PBL & Visioning – MUL Episode 4 Blog Post

  • Reminder: On Wednesday, June 13 you will be submitting a written course project on one of the issues discussed in Episodes 1-6.
  • Completing these blog posts is 30% of your course grade.

Choose one of the following questions and write a post of about 100-200 words answering it. There are no right or wrong answers; give your opinion, or respond to someone else’s post.

  1. When you are planning a paper assignment or a presentation and need to do research, what are some methods, websites, or practices you feel are helpful for finding good sources? How can you judge your sources?
  2. Discuss a situation where you thought about a problem and employed synthesis-level thinking– that is, you combined knowledge from several subjects or examples to produce new knowledge to solve the problem.

PBL Vision & Career – MUL Episode 3 Blog Post


PBL & Visioning – MUL Episode 3 Blog Post

Choose one of the following questions and write a post of about 100-200 words answering it. Give your opinion, or respond to someone else’s post.

  1. Describe your own study space– are there ways you might improve it?
  2. Think about your own personality and body, and discuss how you might best prepare for an exam. Are there things in the episode which you especially feel might work, or have worked?
  3. What are some things you personally do, or might try to do, during an exam to help you write it?

Brit Soc & Contemp Novels: Blog Post 3 (Guards! Guards!)

Terry Pratchett – Guards! Guards! (1989)

Presentations: Monday, April 30

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the text. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. The protagonists of the book are losers, drunks, and cowards (Vimes, Colon, Nobby). Why? Is Pratchett making a statement about heroism?
  2. How does Vimes change throughout the story? Why?
  3. Why does the book seem so interested in books and libraries?
  4. How do the dwarves compare to humans? Are they better or worse?
  5. At one point the dragon is disgusted to realize that humans can be more cruel than dragons. What do you think Pratchett is saying as a message?
  6. Vimes doesn’t seem to agree with Vetinari that all people are evil, and the best a ruler can do is balance out opposing people. Is Vetinari bad, or a practical ruler of a violent city?
  7. Does the book prove Vetinari right by having two dragons cancel each other out?
  8. Does the novel have a message or moral it wants the reader to learn?
  9. Is there something else in the novel you think is interesting or meaningful?

British Soc & Lit 1: Blog Post 3 (Pride & Prejudice)

Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice (1813)

Readings: If you can’t read the entire novel, at least read these sections (1/2 of the novel):

  • Volume 1: Chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 16, 18, 22
  • Volume 2: Chapters 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18
  • Volume 3: Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19

Presentations: Thursday, April 19

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Sometimes we hear that “everyone felt sorry for the Bennets” or “everyone was jealous of the Bennets,” and the opinions keep changing. Can you always trust whether the narrator is honest or joking?
  2. How does Elizabeth change or grow as a person? Do you agree with her decisions?
  3. How are women represented in the novel? Are they mean? Trapped? Practical? Manipulative? Does Austen always have sympathy for them?
  4. Does Charlotte do the right thing in marrying Collins? Is there an ‘ideal’ type of marriage in the novel?
  5. Austen originally called her novel First Impressions. How do “first impressions” matter in the novel? Why do you think the novel has the name it does?
  6. Mr. Bennet’s humor is enjoyable in the novel, but at times he seems to be a bad father and husband. Is this true? How and why?
  7. People in 1813 of course didn’t actually speak in the elegant, sophisticated way they do in the novel. Why might Austen have written in this way?
  8. Austen seems to feel that upbringing is more important than people’s basic personalities. Is this true? For example, is Lydia badly raised or just a foolish, boy-crazy girl?
  9. One criticism of the novel is that it is a little snobbish– the rich people are always conveniently the best people. Do you think this is true?

PBL Vision & Career – MUL Episode 2 Blog Post

PBL & Visioning – MUL Episode 2 Blog Post

Watch the video and write a post of about 100-200 words responding to the prompt below.

There will be times in university where you will have an emergency task to do and you will not have enough time to do everything. Imagine that Dr. Sureggi has assigned you an essay due in two days. You need to find and read information for the paper and write it. You also need to study for Dr. Kimbop’s exam the same day.

Make a schedule for writing the paper and preparing for the exam. Indicate all of the things you will need to do, within reason—you are a human and you need time to sleep, eat, take a bath, take the bus, and so on. Think about what time you will devote to each of these personal and academic tasks.

Depending on your skills, some people can do one or more tasks at a time. You might be able to have lunch and read at the same time, or study with headphones while you walk or ride home. Think about these abilities you might have, to use your time more efficiently. Again, you don’t have enough time to do it all; how can you prioritize or use your time better?

