Composition I Transfer Students

Aloha mai kākou,


One day a
man of the people said to the Zen master Ikkyū: “Master,will you please write
for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?”

immediately took his brush and wrote the word “Attention.”

“Is that
all?” asked the man. “Will you not add something more?”

Ikkyū then
wrote twice: “Attention. Attention.”

remarked the man rather irritably, “I really don’t see much depth or subtlety
in what you have just written.”

Then Ikkyū
wrote the same word three times: “Attention. Attention. Attention.”

angered, the man declared: “What does that word attention mean anyway?”

And Ikkyū
answered, gently: “Attention means attention.”


What does
all of this have to do with you?  In this class I want you to think about
attention in terms of critical thinking and self-reflection.  Using our
text book The World is a Text: Writing, Reading and Thinking About Culture and
its Context and, of course, our minds, we will examine issues involving gender,
race and ethnicity, and television and entertainment while paying close
attention to what these issues mean to you.  As this is a writing class,
you will of course be expected to hone your writing skills in ways that
effectively convey your attention to the texts we will be reading, our group
discussions, and the world around you.  All of you are unique, and I want
you to remain attentive to that which makes you unique—your interests, your
families, your histories, your senses of place.  The issues we will
discuss in class will provide a lens for you to think about and even challenge
your understandings of yourself and others.