Thursday, February 5, 2009

Game of Survival

Today I worked through an exercise with my senior students that teaches on the Toulmin's concept of the warrant (Toulmin says three parts of an argument; claim, support, and warrant). The warrant is the assumption or general principle that leads us to make a claim. So this exercise asked you to take a list of 11 people and narrow it down to only 7 who would survival as the last people on earth, place the list in order of rescue and your reasoning for choosing this person. The text gave a brief description of each person--like Mrs. G: 28, ninth grade education, cocktail waitress, former prostitute, single, was married at 18, has son (Joesph).

It was amazing to see who the students choose and why these people versus others on the list. No doubt we have all completed an exercise like this before, but it got me thinking. I had a difficult time creating my list. I weighed the options and then questioned by own assumptions. But what if I can take this same principle and apply it to my life. What do I really need to survive? Is all the unnecessary really necessary? Why do we choose things for temporal satisfaction when we really know we want more? Am I really making the right choices for survival?

I can remember my senior year in high school I told this girl's business to the ENTIRE English class, yes the whole class. Though it was truth doesn't mean I had the right to say it. Because of that I lost a friend. John and I were so cool, but when I did what I did it hurt him. I didn't get a chance to apologize to John but I did to DeeDee. And that made her day! She thought I absolutely hated her. And I felt so guilty. Since that incident I made it a life lesson to check my motivations and never intently do anything I would later regret.

The principle carried me through college and afterward but now it's like I got buckwild and forgot it! And I tell myself that I am surviving. My material success aligns to the survival--house, cars, career, education, and some money left over to spurge on shoes! But have I missed it somewhere? What is "it"? Am I playing the right game? Is it really about survival? Maybe my principle's need to change.

It's obvious my assumption about life as created a faulty claim lacking real support.

No comments:

Post a Comment