Comments on the Readings:
A list of specific reading assignments is attached to the end of this syllabus. The list will be subject to variation as the semester progresses. This allows some latitude, suggested by interest and difficulty, in speeding up or slowing down.
This reading material is unlike any other with which you are likely familiar. It CANNOT be comprehended in large chunks at one time (like the night before an exam); it requires reflection and re-reading! It is crucial, therefore, that you stay current in regard to your reading assignments. However, staying current with the readings is not enough; your task is to comprehend what you are reading. Thus, it is very important that you always check whether or not you understand what you are reading. A method for doing this, in general terms, is to try to verbalize what you think you understand. More specifically, in your own words, determine what is the specific issue or problem being discussed, what are the main alternative solutions to this problem, and what factors can you point to that provide support for or count against each of these solutions. Such checking can be done by
by getting to know some of the other people in class for review and "bull sessions",
by making use of my office hours,
and by writing about these issues.
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