E to the 4th
A Virtual Book Club
Frequently Asked Questions:
* Why is your pedagogy a four-year curriculum?
In pursuit of the truth, E4’s pedagogy is structured as a process of individual self-actualization and enlightenment with respect to ethics, ethnicity, education and economic empowerment. Each of us, indeed, exists in a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual self. Yet, because quintessential enlightenment and ethics are no longer being taught in America’s classrooms, it would be less than realistic to expect members to complete such a convoluted process within a single year. We Americans need not look far to behold a capitalistic culture that is bereft of intellectual excellence and spiritual enlightenment. As such, our curriculum focuses upon "opening blinded eyes", wherein we challenge our members to confront seldom discussed truths about history and ourselves. Anyone who has "recovered" from drugs, alcohol, etc., realizes that admitting to oneself the problem even existed was the initial step in recovery. E4 similarly challenges Americans to admit to ourselves, in the anonymity of cyberspace, the myriad assets and liabilities we possess on our moral or ethical balance sheet. Having been enlightened yourself via this virtual book club, E4 challenges you to then influence your coterie in the real world. Members who have successfully completed the first year's curriculum are invited to form your own fraternities and sororities or even to attend our seminars and discussion groups here in southern Florida! We want that you empirically, at least once in your life, experience a "world" wherein your being Asian, Black, White, Hispanic, Indigenous American, etc. is inconsequential! Thus, our principle aim, beyond discussing books in person, is to value the Human Race via demonstrating brotherly love for each of E4's diverse identity groups. We maintain that membership in E4 can indeed be an ineffable experience wherein we learn to love as we love to learn!
* Is this some sort of religious organization or a book club?
Millions of Americans consider themselves "religious". Yet, these same Americans are religious liars, thieves, racists, rapists, pedophiles, adulterers, bigots, anti-Semites, anti-Muslim, or simply "anti-" anything different from themselves! Thus, E4 is not at all concerned with how superficial or "religious" anyone may be. Instead, the litmus test for "religion" could be the extent to which we Americans respect or disrespect others. That benchmark is second only to the extent to which we obey or disobey God's Commandments. Which of God's Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt hate..." or is it number eleven? Regarding morals or ethics, E4 reiterates God's standard as the timeless paragon for human virtue! Thus, E4 encourages the members of each ethical identity group to devoutly practice the moral and ethical standards, more so than mere rituals, of your faith! As an expression of freedom of religion, vis-à-vis freedom from religion, our members are encouraged to peruse the Scriptures daily. Then and only then can any of us ever attain the spiritual enlightenment and inner peace requisite to actualizing "liberty and justice for all" here in the United States. In spite of our Nation's fallacious legal interpretation of "separation of Church and State", E4 contends that Americans still need to trust in God. Our Founding Fathers, as evidenced in the Bill of Rights, never intended that Americans not pray in school or read the Scriptures! Instead, the original intent of "separation of Church and State" was to insure religious diversity! Our then young Nation wanted to insure that Catholics, Quakers, Baptists, Anglicans, etc. would all be able to freely practice their values without the State mandating a monolith or "official religion", as was often the case in Europe.
Today, however, the Law of the Land is that virtually no reference to God, Adam and Eve in God's Creation, the Ten Commandments, Jesus Christ, the Torah, the Bible, etc., is admissible in government or public institutions. Yet, most of the social maladies in America are directly attributable to our lack of ethics and godliness. Moreover, E4 unabashedly contends that our Nation has perverted the will of God and that of our Founding Fathers! Were George Washington to revisit us now, he might consider his beloved America the new Sodom and Gomorrah! Has money, upon which "In God we trust" is printed, become the official "god" in the United States? If so, then one can readily discern why Atheism, instead of religion, is the "plat du jour" being presented to America's Youths. As the Bible, Koran, Torah, and Tipitaka all confirm, there is an "alternate lifestyle" that is far more nutritious for them than the proverbial plat du jour! E4 simply adds that entrée of moral virtue to the menu for adults and teenagers alike! Yet, each of you still has the freedom to choose your own meal. Bon appétit!
* Your books seem to uncover all of the bad in American History.
