S.2 E.4: “You Don’t Need to Show a Child an Elephant”

Learning for Life @ Gustavus host Greg Kaster interviews folklorist and professor of African Studies and French, Paschal Kyoore.
Posted on July 30th, 2020 by

Paschal Kyoore, Professor of French and Director of African Studies at Gustavus, explains the meanings and functions of proverbs and folktales in his native Ghana, and the importance of foreign language study. Featuring also Spider, Guinea Fowl, and Rabbit.

Season 2, Episode 4: ““You Don’t Need to Show a Child an Elephant”

Transcript:

Greg Kaster:

Learning for Life at Gustavus is produced by JJ Akin and Matthew Dobosenski of Gustavus Office of Marketing. Will Clark, senior communications studies major and videographer at Gustavus, who also provides technical expertise to the podcast, and me, your host, Greg Kaster. The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Paul Bunyan, Hansel and Gretel, Mother Goose. For most of us probably, these are familiar proverbs and folktale characters. But what about those in places and cultures less familiar to Americans? Like say Ghana in West Africa.

Like others at Gustavus, I was first introduced to Ghanaian proverbs and folktales by my esteemed colleague, Dr. Paschal Kyoore, professor of French in African Caribbean studies in our modern languages, literatures, and cultures department. And amid all the grim news of late, I thought it would be refreshing to speak with him about his fascinating and quite entertaining research on those literary forms in his native Ghana.

That research has yielded numerous scholarly publications, including the books Dagara Verbal Art and African Tradition published in 2018, and Dagara Folktales from Ghana and Burkina Faso, which appeared in 2012. A distinguished record that won Professor Kyoore the Gustavus faculty scholarship award in 2018.

Paschal joined the Gustavus faculty in 1991 after receiving his PhD in romance languages and literature with a specialty in French from the Ohio State University that same year. In addition to teaching courses in French language and literature, Francophone literatures of Africa and the Caribbean, and Francophone African cinema to name just a few, Paschal has also co-chaired department, and served as advisor to the campus Pan-African Student Organization, as well as long time director of the African Studies Program at Gustavus, which he has done so much, really almost single handedly so much to develop.

Greg Kaster:

So Paschal, welcome to the podcast. It’s always great to talk with you.

Paschal Kyoore:

And thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

Greg Kaster:

My pleasure. I thought, as I often do, I guess usually do, I’d like to start with your own story, your path from when you were a young kid. I assume you weren’t thinking, “I want to grow up and be a professor of romance languages literature.” But your path from when you were younger to where you are now, a professor of French and Afro-Caribbean languages and literatures, Francophone mudras, language, and literatures at Gustavus.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. I grew up in a little village in Northern Ghana. I [inaudible 00:02:51] seminary. Then, I went on to the University of Ghana, which was a first university that was created in Ghana.

So, I studied in French and Spanish there, and then I did national service. In Ghana, at a time when we were students, everything was free for us on condition that when you finish your bachelor’s degree, you have to do a national service for the country.

So, I taught in the high school for three years, and then I had the opportunity to go to France to continue my studies. But when I was an undergraduate student, I studied for one year in Spain. It was part of the program. We had to spend at least one year in a country in which the language is spoken. So, because I majored in French or Spanish, I had that opportunity to study in two universities in Spain.

For graduate studies, I was in France. I did a master’s there. And then, I did the first year of the PhD program, which is the equivalent of what we call here [inaudible 00:04:00] dissertation. So, I did all the coursework, and was then writing the dissertation, and that was then. I then transferred. I came to US. I came to Ohio State University, and that’s where I did my PhD program, and I graduated in 1991. Then, I came to the US.

So, it has been from Ghana, to Spain, to France, to the United States. And I’ve been teaching at Gustavus since 1991, which was the year I graduated from the Ohio State University.

I miss it a lot, the life in the village. Was a simple life. I learned a lot, and it was very inspiring for me when I started going to school, and to see people who are poor but who are determined to learn, to have the education. And that has always been an expression for me up to this level.

Greg Kaster:

Were you the first person in your family to go that far to get a PhD, or even to get a bachelor’s degree?

Paschal Kyoore:

Well, my sister was the first to get a bachelor’s degree. She’s a Catholic nun and a nurse. She taught in a nursing college for many years, but has now retired. But I’m the last one of my family, excuse me, the last one in my family. So, I’ve benefited from the inspiration from all my siblings. But I was the first to get a PhD in the family. But now, I have a nephew who had his PhD last year, and there are others hopefully who are on the way to that level, too.

