Day 2 Issues August 29, 2002


1. Names. The book is supposed to be in Monday, d.v. And Kristin McCullough, our new service learning coordinator, is also due back Monday, so I hope to be in touch with her about possible service learning projects. Meanwhile . . . here’s some reading to keep you out of trouble and to get us talking about the kinds of issues that I hope to address. For Tuesday, read the three pieces in this handout and send me a one-paragraph email in response: what you found yourself agreeing or disagreeing with most strongly, and at least one question you’d like to explore further. I will have to readjust the schedule, obviously, but that’s my problem.


Note I’d prefer you not send attachments, just put your response in the body.


About the service learning option, Kristin McCullough the coordinator is out of town, but will be back next week. How many have at least some interest in this option? Don’t be put off by our not having it all sorted out yet—it will happen.


2. Some links I found:


On The Missing Peace and its authors: Missing Peace reviewed by Robert Kreider. Story from Bethel Collegian. Story by June Krehbiel, Bethel College News Service. A 1998 message by James Juhnke on a web discussion list, with the title “Violence and Hitler.” Carol Hunter’s home page, including links to home pages for courses she has taught.


On alternate views of American history: On American (and other) ideas and how they affect people’s lives. By Howard Zinn. Page with links to work by Howard Zinn.


3. I asked everybody to bring something regarding an issue in Mod Am for today. First, where did you find things? What sources, what media?


I don’t think we’ll ask all 38 or so of you to report to the whole group. Can we form six or seven smaller groups by general topic? Say, international relations, business, health, energy, etc.?? Figure out topics, split into smaller groups—maybe two on each topic, or some of them. In each group: describe what you found, compile a list, see if there’s overlap. Be ready to 1) report your list of issues, 2) say where you found information on them, and 3) single out one or two things your group agrees are especially important right now.


One piece I found: Maureen Dowd suggests that if we really want to declare war on an undemocratic Middle Eastern state that threatens our national security, Iraq is not the most likely choice.


Regroup and report. Now what? What kinds of questions might we ask about all of this? Here are some that occur to me.


1. What information do we have? How complete is it? What sources does it come from? What interests or biases might those sources have? What don’t we know now that would be helpful in understanding the issue? Where might we look for more information?


2. What are the historical roots of this issue, the background out of which it develops? Who are the major players and groups involved? How does the history of the issue help explain why it’s significant and unresolved today?


3. What kinds of solutions or actions are being proposed? Who is proposing what, and who stands to benefit or lose from various courses of action? Can we envision solutions or actions that are not being seriously considered?


4. Do we as a group more or less agree about the best course of action? If not, what factors cause us to disagree? (Practical concerns, the amount and type of information we have, political commitments, ethical/religious values, personal associations, ??)


If there’s time, take some of these issues and work through this list of questions on them.