assignments

  • Book Group(10%)
    informal
    optional

    You may read a book with other students on a topic related to ethics and journal about it, usually in two 500-700 word journals. No need for anonymity on this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • Class Presentation(5%)
    informal
    optional

    You may offer a class presentation on a relevant topic or your choice or you may join me in presenting scheduled material from a class of your choice. In either case, you should meet with me prior to the presentation.
  • Journals(5-10%)
    informal
    optional

    Journal entries allow informal reflection on topics related to course material. Each entry will be 300-500 words, submitted through the dropbox. Journals must be completed by April 15. No need for anonymity on this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • Medium Answer Essays(15-25%)
    formal
    required

    Twice during the semester, you will be invited to write a medium length answer 2-3 pages, to a question which combines several study questions. Open book, open note. The assignment requires you to create an account on Peerceptiv.com and to engage in careful peer review of several students' drafts. Your grade depends upon several factors, including the perceived quality of your peer reviews. Do not put your name on the document or file name you turn in for this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • My Philosophy of Wisdom(20-30%)
    formal
    required

    This paper invites you to assemble a personal theory of wisdom from a selection of the course readings, ideas, and insights that have been particular important to you. To prepare for the paper, review course readings and make selections about the nature and explanation of wisdom that you find particularly valuable to you. This could include accepting or rejecting (or modifying) any of the ideas in the course. The goal of your paper is to present and defend an integrated view of wisdom. 7-8 pages. No need for anonymity on this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • Reading Preparation(20-30%)
    formal
    required

    Your preparation for class will be assessed by short electronic quizzes given at the start of most classes. You can enter quiz answers from any connected device, such as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Answers on paper will be accepted. Quizzes cannot be made up, but two quiz grades will be dropped for absences. You should use your real name on the form for this assignment.
  • Short Answers(10-20%)
    formal
    required

    Periodically, you will be invited to write a short answer, in 1 or 2 paragraphs, to a study question from a current or previous class. Open book, open note. When writing answers in class, notice will be given so that you can bring a connected device to type on. This assignment can be completed outside of class (usually by midnight of the same day) if you are absent when an in-class question is assigned. Do not put your name on the document or file name you turn in for this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • Short Term Research(5-15%)
    formal
    optional

    This short research assignment allows you to look into a course question or topic of interest to you. The length and weight are determined by your question. Typically, this paper is 3-5 pages and can be informative or argued. No need for anonymity on this assignment.
    Dropbox
  • Wisdom Practicum(15%)
    informal
    optional

    The Wisdom Practicum allows you to engage in experiential learning about wisdom practices and their effects in your daily life. There are three typical practices students have chosen from for this assignment:

    *Mindfulness Meditation (could be combined with Metta Bhavana (loving kindness meditation)
    *Yoga (some additional reading may be required) (could be combined with Metta Bhavana)
    *A wisdom related spiritual practice from your religious tradition (e.g. the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.)
    *Seneca Meditations
    *'A Perfect Day' Reflection and Journal

    More Resources for the practica are linked from the main course wiki page.

    Whichever practices you experiment with, the goal is the same. Engage in the wisdom practices, explore additional readings as you practice, and try to notice whether the practices have an effect on your daily life and if so, how. If the practice is new to you, such as beginning yoga or meditation, you may need to engage in it for several weeks before even asking about its effects. If you choose a practicum, you will journal about it over a period of four weeks. Your journal should include entries in which you note the specifics of the practice and make ongoing observations about your engagement with it. But the focus of the project should ultimately be on connections you find or fail to find between wisdom practices and your life. Hopefully, you will find positive connections, but your job is to report on this honestly and reflectively. Your grade does not depend upon specific results, but only upon diligent pursuit of wisdom through the practice. No need for anonymity on this assignment.
    Dropbox