CLAS 188-01: CLASSICS DAY LEADERSHIP (.25 Credit Participation Course)

FALL 2016


… τ τν λλήνων νομα … μηκέτι το γένους, λλ τς διανοίας δοκεν εναι, κα μλλον λληνας καλεσθαι τος τς παιδεύσεως τς μετέρας τος τς κοινς φύσεως μετέχοντας.


The name “Greek” no longer implies a people, but an outlook, and it is applied to those who share our culture rather than to those who share a common blood.

Isocrates, Panegyricus 50, 380 B.C.E.


MEETING DAYS, TIMES, AND PLACE: Wednesday 2-2:50, plus all of Classics Day (October 22), and separate meetings as needed.



Dr. Robert Holschuh Simmons

21 Wallace Hall

Office Phone: 309-457-2378


Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9-10 AM, and by appointment.





This course is designed for anyone interested in playing an important role in the planning and execution of Classics Day, a multi-event festival celebrating the classical worlds of Greece, Rome, and other nations in the Mediterranean region (plus Japan, at least this year).  It is particularly valuable for those interested in gaining experience in leadership (on several different levels), in public history, in learning and recreating the esthetics and functions of certain classical institutions, in role-playing of various sorts, in public speaking and/or performance, in directing and/or acting in plays, and in doing hands-on work to create a visual spectacle.  



Students in this course will take leadership roles in making the annual Classics Day a success. This leadership will be divided between students based on their academic strengths and interests; students will need to justify the roles they choose in contributing to this complex event as having relevance to their majors or other academic concentrations. Between weekly meetings and distributed tasks between meetings, we will plot out Classics Day's events and who will carry them out, and we will take the steps necessary to make those events work, to receive funding, and to publicize Classics Day effectively. The high point of the course will be Classics Day itself. 



This course allows for students to put work they do for Classics Day into its academic context. Classics Day is one of the great opportunities on campus for students to put  learning of all sorts into action, and Classics Day Leadership helps students to articulate how what they do for Classics Day is academically meaningful to them, whether as students of Classics, History, Business, Sociology, Theatre, Art, Communication Studies, or any number of other fields. The course requires for students to choose tasks to contribute to Classics Day that are in line with preparation they have had in their majors or other relevant academic fields.  They might plan out and/or lead events at Classics Day, create clothing or other art for it, construct props for it, publicize the event, solicit donations from businesses for a raffle at it, create surveys for people who attend it, or any number of other tasks.  They must write out in a contract the value of work they intend to undertake for Classics Day to their course of study, to do that work, then to reflect after the fact on how the work they have done met the goals they set out. The intentionality of students' approach to the work necessary for Classics Day allows them both to recognize the value of that work for their academic lives and to lay out the value of what they have done for future employers. 


In weekly meetings, we will plot out the events that will happen at Classics Day, who will lead those events, and the steps that are necessary to make those events work.  We will divide up research that needs to be done to make our planned events authentic to the classical world.  We will plot out the most effective means of presenting illustrative information about our events at Classics Day.  We will determine properties that need to be purchased, constructed, and/or decorated to make the events work.  We will determine information necessary to write up proposals for funding to ASMC, the CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin, the Society for Classical Studies, and any other groups that would be reasonable funders of the event.  We will plot out a course of publicity for the event.  We will discuss suitable candidates from outside the class to contribute to events for which we need additional help at Classics Day.  Between classes, we will carry out the tasks we have laid out as essential to handle from one class to the next, then critique the work that has been completed, so that it can be revised until it meets a standard of excellence.  The high point of the course will be the performance of Classics Day on October 22.  After that point, we will discuss what worked particularly well about the event and what could stand to be improved for Classics Day in years to come.  Students will then write a concluding document that will document the steps that they took in course of this class, and the academic value that the course provided for them.   




Every student will have a different role in making Classics Day work, so everyone will need to write up a contract that lays out the steps that she or he intends to take in this class toward the end of both a successful Classics Day and an academically enriching experience.  This contract will likely be revised as circumstances change in the course of the semester, but it should include plans that are useful to Classics Day, academically beneficial for each student, and requiring an appropriate amount of work (an average of one-and-a-half hours of work outside of class for each week of the semester; a disproportionate amount of this time will be spent on Classics Day and the weeks leading up to it).  Week by week, students will need to track the extent to which they have fulfilled the contract and communicate with me about their adherence to it.  At the end of the semester, this contract will need to be turned in as part of each student’s final portfolio.   Your work on this contract will be evaluated according to a rubric that I will provide for you in class.



