The most important thing we can teach our students is that learning is fun and they can do it; if we don't teach them this it doesn't matter what we teach.
My Bachelor's is in English but my Master's was in philosophy. I am going to focus on studying how we communicate, music appreciation and philosophy. Students will also study how the brain processes information (learns). The students will read Consolations of Philosophy and study Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The students will also engage in debates in class following a formal procedure. I do not give tests. Assessments are formative rather than summative. That is, when a student submits an essay and gets it back they may revise and resubmit it for a better grade.
Here is the most controversial aspect of my class. I almost never give homework. I have been teaching for 42 years and have learned that it is better to work with the students in class than ask them to bring work in that they did at home. Homework works if there is a home and some of our children are, in fact, homeless. While this may not apply to your child I have to teach all of my students.
If you ever have any questions or concerns PLEASE call me: 671-6010.
From the following list choose one book/reading each semester.
1. Time's Arrow Martin Amis
2. The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko Ogawa
3. "The Metamorphosis" Franz Kafka
4. “The Myth of Sisyphus” Albert Camus
5. Death With Interruptions Jose Saramago
6. Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carrol
7. The Fermata Nicolson Baker
8. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
9. Invisible Cities Italo Calvino
10. Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
11. A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
12. Things As They Are Paul Horgan
13. Waiting for Godot Beckett
Critical Thinking Book Report
1. You must have a “Reading Diary” with an entry for each chapter: character, setting, plot (if same for any of these simply state ‘same’
2. Choose three chapters (beginning, middle and towards the end) and summarize them (include setting, characters and plot). Why were these chapters memorable?
3. Choose three passages (a paragraph or two from the three chapters you summarized) from the beginning, middle and end of the book and do a language analysis of them.
I: Review the book.
a. What are its strengths?
c. Would you recommend it? Why or why not? (Length cannot be used as a reason…nor can boring unless you can prove it is boring)
II: What did you learn about the human condition from reading the book?