WHEN WE THINK THAT WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR STUDENTS, INSTEAD LET US ASK WHAT OUR STUDENTS WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGED IN THEIR WORLDS
WE, AS COMPOSITION TEACHERS, NEED TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO BE AS CREATIVE AND PURPOSEFUL AS POSSIBLE WITH THEIR WRITINGS

MORE ON A COMPASSION READER FOR COMPOSITION STUDIES

WHEN I TAUGHT WRITING-INTENSIVE POETRY CLASSES AT SUNY ALBANY, I WOULD CREATE AND USE ANTHOLOGIES THAT REPRESENTED THE VOICES OF OUTCAST, SILENCED AND MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE I WANTED TO GIVE MY STUDENTS A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON THOSE PEOPLES WHO ARE NOT SO BLESSED AND FORTUNATE AS WE OFTEN ARE HERE IN THE USA.  NOW, I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THAT WORK A STEP FURTHER AND CREATE A COMPASSION READER THAT REPRESENTS THE VOICES AND WORK OF FAITH-BASED HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, SOCIAL ACTIVISTS, ADVOCATES, TEACHERS, MINISTERS, MISSIONARIES AND OTHER SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF THOSE OUTCAST, MARGINALIZED AND HURTING POPULATIONS.   I WOULD LIKE FOR THIS READER TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO THINK ABOUT AND WRITE ABOUT HOW THEY TOO CAN COMPASSIONATELY GET INVOLVED IN IMPROVING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS BLESSED AND FORTUNATE THAN WE ARE HERE IN THE MIDDLE-CLASS USA.  I BELIEVE THAT WE, AS TEACHERS, HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SHOW OUR STUDENTS THAT THERE IS A LARGER WORLD IN NEED OF OUR CARE AND COMPASSIONATE ASSISTANCE WITH WHATEVER GIFTS WE AND OUR STUDENTS HAVE BEEN GIVEN, INCLUDING THE GIFT OF WRITING.  IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ONLY REPRESENT THEIR VOICES AND THEIR NEEDS AND THEIR SUFFERINGS WITHOUT ALSO CONSIDERING WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN COMPASSIONATELY HELP THE OUTCAST AND FORGOTTEN AND IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD THROUGH BOTH CALLING ATTENTION TO THEIR PLIGHTS AND EXPLORING AND ENVISIONING OPTIONS FOR ALLEVIATING THEIR PLIGHTS.  THIS IS MY PURPOSE FOR CREATING A COMPASSION READER THAT WILL ASSIST TEACHERS IN INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO THE WORK OF FAITH-BASED ACTIVISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS AND ALLOW STUDENTS TO EXPLORE WAYS, THROUGH THEIR WRITINGS, THAT THEY, TOO,  CAN GET INVOLVED IN THE WORK OF ALLEVIATING AND SOLVING OPPRESSIVE AND IMPOVERISHED CONDITIONS IN THE LARGER WORLD.

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