GREK  200/300/400: INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED GREEK:  

PLATO, SPRING 2016 (.25 Credit)

 

MEETING DAYS, TIMES, AND PLACE: Fridays, 1-1:50 PM, Wallace 115

 

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:           

Dr. Robert Holschuh Simmons

21 Wallace Hall

Office Phone:  309-457-2378

E-mail:  rsimmons@monmouthcollege.edu

Office Hours: MWF 9-10 AM, TTh 1-2 PM, and by appointment.

 

PREREQUISITES: Successful completion of GREK 102 or satisfactory performance on the Greek diagnostic exam.

 

FOR WHOM PLANNED: 

This course is designed for anyone interested in reading the classical Greek texts that GREK 101 and 102 have prepared you to read.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The general aim of this course is to improve your Greek reading and comprehension skills and to contribute to your exposure to a variety of texts in Greek.  The specific goal of the course this semester is to read selections from the Plato’s Republic, Timaeus, and Euthyphro and learn about the genre of Greek philosophical dialogue at the height of the classical period.  Furthermore, this course is designed to help you continue developing the cognitive abilities that come from learning this challenging language.  Greek 200 can fulfill partial requirements for a major in Greek, Latin, or Classics.

 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following, and more:

1)      Read original texts of Greek with accuracy, with the help of vocabulary and grammar notes.

2)      Learn certain passages well enough to be able to read them without reference to notes.

3)      Accurately read certain passages you have never seen before without reference to any vocabulary or grammar notes.

4)      Continue your development of a vocabulary of English grammatical terms that will be necessary for reading Greek and analyzing its structure.

5)      Explain the context in which Plato wrote his dialogues and specific ways in which this work is exemplary of the philosophical dialogue genre.

6)      Demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to Greek culture and the differences between ancient Greek culture (and language) and other cultures (and other languages).

7)      Analyze a range of circumstances more intelligently due to skills developed through close study of a language that is very different from English.

 

EVALUATION AND GRADING:

PREPARATION: 

Prior to each meeting of class, you are to spend two hours outside of class in preparation for it.  What you do in those two hours each week is something you should document on the sheet titled “Records of Preparation, Participation, and Progress in Directed Readings (Simmons)” that I will print for you.  Most weeks, this time should primarily be spent reading in the original language, but there are other things we will do as well to reinforce and expand your knowledge on a variety of levels, and those things should be documented on the sheet noted.  Please follow each week’s assignment to know what is particularly relevant on which for you to work, but it is acceptable to work on other tasks of review or enrichment as well (though if you are spending more time away from the main part of the assignment than I think is warranted, I will let you know that).  No matter what else comes up, at least one of your hours of preparation should be spent simply on reading the Greek text (if there is a Greek assignment), starting wherever it is that the class is designated to do so for the day.

 

When you do the Greek portion of your assignment, here is how I would like you to do it.  You may write out a translation, but in class, I would like you to refer only to vocabulary and grammar notes to help you as you are translating.  Please do NOT write those notes on your text; you may mark up the text with notes about roles words are playing in the sentence, subordinate clauses, and the like, but vocabulary and other more specific grammar notes should be off of the text.  I will check your notes each day we meet; if you have very few notes, I will expect that your performance in class will show that those are all the notes you need.  If you struggle at all in class with the amount of notes you have, though, I will count that against you in your “Preparation” score.  Your knowledge of any other reading assignments will be shown through discussion. 

 

PARTICIPATION:

Active participation in class is essential to your learning, and to your grade.  Participation includes not only being attentive and involved in class, but also coming to class on time and bringing all required materials with you.  You must be ready to translate the passage (or otherwise deal with the assignment) assigned for the given week, to answer questions in class about that assignment, to volunteer to answer questions when they are offered to the class as a whole, and to take notes to support your understanding of the material as necessary.  In class, we will go over as many lines of each assignment as the most-prepared person has read, and you may (and should) write down notes during that time that will cement your understanding of the text covered.  Whatever you do in class itself, whether translation, answering of questions, contribution to discussion, etc., should be noted on the “Records” sheet.  I too will keep notes on your class performance each week, and we will compare our senses of the extent of your appropriate participation at the midterm and final individual meetings. 

 

PROGRESS:

You should be noting where you recognize progress that you are making in your knowledge and/or performance in the course of the semester on your “Records” sheet, and I will do the same (though in a different medium).  If there are things that used to be unclear that are becoming clearer, if you have certain vocabulary cemented that you did not previously, if you are improving your speed of translation, or things along those lines, note them week by week on your “Records” sheet.  It is also important on your “Records” sheet to keep track of what is causing you trouble, because when you look back at your earlier sheets later in the semester, they can give you a sense of obstacles you have overcome.

