Discussion: course conclusions and reflections

Category: Literature


For our final discussion of the term, we will have a class-wide discussion of the following 3 discussion prompts.  Please feel free to answer honestly; you will not be penalized in any way for your frankness, for the 3rd prompt or any part of this discussion (keeping it respectful of everyone, of course!)  

  1. A few years after graduation, you find yourself at a work-related social event, chatting with a very important person who happens to love Japan.  Why, you think Japan is interesting too!   And you happened to have taken a class in college on Classical Japanese Literature!   As you begin to talk about your mutual interest, 1) what is the name and author of the work you (hopefully) remember and like the most, and 2) what would you say, in 2 or 3 sentences that the work is about, and 3) why we still value it even 1000 years after it was composed?

2.       A few days after the event described above in which you deeply impressed the important person with your insights about Classical Japanese literature and culture, you are now known to your co-workers (sarcastically) and bosses (admiringly) as the “expert on Japan.”  Someone asks you if it is true that in Japan slurping noodles is considered polite.  Pretending to be called away on an important call, you covertly check the internet to confirm or deny the noodle slurping rumor.  How can you tell if the internet sites you are reading are reliable and trustworthy (in other words, rigorous!) in their info about Japan or not?  The CEO is traveling to Japan next week and urgently wants reliable advice (or else!)

3.    A friend asks if he/she should take this course. Would you recommend it? What would you say students need to do if they want to do well in the course?

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