Greg Kaster:

That’s terrific. As far as I know, I’m the first in my family to get a PhD. My dad did not go to college, and my mother went to a two year teacher college, taught for awhile, and then couldn’t stand it and switched to selling sporting goods. At least the story I grew up hearing.

Greg Kaster:

Was the first time you came to the United States when you came to Ohio State University?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. That was the first time, yes.

Greg Kaster:

Do you have memories of that? Did it seem strange compared to what you had experienced not only in Ghana, but in Spain and France?

Paschal Kyoore:

Well, I kind of expected that it would be different because it’s a different education system. The French system, the Spanish system, and the Ghanaian system is like the British system. It has changed a little bit. So, I kind of expected that it would be different in the United States. Different in several ways.

Here, we have the liberal arts education system. In Ghana, which was like the British system, we had you start specializing in high school. You decide what are you going to be? An art students, humanities, or sciences. So when getting into college, you don’t really have any choice. You can only major in that area in which you started in the high school.

But I expected that the system in the US would be different because I read a little bit about it. But yeah, so it wasn’t really a shock for me. There are many things that are different, but I expected that would be the case.

Greg Kaster:

Right. What about your research? Which is just terrific. Your research on proverbs and folktales. How did you come to be interested in that?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. Excuse me. Yeah. I grew up in a village, and we used to tell folktales in the night. [We would] gather together in the night after supper to tell folktales. So, it was just a part of my upbringing. I like folktales, and proverbs, and riddles so much. I like folklore so much.

So, even though I didn’t specialize in that domain, I said to myself, “Well, I’ve been doing research on writers from Africa, Caribbean. I should get into folklore.” Because not just for intellectual reasons, but also because I have a deep interest in folklore.

So, I started collecting folktales I think from 1994. I would travel home to Ghana, and then I would ask people to gather together and tell me folktales, and I would record them. So, I published some of them eventually in English, and some in French. And so, that’s how I started my research in folklore.

And then, I decided, well, not just folktales, but also proverbs and riddles. And so, I interviewed people, and I collected a lot of material, and eventually that’s how I was able to write my book on the [inaudible 00:08:56] verbal art.

Greg Kaster:

So really, it comes out of, in large part, out of your own experience it sounds like, which is quite interesting. What about I think some people might think, well, folktales, proverbs, riddles, this is all sort of light stuff. And could you talk a little bit about how in fact these things function in a culture, specifically in Ghanaian culture?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah. Usually people, they will say that somebody knows how to speak in the literal sense. Which means what? The person can’t speak, and using metaphors. And usually proverbs are full of all types of symbols. And so, the wisdom that we have in the culture, it’s reflected in the proverbs that people use and their riddles.

So, they’re not just for entertaining people, they’re also for teaching lessons. And African culture in general, there’s a notion that an individual needs to sacrifice his or her personal interest for the good of the collectivity. And so, you need to learn that wisdom, which comes from the elders. Okay? So, the elders have more experience, and so they can express themselves in certain ways which they teach us moral lessons.

And African culture in general is this thing that you have a responsibility to teach people moral lessons. It’s primordial. It’s very important. Yes, as an individual, you can do what you want, but whatever you do reflects on your family, the clan, the extended family. And so, you always have to think of what you are doing, and what it means for the rest of the community.

And so, they teach those lessons through the folktales, and through the proverbs, and through the riddles. And that’s why we love to sit down with elders. When they are talking, we can learn a lot from what they are seeing. Just from the figures of speech, from the metaphors that we can pick up from the proverbs alone.

And so, somebody might not need to tell you to say much, but just listen through proverbs, you understand the message the person is trying to give. And that is very profound, that is very important in our culture.

Greg Kaster:

How old are some of these? Just in general. Are they quite old, centuries old? And also, do they change in any significant ways over time as they’re told and retold?

Paschal Kyoore:

[inaudible 00:11:40] It’s difficult to be able to pin down any date. [inaudible 00:11:47] over time, yes. Some change over time. It can be the same proverb, but expressed in a different way using different words.

Because for instance, before we had bicycles, people using bicycles in the community, there were no proverbs in which someone would mention a bicycle. But with the advent of introduction of bicycles into the community, we have proverbs which are the same as those we had decades ago, but then somebody can express the same proverb talking about a bicycle or a motorbike. So in that sense, that’s how they change.