American History is indeed replete with myriad examples of moral corruption within government, big business, organized religion, and even our families. All of which are discussed in our workbook. Yet, we Americans often seem so self-absorbed that we become indifferent to egregiousness within our own government and other institutions. Consequently, our lives are bereft of moral virtue, as these institutions continue their assault upon morality and traditional family values. E4 is adamant about confronting America's own "axis of evil" because that is the first step toward our ever being a true "global leader". Our hands are not clean, neither domestically nor internationally, of innocent blood. As we stand on a global stage, plausibly at the precipice of global dominance or global annihilation, our Nation can ill afford any such delusions of grandeur. Ergo, without duress, E4 provides a workbook by which each member can discuss and discern morality versus immorality in American society. Be it in politics or in our personal lives, we the People of the United States can change the "world", for better or worse.
One of the greatest Americans of all times, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated that we Americans should not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. E4 does just that, with no respect of person! Often in our culture, we "judge" people by their pecuniary assets, power, or pulchritude. Antithetically, E4 respects the godly and righteous man who has only one second hand suit and a single pair of well-worn shoes as much as the rich man who owns three yachts, a private jet, not to mention the finest tailored suits and footwear that money can buy. In the context of this book club, neither is "better" than the other based upon wealth, race, or upon any material standards. Because it is the "right thing to do", E4 delights in choosing simply to love our fellowman rather than hating him. Ergo, as E4 examines plausible remedies for man’s inhumanity to man, the extent to which each of you change the world in which you live is totally up to you. However, if none of us genuinely care about the Universal Human Race, then America's perfunctory proclamations regarding “liberty and justice for all” are rendered meaningless!
* What's so unique about E4?
We Americans go to work, go on vacation, we retire, and we die, though not necessarily in that order! E4 believes that far too few Americans are genuinely enlightened about how much each of us can "change the world in which we live". Yet, it is virtually impossible to participate in this book club and remain unenlightened to the possibilities! Culturally, we consume far too much television and other forms of inane entertainment, at the expense of our enlightenment. Toward the amelioration of your critical thinking skills, our four year curriculum is most unique in that our books all but force you to think outside of the box! Imagine a religious "country boy" from Kansas moving to New York City to attend Columbia University upon graduation from high school. Whether this occurred in 1904, 1984, or 2004, such a lad would be forced to think outside of the box simply to survive! Initially, he may suffer from insomnia via the unfamiliar noises that never cease in Manhattan. Yet, in due season, he very well may learn to acclimate and ignore the noise pollution, to which most New Yorkers have become accustomed. He very well might be exposed to the shocking "reality" of pornography, prostitutes, drugs, etc. for the first time in his life. As such, will he yield to sin's temptations? Inasmuch as David, a man after God's own heart did so with another man's wife, chances are the Kansan would also yield to his flesh! After all, David did so with Bathsheba long before xxx rated movies were ever invented! Ergo, E4 is not pontificating an unrealistic human standard of moral perfection here or in the workbook. Instead, we anonymously and candidly discuss with each other (and with our friend from Kansas) pornography, prostitutes, drugs, etc. in the context of God's standards and the "theoretical" untoward consequences for disobedience. Some of our members may remove their fig leaves and even share "factual" anecdotes from their personal sojourns as the prodigal son or prodigal daughter. He may blush, but our friend from Kansas would no longer be as naive about "reality" because of the enlightenment proffered via such essays. Whenever relatives, teammates, frat brothers, or friends, etc., within a coterie are that honest, everyone invariably becomes enlightened. We rob ourselves of a greater degree of self-actualization when we fail to assume both roles, that of a student and as a teacher, in our relationships. Thus, E4 carefully selects books that ferret the truth and enlighten us all about this perennial struggle between good and evil. Collectively, E4's books proffer profound enlightenment that is not being taught in America's prototypical classrooms. Therefore, beyond just reading books, our workbook explores how our members can patriotically and positively impact "liberty and justice for all". Our workbook promotes a spirit of respect instead of ignorance and bigotry among America's diverse identity groups. Thus, we select only the most enlightened essay submissions proffered by individual members for publication in our yearbook. Actual Book Clubs may also compete via our I.Q. Exams for a $10,000 Grand Prize in separate Student and Adult Divisions. Yet, in response to this question, you must judge for yourself what makes E4 so unique!
* What do the I.Q. Exams cover and how difficult are they?
