IDS 100-37, Romance, Sarcasm, Math, and Language , Fall 2017

MW 1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m., 1030 Schaap

Instructor: Aaron Cinzori
Office: 216 VanderWerf
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00-2:50 p.m.; Friday, 9:30-10:20 a.m. These are times when I will be in my office and available to help you. You may drop in at these times without an appointment. I am also available at many other times by appointment. You may set up an appointment by phone, email, or in person. Finally, if you see me in my office, feel free to pop in. I'll be happy to help you if I can or schedule a mutually agreeable meeting time. Email:
Phone: 395-7528 (my office), 395-7530 (math department)

The main focus of this course is to develop your speaking, writing, discussion, reading, and critical thinking skills. By the end of the semester, you should be able to organize your ideas better, communicate them more clearly in writing and speaking, read more critically and analytically, use evidence more effectively, and be better able to participate in the learning community of Hope College. You will have a number of opportunities to speak in front of the class, to write (and occasionally revise) papers, and to consider the path you will take over the next four years.

To improve speaking, writing, discussion, reading, and thinking, we need some material to consider. The jumping off point for this course will be the webcomic xkcd by Randall Munroe. We'll also use a collection of Munroe's What If? essays and the text Reality Check by Donald Prothero. We'll be thinking about language and representation, what is science, what isn't science, why we care, and how we can evaluate information. What is necessary for the course is that you are willing to engage the material with sustained effort and enthusiasm.

A second goal of the course is to provide you with academic advising and an introduction to the resources available to you at Hope. To facilitate this and support the course's main goal, you will have some opportunities to research, write, and speak about your academic and career possibilities.

Your course grade will be determined by considering your written work, oral presentations, and class participation. Class participation includes preparing for class by doing the reading, making relevant contributions to the classroom discussion, and providing appropriate feedback to classmates.

We will abide by the Code for Academic Integrity detailed in the Hope College 2017-2018 Catalog. We will discuss this in more detail as the semester progresses, but a good rule of thumb is to cite any direct quotes or summaries of other people's works in an appropriate manner.

Important dates are as follows:
Last day to add or drop the course: Wednesday, September 6
Fall Recess: Monday, October 9 and Tuesday, October 10
Last day to withdraw or declare pass/fail status: Friday, November 3
Thanksgiving Break: Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24
Final Exam: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Don't make travel plans that will cause you to miss the final.

There is no extra credit.

Course Assessment: Hope College expects all students to assess each course in an effort to continuously improve student learning. At the end of the semester, you will be asked to assess how well this course met its stated goals. Your responses will be kept anonymous, but I will take the collective results seriously in thinking about how to provide Hope students the best possible education. Your responses matter. You are urged to participate in this important process.

Americans With Disabilities Act: Any student whose disability falls within ADA guidelines should inform the instructor at the beginning of the semester of any special accommodations or equipment needs necessary to complete the requirements for this course. Students must register documentation with the Office of Disability Services and/or Academic Support Center. If you have questions, call Student Development at extension 7800.

You are responsible for knowing all announcements made in class, whether you're there or not.