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Reflect on One’s Cultural Lens

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Lesson 2, Topic 62
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Key Language #2 Copy

Windows and Mirrors​

First coined in 1988 by Emily Style. Here is an excerpt from that original writing…

Consider how the curriculum functions, insisting with its disciplined structure that there are ways (plural) of seeing. Basic to a liberal arts education is the understanding that there is more than one way to see the world; hence, a balanced program insists that the student enter into the patterning of various disciplines, looking at reality through various “window” frames.

Years ago a Peanuts cartoon illustrated this vividly for me. Schultz’s dog Snoopy was pictured sitting at his typewriter, writing the cultural truth “Beauty is only skin deep.” When the dog looked in the mirror however, it made more sense (to the dog) to write “Beauty is only fur-deep.”

In the following day’s comic strip, the bird Woodstock had apparently made a protest; Snoopy responded by shifting the definition to “feather-deep.” Woodstock, too, had looked in the mirror and insisted on naming truth in a way that made the most sense to him. Perhaps the only truth that remains, after such an exchange, is that “Beauty is,” still no small truth to expound upon.

Reference: Curriculum as Window and Mirror