by “debate.” Somewhat subtly, he’s showing confidence in the material he’s already presented, as well as empowering the students to use their own judgment(s) in the long run.

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