My first semester at Davidson, I was introduced to the formal use of trigger warnings within classrooms. I had seen them attached to articles before, “trigger warning: graphic content concerning…” but never had I heard a professor or speaker use them before a discussion. My appreciation quickly grew for them as I realized the scope of information we would cover in just one class. As I entered the familiar classroom at KNUST, I was overly eager to analyze Ghanaian Literature. I was prepared to read a classic Ghanaian text and discuss with the class. The teaching style, as Professor Bowles had warned us, was mostly lecture. I was not prepared for a student to be asked to read the rape scene out-loud. Our professor meant no harm and even described the scene as an “exaggeration.” This experience served as an important reminder that the context I had of American feminism or other contextual tools could not simply be applied to another cultural text. I worked hard throughout the class to learn from not only the book but from the way in which it was taught. I have found it important not to impose my expectations on any situation, including how a book will be discussed. The lecture encouraged me to rethink how I analyze information and unexpected situations in and out of the classroom.
This discussion also made me reconsider Greg Lukianoff’s message in “The Coddling of the American Mind.” I am not sure how this experience effected my view on the matter, but I will enjoy rereading this article with a perspective that can now, at least to a certain degree, compare the Ghanaian and American classroom.