of life and pursue traditional knowledge rather than receive a Western

Of life and pursue traditional knowledge rather than

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of life" and pursue "traditional knowledge" rather than receive a "Western education." This is tantamount to saying that such people should live a marginal life, excluded from the modern mainstream to which the rest of us belong. There is nothing noble or authentic about local ways of life; they are often simply degrading and backbreaking. "Nobody can suppose that it is not more ben- eficial for a Breton or a Basque to be a member of the French nationality, admitted on equal terms to all the privileges of French citizenship ... than to sulk on his own rocks, without participation or interest in the general movement of the world." So wrote John Stuart Mill more than a century ago. It would have astonished him that in the twenty-first century there are those who think that sulking on your own rock is a state worth preserving. 13 What if half the world's languages are on the verge of extinction? Let them die in peace. Keep a Journa l on What You Read Unlike writing an essay or a paper, keeping a journal is a personal exploration in which you develop your own ideas without set rules. It is a process of recording impressions and exploring feelings and ideas. It is an opportunity to write without restrictions and without judgment. You do not have to worry about breaking the rules-because in a journal, anything goes. Reserve a special notebook just for your journal-not one that you use for class notes or homework. Also, date your entries and include the titles of the articles to which you are responding. Eventually, by the end of the semester, you should have a substantial number of pages to review so you can see how your ideas and writing style have developed over time. What do you include in your journal? Although it may serve as a means to understanding an essay you are assigned, you are not required to write only about the essay itself. Perhaps the piece reminds you of something in your personal ex- perience. Maybe it triggered an opinion you did not know you had. Or perhaps it prompted you to explore a particular phrase or idea presented by the author. Some students may find keeping a journal difficult because it is so personal. They may feel as if they are exposing their feelings too much. Or they may feel uncomfortable thinking that someone else-a teacher or another student-may read How to Read Critically • 7 their writing. But such apprehensions shouldn't prevent you, or any other students, from exploring your impressions and feelings. Just do not share anything highly personal with your teachers or classmates. You may even consider keeping two journals-one for class and one for personal use. Reprinted here is one student's journal entry on our sample essay, "Let Them Die," by Kenan Malik: When I read the title of this piece, "Let Them Die," I thought I was about to read an article dealing with euthanasia. Of human beings that is. Of course the piece deals with linguistic rather than human death. The opening paragraph was so dramatic that I was immediately drawn in as I heard of the imminent demise of so many Languages. My gut reaction was "Sure, we should protect these languages."
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  • Fall '15
  • EunsookHaRhee

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