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Understanding Global Cultures

Canvas Modules for Class Participants Fall 2024 [calendar]
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List of countries of the world -- Wikipedia
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. Thursday, 18 July 2024, 21:04 (09:04 PM) CDT, day 200 of 2024 .

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Global Cultures
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and Discussion Samples
Understanding Global Cultures

 GC Rubric

 Discussion Tips


 What Does it Take to Get Total Points?

 Late Discussions Not Accepted

Discussion Posting Samples w/scores
Ratings example: 8 - 5 - 5 - 2 = 20 / 20
Ratings example: 8 - 4 - 4 - 2 = 18 / 20
Ratings example: 6 - 4 - 4 - 0 = 14 / 20
Ratings example: 4 - 4 - 5 - 0 = 13 / 20
Ratings example: 1 - 5 - 5 - 0 = 11 / 20
Ratings example: 1 - 4 - 5 - 0 = 10 / 20
Ratings example: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 =   0 / 20

see also information on ChatGPT and other AI-content Generators

  compare Discussions information with official UMD Grading Policies

  General Information on Grading—Peoples and Cultures of Europe

 Discussion Points and Points for Project Updates

Discussion Tips

(optional) Online Discussions: Tips for Students -- University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

(optional) Student Tips: Secret to Success in Online Discussions, Part 1
-- David Wolf, SUNY, Schenectady Community College (04 April 2019)

(optional) Student Tips: Secret to Success in Online Discussions, Part 2
-- David Wolf, SUNY, Schenectady Community College (15 April 2019)

What does it take to get total points?
(and this is true both for the Discussions and for the Exam Questions)
  • Answer responds to the question(s), and includes specific information from, or references to, the materials in the question prompt and/or relevant class materials.

  • Content and/or opinion over and above what would normally be expected of a 1000-level course.

  • Answer receives full five points for organization . . ., and for Grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

  • Answer properly displayed.

    • As a rule of thumb, if there are two parts to the question there should be two parts (paragraphs) minimum for the answer. If a question has three parts, then most often the answer should also have three parts (paragraphs).

  • Answer proofread.

  • Answer has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

  • Keep in mind that which side of an issue you take is not relevant to grades. Most important is the quality with which you present your opinion(s).

  • Sometime folks look at these suggestions and simply make their answers after that longer. In this class, and particularly for the Discussions, the length of the discussion is not a main concern. The main rating has to do primarily with content, and whether or not you actuallly respond directly to the discussion prompts (i.e., the "questions").

    • When it asks you to briefly summarize, do that.

    • When it asks you to give specific examples from the articles, give specific examples from the articles.

      • Pay special attention that listing a category of things is not "giving a specific example".

        • For example, "the CAFOs" is a category, not a specific example. A specific example, with a reliable source, would be something like "raising of livestock accounts by CAFOs accounts for somewhere between 11% and 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions" (The Humane League, Accessed 23 June 2024).

    • When it asks you to give your opinion, give your opinion and make it clear that it is your personal opinion.

      • In your discussion be sure you state why you say what you do, and back that up with specific examples

    • If it asks you to cite an example of someone's opinion who disagrees with you, do that.

    • If the prompt asks you to explain something to the members of your local Girl Scouts Troop, focus on them and not your 80-year-old male NRA member with a "Stand Your Ground" yard sign in his front yard.

A note on "Organization"

  • Organization . . . is worth up to five points. As mentioned above, as a rule of thumb, if there are two parts to the question there should be two parts (paragraphs) minimum for the answer. If a question has three parts, then most often the answer should also have three parts (paragraphs), and so forth.

  • Generally speaking, if a question asks for two or more parts to a response, an answer that starts out and ends as a single paragraph will not receive full points for organization.

Late Discussions Not Accepted
  • The discussions are intended to allow folks in the class to hear what you have to say and to provide the opportunity of exchanging opinions on various topics. Virtually no one returns to a previous week to see if anyone posted their discussion after the week in which it is assigned. From my perspective doing a discussion after the class has essentially moved on is nothing but busy work. And that's not a good thing (in my opinion).
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Discussion Forum Question
Possible Sum of ratings: 8 - 5 - 5 - 2 = 20 / 20


Bullfighting as an Olympic "Demonstration Sport" in 2028?

Mujeres de Alternativa.

Mujeres de Alternativa--

On Sunday 07 March 2010 CBS News 60 Minutes featured

Full Episode: Blood Brothers

-- Bob Simon reports on Spain's superstar bullfighting brothers, Francisco and Cayetano Rivera-Ordonez, 60 Minutes,CBS News (07 March 2010)

Have a look at the featured episode,

and read the blogs at

The course page on Bullfighting is at


1. Should bullfighting be considered as a "demonstration sport" for the Summer Olympics in 2028?

2. Why? Or why not?


Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 8 - 5 - 5 - 2 = 20 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question

The argument to include the bullfight in the 2028 Olympics could be made either way. Bullfighting has a cultural and historical significance but there are also other concerns such as the danger that bullfighting represents and the fact that many consider it to be cruel to the animals.

In the episode of 60 minutes that we watched for this; the narrator stated that bullfighting in Spain has its origins in Minoan civilization on the Island of Crete. And indeed, much of Minoan civilization revolved around the bull. Images that have been found at sites like the palace at Knossos on Crete show figures with broad arms and shoulders with very thin waists that appear to be bound tightly. It's thought that the Minoans would do this to increase their upper body strength so that they could perform acts like leaping over bulls (this is shown in their art). So there is some evidence that the bullfight has some very deep roots in European culture, and that it's not just the Spanish that considered it to be important.

