Their term project consists of a fieldwork collection of folklore that they create by interviewing family members, friends, or anyone they can manage to persuade to serve as an informant.
Cities all over the world are getting bigger as more and more people move from rural to urban sites, but that has created enormous problems with respect to environmental pollution and the general quality of life.
My academic identity is that of a folklorist, and for many years I have taught only folklore courses.
I mentioned that one of the tripartite formulas in American worldview involves time: past, present, and future.
If a student takes the whole series of my folklore courses including the graduate seminars, he or she should learn something about fieldwork, something about bibliography, something about how to carry out library research, and something about how to publish that research.
The class has become over the years fairly large, running to three hundred or more, but I always insist upon reading all the student folklore collections myself. Although this is a tall order, I look forward to it because I learn so much from it.
Life, it seems, is nothing if not a series of initiations, transitions, and incorporations.
Polls are frequently taken to try to tease out or determine likely directions and trends, but once taken, they belong to the past, requiring that new polls be taken.
In the light of our culture, these are not unreasonable questions and tactics, but if once again, we try to see the lens through which we look, we can see that there is far too great an emphasis placed on the future.
Americans do believe in progress and there is almost certainly a kernel of truth in the joke.