New 0.25 credit course for Spring 2017: CIS 115 “Experiential Design and Application”

This course, co-taught with Director of Physical Plant Operations Mike Conte, will allow students to work directly with Facilities employees to design and execute modifications and repairs to existing Wesleyan spaces. The specific projects will change from semester to semester, but could include designing and building informal learning spaces, and planning and carrying out repairs and modifications to mechanical and plumbing systems. Students will learn design and engineering by carrying out projects to improve Wesleyan’s facilities. Students must be willing to work with tools and machinery with supervision. The grading in this quarter-credit repeatable course will be based primarily on active participation, and the class meetings will be held on location and at times built around participants’ schedules. The first organizational meeting will be held in the Cady building at 170 Long Lane on Friday, January 27 at 2:50 pm; interested students who cannot attend the first meeting should e-mail the instructors.  More information available in the WesMaps listing.

New FYS course: “Live Like a Philosopher”

“Live Like a Philosopher” is a project-based learning course where students will be asked to put into practice several philosophical theories about the good life from the ancient world.  Activities include the cultivation of specific habits, changing one’s behavior with others in a certain way, and going about one’s everyday routines a little differently.  In place of essays and exams, students will complete a course journal for themselves with daily diary entries.  They may also be asked to create digital stories or video diaries chronicling their experiences living like a philosopher, and at least some class time will be spent outside the classroom engaged in work related to the course content.  15 seats are available to first-years: details here.

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Section 2 of PSYC 105

Professor Lisa Dierker is teaching a small, media-based section of PSYC 105 that exposes students to psychology concepts through photography, sound, video production, editing, and graphic design.  It is a nice opportunity for first-year students to take this gateway course to the Pschology major and earn an SBS credit in a small, project-based environment.  PSYC 105 Section 2 is POI.

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Change of Grading Mode Deadline 5pm Today

For courses with a “Student Option” grading mode, the deadline to change the grading mode is today at 5:00p.m.

To review the grading modes for the courses in your schedule, login to your portfolio and click on “Current Classes & Schedule.”  The “Grade” column will indicate the current grading mode for the course.  To determine whether a course is “Student Option,” click on the link in the “Course ID” column to review the WesMaps description.

If you decide to change the grading mode for a course, you will need to submit a Grading Mode Change Form to the Registrar by 5pm today. Faculty Advisor and Class Dean signatures are NOT required to submit the form.

Seats Available in PHYS 107 “Life in the Cell from a Molecule’s Perspective”

Professor Candice Etson is offering a new FYS course in the Physics Department: PHYS 107, Life in the Cell from a Molecule’s Perspective, which meets TR 10:20-11:40 in Exley 221.

Have you ever wondered how things happen in the cell at the molecular level? What does DNA look like when it is not condensed into chromosomes? If a molecular motor walks, how does it take a step? How do partners in molecular processes find each other? Students will have a chance to explore these questions by discussing primary scientific literature in this course, which is a writing intensive introduction to a handful of important topics in molecular biophysics. While Professor Etson intends the course to introduce students to biophysics while they still have time to pursue the certificate, it would also be a great choice for a student looking for a course in NSM that is not math heavy. There are no problem sets, and no exams. Assessments consist of contributions to the class website (20%), twice-weekly exploratory writing assignments (40%), and a final paper (40%).

New Course: CEAS 181 Chinese Pop Culture

The College of East Asian Studies would like to draw your attention to a new class: CEAS 181, Chinese Pop Culture, which meets MW 10:50-12:10.

The course examines a wide range of Chinese pop culture materials from film to literature, martial arts to internet culture.

It appears there was some confusion about whether the class is held in Chinese or English.  It is taught in English (a Chinese language class covering similar subjects is CEAS 204).

The film screening time is currently listed as Tuesdays from 4:15-6:15, but that time is just a placeholder as required by the registrar.  The film screenings will be scheduled at a time that works for the students in the class, so if you are in athletics, please don’t let that posted time worry you.

New Section Available in DANC 111

A new section of DANC 111 has been made available:

DANC 111 Section 02
Tu, Th 8:40-10:10AM

This is an introduction to dance as an educational, technical, and creative discipline for students with no previous formal dance training. Classes will introduce the basic components of dance technique–stretching, strengthening, aligning the body, and developing coordination in the execution of rhythmic movement patterns. Through improvisation, composition, and performing, students will develop a solid framework applicable to all forms of dance.

New FYS–COL 150: Great Books Unbound

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The College of Letters is rolling out a brand-new, unique, co-taught (with Kari Weil, Tushar Irani, and Jesse Torgerson), welcome-to-the-humanities lecture + discussion + writing-workshop FYS: COL 150: Great Books Unbound.

The idea behind the course is to provide first-years with the chance to explore, stir up, and challenge the very idea of a “Canon of Great Books” that is so enmeshed in the ideal of a liberal arts education at Wesleyan.

In the course we will deploy the College of Letters’ characteristic inter-disciplinary approach (Philosophy, Literature, History) to conjoin texts that aren’t supposed to be read in the same course, and lead students in an exploration of the topics of identity, the animal, society, and transcendence.

If you’re looking for a way to explore multiple disciplinary approaches, and/or read some of those books “everyone’s read” while at the same time challenging that privileged cultural status, then check out COL 150.

Exciting New First Year Seminar–AFAM 115: Freedom School

AFAM 115: Freedom School

From the point of view of the U.S. nation-state, education has always been a hegemonic means to control knowledge, to calibrate unequal forms of citizenship, and to promote the social reproduction of power. Yet as W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in 1903, “education among all kinds of men [sic] always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent. Nevertheless, men [sic] strive to know.” Drawing inspiration from the 1964 Freedom School Curriculum and spanning from enslavement to emancipation to the long civil rights movement, this course explores how people of African descent in the United States, and black women in particular, have used education to empower themselves, produce social change, and redefine the terms under which change may occur.

The course, taught by Professor Khalil Johnson, meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:20-9:40 a.m., CAAS Lounge. Space is available.

Learning and Living Seminar Program

The Learning and Living Seminar program is designed for first-year students who want to live with seminar classmates in the same residential area.  Living in close proximity allows for intellectual discussions and collaborative learning to extend beyond the classroom, facilitating group assignments and projects, and promoting growth of community through daily interaction.  Learning and Living seminars are a subset of the first-year seminar program.  Three L&L seminars are being offered this fall:

Enthusiastic commitment is expected from students who enroll in L&L seminars since both housing and faculty advisor assignments will be based on the L&L seminar choice.  If you wish to enroll in a L&L seminar, you must submit the Learning & Living Seminar Registration Form by 5:00pm on Thursday, June 30.

First Year Seminars

First-year seminars are writing intensive courses that introduce students to a variety of topics ranging from Greek myth to neuroscience. Some treat a specific thinker (e.g., Kafka); others provide a sweeping introduction into an interdisciplinary area of study that may be new to first-year students (e.g., animal studies). All of these seminars, however, emphasize the importance of writing at the university level. Students in first-year seminars become familiar with the methods used to collect, interpret, analyze, and present evidence as part of a scholarly argument. Faculty teaching these classes also highlight the type of writing associated with their respective disciplines, and help students develop, compose, organize, and revise their writing. All first-year seminars have assignments totaling at least 20 pages, and feature oral or written feedback on student writing; many also employ peer-mentoring and writing tutors. First-year seminars are limited to 15 students.  Click here for a complete list.