Published on December 31, 2014
2 Course Requirements, Grading, et cetera Attendance : I take attendance at the beginning of each class, following the opening prayer. You should be on time and ready for discussion each day. There’s no such thing as an “excused absence” – you’re either in class, or you’re not. Tardiness, therefore, is inexcusable for it is unjust toward those who came to class on time. Arriving after roll call is charged as ½ absence . More than 4 absences will result in loss of a whole letter grade, and more than 6 absences, in failure. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what was covered in your absence. Assigning grades is a highly distasteful necessity. I certainly don’t like doing it; it gives me stomachaches, among other symptoms. In fact, I show all the classic symptoms of avoidance. I’d just as soon live without grades, but since Wheaton College and our society (and – in the long run – most of you, probably) really want grades, I grudgingly cooperate. Nonetheless, course grades will be determined as follows (100 points possible): a word about this class Ifthisiswhatyouwanttodo, Iinviteyoutoexplore togetherthethemesthat shapea radicaldiscipleship rootedinthehistoricalfaithof theChurchandmanifests God’sgracetotheworld. Thisalsomeansthatinthis sessionofChristianThought, wehavetogetbeyondthe “intimidation”factorandbe willingandabletovoice ourselvesfreelyandwithfull confidencethatweengage (andsometimeseven challenge)ideas,notpersons, andthatwereceiveeach otherwithrespectregardless ofourdisagreements. Iaimatencouragingcritical thinking–thatis,Iwantto helpstudentsdevelopthe capacitytojudgethemeritsof variousinterpretationsofthe subjectmatter–soI appreciateitwhenstudents argueoverthecourse’stopics, solongastheargument doesn’tsilenceothers. Iemphasizehowcomplex problemsare;Idon’tgive simpleexplanations.Which alsomeansthatattimesI tendtodigressfromthe subjectathand.Sometimes thisisfunwhileothertimes it’sadistraction. your part my part together Iexpectyoutobeprepared andinvolvedinclass. Iexpectyoutocompleteall assignmentsontimeand accordingtoallassigned specifications. Iexpectyoutoattendclass andtoparticipateactivelyin classroomdiscussionsand groupassignments.Learning isnotaspectatorsport. Finally,Iexpectyoutoseek outanyhelpyouneed.In otherwords, Iexpectyouto makeitcleartomethat you’redoingyourfairshareof theworkofthecourse : reading,preparing, researching,andaskingyour classmates,otherstudents, andmeforhelpifyouneedit. Itrytorunaclassroom withoutraceorgenderbias. Foracademicdiscourse, spokenandwritten, the facultyexpectsstudentstouse genderinclusivelanguagefor humanbeings . Asparticipantsinanacademic community,youshouldnot uselanguagethatmight excludeothers.Inaddition, theuseofinclusivelanguage isageneralrequirementof publicandprofessional discourse.Simplyput,your proseoughttoreflectthefact thathumanityiscomprisedof bothmenandwomen. Ihopemyclassestreat studentswithrespect,as peoplecapableofthinking andorderingtheirlives responsibly.Itrytoavoid assumingthatyouneed handholding,because studentsalmostalwaysresent thatassumption(often,the studentswho need helpmost, resent helpmost). Iamnotaneasygrader;you earnA’sfor excellence ,not justforadequatework. Ihaveespeciallyhigh standardsforwrittenwork, butIwillhelpyouwork throughproblemsifyouask.I expectalotfrommystudents, andsometimesIamhardto understand. Iftheclasssessionisoriented towarddiscussion,Iexpect everyone–howevertheshy, bored,ortheologically sensitive–toparticipatein thediscussion.Shyness, boredom,andtheological sensitivityfrequentlybecome self-perpetuatingproblems; noonewillgetthemostout ofadiscussionsection withoutactuallyparticipating inthediscussion. Oneofthemostusefulthings youcandoistoacknowledge thatyou’rebored,andpoint towhat’ssoboring(orthat you’reoffended,andpointto howwe’veoffendedyou). Ifyouaskforhelp,I’mgladto provideit;that’stheessence ofmyjob.