Archives for the month of: March, 2016

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, If I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Frankl video:


For Monday, 3/28 and Wednesday, 3/30,here are the following readings.  I will have hard copies outside my office, hopefully by Wednesday.

Before Monday’s class please read:

Blackburn, Think, Chapter 8; readings on Stoicism (excerpts from Epictetus’ Enchiridion), suffering (Viktor Frankl (please read from “Long after…” on page 58, up to “vegetate as did a majority of the prisoners” on page 81)), grief and death (excerpts from various thinkers)

Before Wednesday’s class please also read:

 Excerpts from “The Needs of the Soul” from The Need for Roots by Simone Weil (1949, trans. 1952) SKIM the whole thing and then choose one or two of the needs Weil identifies to focus your reading attention.

Today, BHCC opened late due to snow.  All conferences scheduled for noon or later will take place as planned.  If you need to change your conference time, that’s OK, just select a different empty timeslot on the spreadsheet and put your name in there.

We do not meet as a class today.  We also do not meet as a class on Wednesday.  Both of these class meetings are canceled in order to make time for conferences.

Don’t forget, your final project proposal is due Friday, by email.

Later today, I’ll post links to the readings for next week, the “How should we live?” readings.  I’ll also have hard copies outside my office, probably by Wednesday.

Register for the BHCC event with Sybrina Fulton!  This is optional, but looks very very interesting, and there will be an extra credit opportunity attached to it.image001.jpg

If you attend the event, you may do the following activity for extra credit.

Read Melissa Harris-Perry’s Letter to Sybrina Fulton.  Then, write a letter of 250-500 words to Sybrina Fulton, similar to Harris-Perry’s letter.  In your letter, please specifically address either something that she says on campus during her visit on Thursday, March 24, or one of the questions raised by the students in the Q&A portion of her talk.  Please also integrate an idea you have encountered in our course this semester so far (including the readings for the week of 3/28, if you so choose).  Email your letter to me by Thursday, March 31 at 11:59 PM, and also create a new section on your e-portfolio marked “Extra credit” and place your letter there.  If you do this well, at the end of the semester, your participation grade for the entire course will be raised by one third of one letter grade (in other words, a B would become a B+).



In the week of March 21, we will have conferences for the final project.  Class will not meet.  Instead, you need to sign up for a 15-minute timeslot to talk with me about your ideas for a final project.

Here is the spreadsheet you need to use to sign up.  Just type your name in the spot next to the timeslot you want.


There are a few rules for this spreadsheet: please follow them.

1. Sign up for one spot and one spot only. If you change your mind, sign up for a new blank timeslot and remove your name from your old one.

2. Don’t steal someone else’s spot by deleting their name and typing yours in instead. If you really need a specific timeslot, sign up early!

3. Don’t create new timeslots! If you’re late to the party and you don’t find a timeslot you like, the solution is NOT to randomly create a new timeslot!

4. Don’t delete the breaks! You want your professor to be alert and attentive during your conference, right?

(Rules 2, 3, and 4 all relate to the problem of finding a timeslot. If you are having a lot of trouble finding an existing open timeslot that works for you, email me and let’s strategize.)

5. When it comes time for your conference, please wait in the hallway a few steps away from my office, near classrooms B-336 and B-337. This is for everyone’s privacy during the conference. Please try to arrive 5 minutes early, but don’t come directly to my office, because someone else is probably doing their conference. Just wait in the hallway and I’ll let you know when we’re ready to go. When you’re waiting, please wait quietly, in order to be kind to my office neighbors. If five minutes after your scheduled conference time have passed, (in other words, if you were scheduled for 4:30 and it’s now 4:35) please come and knock on my door and let me know you’re waiting.

The purpose of this conference is to talk about your final project, so you should come to the conference with a few ideas of what you might like to do for a final project.  As a reminder, here are the guidelines for the final project.

We will talk about the final project in class on Monday, March 7.