Part 1: Why literature?
What isÂ literature, and what does it have to do with people todayâ€”especially those of you who are studying at a â€œtechnicalâ€ university? When many think of literature, they envision old, dusty, leather-bound books written about people in ages past who spoke strangely (â€œHark! Who goest there?â€) and wore corsets or top hats. But literature is arguably more relevant today in our bustling 21st century than ever before, and reading it can be a fun, meaningful endeavor. So open your textbook, your mind, and your heart, and experience the joy and inspiration of reading stories, poems, and plays as never before.
- DefineÂ literatureÂ in your own words.
- In what ways do you suppose readingÂ literature might benefit people personally and professionally?
- What is the best piece of fiction thatÂ you have ever read? (Fiction includes stories, novels, or poems, and not biographies, factual accounts, or how-to books.)
- What did you like about theÂ this story?
Part 2: Your ValuesÂ
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
? Mahatma Gandhi
In this course, you are studying literature, but you are also exploring human values. Woven throughout the fiction, poetry, and drama you will be reading are considerations such asWhat is right? What is wrong?Â andÂ What makes our lives meaningful?Â One way to think about values is to ask yourself, â€œWhat in my life is most important to me? Who or what do IÂ value?â€
In 1â€“2 paragraphs, list 5 of your core values (e.g., family, work, health, creativity, honesty, fun, spirituality, freedom, beauty, loyalty, and so on), and explain how these values have shaped who you are now and how you feel they will continue to, as Gandhi said, “shape your destiny.”