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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 4

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CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of one chapter (generously recorded and given to us by author Terry Fallis) as well as pose discussion questions. You can join the conversation by commenting on the blog posts right here on the Canada Reads site or by joining the discussion group for The Best Laid Plans in the CBC Books Community.

 

The set-up: In Chapter 4, Daniel faces a few new challenges: his first English for Engineers class and his no-hope campaign with its shoestring budget. However, with a new campaign headquarters, two new volunteers, and a savvy (but still unwilling) candidate, things are looking up. Just slightly.

The questions:

  1. Why did Daniel have so much trouble engaging with his English for Engineering students? Do you have advice for him on how to tackle teaching this class? 
  2. Daniel paints engineers as only interested in one thing — engineering. What do you think inspired Pete1 and Pete2's political interests?
  3. Daniel makes a passionate argument for a well-rounded education for all students, including engineers. Do you agree with Daniel's argument? How could engineering and science departments make humanities education more accessible and engaging for their students?
  4. When Daniel realizes he doesn't have enough funds to cover renting out a campaign headquarters, he opts to use his car as a makeshift office space. What does this say about Daniel's problem-solving skills? How do you think he will use them going forward in the campaign?
  5. Did Muriel's practical joke on the Eric Cameron campaign surprise you? What does her crank call say about her character?
  6. Daniel is quick to judge Pete1 and Pete2, based on their punk appearance. What does this observation say about the Petes? About Daniel?
  7. Daniel believes that "all politics is local." Angus disagrees, believing politicans need to put the national interest first. Who do you agree with and why?
  8. According to Daniel, Angus's political views are not tarnished by the need to be elected. Do you think this will change as the campaign gets underway? Why or why not?

 

Our Win a Visit from Terry Fallis contest is still running. Join the CBC Books Community and enter for a chance to win!

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