Typically, we think of Intelligence Quotient when we discuss IQ. However, each Interesting Question (I.Q.) Exam will cover one book of the month. The exams all consist of one hundred objective questions about the book, typically with six multiple choices. E4's workbook offers forty-eight actual I.Q. Exam questions for your perusal, four for each book of the month selected for that year. How difficult the exams are is relative to how familiar one is with each of the books. Thus, our sample questions tend to reflect the level of difficulty one should expect.
* What if I don't like tests?
Great! Reading books should be simply enjoyable and enlightening. As such, Virtual Book Club members are never tested. Testing is only applicable to those students and other members who opt to create their own Actual Book Clubs. There may also be Actual Book Clubs formed, not to compete, but exclusively for the flexibility of responding to the workbook via submitting written essays, audio tapes, videos, photos, etc.
* When and where are your I.Q. Exams administered?
E4 offers I.Q. Testing here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida during October and November. During what would be the fall semester, several testing dates are made available during both months for your convenience. However, special arrangements can also be made for those Actual Book Clubs requesting specific testing dates during early December. No tests will be administered after December 15th because of our deadline to declare Grand Prize winners! All of our detailed logistical information will be mailed to the president of each Actual Book Club in advance of any actual testing dates. Good luck!
* Are there other competitions, apart from I.Q. Exams?
Absolutely! No members are required to ever enter any of E4's competitions described in our workbook. Instead, our competitions are elective for those members who so choose to participate in a good game of "intellectual chess". During the second year, E4 Fraternities and Sororities compete against one another as they represent the culture or nationality of their parents or ancestors. Competition includes a Virility Contest for males and a Virtue Contest for females, both described in our workbook. E4 feels that such competition is especially pertinent to high school and college students' learning more about their unique identity groups. As they share a unique history and heritage of their People, other members of our book club are also enlightened about America's rich diversity. During the third year, E4 introduces a Musical Talent Competition that features music indigenous to Africa, America, Asia, Europe, depending upon your identity group. Also requisite to this audition, is a religious song familiar to your church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. The third selection on your audition tape is completely optional, depending upon your personal tastes. The fourth and final rendition on your audio or video tape should be your performance of an American patriotic song. Available only to our third and fourth year members is a Short Film and Media Contest, wherein members explore an issue regarding American ethics, ethnicity, education or economics via an original documentary or other short film. Lastly, our Supreme Court Contest is available exclusively to fourth year members. One seat each on E4's Supreme Court is reserved for an exemplary African American, Asian American, European American, Indigenous American, Buddhist, Christian, Jew and Muslim. The final and ninth justice will be chosen collectively by these eight members of E4's Supreme Court. The Supreme Court actually influences policies and renders ethical instead of legal rulings pursuant to our diverse book club. Again, your workbook provides all of the pertinent details regarding each of E4's unique contests. We are confident that there is no other book club embracing diversity like ours anywhere in America!
* Would you please explain E4's concept of fraternities and sororities?
E4 fraternities and sororities, consisting of at least twelve males or females from the same ethical or ethnic identity group, can complement one another's participation in our book club. For example, one fraternity or sorority of European ancestry may represent France, Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, or Italy, while another one of Indigenous American ancestry may represent Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina or Mexico. A fraternity of African ancestry could represent Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Egypt, or Nigeria, while a sorority of Asian ancestry could represent India, Japan, Korea, or even China. Members may share the same national origin or be from several nations around the world! Unlike our somewhat "academic" Actual Book Clubs, competition among E4's fraternities and sororities focuses less upon testing and more upon the extent to which each ameliorates life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness within its own membership. America's youths desperately need to maintain their cultural heritage instead of assimilating a homogenized pop culture that is arguably bereft of excellence of any kind. Although the "American dream" is to get a good education, find a great job and to have a family, countless Americans already have all of that and still are not happy! Why? E4 contends that the nurturance of self awareness and spiritual enlightenment are inextricable from our ever attaining inner peace. We do our progeny a great disservice when we grant them the freedom to remain ignorant about the unique history of their own People! In this regard, E4 reveres the knowledge and wisdom that only elders within an identity group can possess and proudly inculcate among youths. Any identity group that fails to practice such a pedagogy will also sentence its youths to subjugation, if not "slavery", relative to all others. Therefore, within E4's fraternities and sororities, youths are encouraged to learn more about their ancestry's proud history, cuisine, music, dance, religion, etc. Because membership is contingent upon completion of the first year's curriculum, E4's fraternities and sororities are discussed in detail in our workbook. Thanks for asking!
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