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Bunny Research -- Writer's Poke #150

For Writers:

The kid was no doubt intelligent, but he admitted that he never did well when boxed inside the structure of a college class. By semester's end, he had only produced three of the seven required essay assignments, claiming he just couldn't get into the assigned topics.

Although the topics I assigned gave students a lot of flexibility, I told him that I was open to foregoing the regular classroom assignments all-together, as long as he had some good ideas ready to present. Since he needed to write the equivilent of four 2-page essays, I suggested that he do an eight-page research paper. We should meet during office hours, I said, so that we could hammer out the details.

The following day, he came to my office carrying a box of Playboy magazines. My dad is a collector, he said, and he has Playboys all the way back to the 1950s. Great, I thought, as I watched him starting to remove Playboys from the box.

Take a look at this one, he said, as he pulled out three more from the box. Suddenly Playboy magazines started multiplying all over the office.

He didn't seem to comprehend that there was anything wrong looking at Playboys on a college campus. And my worst fear was that the Department Chair or College President would walk in at that exact moment. How would I explain to the college administration that the student was just using these magazines for the articles?

If you did an analysis of Playboy magazines from the 1950s until today, what might you learn a) about culture, b) about America, c) about yourself?

"Students have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves -- and be free." -- Cesar Chavez


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