Welcome to Eng 2235! This web page is a
traditional syllabus. It summarizes the course. Please use
this page primarily for checking out the course beforehand. Once
you start the course, please rely on the other pages of this web site
for fuller, more detailed information about assignments, grading,
points, etc. To see more information about the author, including
contact information, go to
"Eng 2235 Mythic Stories: Cultural and Personal" as taught by
me--Richard Jewell, your instructor. This three-credit course has an
assumed workload of about nine hours per week: approximately six hours for
homework and three hours for class-time activities. The Inver Hills
Community College Catalog describes this course as follows:
Eng 2235 Mythic Stories: Cultural and Personal.
3 credits, 3 classroom hours/week. Surveys significant mythic stories
from around the world, such as
Mesopotamia, North and South America, and
Scandinavia. Universal themes and the nature of the mythic hero are considered as well
as the role and value of myth to our lives. Works considered could include
essays, short stories, films, plays, poems, and novels.
fully-online ("FOL") section currently is the only version of this course
offered at Inver Hills. It is a Web and Internet class that can be
taken by anybody in the world with regular access to email and the Web.
Both sections also involve some individual travel to several arts events and
activities such as local plays and/or museums, with other alternatives allowed
for those who cannot make the in-person events..
I'd like to make this course not only interesting and
helpful to you, but also enjoyable. You must participate as actively in the class as possible,
as there, even in this online class, a weekly form of attendance. This
attendance must be done weekly, and it is accomplished on a class bulletin board
(sometimes called a "discussion board"). In fact, the more you put into this class,
the more you'll enjoy it and the more rewarding you'll find it.
I also would like to make sure that all the materials, discussions and activities that are part of this
course are accessible to you. If you would like to request accommodations or other services, please contact
me as soon as possible. It is also possible to contact the Disability Services Office, L-224; phone,
651/450-8628; TTY, 651/450-8369.
is a wonderful and exciting field of study. It asks--and
sometimes answers--questions about what the meaning is of culture, society, the
arts, and life itself. In many ways, it is like a Humanities class.
However, because it is specifically set up in the Inver Hills catalog as an
English literature class, we will approach it primarily as a literature
class For this reason, we will study mythic literature, and you will learn
how to use literary tools to examine and write about literature. I have a
strong background in mythology, having studied Western versions of it in
particular for many years. We will work primarily with Western mythology
and some Near Eastern mythology; however, there also will be plenty of chance
for individual independent study of mythic lit from any culture. The
particular focuses of the course will be ancient Greek myth, fairy tales from
several countries and times, King Arthur, biblical stories, and modern British
myth lit (i.e., C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien). There are two central
textbooks: one is on the Web, CollegeWriting.info, and gives instructions
for reading, analyzing, interpreting, and reviewing literature. The other
is a classic, popular text on how to understand mythology: Joseph Campbell's The
Hero [and Heroine] with a Thousand Faces."
will keep you busy with plenty of reading and writing this term. However,
most of the reading should be interesting, and most of the
writing will just be rough-draft, quickly-written writing for which you simply
receive a checkmark of credit if you do it. I ask for a lot of writing
because an increasing number of research studies show that students remember
more and learn better when they write a lot. In addition, the frequent
writing means there are no objective tests
and only one graded term paper.
Will the grading be tough? If you're willing to put in the time and do all the
assignments, the grading won't be particularly difficult. My assumption is
that most of you will work hard and earn an average or above-average grade.
In the FOL (fully-online) section, most class activities will take place online
in asynchronous (not-at-the-same-time) bulletin-board postings. This will
be true of one third of the F2F (face-to-face) section's class time, too.
In the F2F classroom, in addition, there will be a lot of group work. Why use it? It's a highly efficient
method for many people in exploring more deeply and meaningfully their
connections to the subject matter. (It also is good training
for your future professional jobs, where group work has become a predominant way of
Here are the kinds of class activities you can expect to be doing from week to
week for your attendance grade:
one evening of 1st class meeting in person (required of
everyone within two hours' drive of IHCC) (Replaceable by doing extra
3-4 evenings to visit theatres and/or museums.
These generally will take place on Thursday evenings in or
around the Twin Cities as a group, but individuals may opt to choose their
own places and/or times that fit with the course content.
Students at a distance may visit such places in their own
cities. (Replaceable by doing extra credit.)
one individual consultation with me
to discuss your
final paper, either in in person or by phone consultation (optional--may be replaced by extra online or other work).
(You also may visit me in my office as often as you like.)
ONLINE: roughly, about two online class hours per week
on a class
bulletin/discussion board (required)
online portion of the class breaks down something like this:
online bulletin board: two different types of classes: (1) "Questions"--your
reflections upon questions I ask about the Humanities, the class, and/or
museum/play visits; and (2) "Readings"--your thoughtful ideas and feelings
about your weekly textbook readings. Some of
your online work will consist of making initial statements, and some of it in
responding to each other's statements.
Web reading: The syllabus, schedule, and assignment
materials all are on this Web site, as is some of your textbook material.
Email: I'll sometimes send out messages to all of you as a
Web links: There are two sets of links that you may
find helpful. One is "Links
to Literature." The other is This is optional, but some of
you may find it helpful: a set of links called "Links to the
lists a variety of mythology sites on the Web.
am I like? For starters, please
feel free to call me "Richard" or "Mr. Jewell"--or anything
else that's nice. :-) I'm looking forward to working with you.