And also, because proverbs, the meaning of the proverb can be different depending on the context. And so, we can express the same proverb in different context, but you’re trying to say a different thing. And because of that, the way the individual uses the proverb and also give it a different meaning, the person might not change the wording, but the meaning and the context would be different.

Greg Kaster:

I just find that so fascinating. Could you give us an example? If you can give us an example of each form, a riddle, a proverb, a folktale, that would be great, but at least one example.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. I will give you one proverb. So, we normally say that, well, you don’t need to show a child an elephant. In other words, you don’t need to tell the child, “This animal standing there is an elephant.” An the elephant is so huge, it’s easy to recognize that’s an elephant. It’s not a lion, it’s not a tiger, it’s not a rabbit.

And what does it mean? Well, it means when a child is misbehaving, you say, “I don’t need to tell you that what you’re doing is not good. You yourself know it’s not good.” In other words, it’s obvious that certain types of behavior are not acceptable, and that children should listen to elders and learn from them. That’s one simple proverb.

And then, another proverb that’s related, you say, “Well, I see that a child has grabbed a cobra by the tail.” Now, a cobra is a very, very poisonous snake. When I was in high school, I was bitten by a viper and I nearly died. So, I know what a poisonous snake is.

If you are saying that a child has grabbed a cobra by the tail, you are saying the child is not listening. It’s a very dangerous thing to do. In other words, the person in question is not listening to other and will regret it. Because if you are bitten by a cobra, if you are not lucky, you will die.

I can give a short folktale, and this is about a spider and a decree. There was a certain chief who made a decree that people should not gossip about others. It’s a crime if you gossip about somebody. And that’s a punishment, if you are caught gossiping about somebody, they will kill you. And the person who was a victim of the gossip would consume you. This is the animal kingdom, and in folktales, animals and human beings interact.

So, the spider thought about it and said, “Well, that’s a good opportunity to get a lot of food for his family.” It’s going to trick people and get them killed, and you have a lot of meat for his family. So, he decided that in the community, everybody knows that spider is a very lazy person. Spider doesn’t farm. All he does is trick people and get their food to eat.

So, he decided that, well, he was going to trick people. So one day, he took his hoe, that’s the implement we normally use for farming in the rural areas. In his farm, he’s farming, and he explains that people are going to pass by and say something about him.

So, Guinea fowl is a type of chicken that we find I think only in the tropical region. It has very tasty meat. Guinea fowl they call it. So, Guinea fowl is passing by and sees spider, and greets spider, and then walks past. And then, when he thinks that spider is not going to hear what he says, he says, “Look, but for the chief decree, how on Earth can [inaudible 00:16:29] all people farm? This lazy guy, how can he farm?” So, spider jumps up and says, “I have heard what you said. You are gossiping about me.”

So, he takes the Guinea fowl to the chief’s palace for trail, and the Guinea fowl is found guilty. So, they slaughter him for spider and his family to feed on. But then, Guinea fowl’s wife and the children, of course they are very unhappy. They’re going to take revenge.

So, Guinea fowl’s wife decides she’s going to play a trick on spider. Okay? What she does is one day she sees spider farming, and then she’s walking to a neighbor’s house to have her hair braided. I use the word hair because animals take on human characters, personalities. And so, she walks past spider like somebody in a hurry, and spider says, “Why don’t you even greet me? Where are you hurrying to?” And she says, “Oh, I’m hurrying to my neighbor’s house to have them braid my hair for me.”

So, spider waits a few minutes after he thinks that the Guinea fowl’s not going to hear, and he says, he makes the comment, “This is laughable. Guinea fowl does not have hair on her head, and she’s going to have her hair braided. How can that be?”

So, Guinea fowl now said, “Oh, spider, I heard what you said. You just gossiped about me. Have you forgotten about the decree that says we should not gossip about each other?” So, he takes spider to the chief’s palace, but the spider is so wise, he tells the chief, “I respect you too much. How on Earth can I disrespect the decree that you give? I did not say anything, and I didn’t gossip about Guinea fowl.” So, he uses his tricky ways to convince the chief that he had not gossiped about Guinea fowl, and got away with it. Yeah, so that’s one folktale.

Greg Kaster:

That’s wonderful. That’s a wonderful folktale. I was wondering if it was going to end with Guinea fowl’s wife getting the best of spider, and spider being executed, but I guess not. He got away with it. There’s a trickster in a lot of these folktales, is that right?

