Thursday, September 19, 2013

The "Giver" and Precision of Language

I admit to never hearing of the book "The Giver" by Lois Lowry before last week and yet now it seems I can't escape this text as my observation teacher kind of, sort of assigned me the reading Monday for my next observation in her eighth grade class. For those of you who have read the book, you may remember the section where the protagonist Jonas asks his parents if they love him and in return, they admonish him for using imprecise language. Instead, they suggested that 'enjoy' and 'proud' were more appropriate, more precise.

It struck me (as I smoked my cigar and sipped some Jameson's on my front step- which leads to some of my best thinking, at least it seems so), that this particular passage ties together our first two class sessions for this course. What I mean is the diverse definitions given by everyone when discussing the question of "What is love" and the demonstration of how precision plays such an important roll in reliability as it relates to rubrics.

While precision may be an ideal, at what point do we sacrifice  the variability of who we are as humans for the sake of a result reproducible by everyone? In other words, 'enjoy' and 'proud' may be more precise, but then does that mean the more ephemeral and harder to define, love, must be set upon the alter for sacrifice? Are reliability and precision worth the loss of love?