Category Archives: Class Work

General Education Post

As a second-semester freshman at Penn State, I have taken two General Education courses that I believe are beneficial to all students regardless of which major they ultimately pursue: English 015 and Economics 102. Not all General Education courses seem as relevant as these two courses to students and to their prospective futures. This is the reason why General Education reform is a must, but it must be done with meticulous care and attention.

The proposed 30-credit template appears to be a great alternative to the other options of Exploration, Integration, and Skills. There is much more freedom for students to decide what interests them. By requiring students to choose 9 credits each from both Themes and Exploration, this leaves 12 credits (about 4 courses) for them to decide if they want to continue with a theme or try different courses.

My only concern is that not all students will fully understand the changes made to the entire structure of the General Education program here at Penn State. The amendments must be sensible and clear to all students before they can be implemented. This discussion of General Education’s revolutionary reform and adoption of a committee called “General Education Task Force” sound quite restricting and imposing for the average student. It is contradictory what General Education should be about; General Education should prepare students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to succeed in an ever-changing global society.

Option 3: Deliberation Recording

Aditya: Does not think it will work too well, but the only beneficial aspect of it would be programming.  EXCEL would be crucial for students, especially in business.  In depth programming is not needed, but a basic understanding of coding and programming is necessary.

Erik: Skills are important but not as critical compared to exploration of majors and minors.

Kareem: Basic courses for EXCEL and other programs in Microsoft Office would be helpful for students.  These programs are used constantly in classes and students are expected to have a general background of these programs.

Jerry: iMovie and Moviemaker are great programs to be used for alterative media forms.

Erik: A general skills program for students would be much better than a specific skills program.  By making the program general, the program would align itself closer to an exploration program.

Jerry: Integration of CAS 100 and ENG 015 would be much better for the same 3 credits.  Students would be able to take different course related to their major.

Recording: General Education Option 1

Option 1:

Aditya: Thinks Option 1 is a good idea, but students should be able to take courses outside of their major to explore potential minors (just like in DUS).

Kareem: Agrees that Gen Eds should be a part of the curriculum, but should not be too demanding in terms of workload.

Javier: Too much exploration in different areas would be meaningless, too much general knowledge.

Erik: It’s good to have a different perspective from Gen Eds to bring into your specific major.

Aditya: General Education courses are generally not too difficult.

Javier: If General Education courses are too easy then students applying for jobs will not be as prepared and would look better on paper.

Aditya: The purpose of General Education courses is lost since students take the easiest possible Gen Eds instead of exploring potential interests.

Javier: It would be better if we had fewer General Education courses that are not relevant to your major.  The credits cost money!  What would happen when the total number of Gen Ed credits gets decreased? Would there be more credits required for your major?

Aditya: Computer General Education courses would be most beneficial.  Learning about computer programs such as EXCEL and programming would be very helpful.

Sam: The recommended academic plan outlines everything thing that is needed for a particular major.  Exploration pathways would not be really helpful.




Personal Stake on General Education

General Education courses have been an integral part of college-level education.  These courses offer students a broad array of knowledge in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  As a college Freshman at Penn State, I have taken a General Education course that I believe is essential to every student, regardless of one’s major: Econ 102.  Through this course, I have realized the importance of the basic principles of supply and demand, price elasticity, and the influence that consumers have on markets.  All students should have a general knowledge of economics that can be used to make informed decisions later on in life.

Penn State’s General Education reform should focus primarily on exploration.  The thing that most incoming freshman have trouble with is the transition from high school to college-style education.  This phase can be troubling for students whom are undecided or unsure about their major.  In conjunction with intensive work loads in courses and having trouble meeting new friends, students should feel at ease with General Education at Penn State.  Exploring subjects and ideas in various areas can assist in a student’s eventual decision on what major is most fitting.  Exploration is the first step towards success in a person’s life.



March 7th Assignment


Piece #1: The Colbert Report, “Mayor Rob Ford”

Utter Stupidity: Stephen Colbert satirizes the events that have troubled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s political and personal life by stating at 0:43, “Big mistake Ford (motor company), Rob Ford could help you reach out to a large, lucrative new market, because after all there is no product with more customer loyalty than crack.”  This is referring to Ford’s recent appeal to T-shirt manufacturers to stop making T-shirts for Mayor Ford with the Ford logo on them.  This is an explicit use of this fallacy that is utilized very humorously and effectively by Colbert.

Bad Example: Mayor Ford was caught urinating next to an elementary school and Colbert says at 1:35, “He was just trying to tell kids to stay in school, seriously kids, stay inside, the mayor is out there.”  The example that Colbert uses to prove his argument is wrongly interpreted.  Stephen Colbert cleverly makes a connection between staying in school and Mayor Rob Ford’s public urination next to the elementary sch0ol.

False Choice: After discussing the behavior of Mayor Ford, Colbert shares his viewpoint at 1:51, “According to Canadian law, the only ones with the power to arrest the mayor are the Queen and Wayne Gretzky.”  There are many more options for the audience to decide who could arrest Mayor Ford, but Colbert only gives them two options.

Piece #2: The Colbert Report, “TIP/WAG US Dept. of Justice and Wall Street”—u-s–department-of-justice—wall-street?xrs=synd_facebook_031214_cn_9

Tautology: At 00:25, Colbert declares, “I’ve always supported the government spying programs, but apparently, unchecked eavesdropping on our own citizens comes at a terrible price, the price.”  The proof and the conclusion that Colbert comes up with are exactly identical.  The audience expects to hear a completely different conclusion, however; the proof and conclusion remain unchanged. 

Red Herring: Stephen Colbert says at 01:42, “I thought you were responsible enough to handle a widespread surveillance program at your age, you said you had to have one because all of the other leaders of the free world did.”  He masterfully creates rhetoric that imitates the conversation that a parent and his or her child would have about a phone bill with additional charges for going over the family’s phone plan.  Colbert continues going on a tangent and this creates a comical experience for the audience that is very relatable.

Reductio ad absurdum: Colbert starts talking about the SAT and how many high-schoolers are stressing out about it, at 02:38, “Let me prep you for the test by going through some synonyms, SAT: Panic, Anxiety, Hysteria, Horror, Failure.”  Again, Colbert hilariously offers high school students a preparation for the SAT by giving them words that all lead to more stress for the examination.  The words that he asks become more ridiculous each successive time, which eventually conclude with the word, failure.

 Piece #3: The Colbert Report, “Obama’s Overtime Pay Expansion”

Nasty Language: As Colbert describes how Obama bypassed Congress to pass new overtime rules, he calls President Obama the “Marxist-in-Chief at 00:35, which puts the President in a bad light.  This is all a part of Colbert’s ploy to pretend to criticize the Commander-in-Chief when he is actually praising him for making companies pay more money to its employers for working overtime hours.

Bad Example: Colbert discusses how the overtime pay will be exempt for those who supervise people for 5% of the time and further states at 01:35, ” Folks, that makes sense to me, even when you are stocking shelves, you are managing a lot of people: Little Debbie, Chef Boyardee, the Dough Boy…” The examples that Colbert gives are irrelevant and false.

Overall, Stephen Colbert has mastered the use of fallacies for his 30-minute TV show segments.  His prowess has been unmatched in many aspects and he continues to deliver great satirical pieces that please audiences nationwide.  The fallacies used are all witty and very appealing to viewers.