Terrace doubts it. He says that while watching a video of Nim signing with a teacher, he realized that the chimp was tracking most of his teacher's signs, imitating most of them, but he almost never made a sign spontaneously.
3. If you want a deeper look into Weinstein’s politics and character, look at this footage of him being interviewed by a local TV station. He is extremely measured, diplomatic, and elliptical in what he says, until they turn the camera off. Start watching at the 11 minute mark. At 11:20 he asks “is that thing still on?” When assured that the TV camera is off, he relaxes and speaks more openly. But someone in the small crowd watching the interview was recording everything. If you can find a hint of racism in the way Weinstein speaks when he relaxes, please let me know where it is. The man is an extremely thoughtful, principled progressive.
In an academic context, we are often used to writing in a specific voice—namely, in an “objective,” professional-sounding voice, which we don’t necessarily think of as ours so much as a shared tone that all academic texts seem to have. In academia, we often write to blend in. Jargon helps inasmuch as it offers shortcuts to our readers’ understanding. We are used to writing for an audience is already knowledgeable about the material we’re discussing. We may not be practiced using “I,” nor do we think our more personal experiences are valid “evidence” through which we could develop more intellectual, abstract ideas that have the same weight as the material we read for class. This means that when we come to write a personal statement, it’s very hard to get the tone right. We’re not used to writing in a tone that is both intellectually rigorous and personal; we’re not used to reflecting on our lives as closely as we might a written text or subject in an academic paper. It takes practice and time to feel comfortable writing in this kind of voice: professional, yet intimate, self-reflective and engaging. Don’t feel bad if you write, and re-write, and re-write, if you second guess yourself and despair. You are learning here, and that involves moving beyond what you had before. You are acquiring knowledge rather than just proving it.
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