A professor and I were dialoguing about students who say my least favorite expression:
This is pointless.
I put this comment in the same category as criticism and complaint. It’s easy. It’s our default state to ignore beauty, goodness, and complexity.
Anyone can say, “This is pointless.” It’s all pointless until we choose to dig into the matrix of a thing and uncover mystery and wonder and intricacy.
I say: Take the most pointless thing, the most boring thing, the most inconsequential thing, and find meaning there. Take it in your hands and exclaim, “Wow! Did you notice this? I have an amazing point to make about this thing.”
That’s what I’m really doing as an instructor and blogger; I’m training myself and others to make a point. There’s something to notice here. There’s something so deep here that when you press into it, you might just find the Glorious.
Maybe this is my simple defense of the humanities and the English major.
It’s not pointless. Nothing is.
What would you say to a student who looks at your assignment and says, “This is pointless”?