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Reading rhetorically is important in order to fully understand a text and be able to respond to, analyze, and evaluate it. When reading rhetorically, we pay attention to the following areas:
- The rhetorical situation. That is, we consider who the author is, their purpose, the audience, and the context.
- The main elements of the argument. Attention is paid to the overall argument, claims, evidence, strategies, appeals, rebuttals, and assumptions. We try to determine how these elements are organized and crafted to persuade an audience.
- What the text does as well as what it says. When examining elements of the text, we read for purpose, function and tactical “moves.” How do these elements help persuade, and how do they relate to other elements of the text?
- The strategic choices the author makes. When reading we keep in mind that every element of the text was consciously chosen to have a particular effect. We consider why that choice was made, its intended effect, and how different choices might have had different effects.
- Active and critical reading. Rather than reading passively we ask questions, scrutinize evidence, test claims, examine chains of reasoning, evaluate assumptions, and search for counterexamples and counterarguments.
- How the author positions themselves and constructs a persona. We pay attention to the way the author positions themselves in relation to the audience, as well as to other authors/texts. All texts are part of “conversations”; authors respond to what others have said and they use what others have said to advance their own argument. When positioning themselves, authors craft a persona. We examine the way positioning and persona-construction help persuade audiences.
As you read the article below, I’d like you to take notes based on these six areas. Try to identify the main elements of the argument being made and take note of other areas where you see the writer doing something significant or making particular choices, or places where you have questions or responses as the reader.
If you complete this assignment using Word, you can add comments to the document or use the Track Changes tool under the review tab. You can also use the highlighting tool. Annotating in this way is important for engagement and comprehension, and these notes will be useful for writing about this text .
*Note: The link to this article can be found : https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/01/opinion/surfing…
Should Surfing Be Allowed During the Pandemic?
By Zoltan Istvan
Mr. Istvan is the author of “The Futuresist Cure: Notes From the Front Lines of Transhumanism.”
MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Many surfers like me believe that surfing is more than just a sport; we consider it a way of life. Being in the ocean and riding waves can be ecstatic and spiritual.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, many beaches and surf spots around the world are off limits. Citations have been issued for riding waves. On Instagram, you can watch a stand-up paddleboarder surfing Malibu alone for a blessed time before Los Angeles County Fire Lifeguards chase him down in a boat and arrest him.
I learned to surf in California when I was 10 years old in the early 1980s, and I still ride waves as often as possible. I usually go to a popular reef break called the Patch, which is a 30-minute drive from my home here in the Bay Area. The Patch is a softly peeling right-hander set among picturesque redwood-forested mountains, located just off the main beach in a reclusive hippie town called Bolinas. It’s a place where day-tripping San Franciscans and locals hang out on the sand, smoke pot and build fires on the beach while their dogs frolic at the water’s edge.
Once the coronavirus came, so did a Bolinas lockdown. Concerned citizens and government officials put up signs along the road into town, reading “Surfers Stay Home, Save Lives” and “Beaches Closed Due to Covid-19.” Some residents even stood along the road and yelled at cars with surfboards on their roofs to turn around.
I don’t think many surfers obeyed. I didn’t. I just couldn’t see how walking out of my house, getting into my car, parking near the beach, and paddling into waves could be dangerous for anyone. Even on the beach — which hasn’t been crowded since the pandemic hit — most people were wearing masks and practicing social distancing. In the water, we were always considerably more than six feet apart from one another.
The question in Bolinas — to surf or not to surf — is not just a local one. Many of the best waves in California, such as Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, are walking distance from densely populated downtowns, complicating quarantine directives. This is also true of many surf spots worldwide.
Exercise is important, especially during stressful times. But many surfers, including myself, also use surfing as a form of healing and therapy. I spent a lot of time tearfully in the water after my father died three years ago. Like thousands of others, I consider surfing an essential activity.
Our governor, Gavin Newsom, and other state authorities don’t seem to care much about surfing as a way of life. Up and down the coast, they have threatened surfers with $1,000 fines and closed off beaches, including one of the most famous surf spots, Trestles, in Orange County.
Similar crackdowns have occurred at other renowned spots around the world, including Mundaka in Spain, Surfers Paradise in Australia and Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
A few days ago, a county sheriff’s officer stood outside his vehicle in the parking area of the beach in Bolinas, waving off visitors and telling surfers to go home. Like many other surfers, I avoided him by parking on a side street. I suited up and after making sure he was looking the other way, sprinted to the water. I caught my first wave of the day a minute later.
I understand that quarantine rules must apply to everyone or the plan to flatten the curve doesn’t work. But I doubt that surfing alone jeopardizes the health of society in any statistically meaningful way, especially because all the surfers I’ve seen have been careful to practice social distancing in and out of the water. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits to surfing outweigh the tiny chance a surfer might become infected or infect someone else.
I prefer how Hawaii, surfing’s home, has handled the situation. While relaxing on the beach is forbidden, swimmers and surfers can go in the water so long as they stay six feet from one another. That policy seems fair and sensible.
A handful of closed beaches throughout the United States are now being reopened, with social distancing rules in place. But many remain off limits and are likely to stay that way at least through May, if not longer. I hope the authorities in those states and localities will consider allowing responsible surfers in the water.
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