Tara Westover: Educated. Out Of Class Activities: Peer feedback ( deadline on Sunday,Sep29)

Dear friends,
As we noticed last week, our dear friends have a problem of switching from Spoken English to written one. While the former is mostly casual, informal and spontaneous, the latter is formal and presented in a very academic way.
Hence, I have selected some essays that have some of the qualities of a written essay. We will select ONE (only one), read it mindfully and scrutinize it meticulously. Then, we evaluate it using the questionnaire below.
The goals of this Language / critical thinking activity are:
1- Exploring our mistakes through peer’s essays
2- Peer vocabulary learning
3- Collaborating with peers to fix some language mistakes
4- Exploring how our classmates think and deliver their opinions
5- Building the evaluation skill, which is highly required in the 21st century as most of the companies insist on QUALITY.The evaluation form link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_dx7VANxeZxLyt_j36TWCquf0m5hTU-UJ2ClHQIVPcssZMQ/viewform
The deadline to complete this work is Sunday midnight


Read the following essays and CHOOSE 1 and then answer the questions listed online: see the link above (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf_dx7VANxeZxLyt_j36TWCquf0m5hTU-UJ2ClHQIVPcssZMQ/viewform)


Education has the power to change the world. In fact , it inspires us and shows us what’s the right thing and the wrong one . But in Tara’s case , school was like a wrong thought, her parents didn’t actually believe in many ordinary things such as: hospitals, doctors … She grew up on a mountain in rural Idaho. She used to work in a junkyard and get hurt , to heal her stitches and injuries , she used to to face the sunlight, since her dad taught them that the sun was the only thing that could help them to get over pain , they had so many sincerely health beliefs. Her brother tortured her , and abused her. And when she decided to talk about that to her parents they stopped speaking to her because they didn’t simply believe her .

But on the other hand , she did say good things about them in her book , and just said that they loved her , but sometimes love is just so difficult to navigate. After all this pain , she took the decision to go to college . She drew her own path , now look at her , she got her PhD from Cambridge , and wrote a book about her experience as a girl looking for education.

To conclude, nothing is impossible, don’t be a follower! be yourself! you are the only one who is able to choose the most convenient way for yourself. ( Aya Qu)


Imagine a world where everyone is uneducated. We would perhaps never have worn clothes or eaten food. Possibly, we would be walking around the forest ,and climbing mountains hunting for wild animals. In fact, education is the most important thing in this world . You learn about new things, meet new people and pursue new interests. It gives you a chance to interact with people other than your neighbors and family members. It also provides an escape for those who suffer from stressful situations at home, and the best example I can give is Tara Westover. Tara is the youngest of seven children on a mountains in rural Idaho. Her parents were kind of survivalists, they had radical believes. She didn’t go to school, she didn’t have birth certificate, no medical records, nothing. Tara’s father “said public school was a ploy by the government to lead children away from God. ‘I may as well surrender my kids to the devil himself,’ he said, ‘as send them down the road to that school.” Tara never lost hope and kept fighting for her dreams. She wrote her book ” Educated”, revealing how she was not nurtured by her primary environment, and how she kept trying and fighting to be an educated person. Her dad once said ” you want to destroy the family ” , her brother tortured her. But we should always remember that the path to success is full with struggles. Education took her out of darkness and changed her life . In point of fact , education should be valued to the highest extent. Education is how we obtain knowledge about our surroundings. It gives us a perspective on issues, politics, and life in general. Education allows us to interpret things in unique ways we didn’t imagine were possible. Most importantly, education gives us a platform to change the world,.Without it, many people would be lost. As the quote goes on: ” Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself “( Roumay. Mel)


Tara Westover was born and raised on a mountain in rural Idaho, she is the youngest of seven children, her family wasn’t completely ideal, her parents were survivalists ; which is a term to describe a group of individuals who actively prepare for emergencies, they also don’t believe anything that has to do with the federel government. Meaning that tara and her siblings had to grow up without checking in any hospitals or attending any public schools, instead they were homeschooled, and according to her memoir there were few text books in the house that she can use and they weren’t enough to satisfy her need for knowledge , and so with the help of her older brother she managed to sneak books into the house and study independently to pass the ACT exam, her hardwork paid off and she gained an admission to Brigham Young university. Based on Tara Westover’s childhood environment she wasn’t very familiar with the outside world, and she struggled learning the basics in her first years at the university but with determination and the will to become an educated person she overcame all the difficulties and took her PHD in intellectual history. Tara published her memoir “Educated” and made her debut in new york times’ best seller list and she gained a lot of feedback from her stories. When all’s said and done Tara Westover is considered an example for the younger generations to come because of her passion and her desire to become a better person and to stand up for what she believes in . (Marwa Zer.)


Tara Westover is a 33 year old woman who was born in Clifton, rural Idaho. This woman’s story is different than any other. Westover was the youngest of 7 children, raised by their parents who, in fact, were very different from average parents. She claims in her book “Educated” that she had gotten abused and tortured alot by her brother, she claims she had tried to confront her parents about what he was doing to her but all they did was not care. As a matter of fact, Tara’s parents did not tolerate or believe in certain things that we believe in. For instance, they didn’t believe in federal government, hospitals, doctors and public schools. Therefore, Westover was forbidden and not allowed to go to school, and that was until she turned 17. As she tells her story with Ellen (an American comedian, television presenter, actress, writer, and producer), she claims that she had strep throat, and that she had to leave her mouth open facing the sun for her to get better because her dad believed that the sun was the best healing and most powerful and completely did not tolerate doctors or hospitals. At their house, if anyone had ever gotten injured, they would rely on herbalism to cure or heal wounds.

Moreover, as I already stated, Tara Westover was 17 when she first got into school and she went directly to university. So you may be wondering, how did she go through any maths or physics since she had never went to elementary school neither middle school nor high school? Well Westover had been self-taught and homeschooled for some time of her life, she began to teach herself enough math and grammar to be admitted to a university so called Brigham University, where she had some trouble learning or understanding some terms that she had never heard of ever before in her life, one of the terms was the Holocaust. She claims in one of Ellen’s interviews with her that she had a really difficult time understanding the Holocaust and that she had raised her hands in class once to ask what it was. She said that they considered it as anti-semitism. But Westover was really determined to know everything and be “Educated” as she chose that word as the title for her book.

To conclude, Westover’s story remains incredible and of deep meaning. The problems and difficulties that she had to go through are really astonishing, the fact that she was never allowed to go to school and yet made it all the way to University and got her PhD is seriously astounding. As students, who all have access to school, I believe we really should be thankful and grateful for everything we have been given. I also believe that we need to think of other people who probably are not allowed to go to school or just cannot walk all the way over to there. (Rayan)


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Khalid FETHI
Articles: 232

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