Friday, February 1, 2013

If Yoda Wrote My Course Syllabi

On Monday, beloved readers, the spring semester begins, so I've spent the last week tweaking that Guide to All Knowledge, the course syllabus, and I have come to this conclusion:  my syllabi are boring.  Boring, boring, boring.  But how, I ask you, yummy readers, can one make a list of books, a grade breakdown and an attendance policy interesting?

I'm so grateful you asked.

If Yoda Wrote My Syllabus 

Course Objectives
Students should achieve an understanding of the elements of fiction, an appreciation of the literary value of the texts covered, and the ability to write and speak about them with clarity, insight and eloquence.

This class is strong with the dark side of literature.  A domain of evil it is.  In you must go.  You must unlearn what you have learned.

Attendance Policies

All students are required to attend all scheduled classes, meetings and conferences. Please refer to your Wofford College Student Handbook for the official policies and procedures regarding absences. In my classes the following procedures will be followed [blah, blah, blah, specific numbers of absences permitted, etc, etc]
Bring yourself here.  Question you I will.  If absent or tardy you are, only pain will you find.  Good relations with the Wookies, I have.

Class Participation and Decorum

My classes do not include class participation scores; however, because all of the courses that I teach are relatively small (under twenty students), failure to participate in class damages the overall course community. Students are therefore required to participate through class preparation, attentive listening, and written and oral responses. Moreover, students are expected to avoid behavior that undermines or interferes with the participation of other students or distracts the professor.

A student must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.  Control, control, you must learn control!

Grading Scale
The grading scale below is used to determine final grades for all of my classes. Students may request their current course average by coming by my office; such an average, however, will not include work turned in but not yet graded. It will also not include any absence/tardiness penalties. I will not send any grades over e-mail, as this is not a secure method of communication.

Attachment to grades leads to jealousy.  The shadow of greed that is.  To a dark place this line of thought will carry us.

Late Assignments
If you are unable to turn in an assignment on time because of a documented illness or family tragedy, you will not be penalized for turning in work late, provided you present your written excuse within one week of returning to class. If you must turn in work late for other reasons, you be subject to the following penalties:

Do or do not.  There is no extension.

Damage to a student's personal computer or lack of access to the internet will not be considered as excuses for submitting an assignment late unless there is a campus-wide or region-wide failure.  Late penalties will apply to files submitted late for individual technological errors.

 A student uses technology for knowledge and defense, never for excuses.

Extra Credit
I sometimes offer classes opportunities for extra credit. These assignments are meant to deepen your appreciation for a subject. Extra credit is always class-wide; I do not give private assignments to individual students, as that would be unfair.

 Quizzes dropped Extra credit!  A student craves not these things.


  1. Natalie, I've always known you were witty, but I had no idea you were THIS funny!

    Alan Baragona

  2. Class prep avoidance is an endless source of wit, Alan. :)