By Every Male Political Science Major

I. Introduction

My friends, I am absolutely blown away, and (almost) humbled by the outpouring of support that I have received in the wake of my exposé on the realities faced by my fellow Socratic warriors — the political science majors of the world. For that reason, I am returning to you with a guide on perfecting a cornerstone of my intellectual craft. This is a master-class on the art of asking a question that’s actually a statement. 

II. Why do this?

My peers ask me this all the time. “Why can’t you just ask a question like everybody else?” and “Why do you insist on taking up space?” are two of the politer iterations of this question. There are a variety of reasons why one might choose to conduct themselves in this way. 

  1. It implies confidence. People can’t help but be drawn to your voice as they hear it fill your small classroom for approximately 45 seconds too long. They’ll whisper amongst themselves, no doubt singing your praises, talking about your grasp on the complex theories.  
  2. It shows your GSI that you’re good at coming up with creative interpretations. This is essential for success in any political theory class. After all, a lot of theorists don’t give you many reasons to agree with them, if you know what I mean [you probably don’t (they hated women{but they were geniuses, what can I say? <I can say a lot, hah!>})].

It’s simply fun! Your voice matters, no matter what others may tell you. Dare I say it, your voice matters more than your classmates, because you have something to say. So be a comrade and say it!

III. Execution

Every great moment in political history began with someone who was brave enough to start something. Think of the American Revolutionaries, throwing tea into the Boston Harbor, or Alexis de Tocqueville, searching for democracy in the New World, or Karl Marx, who laid the groundwork for the proletariat revolution. You speaking could be your start. You may not change the world right away, but you will IMMEDIATELY change the vibe in Barrows 151!

So, do it. In the tradition of Socrates, who spoke frequently and whenever he wanted with little regard for the people around him, open your mouth and let the words flow. It’s important to dance around the outskirts of a question, but begin to answer it on your own. 

The timing of this is simple. If you don’t see people looking antsy, you haven’t talked as much as you should. When you see people shift in their chairs, lean down to text their friends, or make faces as they try to contemplate the weight of what you just said, you may stop talking. The GSI may interrupt you, and students may challenge you. Take these as suggestions, NOT mandates. Remember, if you aren’t talking for half of your two-hour section, there is no point in even attending. Happy discoursing!

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