Paschal Kyoore:

Absolutely. So, trickster in the … I mean, sorry. Trickster. Spider is the major trickster figure. The other ones are rabbits. So in this tale, the reason why the, what is it? The spider doesn’t get punished is because spider’s a trickster, and when he goes to the chief’s palace, he’s able to speak in proverbs, and use different types of language to convince the chief that he hadn’t broken the decree.

Yeah. So, spider’s a trickster, the tortoise is a trickster, and rabbit is a trickster. I have another short one. If there were time, I could tell another short one about the rabbit.

Greg Kaster:

Please. No, go ahead. No, please go ahead.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah. So, this is about how the rabbit tricks the hyena. The rabbit and the hyena were good friends, and they used to go to the open market to buy food for their families. So one day, they decided they would go together to buy a [foreign language 00:19:51]. Where in Ghana, we say [foreign language 00:19:52], and [inaudible 00:19:52] we say flour. And it’s made from millet, which is a grain like wheat.

So, they went to the market, they bought the flour. But as they were going home, rabbit decided that he was going to play a trick on hyena. So, what did he do? Rabbit told hyena that he wanted to go into the bushes to [inaudible 00:20:15], which he did. But he had something in mind. He went into the bushes, and than ran. Rabbit is a very fast runner. Run fast ahead of hyena, and then lay on the path that hyena was going to take to his home, [inaudible 00:20:36] death, like a dead rabbit.

So, hyena walks past and sees the so-called dead rabbit, and is wondering what is happening. Okay. And then, she continues. And then, rabbit gets up, runs through the bushes ahead, and does the same thing. Hyena sees this second so-called dead rabbit, and says to himself, “Well, if I were picking up these carcasses, I would have a lot of meat for my family. So, I’m going to go back and pick up the first rabbit carcass that I saw,” which is what she did. She went back to pick up the first one.

So, what does rabbit do? Rabbit got up and took hyena’s flour and fled. Went home. So, he had two baskets of flour for his family.

Greg Kaster:

That’s great.

Paschal Kyoore:

And hyena went home. Nothing to cook for the family. And then the following morning, their wives met at the riverside where they normally wash their cooking pots. And then so, hyena’s wife noticed that rabbit’s wife, she must have cooked something. So, rabbit’s wife told hyena’s wife, “You know, my husband tricked your husband yesterday, and got away with your flour.” Oh, so you can imagine.

So, she went home and told the husband, and the husband was furious. Now, he’s going to go to rabbit’s house, and he’s going to thrash him. But then, no, rabbit’s wife warns him that hyena is angry and is going to come to his house. So, what does rabbit do? He goes and lays on the path, the path where hyena is going to take to his house, and he disguises himself with deer antlers to look like a deer that has shrunk in size.

So, when hyena is walking past looking angry, rabbit says to him, “Wait, where are you going, hyena?” Hyena says, “I’m going to rabbit’s house. Rabbit tricked me. That foolish, tricky rabbit. I’m going to his house, and I’m going to teach him a lesson.” So, rabbit says, “Be careful, hyena. Be careful. Rabbit is a very bad, bad person. You see, I [inaudible 00:22:49]. Meanwhile, he had disguised himself, speaking like a deer. “You see? I did [inaudible 00:22:55]. How big I am. But look at how I have shrunk in size. Why? Because rabbit spat on me. Be careful. If you go to rabbit’s house, if he spits on you and the saliva touches you, you’re going to shrink in size like me.”

So now, hyena knows that rabbit’s a bad person. When he gets to rabbit’s house, he’s trying to talk to rabbit, but he wants to keep a distance. And rabbit says to him, “Look, you look like you’re angry at something. When the adults have something, when they disagree on something, they sit together and discuss it. So, you come inside, come inside, and let us discuss it.” And as hyena is moving towards rabbit, or rabbit moving towards hyena gradually, and hyena can tell that he’s about to spit on him, and that’s what happens. So, he spits in his direction. So, hyena turns around and runs away screaming, “Your saliva did not touch me.” So see? Rabbit got away with it because he played two tricks on the hyena.

Greg Kaster:

Right. That’s a wonderful, wonderful tale. And I guess the rabbit, I’m thinking of African American folklore, the Br’er rabbit figure, the trickster in the African American folktales is always or I think always outsmarting the fox and the slaveholder. That’s terrific.

So, is it primarily elders who tell these tales, and riddles, and proverbs? I assume certain people have more, I don’t know, authority or credibility as tellers of these?