 

Tests: 

There will be two exams: one at the midterm and one at the end of the term.  Both will be oral (just as each class requires you to show your knowledge aloud).  The specific date and material for which you will be responsible on each one will be announced far enough in advance to give you sufficient time to study well for each.  Missed exams may be made up only if missed for one of the following reasons, and only with sufficient documentation: debilitating or contagious illness, family emergency, mandatory religious obligation, or participation in authorized College activities.  You must make every effort to contact me before your scheduled exam time if a make-up is necessary, and you must take the make-up exam within five class days of the scheduled date.  In certain circumstances, however, I will allow exams to be made up for partial credit even if I do not find the justification for missing it to be particularly valid. 

 

Attendance:

Attendance is crucial in a class like this.  You may occasionally, however, 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 both 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:

 

Grade Breakdown:      Attendance                                                      10%

                                                Preparation                                                      30%    

                                                Participation                                                    10%

                                                Progress                                                           10%

                                                Midterm exam                                                 15%    

                                                Final exam                                                       25%

                                               

                                                 

Percentage/Grade Equivalents:

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

93-97 = A       83-86 = B        73-76 = C        63-66 = D      

90-92 = A-      80-82 = B-      70-72 = C-      60-62 = D-

 

Required materials:

Major, Wilfred E, and Abigail Roberts.  Plato: A Transitional Reader.  Bolchazy-Carducci, 2010.

 

course engagement expectations:

This course is scheduled to meet 1 day per week for 50 minutes throughout the semester, plus a final exam.  You should expect to spend approximately two hours outside of class for every hour in class on course reading, scansion, review of familiar concepts, and learning of new concepts.  Intensive studying for exams will be in addition to the standard weekly preparation, but will likely average out to an extra one hour per week.  The time estimates for the course thus break down as follows:

 

            In class activities                                                                                 1.0 hours

            Homework, review, and learning of new concepts                              2.0 hours

            Intensive studying and preparing for projects (averaged out)              1.0 hours

Average per week:                                                                            4 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:

 

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, Magister 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:  http://www.monmouthcollege.edu/life/residence-life/scots-guide/academic.aspx.

 

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—Greek is a difficult language, and I want to help you do the best you can at it.  Speak with me as soon as you are having trouble; letting a problem fester is likely to make it worse.  Also, tutoring is available on Sunday through Thursday nights from 7-9 PM at Einstein Brothers’ Bagels in the library.    

 

CAVEAT:

Things can change in the course of the semester.  Any substantive changes to the syllabus will be provided in writing.

 

Schedule of Assignments (tentative and incomplete):

The schedule from week to week will largely be determined by how things are going in the class.  However much you get done in one week in two hours of work will give us our starting point for the next week, and it will also determine whatever supplementary assignments you will do (to learn concepts to which you were not exposed in Greek I and II).

 

Week 1 (Monday, Jan. 11):

·        Diagnostic exams

·        Overview of assessment in the class

·        Determine meeting time

 

Week 2 (Friday, Jan. 22):

Assignment:

·        Read pp. xiii-xvii, and be ready to talk about them.

·        Skim through the whole of the rest of the book to see how it is laid out.

·        Think about what might be the most profitable way of proceeding through the book, laid out as it is.

·        Study the 50 most common words in Plato, given on p. 97, with the time that remains within your two-hour preparation window.

In class:

·        Finish introduction to the class

·        Discuss Plato and Socrates

·        Discuss the book, and decide on a suitable assignment for next week

·        Start reading Greek at sight?

 

Week 3 (Friday, Jan. 29):

Assignment:

·        Whatever we determine would be most useful based on discussion in Week 2 of class.

 

Each week’s assignment will be largely the same, with a possible shift to a later part of the book at some point if we feel a need to make such a shift.

 

Week 7 (Mon.-Thurs., Feb. 22-26):

Assignment:

·        During our normal class meeting time, take the Eta Sigma Phi Translation Contest exam

 

Week 8 (Mon.-Thurs., Feb. 29-March 3):

Assignment:

·        Individual midterm exams with me—sign up for a half-hour time during this week

Saturday, April.23:

FROM 1-4 ON THE QUAD: CLASSICS DAY

 

Final exam week (Friday, May 6-Wednesday, May 11):

·        Individual final exams with me—sign up for a half-hour time during this stretch