No one did the blog post for Episode 1. A reminder that it is part of your course grade.

British Soc & Contemp Novels – Blog Post 2 (White Teeth)

Zadie Smith – White Teeth (2000)

Readings: If you can’t read the entire novel, you can skip chapters 5, 6, 7, and 10.

Blog posts due / Presentations: Thursday, April 12

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the novel. Choose a topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post. Or make your own topic.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. How do Archie and Samad remain friends over the years when they are so different?
  2. What do Irie and Magid find so attractive about “Englishness”?
  3. Why is Samad so obsessed about his great-grandfather?
  4. Why do Samad’s children rebel against their father?
  5. Is Alsana just mean, or does she have a reason to dislike her husband?
  6. Why does Irie explode at the Joneses and Iqbals on the bus at the climax of the story? What is her argument?
  7. What is the meaning of the SuperMouse? What does it represent?
  8. Why do you think the author decided that Irie would never know the father of her baby? What does it mean?
  9. The fathers in this novel seem absent or weak. Why? Or do you agree?
  10. Why do you think the novel is called White Teeth? What do teeth mean here?

British Soc. & Lit 1: Blog Post 2 (Merchant of Venice)

The Merchant of Venice – William Shakespeare (1598)

Feel free to use whatever version of the play you like– but remember that class presentations, papers, or other assignments involving the play must use the original language.

Presentations: Wednesday, April 4; Blog posts due: Thursday, April 5

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing the play. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. How does money affect how people in the play relate to each other? Do you think Shakespeare is making a statement about this?
  2. A Korean professor once told me that Koreans would find Jessica’s abandonment of her father unacceptable. Are Jessica’s actions justified?
  3. Why is Shylock treated so badly? He’s mean, but does he deserve what happens to him? Discuss the anti-Semitism of the play.
  4. In the play, the women seem smarter and in charge. Is this humorous, or do you think Shakespeare is saying something in this?
  5. Is it right that the women trick the husbands into giving up their rings? What do the rings symbolize?
  6. Do Jessica and Lorenzo really love each other? Why is this subplot in the play?
  7. The climax of the play is where Portia, pretending she’s a judge, states that justice should be about mercy. The characters believe Shylock receives mercy at the end; do you agree?
  8. Most scholars agree that Antonio and Bassanio are simply good friends who show affection for each other. Some think it’s more than just friendship. What do you think?
  9. Analyze a character or scene in the play you feel is interesting or important.

PBL Vision & Career – MUL Episode 1 Blog Post

Choose one of the following questions and write a post of about 100-200 words answering it. There are no right or wrong answers; give your opinion, or respond to someone else’s post.

  1. Give an example from your own experience of how you learned in an “active” way in class or in a personal activity.
  2. What is the “university” way to approach a professor if an exam or course grade is poor, according to the video? How might you do this in real life?
  3. How might someone used to the Greek mode of learning act differently in a university class? Give an example.
  4. All of this talk about extra work and responsibility doesn’t sound like it’s better than high school. But the video does discuss some advantages to university life. Discuss a few.

British Soc Contemp Novels: Blog Post 1 (Bridget Jones)

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (1996)

Blog posts due / Presentations: Monday, March 26

Write a post here of two paragraphs (about 200 words) discussing Bridget Jones’s Diary. Choose one topic, or make your post a reply to someone else’s post.

For the presentations, choose one topic per group. Your presentation must present an opinion or argument; it cannot just summarize the story. You must e-mail or speak to me before your presentation to have it approved.

  1. Why do you think the author wrote the book as a series of diary entries? Was it a good choice?
  2. Bridget often lies to herself in the entries, telling herself that she doesn’t like Daniel or that she will eat better or stop smoking. Why does she do this?
  3. Is it right for Bridget to be trying to date her boss all the time, or is it Daniel who is at fault? Why is she so attracted to him?
  4. Do you feel sympathy for Bridget, or does she get what she deserves sometimes for being lazy or silly or having bad personal habits like drinking too much?
  5. Discuss Mark Darcy. Does he treat Bridget properly, or is he wrong to look down on her initially? Why is he attracted to her?
  6. The novel is sometimes hostile to men, but Bridget’s father seems very kind and hurt by Bridget’s mother. Is there a reason the author makes her mother this way?
  7. Is Rebecca catty and mean, or is it maybe true as some critics say, that she is justifiably jealous of Bridget’s career and adventures? Are there times when Bridget is wrong, or fails to understand other people?
  8. Bridget and her friends regularly complain about the bias against single people. Is this criticism fair?
  9. Does the novel teach a lesson or have a moral to it? What is it?