Paschal Kyoore:

Well, we normally learn them from our grandparents and our parents. But then, the story spread so much, and all young people, at least when I was growing up, we all knew folktales. So, what happens is that I’ve made for the children to gather together in one house, and they tell the folktales, and that’s how it’s passed on from generation to generation.

The proverbs, the others are more [inaudible 00:25:09] using proverbs. And so, the young ones, when there’s a social gathering, they listen attentively, and they pick up these proverbs from the elders, and they also use them, and that’s how they learn how to use them.

So generally, people learn how to use the proverbs because the elders are not going to be there forever. And even churches. In churches, like in the Catholic church for instance, the priest use a lot of proverbs and folktales when they preach, because they learned them from their parents and their grandparents.

Greg Kaster:

That’s interesting about the church. I never thought about that.

Let’s transition a bit to, and I could keep listening to you talk about these folktales, and proverbs, and riddles. They’re so much fun. So interesting. And how they function in the culture. In any culture.

In any case, you’ve been directing the African studies program at Gustavus for quite some time. Were you the founder or one of the founders of that program?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes, I was. I initiated it, and then I got some of our colleagues, and we got together as a committee to come up with a proposal, which was eventually approved by the faculty. Yes. And that was I think 2012 that we had the first [crosstalk 00:26:33]. It started, yeah.

Greg Kaster:

  1. Okay. What about could you tell us a little bit about, and I should disclose, I offer one course toward that program, a course on Atlantic slavery and freedom. And I think it’s a terrific program. Could you tell us a little bit about the place of that program at Gustavus, what it offers students, and why you think it’s important to have such a program at a liberal arts college like Gustavus?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. It’s very interdisciplinary. So, students can take courses in literature, political science, history, geography. But then in the African studies program, bringing these courses together, it helps the students to make connections. So for instance, the course that you teach. I teach courses on Caribbean literatures in French.

And the students can make a connection. Talk about slavery, for instance. They can make those connections, the history and literature. A course in political science, [inaudible 00:27:40] of developing nations. They can make a connection not just between courses in the political science department, but talking about developing countries, it divulges some interest in other disciplines. Okay?

So, they have history, they have geography, they have political science. And when they make those connections, it makes a big difference in how they see the world. It makes a big difference in how they see the African continent, African people, and the connection between African peoples, and the Americas, and the rest of the world.

So, what African studies has contributed to the curriculum is there was a vacuum. Not many students ever get the opportunity to take a course in which Africa is the focus. And so, just the idea that there’s an African studies program in itself is inspiring. So, students say, “Oh, there’s an African studies program.”

It means that as an institution, we are not neglecting that part of the world. There might be a few courses here and there, but with this type of program we are inviting students and encouraging them to reflect on the need to think globally. It has become a cliche talking about globalization, and that globalization should not … All parts of the world are important.

And so, African studies program has, in my opinion, filled a vacuum which existed in our curriculum before. And we have speakers every year, one in fall, one in spring. They talk on very diverse topics. And so, the students who come to those talks, they are given an opportunity to reflect on issues that they probably never thought about. And so, that’s one of the things that the African studies program contributes to. One way which it contributes to enrich the curriculum of the institution.

Greg Kaster:

And we should stipulate that there are African students at Gustavus, and that there is a I think thriving Pan-African Student Organization, which I believe you’ve served as advisor, right?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yes. I served as advisor for many years. Only about two years ago, yes, the Pan-African Student Organization is they have this event called Africa night, which is one of the most popular events on campus. It normally happens in alumni hall, and usually it’s standing only. It’s full, it’s jammed. And why the students go to that event, because they have heard so much about it. They do a lot of focuses on African culture.

And so the African studies program, we’ve tried to connect in several ways with the Pan-African Student Organization. So, I’ve several times have gone to that event to perform on my African xylophone. And we also try to advertise our program by going to the, at least once a year, we go to their meetings to talk to them about African studies program. And we tend to do that at the African night from now onwards. We did it this year. Yeah, so it’s a very vibrant student organization that I would encourage anybody who is interested in anything about Africa and the African diaspora.

And what I like about it, I have noticed over the years the membership of the organization has become very, very diverse in terms of culture and ethnicity, which is wonderful.

Greg Kaster:

I agree. I haven’t gone as often as you, but when I’ve gone, it has been absolutely … First of all, it’s just been fun, great fun. Music, food. But also, yeah, it’s interesting to see that diversity in that organization.

