When there’s a lot going on in the world, school can feel like a waste of time. Learning to write arguments and engage with conversations when protests are getting violently repressed doesn’t feel right. I get it, but I’m here to tell you it matters.
Not every class will prepare for you the outside world (duh). But, that reading and writing class you hate will. Sure, you are reading and writing about topics that don’t interest you when historical events are happening all over the world. Not to mention, you have navigate their emotional tolls.
Motivation sucks when school is happening during gut-wrenching, stressful world events. While I don’t know which classes you’re taking or how thoroughly you feel the events around the world, I do know understanding how people talk to each other is important.
Understanding the Conversation
Conversations happen everyday, big and small. Most of the conversations with which you are involved happen in your home with your loved ones. Maybe you observe and even comment on social media posts. These are all forms of conversations. On a bigger level, there are countrywide conversations around controversial issues such as Roe v. Wade, which was recently overturned by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, there are worldwide conversations like the protests over Women’s Rights in Iran. These types of conversations likely take a toll on you because they’re happening all around no matter what you believe or know.
School still matters under these conditions for one reason. Education is the best way to turn extreme debates and violence into fruitful discussions. Right now, when you google any controversial issue, you get lots of opposing, strong views. And, to be clear, part of having a conversation is understanding there might not be a right answer. We are simply arguing with our version of right—regardless of how right you know it is. The trick to making these conversations useful is bringing evidence and reason into your argument.
Not everyone will agree with your perspective no matter the degree to which your evidence proves your strong argument points and claim. But, the important part of entering the conversation is doing your part right and understanding how to evaluate the other part. This is precisely what your argument classes should be teaching you; this is why they matter in spite of what’s happening in the world.