Bryn Mawr College, Fall 2010
Issues Surrounding the Human Genome Project
“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” – Socrates
To me, Alexandra Teague's "Adjectives of Order" (below) speaks powerfully to the problem with formal education when forms are fundamentally unresponsive to human experiences, especially those we undergo rather than originate. The poem shows a "student's" schooling in English as an education in the ruthless impersonality of the way grammar is conceived. It also shows how the situation of formal education erects bizarre barriers between "student" and "teacher" -- in quotes because the student is, among other things, also a veteran and former prisoner of war, a speaker of a language or languages other than English, and a person working to make sense of his experience through language; the teacher we don't learn much about, but she is clearly also a learner in this case.