Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Debate Night in America, Round 2

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Debate Night in America, Round 2

Hello to the GSAS community!
         I'm sure the Bronx-pride we feel from our connection to the Rose Hill Campus is at least making us curious, if not excited, about the Yankees' almost "must-win" situation tonight in the ALCS. Of course, there's another big-ticket program on TV that I bet most graduate students will be tuning into tonight -- no, not the The Voice "Battle Rounds," but you're warm.
         Not American Horror Story, Asylum (that's TOMORROW!), but you actually may be getting warmer....
         Yes! I am talking about the 2nd Presidential Debate.
         So, of course we, as graduate students, will most likely tune in tonight. And, as students, we will watch, and observe, and judge, and discuss. We will latch onto certain turns-of-phrase, and practice arguing the point, and we will throw away other turns-of-phrase, dismissing them for lack of substance and logic and evidence. And, as teachers, we will get mileage out of tonight's events; we may create assignments that ask students to respond to what happens tonight, or to respond to responses to what happens tonight,  or to research a topic discussed tonight, or even to hold their own mock town hall style debate.
         Yes, we graduate students will get a lot out of watching in tonight's debate, participating in our own small way in the democratic process by investing our time, thoughts, and even hearts into this stage performance that ironically can so easily affect the course of our nation's history. We will exercise our intellectual as well as our democratic muscle. We will order pizzas, drink wine, gather at each other's apartments, post witty or frustrated FB statuses and Tweets as we watch.
        But what I am actually hoping for tonight is some kind of simple moment of honesty breaking through all the spinny, mucky, moldy, crummy, rusty, dusty, dirty, smoke-screeny stuff that will surely be spewed tonight. It may be too much to ask for, but as a graduate student, the one thing I've learned if I've learned anything at all is that integrity and authenticity are two of the rarest and most precious human qualities we have in this post-modern, post-ideology, post-theory world, and we must continue to value, recognize, and celebrate these qualities when we see them exhibited by anyone, and especially by our leaders.
         So, like you, I'll be watching, and waiting. Let Grad.Life know what YOU thought! Until next time, Liza

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