On Tuesday, I embarked on a new career as a university professor.....for one night. A colleague and friend of mine is a professor in the anthropology department at California State University, Los Angeles, and she invited me to be a guest lecturer for the second year in a row. This year, I put together a fun exercise on the use of language in the immigration law (the class had a linguistics focus).
I presented the class with a phrase or pair of phrases found in the immigration law (i.e. "extreme hardship" and "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship") and asked them what they thought the phrases meant. When working with a pair of phrases, we brainstormed what the difference between the phrases might be (i.e. is extreme hardship more or less hardship than exceptional and extremely unusual hardship). After the conversation, I revealed the meaning of the phrase in the immigration law.
The students were so participatory and had so many fabulous ideas. The discussion about "good moral character," in particular, sparked a lively debate - is adultery worse than theft? What about a DUI?
It was great fun for me, and I hope to be able to do it again soon!