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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Is This TORTURE? Can Amnesty International Help???

Is This TORTURE? Can Amnesty International Help???

1.       Attendance is mandatory. Three hours' worth of absence will cause a student's final letter grade to be dropped by one letter grade; five or more hours' worth of absence will result in a failing grade. Two late arrivals to any class session counts as an absence. Any student not settled in his seat at the exact time that class is scheduled to begin will be late.

2.       Do not attempt to circumvent class rules by telling the professor a sad story. Campus offers many resources. If you need help with anything, ask for help; I'll help. But do not tell the professor that you work, that you could not find a parking space, that you suffer from Lampington's Disease, that you are taking time off to attend a funeral, as part of any attempt to circumvent academic requirements. If you are absent, contact a fellow student and ask for notes. If you arrive late, it is your responsibility, after class, to inform the teacher of your arrival in order that you not be counted absent. If you arrive late, sit quietly near the door. Do not walk across the room or make noise while getting your papers out.

3.       Comport yourself in an appropriate manner for a mature adult in an academic environment where respect for others and personal dignity are required to advance the necessary focus and learning for all. Remain seated in class during the class session. Use the restroom and make cell phone calls before class, after class, or during breaks, not during class. Don't pack your bags noisily before class ends. Speaking out of turn may contribute to a failing grade. We will be discussing controversial issues: race, gender, religion. If students speak out of turn, that will lower the quality of the discussions. Raise your hand and wait to be recognized before you speak. Don't sleep, joke, etc. while another student is speaking. Don't eat in class. Don't wear baseball caps in class. These behaviors degrade the academic environment.

4.       Class participation is mandatory. Participate in every class session, in a courteous way, commensurate to the percentage of the class that you represent. Remember: apt and sincere questions contribute to learning.

5.       Silence and store your electronic devices before class begins. Three strikes of visible or audible devices in this room, at any time, and your grade drops one letter grade. Please do this before class begins so that I don't have to devote time to asking students to store devices. I reserve the right to confiscate visible electronic devices temporarily.

6.       Emphasize conscientiousness. Students who consistently arrive on time, hand in assignments on time, participate in class, don't talk out of turn, whose work shows evidence of application of critiques, receive A's and B's.

7.       Exhibit courage. If you think that there is something that needs to be said and no one is saying it, it is your job to say it.

8.       Exhibit integrity: integrate your thoughts, beliefs, feelings, words, and deeds. This class will take up hours of your life. Live those hours fully, in truth. One goal of the teacher in this class is to improve the student's ability to speak and write about his own position. To do this, students must master the ability to understand and reiterate what others are saying, to state their own opinions in Standard English, and to support their opinions with facts from academically reputable sources. As part of her effort to hone verbal mastery in the students, the teacher will assume various personae: a believer in racist theories, an atheist, a religious believer … students should not assume that the teacher holds any of these positions. The teacher will challenge students to better support their positions. Students should not assume that this is a sign that the teacher wants the students to remain silent or agree with the teacher. When the teacher asks the students challenging questions, she is trying to hone students' ability to produce academically reputable and convincing positions. Do the work, and you will get the grade, whether the teacher agrees with you or not.

9.       LATE WORK and EMAILED WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. If you don't hand in work on time, you will receive a failing grade for it.

10.    Standard English is required. If you have not mastered Standard English, work with the tutors at the Writing Center, and this website. If you get critical comments from me on your paper, don't get angry, don't cry, and don't give up. Writing is like any other activity. You can improve your writing. Talk to me. I can help you to improve your writing. If you can't write in Standard English, you cannot pass. 


  1. This blog post inspired a lively discussion on facebook. Pros, cons, heartache, joy.

  2. Torture!!!

    The Inquisition, Abu Ghraib, your classes . . .

    And what’s all this jazz about Standard English? What’s wrong with the following sentence?

    “In 4WhomTheBellTolls, Robert Jordan and his BFF Maria LOL about how gr8 they are in the sack.”

    1. Liron, I even cackle while doing all this.

      And the last word in your sentence, above, should be "sak" of course. Any time you can skip a letter, do so!