We need to be able to depend on one another from week to week in this class.  In order for no one to shoulder an inordinate burden in the preparation for Classics Day, we all need to be present for class meetings, to do the things from week to week that we say that we are going to do, and to take active part in the discussion in each week’s meeting about the work that has been done and that must be completed in the week to come.  At the beginning of each class, you will hand in a document that notes the extent of your preparation for the class, and the extent to which you have met the goals for yourself laid out from the previous week, and hand your assessment in to me.  At the end of each class, you will write down goals for yourself to complete by the next class. Completing goals laid out from one week to the next is critical to the success of the event, and is a critical part of your development as mature professionals, so failure to follow through on week-to-week tasks will take a significant toll on your grade in this category.  At the end of the semester, you will include those documents in a portfolio that you will use to justify your grade in the class.  Your performance will be evaluated according to a rubric that I will provide for you in class. 


Some of the tasks that we will need people to undertake will likely be mundane, such as making purchases at a store or online.  That is part of putting on any multifaceted event like this one.  But a significant part of the work you do should be something that has academic significance to a program at Monmouth in which you are majoring, minoring, or at least significantly invested.  This may be Classics, History, Theatre, Art, Communication, Psychology, Political Economy and Commerce, etc.  Or it could help you work toward a different goal that is not specific to your academic programs; doing things like communicating with businesses, interacting with professionals on campus or off, planning and putting up flyers, designing and carrying out tangible projects, and the like help to develop life skills that can be widely applicable.  I just need you to think about how the work you are doing serves a greater purpose.


As for attendance, you may occasionally, need to miss a class for illness or other reasons.  Thus you will not be penalized for your first two absences, whatever the reason for them.  If you miss more than two classes, however, your grade or status in the class will be affected according to the following parameters:

Normally, the two-absence cushion should account for matters outside of your control that would keep you from attending class, so the third one, even if it could be excusable on its own, serves as the consequence for classes missed previously that were within your control, and it underscores the importance of your being present: any absence, for whatever the reason, detracts from your learning in the class.  However, I recognize that a person can, at times, run into circumstances that can keep her or him out of class on several occasions without any fault on the student’s part.  If your first two absences were all due to debilitating or contagious illness, family emergency, mandatory religious obligation, or participation in an authorized College activity (for any of which I may require documentation), I would be willing to consider not penalizing you for a third absence either, if that also was precipitated by one of those circumstances.  For absences beyond the first two that you believe should be excused, you should contact me beforehand if you are in position to know about the absences in advance (such as if you have a mandatory religious or College obligation); if the absence is the result of an emergency, you should notify me within three days of the missed class.  Please speak with me if you have a different reason for your absence that you think may be excusable.  I will be the sole arbiter as to whether an absence will be considered excused.  Further details:



This is the most critical part of the class.  Classics Day needs to go well, and you need to do your part to make sure that it does.  Thus it is essential that you are present for the Day at the time established for your arrival, that you stay throughout the event and the cleanup of the event after the fact, that you carry out your expected duties well, and that you are flexible enough to take on other responsibilities that might come up in the course of the Day.  You will be permitted to miss Classics Day without severe consequence to your grade only in an extreme circumstance, and you will need to take some other time-consuming and academically meaningful action to make up for your absence.  Your work on Classics Day will be evaluated according to a rubric that I will provide for you in class.



At the end of the semester, you will need to submit a portfolio that documents your work throughout the term.  Whatever you have done, you will need to explain how it has contributed to your development as a scholar and/or technician in your field, or served your purposes in some other way.  You should have your contract, your weekly documentation of your work, and any other documents that support what you have done through the semester, as part of this culminating document.  During final exam week, we will meet individually to discuss your portfolio and how your contributions to Classics Day fit your educational program.  Your work on this portfolio will be evaluated according to a rubric that I will provide for you in class.


Grade Breakdown:      Contract                                                                      5%

                                                Attendance, preparation, and participation                 55%

                                                Classics Day performance                                           30%    

                                                Portfolio                                                                      10%


Percentage/Grade Equivalents:

93+   = A        87-89 = B+     77-79 = C+     67-69 = D+    59 and below = F

90-92 = A-      83-86 = B        73-76 = C        63-66 = D      

                        80-82 = B-      70-72 = C-      60-62 = D-




There are no required texts for the course.  A number of people will need to do reading for their parts in the event, and those readings will be determined by their research and their consultation with me.  They will acquire the readings through borrowing them either from the library or from me.

course engagement expectations:

This course is scheduled to meet 1 days per week for 50 minutes each for sixteen weeks.  You should expect to spend approximately one-and-a-half hours outside of class for every hour in class.  Some weeks will require more time commitment than others (particularly the week of Classics Day); however, the weekly average for all students in the course for those matters should be three hours (between class meetings and outside work).  The weekly time estimates for the course thus break down as follows:


            In class activities                                                                                 1 hours

            Outside preparation                                                                            1.5 hours

            Average per week:                                                                            2.5 hours


class behavior Expectations:

To maintain a classroom environment in which everyone can learn, please show the respect and courtesy to others that you would expect in turn.  Here are a few of the ways in which you can show respect and courtesy:

·        Be in your seat on time for class, and remain for the duration of each class.

