Stockton Rhetoric & Composition Class #10B: March 20, 2019


  1. Read and annotate “This is Water.”


  1. Family Activity: Core Values
  2. Recap Key Terms
  3. Family Activity: “This is Water” activity & discussion


Horizon of Expectation: The furthest point by which our life experiences inform our perception of a piece.

Exemplary Moment: textual evidence illustrating the best example for given purpose.

This is Water Family Start-Up Questions:

  1. Discuss each family member’s “horizon of expectation.” Then, as a family decide how your own horizon affected your read of the article. Be prepared to discuss how your own personal perspectives affected your read of the piece. Find and cite a piece of the text that most spoke to a unique experience.
  2. Find what you perceive to be one of the article’s exemplary moments. Cite the text and defend your answer.
  3. The anecdote about the fish and water that Wallace opens with — find another part of the text in which the author evinces or expounds upon the lesson portrayed in that story.
  4. The anecdote about the explorers in the tundra — find another part of the text in which the author evinces or expounds upon the lesson portrayed in that story.
  5. Consider this statement: a real education is the reduction of one’s arrogance. Find textual evidence that backs this claim.
  6. The argument could be made that Wallace’s article is about constructing meaning from experience. Find textual evidence that backs this claim.


Blog Post #7: Choose ONE of the following questions and answer completely in your blog (no fewer than 250 words)

What do you think is your “natural default setting” in how you think or perceive the world?

In what ways does your own experience in the world limit your world-view? What new perspectives do you have
since widening your world view at college?

Describe an experience you have had similar to the example Wallace shares at the supermarket. Looking back
now, how could have shifted your thinking during that experience

Wallace says, “The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t.” What have you chosen, consciously or not, to assign meaning to? What is sacred? What is important? Thinking about it consciously now, is it worthy of your
time and attention?

What advice do you think Wallace is trying to give? How would you follow it?

FE #4: Research a word. Each member of your family was assigned a word today. This word should be a “value” that has meaning for you. In a one page reaction/research paper, DEFINE the word. Not denotative definition, but by explaining its meaning to YOU and SOCIETY AT LARGE. In order to do this, you must use ONE piece of credible research as evidence. One source. It can relate to your word in any meaningful way. Be creative. Get thoughtful and philosophical, but do not use a crappy source. Be sure to integrate your source and one piece of direct evidence into your response. APA formatted citations and parenthetical documentation.

Approaches to consider: answering one or more of the following questions:

  1. Why do you value this concept? What specific experiences lead people to value this?
  2. Would this choice be different if you did this activity at a different time in your life? What if you did it last semester? Or last year?
  3. In what ways does this value manifest in daily life? What actions do people take to express this? How do people allocate time and energy to express this?

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