I’m thinking of adding rules and a FAQ to my syllabi. Thoughts?
- Read More. Write More. Think More. Be More.
- Do the homework and come to class. [Woody Allen has said that “80 percent of success is showing up.” But be sure to show up for your homework, too; there will be approximately two hours of homework for every hour of class, i.e. five hours of homework a week. Plan for that.]
- Stay in contact. Visit Dr. Miller during his office hours. Use email and the phone number. [“If you come to my office hours, then I will help you.” “If you call me after nine pm, then I’ll be tired and irritable.”]
- Always Ask a Question. [Take responsibility for your education. “Fake it until you make it.” We’re not on television, and education is not a passive enterprise.]
- Try to Ask the Right Question. [Think: “Why? What’s the REASON?” “How do we know? What’s the PROCESS?” “Where do I fit in? What’s my ROLE?”]
- Think Schematically. [Clichés and snowclones: “X is the new black.” “I X, therefore I am.” “This is your brain on X.” “If X, then Y.”]
- Think Conditionally. [Hypothetical: “If pigs could fly, then the pigsty would need a roof.” “If I had a million dollars, then….”]
- Beware of Assumptions. [Know What You Know. Try to know what you Don’t Know. Worry about what you Don’t Know you Don’t Know.]
- Think about Alternatives. [Always look for alternative explanations and reasons.]
- Practice charitable interpretation. [Give yourself, your fellow students, and the texts we read the benefit of the doubt.]
Thank you for arguing!