·        Have a notebook, pen, and relevant materials out and ready to use throughout class.

·        Be ready to answer questions about the work you have done in the previous week, to work on in-class tasks individually and with peers, and to share your work in small groups with the whole class.

·        Remain quiet while I or others in class are speaking.

·        Show support for those who speak in class by your demeanor and body language.

·        Focus on the content of the class, not on personal electronic devices; all such items should be turned off and packed away during class, unless they are being used for class matters, in a way that is not distracting to your classmates or me.

·        You may eat and drink in class, but only if it is not distracting to other students or me.


E-mail Courtesies:

When sending me e-mail, please observe the following courtesies:

·        Begin the message with a salutation of some sort (Dr. Simmons, Prof. Simmons, Mr. Simmons, etc.).

·        Include a reasonably accurate subject line.

·        Capitalize and punctuate where appropriate, and proofread to make sure that you are communicating clearly.

·        At the end of the message, please identify yourself by the name by which I know you (first name or nickname).

I will get back to you as soon as I can.  Sometimes a response will be immediate; on other occasions it may take me several hours, and quite possibly a full day if you write late in the day, at night, or on a weekend, if I need to give some thought to a response before providing one, or if I simply have other things I need to get done before I can get to e-mails.


Special Needs: 

Anyone who has a special need that may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements should see me as soon as possible.  I will be pleased to make the appropriate arrangements in consultation with you.  Depending on the modification, you may need to be registered with Disability Services.   


Academic honesty:  

From the Monmouth College Academic Honesty Policy:  “We view academic dishonesty as a threat to the integrity and intellectual mission of our institution. Any breach of the academic honesty policy – either intentionally or unintentionally – will be taken seriously and may result not only in failure in the course, but in suspension or expulsion from the college.  It is each student’s responsibility to read, understand and comply with the general academic honesty policy at Monmouth College, as defined here in the Scots Guide, and to the specific guidelines for each course, as elaborated on the professor’s syllabus.


“The following areas are examples of violations of the academic honesty policy: 


  1. Cheating on tests, labs, etc;
  2. Plagiarism, i.e., using the words, ideas, writing, or work of another without giving appropriate credit;
  3. Improper collaboration between students, i.e., not doing one’s own work on outside assignments specified as group projects by the instructor;
  4. Submitting work previously submitted in another course, without previous authorization by the instructor.


Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive.”


The complete Monmouth College Academic Honesty Policy can be found on the College web page by clicking on “Student Life” then on “Student Handbook” in the navigation bar on the top of the page, then “Academic Regulations” in the navigation bar at the left.  Or you can visit the web page directly by typing in this URL:


In this course, any violation of the academic honesty policy will have varying consequences depending on the severity of the infraction as judged by the instructor.  Minimally, a violation will result in an “F” or 0 points on the assignment in question. Additionally, the student’s course grade may be lowered by one letter grade.  In severe cases, the student will be assigned a course grade of “F” and dismissed from the class.  All cases of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Associate Dean, who may decide to recommend further action to the Admissions and Academic Status Committee, including suspension or dismissal.  It is assumed that students will educate themselves regarding what is considered to be academic dishonesty, so excuses or claims of ignorance will not mitigate the consequences of any violations.


Help outside of class:

You should not hesitate to talk with me about any difficulties you are having in the class.  Speak with me as soon as you are having trouble; letting a problem fester is likely to make it worse. 


Also, for you contract and portfolio, the Monmouth College Writing Center offers unlimited, free peer tutoring sessions for students at MC.  Peer writing tutors work with writers from any major, of any writing ability, on any type of writing assignment, and at any stage of their writing processes, from planning to drafting to revising to editing.  It is located on the 3rd floor of the Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center, and it is open Sunday-Thursday 7-10pm and Monday-Thursday 3-5pm on a first-come, first-served basis.  No appointment necessary!  Learn more about the Writing Center at its website: