Tag Archives: humanness

ELA 20 Final Writing Assignment

Write a post in response to a text you read in ELA 20 in which you discuss 3-5 ideas the text creator suggests to you about The Human Condition-In Search of Self.

Consider the course focus:

The most profound discovery that we can make is our discovery of self. Our identity rests in the kind of people we are. To understand who we are and to develop fully as human beings, we must explore the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives.

  • Who and what are we?
  • What are the common human qualities and ideals we hold?
  • What roles do other people (e.g., friends, family) play in our lives?
  • What brings us joy, inspiration, and fulfillment?
  • What doubts and fears do we have? By examining our lives and searching for answers to these and other questions, we can find meaning and fulfillment as human beings.

Consider the rubric:

Why do we do what we do?

Monday evening, after the kids went to bed, I sat on the couch watching “Terminator” immersing myself in my weekly paranoia about machines one day bringing an end to humanity. The gist of this episode, like the films, put the basic humanness of its otherwise innocent characters on a bleak collision course with a war of extinction with “the machines.” The future looks bleak indeed.

But this episode had too much dialogue, too much weeping; no car chases, no gun fights. I quickly lost interest.

I wandered the web on my MacBook when I stumbled accross a BBC story of a former Swiss miltary pilot crossing the English channel with a rocket strapped to his back. I watched the video. I watched in silence as he jumped from a plane in Calais, France, and zipped off into the blue. I watched as he blasted past onlookers and chase planes. I watched as he deployed his parachute and landed in Dover, England, with nothing more than a stumble.

No threats, no deaths, no terror, no markets collapsing, no war, no hospital waiting rooms, no polution. Just one man, with a a rocket strapped to his back leading by example.

This story fills me with hope. There are yet a few hope-filled heros who do not become distracted from their focus; no obstacle clouds their pursuit of an ideal; no risk is unmanaged.

“I’m not worried about risk, I manage risk”, he said. What a profound confidence.

Yves Rossy landed safely. He valued risk, he measure it, planned for it, managed it … and landed it. I admire his achievement. I admire his desire to see a future in which we fly “a little bit like a bird.” I admire his desire to lead humanity forward to do what we have never done before. I admire his lack of paranoia about some undefined chance of failure. I admire his unflinching focus on success.

Next week, when I sit down to watch “Terminator,” it’ll be a bit easier to remind myself that a bleak future is fiction. Human fulfillment is possible if we do what we do with love, with joy, and with faith. Yves Rossy is “down to earth” by reminding us we are called to the stars.

“Flight of the Jet Man,” airs again on Friday October 3rd on National Geographic Channel(US). Can anyone find out when(if) it’s on in Canada?

English 30 Final Exam: The Human Condition–In Search of Self

… not selfishly–or not always selfishly, we are in search of our identity, the identity of our human condition.
– Malcolm Ross & John Stevens

The most profound discovery that we can make is our discovery of self. Our identity rests in the kind of people we are. To understand who we are and to develop fully as human beings, we must explore the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives.

The life which is unexamined is not worth living.
– Plato

Consider how the discovery of self has been reflected and developed in a literary text or texts you have studied. Discuss the idea(s) developed by the text creator(s) about the effect a search for identity has on discovery of self.

Duration: 2.5 hours. (2 hours + 30 minutes extra).
Materials: An approved non-electronic dictionary, thesaurus, writer’s reference.
Electronic Devices: Only the workstation and software provded may be accessed. No access to internet, no USB/wireless devices, no cell phones, no iPods, no, no, no. Devices may be placed in the “Fun Bucket” to be collected when you leave.

Additional Exam Instructions:

  • Student number in header.
  • Style: Times, 12pt, double-spaced, page number in footer(no bold/italic/underlines).
  • Print only to the Lab printer(XANADU).
  • The exam supervisor will return your papers from the printer to you.
  • Attach a rubric(Critical Analysis of Texts) and score your own paper.
  • Submitt papers to exam supervisor.
  • You can leave the room when your exam has been completed.

Rubric

Critical Response Rubric

Critical Response Rubric

The Human Condition–In Search of Self

… not selfishly–or not always selfishly, we are in search of our identity, the identity of our human condition.
– Malcolm Ross & John Stevens

The most profound discovery that we can make is our discovery of self. Our identity rests in the kind of people we are. To understand who we are and to develop fully as human beings, we must explore the nature of our humanness and the purpose of our lives. Who and what are we? What are the common human qualities and ideals we hold? What roles do other people (e.g., friends, family) play in our lives? What brings us joy, inspiration, and fulfillment? What doubts and fears do we have? By examining our lives and searching for answers to these and other questions, we can find meaning and fulfillment as human beings.

The life which is unexamined is not worth living.
– Plato

Identity and Sense of Self
Who and what are we?
Related Questions:

  • What makes us unique? Distinctive?
  • What does it mean to be a human being? What is our human nature?
  • Do we see ourselves the same way that others see us?
  • How do our values of self affect our lives?
  • How does being the member of a particular group affect our identity and sense of self?

Human Qualities and Ideals
What are the common human qualities and ideals we hold?
Related Questions:

  • Are there universal ideals for which we all strive?
  • How ought human beings behave? Is desirable behaviour the same in all cultures? In all communities?
  • What is right? What is admirable? What is not-so-admirable? Does everyone agree?
  • Why do our actions sometimes fall short of our ideals?
  • What is the darker side to human nature?

Human Relationships
What role do people (e.g., friends, family) play in our lives?
Related Questions:

  • How should we treat people?
  • What characteristics make people liked and respected? Is it good to strive to be liked? When might it be bad?
  • What is the meaning of love?
  • Can love be destructive? Do people sometimes confuse love with other feelings?
  • How do we get our needs met through our relationships with others?

Joy and Inspiration
What brings us joy and inspiration in life?
Related Questions:

  • What do optimistic and pessimistic mean? How do they apply to one’s view of life?
  • What is the “good life”? Is it the same for everyone?
  • What is a happy life? What is the meaning of happiness? Does happiness mean different things to different people? How might we achieve perfect happiness in life? How might we find personal fulfillment?
  • What inspires us?
  • Is happiness a reasonable pursuit?
  • What gives us reason to celebrate as individuals and as communities?

Doubt and Fear
What doubts and fears do we have?
Related Questions:

  • What special challenges do doubts and fears bring to an individual?
  • What are ways of overcoming doubts and fears?
  • How can having doubts and fears be an advantage?
  • How do people react to tragedy or loss in their lives?
  • Is it natural to feel anger and hatred sometimes?
  • What are people’s sources of strength?
  • How can strength and healing arise out of tragedy and loss?

Looking for more inspiring ideas? Try “Pillars of Character.”