Controversial Seminar Day proves less than expected
March 9, 2017
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The famous, or infamous depending on who’s asking, Seminar Day has officially come and gone. Political indoctrination has supposedly occurred, so I guess I’m now writing from the point of view of a psychotic liberal.
So it might come as a surprise that I’m not about to write a raving review about how the day went.
To be fair, I might have found myself caught up in the controversy and hype surrounding the day. By the time it finally came around, I was anticipating some sort of disaster or riot or mass protest. But there wasn’t much, besides the Communist man handing out pamphlets on the lawn.
Unfortunately, minimal controversy came out of the day. Not only was there a lack of controversy, there was a lack of anything of real interest. The day ended up just feeling hollow and purposeless.
The day, of course, began with Colson Whitehead’s speech which I liked. As an amateur writer myself, as you can tell by the fact that you’re reading my words, I enjoyed Colson’s explanation on the writing process. If he were speaking at Lit Fest, it would’ve been great
Unfortunately, Seminar Day was supposed to be on race. Whitehead mentioned how he wanted to be “the next black Steven King”, but he never spoke about why. He never spoke much about how race plays a role in his life or writing career.
After reading an excerpt from his book, the questions, at least in my session, were limited to questions about “The Intuitionists,” all related to stylistic choices.
My advisory breakout session, the conversation was relatively dull. It was a lot about how important this day was, but none of the substantial talk that was supposed to make the day important.
The PowerPoint was bland to say the least. It featured a plethora of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes and images.
King is obviously one of the most influential and respected figures in American history. However, seeing a quote about King saying that there should be racial equality does little to provoke new, thoughtful discussion.
I found the same premise through the “Bridging Religious Differences” seminar that was held twice in Gaffney. The speaker spoke about events surrounding freedom of religion from the Revolutionary era, and he spoke about how religious equality is important.
This information could’ve been at least relatively pertinent if the Seminar Day was on race rather than Civil Rights as a whole. Instead, the speaker talked about how Jews were equal to Christians in America, which is nothing new for our school.
The seminar I attended on music from the Civil Rights Era featured no class discussion, but was still the closest I got to discussion on race during the day.
I heard this same sentiment echoed by many other students. I really did look forward to hearing some new perspectives, but the experience proved to be bland and uninsightful. Better luck next year, hopefully.