You also of course teach French. You’re a language professor. And I wonder about your thoughts regarding the place of language, instruction in language learning at a liberal arts college? I know we’ve had, like other schools, we’ve had this debate on campus, whether to require a language or not require. What is, in your view, the place of language study and learning at a liberal arts college?

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah. So the language, so we don’t, even at the elementary level, we don’t just teach the language, we also teach the culture. We’ll see in language their vehicle of the culture of the people. So, whatever language we teach, we always teach the culture that goes with it. And if you talk of globalization, when you know somebody’s language, you have an advantage over that person if that person doesn’t know your language.

So now, we teach French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian. And in the contemporary world, knowing more languages than maybe a few languages is an advantage because you get to understand the world in a different way. And the students that we have in our classes, even at the elementary level, they have an opportunity to reflect on things that they never thought about. They are learning the language, but they learn certain things about French culture, about Caribbean culture, about Malian culture.

Because in the French program, for instance, we don’t just talk about France, we talk about what you call the Francophone world. That is the French speaking world. And so students, we have this adventure into other parts of the world, and those opportunities that they will not necessarily have if they do not take the language courses.

And because we have such diverse languages in the department, we also get to see students of very diverse backgrounds. And students who [inaudible 00:34:14] in so many different areas, and they come to take the language courses.

So even in the classroom, because there are students from different disciplines coming to learn a foreign language, that alone is a good thing in terms of the liberal arts education. Open their minds to understand a world that probably they don’t necessarily understand that world to a certain extent.

There are certain stereotypes about certain societies. They take an elementary level course or intermediate level course, and they are challenged to reflect on what has happened in the [inaudible 00:35:00], what is happening in Haiti. And so, they come out from that course, say to themselves, “I learned how to speak Spanish, I learned how to speak French, but that was not all. There is so much of the culture that I learned from those courses.”

Greg Kaster:

I think you’ve offered just a terrific rebuttal to the idea that, well, why do we need to study anything other than English since that’s the lingua franca? But in fact, as you’re suggesting, one studies language, our students study language not simply to communicate, but to learn, to open their minds. To learn about other cultures, and that you really don’t know a culture, can’t know a culture except, well not except I guess, but certainly through its language is an important way to get to know that culture.

I know you were going to give, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you were going to give our annual Gustavus Matthias Wahlstrom lecture on the liberal arts. And I don’t want to steal any thunder or have any spoilers, but could you just give us a sneak preview, a tidbit or two of what you were going to say? And I assume that’s been rescheduled? Or will be.

Paschal Kyoore:

I’m hoping that I will get another opportunity. Yes. But I wanted to focus on the center. I call the center liberal arts in the US, and we’re challenging the center.

Okay. If we say liberal arts, certain parts of the world should not be marginalized to make it more meaningful. So, if I take Africa, for instance, in our programs, in our curricula, in liberal arts programs, focus on Africa should not be something that is just an add-on. It should be a fundamental part of any liberal arts education.

Whether there are courses on gender, whether there are courses on literature, courses on geography, history, whatever it is, we should remember that parts of the world, like the African continent, should be an integral part in the curriculum. And otherwise, it’s not as meaningful as it should be. So, that’s the focus of what I would talk about if I’m given the opportunity. It was canceled, but I’m hoping that I will get opportunity to do that.

And then, I would use a lot of proverbs and symbolism from my cultural context to illustrate what I mean, and how we can connect different disciplines. Chemistry, and history, and French, and geography. And how using proverbs from the [inaudible 00:38:04] culture, for instance, how can explain those connections. So, I can use one proverb and explain why we see that human beings are connected in a very special way. And the same way, connecting different disciplines in the liberal arts curriculum is very fundamental.

Greg Kaster:

I love that. I love that we’ve in fact come full circle back to proverbs, and that you could use, and will use when you get a chance to give this talk, which we all look forward to hearing, use proverbs to make a case for the liberal arts, and to illustrate what the liberal arts are all about.

Paschal, it’s been a pleasure as always. And I urge listeners to read your books on proverbs and folktales. They will not only learn a great deal, but be entertained, and I think grow wiser as a result. So, take good care. I look forward to seeing you back on campus once we can.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. I’ve learned a lot just having the opportunity to chat with you. And I hope that I’ve may upset something that might be useful to others. So, I’m really grateful for the opportunity.

Greg Kaster:

My pleasure.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah. You take care.

Greg Kaster:

My pleasure. Take care. Thanks a lot, Paschal. Bye-bye.

Paschal Kyoore:

Yeah, bye-bye. Thanks a lot.

 

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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