I think that a compromise could be made to include the bullfight as a "demonstration sport" in the 2028 Olympics, but that there will be pressure, especially from nations outside of the tradition like the US, to not have it included in any way. For many people, unless they understand the bullfight and what it means to the cultures that they take place in, bullfighting looks barbarous and cruel to the animals. Many of the people who watch the olympics are not going to understand the bullfight if they see it on television, and If they aren't made aware of what the historic and cultural significance of it is, then there could be some potential problems especially from animal rights activists.

Personally, I think that bullfighting should be allowed as a demonstration sport in the 2028 Olympics. It's an activity that carries cultural and historic importance for many people, and it provides an opportunity for the cultures that do participate in bullfighting to show and explain to other nations and people what the practice is all about. In the 60 minutes episode, the narrator talks about how people at a bullfight were moved to tears. This could be an opportunity for people to understand how and why something like that could happen.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 8 - 4 - 4 - 2 = 18 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question


I do not think that the bullfight should be admitted into the Olympic games, but not for the normal reasons. When I had the chance to visit Spain and see a bullfight live I found it to be a great exhibition of their culture if not exactly my taste in entertainment. While there issues disputed around animal cruelty and the level of danger the issue I raise is the exclusion of other sports from the Olympics in the past. Most recently baseball has been removed because of the dominance of the United States despite footings in South America, Canada, and Japan. I find the case of the bullfight to be similar. It holds more of a cultural significance than an international one. The bullfight is only practiced in Spain, Portugal, and a few Latin American nations due to Spanish and Portuguese influence. A demonstration so linked to the culture of these nations cannot be totally understood and evenly competed against when a person does not come from a place where the bullfight is common place. The Olympic games are supposed to bring the best athletes from around the world together to compete in sports which span much of the globe. While certain sports tend to have dominant or weak nations and tropical nations are at an inherent disadvantage in the winter games, I feel that the bullfight should not be added to the Olympic Games in 2028. It is only popular in a few areas of the world and is strongly opposed by both animal rights groups and those speaking for athlete safety. While the average match ends with a dead bull there is always the possibility of a dead matador.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 6 - 4 - 4 - 0 = 14 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question



Although it would be very interesting and entertaining to watch bullfighting as a "demonstration sport" for the Summer Olympics, I believe that it is too dangerous to be seen at the Olympics. Every two years, the Winter and Summer Olympics both draw in an incredible amount of people, including people in attendance and people viewing on TV. Bullfighting began as a religious ritual, but is now a very controversial and extremely dangerous "activity."  As said in the "60 Minutes" film, "bullfighting always ends in death, usually the bull but sometimes the matador," for the chance that the matador would die, I think it would be too controversial  for this sport to be included in the  Olympics, as millions of people would see this tragedy happen. Unlike some of the sports included in the Olympics, fighting a 1,000 pound bull can be life altering. One minor mistake could cause the matador to lose their own  life, not just the Olympic competition.  The Blood Brothers, Francisco Rivera Ordonez and his brother Cayetano lost their father while he was fighting bulls in the ring.  Also, some countries would not have enough bulls for practice, and one event at the Summer Olympics would wipe out a lot of bulls. The immeasurable amount of bulls that would get killed and injured for the pleasure of watching this activity would upset an enormous amount of people and animal rights groups such as PETA.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 4 - 4 - 5 - 0 = 13 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question


I believe that if Bullfighting is actually considered as a "demonstration sport" in the Olympics of 2028, it could be interesting. How many countries would actually participate in the event, or would it be to celebrate the special hobby of the Spanish and Portuguese peoples? It's definitely a cultural thing, but it is also dangerous. Would we internationally want to support something so dangerous? I think they should because it is embracing the local culture of where the summer Olympics will be held, but on the other hand I don't support the sport itself because of how dangerous it really is.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 1 - 5 - 5 - 0 = 11 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question


1. I do not think that bullfighting should be a demonstration sport for the Olympics because it involves animals. This itself can make a lot of controversy but the fact that it all ends with the bull dying makes it even worse.

2. It is a very aggressive sport that people can die in but this is true in other sports also with the crazy flips and tricks that they do. I think it would be seen differently though because of how it is done.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 1 - 5 - 5 - 0 = 11 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question
No, I don't think it should be.

I think that internationally, something like that could get a lot of people riled up. It would probably impact San Francisco's reputation negatively.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 1 - 4 - 5 - 0 = 10 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question


I do not think that bullfighting should be allowed as an olympic demonstration sport. While I understand the beauty and significance of bullfighting to Spanish culture, I think the topic is just too controversial.

Student Answer/Response
Sum of ratings: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 =  0 / 20

 original Discussion Forum question


GC Index of Major Items
GC 1.0 "Sunday Memos"   GC 2.0 Video Schedule
GC 3.0 Slides Schedule   GC 4.0 Text Assignments Schedule
GC 5.0 Other (check Canvas   GC 6.0 Exams . . . (wk-7) and  (wk-16)
GC 7.0 REM: Work on Project   GC 8.0 Discussion(s)
GC Main Due Dates   GC Fall 2024 Calendar
Checklist for the Semester
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