Don’t be a lemming!
I was in the middle of teaching my Freshman Composition class yesterday when it dawned on me that my students didn’t know what I was talking about. This kind of situation isn’t entirely unheard of in my class. I can go on for hours without making a point, or so my students tell me on a regular basis. But this time, I had a point, and I was making it clearly. At least, I thought I was making it clearly until I realized that my students didn’t know the meaning of a key term in the analogy I was drawing: lemming.
First, some background. My class revolves around issues relevant to popular culture. We analyze topics like education, work, and mass media. More often than not, we consider these issues in relation to social norms, and the questions we ask frequently have to do with why things are the…
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