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Week Six Personal Response Discussion
Make your personal response statement to some aspect of the readings here. Ideally, make it by Thursday at 9 AM — you don’t have to have *finished* to have begun to have thought about the reading. Your personal response can be a number of things (see below), but you must write it before you can see any other students’ responses. After you make your response, you need to respond to at least ONE other student’s response.
DUE TIMES AND DATES: This is why personal responses and prompt responses (beginning next week) are due mid week, on Thursdays and Saturdays respectively, so that students have time to read through them and then respond thoughtfully to other students. If you miss posting your response by an hour–no problem. I won’t ding you even if you consistently post your prompt response at 10 AM on Saturday instead of 9 AM. However, if you miss that deadline by more than a day consistently, by which I mean twice in a row, or blow it off entirely, I will begin docking you a full letter grade for every week you blow it off– meaning that you could be making zeros on your posts in short order.
A GOOD PERSONAL RESPONSE: Thoughtful response to the readings include
questions of all kinds. (I don’t understand X, because…., When the author says Y, what does she mean, because on page 38, she said…., in my church, we think of Idea X as THIS (explain), but in the past people thought of it as X, Can anyone explain more about where that change came from?).
It can include an intellectual exploration of emotion — the ONE PLACE you’re going to get to to this in a history class, so make the most of it!!!!! There are things in the past that often engage modern people VERY strongly. Over all, the minute you start thinking “Why did they do that? They SHOULD HAVE DONE X INSTEAD,” you’re judging — you’re caught up in emotion. That’s a good thing to explore in a personal reaction post. “When I read about P, I reacted strongly, thinking they should have done X. I made myself stop and think about why I felt so strongly about that issue. For one thing, I realized that in my family / in my church, we believe that …… whereas in the late middle ages, people believed Y.” The trick to doing this kind of post WELL is to be sure to try to figure THEM out as well as to figure out why YOU felt the way you did — not just post about what you think now without figuing out WHY you think or feel that way, or why / how it is different, or why.how people in the past held different ideas.
Yet another good reaction post would be to compare one reading to another — for example, what the reading said one week to what the author, or another author, said the next. They don’t always agree directly, and I want you to think about WHY — different places? Topics? People?Data?

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