Student: English Department needs to address more than water topics

It has come to my attention that the students of the University of the Incarnate Word are not content with the material that is being taught by the English Department.

The issue of water is a repetitive concept that most student can agree with. Sure students see the problem with water and how it affects them and the world but many students are not really engaging in their English classes. The UIW English Department should provide students with a variety of relatable topics. By doing so, they can capture students’ attention so they engage in class discussions and not become uninterested in a topic that is repetitive.

I can speak from a student’s point of view and say writing and talking about water for two semesters is enough. After about three assignments relating to water, I wanted to learn about something different. The lack of topic variety had honestly made me not try hard enough in my assignments. Although it is a valuable and sensitive topic to most people, I think there could be other issues to discuss in class other than water. I believe the main reason why students are not engaged in class is because a person can only write a 10-page paper on water for so long that the rest can just be written in an unimportant matter so he or she can receive a grade.

There are many other issues that can be taught in the UIW student’s composition classes. Presidential elections, new health care systems, the controversial disappearance of missing Flight MH370: Malaysia and many more. It is amazing how quickly students can jump to give their opinion on a topic and that is what really engages a student in a classroom. Anything that is different from water would be great. Now that may sound a little bit harsh but students need to be exposed to new things. A variety of topics will lead to class discussions because students are interested in what they are being taught.

Most faculty members really don’t see it as an issue but they should. They are losing students’ attention because of repetitive information about water. As a student, I want to be able to learn something new, debate about it with the class and hear others’ opinions. I also think the University of the Incarnate Word is spending a lot of money publishing The Water and Culture Reader that could be used elsewhere. Students pay a lot of money to attend UIW and should not only be taught about water for two semesters straight. I personally like attending this school but not my composition classes knowing that all we are going to talk about is water. At the same time, I think they could do a better job to motivate students to find ways to be proactive about water issues, rather than sitting in class writing about it.

Maybe the English Department will continue to teach about water. The least they could do is to motivate students to take action.


Shayla Cardenas

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