my new root hero

In my speech class that I’m taking, a requirement to get a good grade for a speech is to cite a “wealth of sources.” My informational speech I’ll be giving concerns how to book the best flight when going on vacation. Nice and easy. For the speech, my root source is faa.gov, a division of dot.gov.

Many topics have a variety of sources to mine. This isn’t one of them. There are no other sources; faa.gov is root. Any fact-giving anywhere else is derived from it. Any opinion anywhere else is based on it.

But my instructor will insist that I toss some more sources in there. Sprinkle em right on in.

A speech class is built and exists to treat students like children, which, judging from my fellow students, isn’t always a bad thing. Some of these people are terrifically dull. Oh, the stories I could tell. But a speech class isn’t built to allow for the odd grown-up who wanders in for unfathomable reasons.

The other reason Speech Class exists is to discover and nurture those people who have a knack for speechifying, of course. We’ve got to have a certain amount of people around who like talking to other people, otherwise civilization would crumble. But as an appalling consequence, I have to give two brutally pointless speeches (when all is said and done) to strangers.

I’ve given speeches before for classes and in the military; some of them might have even been worthwhile to one or two people who heard them. But I already know I don’t like giving them. They can cross me off the list; I don’t care for it. This speech class won’t lead me to bigger and better speech classes.

But I’m required to take it.

When the course and the instructor require me to have a wealth of sources, even when there is obviously just one source, they’re telling me that I am not root. They’re in my face about it.

The thing is, in the things I care about, I am root. Root doesn’t mean that I know everything, even on subjects I know a lot about. It means that, if someone asks me a question, and I don’t know the answer, I tell them so. For example, this guy

“If the increased southern temperatures [of Saturn] are solely the result of seasonality, then the temperature should increase gradually with increasing latitude, but it doesn’t,” Orton said. “We see that the temperature increases abruptly by several degrees near 70 degrees south and again at 87 degrees south.

“A really hot thing within a couple degrees of the pole is something I don’t understand at all,” he said.

is my hero.

We should be bugged when an institution’s policy is to deny root to us. That should never be gotten used to.

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