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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 460

In the Cards

page index
euhal allen, The Bridge: a New Beginning
Bill Bowler, The Shepherd of Zakhbaal
Charles C. Cole, A Visitor in the Night
Dean Giles, DAVE
discussion: Spelling and the Playground
Julie Wornan, Grandpa’s Book
Dr. Jeannette Norden on storytelling in teaching
  1. In Dr. Jeannette Norden’s presentation on storytelling in teaching:

    1. How does Dr. Norden transform a lecture into performance art while retaining complete authenticity?

    2. How does the lecture unfold as a semi-impromptu oral essay? What elements are sure to hold the audience’s attention?

    3. Dr. Norden recounts numerous examples of teaching strategies, for example: the students’ three index cards, the concentration-camp rations, and the parents’ visit. What is the purpose of these activities? How do they create stories of their own? Sentimentality has no place at all in them; how do they illustrate effective writing in fiction or poetry?

    4. An old pastor’s advice to a young pastor: “Your sermons must not be about grace, they must be grace.” In what way does Dr. Norden’s presentation and her stories about stories, if you will, embody that advice? What are the implications for literature as communication?

  2. In the Bewildering Stories discussion of “Spelling and the Playground,” one might object that the question “What good is it?” is actually an adult’s question, not a child’s.

    1. How might a child imply the question without phrasing it in so many words?
    2. What does the question imply about the responsibility of a parent or teacher?
  3. In Julie Wornan’s “Grandpa’s Book”:

    1. Are electronic media a cause or effect of the economic distress in Tommy’s society? Or are they incidental?

    2. Would earlier generations of children have reacted the same as Tommy when Sumerian or Egyptian clay bricks were supplanted by papyrus? Papyrus by scrolls? Scrolls by the codex? The codex and medieval manuscripts by the printed book?

  4. In Charles C. Cole’s “A Visitor in the Night”:

    1. Even if the account were misread as a patient’s case history, is post-operative cognitive decline (POCD) medically implausible under the circumstances?

    2. What is the account really about?

  5. In Dean Giles’ “DAVE”:

    1. The spaceship Eros1 is impacted by a micrometeorite. Assume the object has a rest mass of 1 gram, to choose a round number. What will its relativistic mass be at 0.9c? Will the energy released by the collision be greater, smaller or about the same as that of the Nagasaki nuclear bomb (≈21 kilotons of TNT)? How would it most likely affect a spaceship of any size?

    2. Is it entirely fair that Simon feels anger at DAVE and considers the AI psychopathic? Why might one say that DAVE has a point and that Simon’s feelings, while quite understandable, might constitute a philosophical error?

  6. In euhal allen’s The Bridge: a New Beginning:

    1. Dr. Renaldo Melichson stood nervously in front of his first class in Sub-Quantum Mechanics and wondered how he would make his subject interesting for these Dreamer’s World University students.
      Dr. Melichson is:
    2. What reaction might Sean Shapirov’s moralizing elicit from his fellow students? How might Dr. Melichson have handled the student’s joke?

  7. In Bill Bowler’s The Shepherd of Zakhbaal:

    1. Why might higher — and lower — authorities question General Wolffe’s and Colonel Shepherd’s administrative competence?

    2. In what way do the colonel and general echo Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove?

    3. “T-Bomb” technology seems to have become commonplace. Why might one reasonably expect it to be adapted to allow interstellar spaceships to travel faster than light?

    4. Is the term “galaxy” meant literally or is the general merely speaking loosely? What other term might he use?

    5. In the account of Omar’s rescuing the trapped fox, what elements seem likely to foreshadow his role on the alien planet?

Responses welcome!

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