Key Realities

Key Realities

It is important that everyone arrives in class with an open-mind, a critical gaze (a willingness to go beyond common assumptions) and most importantly a willingness and desire to read, attend class, and learn. Without preparedness and reading skills (as well as a desire to engage in those elements of learning) this class will be a struggle. For those students who want to improve these skills, this class will facilitate that process. For those who want a class that does not require thinking, that does not mandate completion of the reading, that sees attendance as superfluous, and is in all ways easy on the mind, this may not be the class for you. For those who think discussions about race and inequality are all about opinions and that class is a space to replicate the opinion-based debates of modern TV culture, this is not the class for you. Please also note that while the course will work to promote discussions and interactive dialogues, the course isn’t a place to haphazardly share opinions without regard for research, facts, and evidence (this is not a debate show that we might see on television). Conversations and opinions should be grounded in research and evidence; in order for productive exchanges, we must speak through research, and specific examples.


Communication, course facets, and the realities of this class

Course Blog: The course blog is a one-stop spot where you can find essential information about the class, participate in expansion of discussions, post-your online discussion, enhance your participation grade, and engage in topics and questions related to course materials. A couple points: (1) every student will need to respond to at least 2 questions within this space. (2) Students have the option and opportunity to participate in various discussions in this space. These are optional, but can assist in bolstering your participation score. Blog address –

Twitter: I will try to use Twitter as an “in the world” tool and also as one to help you all generate ideas and questions that will help me tailor class lecture better. This, like the blog, is a “third space” which will facilitate independent discussion and also serves as a bridge between the popular and the scholarly—which is what this class is all about. Twitter is a spot, a vehicle, a space, and a technology that allows for your quick, but thick thoughts/linkages on what we do in class and what is happening in the wider world related to our class topics. For instance, you may be watching The MTV, or Scandal or the news; you may be walking on campus and realize something, and want to link a real-world discussion/instance of race and want to comment in real-time about this moment. Our #hashtag will be #CES101WSU. I will also tweet from @CES101spring2015. I also use twitter to post comments and observations about films we are watching in class as a way to highlight key facts and arguments. I will storify these film tweets as well. Please add this whenever you’re tweeting something relevant to class. This will help to create a searchable archive or RSS feed. Tweet blog links, videos, stories. Participation in twitter can enhance participation score as well as Jeopardy ranking.[1]

Blackboard: Please note that I only use Blackboard to update exam scores, participation scores, and attendance. These will be updated monthly. It is not used as the course grade book and other course materials will NOT be posted there. All important materials, other than scores, will be on the course blog.


Email: It is your responsibility to check email and check often. I will communicate weekly via email as well as through course twitter feed. Announcement, reminders, and highlights from lecture will be sent via email. It is imperative that you not only check email and READ THEM, but also have a working email address listed for zzusis. Make sure your most up-to-date email is listed there and that you are using WSU address.

Seating Chart: There are assigned seats for this course. Not sitting in your seat will result in an absence and you not receiving credit for daily participation. The seating chart will be established on DAY 2 of class.

Clicker: You are required to have a clicker and bring it to class each day. If you forget or it doesn’t work on a particular day, you can turn in a piece of paper with your responses up to 2 times during the semester (credit is about completing/participating rather than getting some right answer). You are also required to register your clicker by beginning of week #2. Failure to do so will hurt your grade, dramatically. If you don’t have a clicker associated with your name, I will notify you once via email (week #3) and once on Angel in the comment section of your participation score. It is your responsibility to make sure it is registered and speak with me if you are having issues.

Class notes: When absent, sick or otherwise not able to attend class, it is your responsibility to find out what happened in class. While I am always happy to talk to you about class, course content, assignments or related themes, providing an individualized recap (particularly via email) for each class you missed is not going to happen. I will not be handing out lecture notes and the Prezi outline or posting them online. It is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate (I encourage you to get email from several people in class) and watch any videos from while you were gone).

Office hours: This is a great time to check in about the class, to ask questions, and to otherwise expand the conversation from class. As I value this opportunity, and view it as a form of participation, I encourage you to take advantage of office hours.

Two Thursdays of each month after office hours (1-2), I will have lunch at Southside. I encourage students you to stop by to chat about class, school, popular culture, current events, movies, and of course the Lakers.

Office hours will be held in Gannon-Goldsworthy each Thursday from 11-1

Class discussion session: Three times through semester (see calendar but these will take place on Thursday at 1-3), we will gather in Gannon-Goldsworthy to discuss course materials and themes. Particular emphasis will be placed on connecting course materials to current events, providing students with couple news articles to read as basis of discussion. The emphasis here is conversations. Participation is optional and will contribute to overall participation, jeopardy score, and count as an outside event

Reading: YOU are responsible for completing readings prior to class. You are responsible for engaging these works, taking notes if that helps you, and otherwise understanding the readings before entering into the classroom. Class will focus on expanding, building upon, and supplementing the reading materials. It will engage the themes related to reading. We will NOT go over readings, page by page, but rather will build from the readings, with hopes that your reading will enhance your understanding of the lecture and elevate the discussion.

[1] Taken from syllabus of Dr. Shanté Paradigm Smalls


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