If you'd like to find out more about me, check out "About
Richard." There's a description of me,
a picture, my resume, and a sample short story of mine.
I am somewhat new at IHCC. I taught undergraduate writing and literature at the
University of Minnesota for five years, but in mid-2001, IHCC offered me a
lifetime (tenured) position. Because of this and because I
believe that two years at IHCC is as good an education as the same two years at
the average private four-year college--and better than the first two years at
the University of Minnesota or a state university-- I decided to come
here. I'm very glad you've chosen Inver Hills as your school. It is
an excellent school.
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RESOURCES YOU MUST PURCHASE:
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Myths of the Ancient Greeks
by Richard P. Martin
Oedipus the King
[Oedipus Rex] by Sophocles
The Classic Fairy Tales edited by Maria Tatar
by J.R.R. Tolkien; OR Books
2, 4, & 5 of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (2. The Lion, the
Witch and the Wardrobe, 4. Prince Caspian, and 5. The Voyage
of the Dawn Treader), OR something else of your
OTHER REQUIRED RESOURCES (You do not need to buy these.):
How much work is a typical college class? 3 cr. = 9 hrs./wk.; 4 cr. = 12
hrs./wk. That includes both class and homework. I'd like to ask you for your
commitment this semester to the expected amount of time for work. The Inver
Hills (and national) standard is three hours of work (two of homework and one of
class time) per week for every college credit, to receive an average grade. This
class is a three-credit class, so please plan on spending
at least nine hours per week on class and homework: three on class and
six on homework. This represents an average--some weeks may be less, some
more. It also represents the work needed by the average college student to
receive an average grade (which, nationally, is probably a "B" or
"B-" in the first two years of college). If you want an
"A" or you tend to be a below-average student, you may need to work
more than the amount of time described here.
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How many assignments are there? A lot. However, most of them are short and
relatively easy. I'm asking for just one graded paper--at the end of the
semester. Almost all the other assignments are weekly, and they include a
number of short, rough-draft, quickly and even sloppily written papers done
either by pen or by computer printout: just neat enough for me to read them, not
revised, and written as quickly as you can. You'll get a check mark for
doing them and receive a grade at the end of the term for how many check marks
you've received. These papers are lab practice in a biology course: they
will show me you've done the readings and help you practice the humanities and
think about them more. I am doing these kinds of assignments instead of
having several objective tests or several graded papers because I believe that
in the long run, you'll learn more from writing on a weekly basis about what
All papers must be on time. Late papers are not accepted because most of
them help you prepare for class discussions and activities. Most
assigned papers for any given week always will be due on Wednesday of that week,
online or on campus (for night classes, papers will be due at the time you show
up for class). However, there are some exceptions: see ""Homework"
DETAILS ABOUT WEEKLY
Please remember that you may write these as "lab" papers--in very rough-draft form--without worrying about
grammatical usage, spelling, or punctuation:
How many assignments are there? There
are many. Most, however, are short
and relatively easy. Be sure to
check the "Schedule" regularly to see what is due.
If you run into a true emergency, do call me or come see me before
homework is late.
(NOTE: For instructions on how to write these papers, see "Homework.")
Analyses (RA): Write brief outline descriptions of each story, poem, essay,
or other reading for the week using the elements of literature.
Analysis (EA): Choose one reading and write a 300+ word analysis of it,
simply describing it by using 5-6 of the elements of literature.
Thesis (IT): Choose one reading and write a 300+word interpretation of
what some part of it might possibly mean.
Literary Review (LR): Choose one reading (or
two to three) and write a 300+ word review of it, using summary,
interpretation/comparison, and evaluation of quality.
Description of Differences: When the class both reads something and
sees it as a movie or play, write 50+ words describing five or more
differences between the version you read and the version you saw.
Journals (CJ): Write two 300-word journals about class at the beginning and
end of the term.
Response (PR): Write your personal response, 300+ w., to one or more of
the weeks readings.
DETAILS ABOUT GRADED
There is a final term paper at the end of the course.
It is worth about 20% of your overall grade. You will write an interpretive thesis of a literary reading that is
mythological. Your paper may be a continuation or revision of one or more of your
weekly papers, or it may be on something entirely new. New subjects, for
example, could be Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, an African folktale, a
literate and well written story from the Bible, a recounting of an Asian myth,
something from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, etc. The term paper will consist
of several drafts. The first two will be developed in consultation with
me. You will turn in the third one for a final grade on it. For
specific instructions, see "Final
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GRADING FOR THE SEMESTER
35%: attendance or equivalent
20%: Final Project Paper
45%: weekly rough-draft papers
plus or minus up to 1-2 letter grades from the
above for participation, attitude, attention, hard work
This portion of your grade will be determined by how
many of your weekly, rough-draft, non-graded assignments you turn in. Each
assignment will be worth one or more check marks or "X's" of credit. If, by the
end of the semester, you have 90-100% of your possible X's of credit, you'll
receive an "A" for weeklies; 80-90%, a "B"; etc. (+'s and -'s will be used).
See "Attendance" below for more details.
Attendance in is very important. Why? Much of what
you learn will be developed through your interactions with others. That is
what much of our online classes is about: expressing your ideas, giving feedback
to others, and getting it from them. In addition, four weeks (or the
equivalent) of our classes will be spent in hands-on, practical application of
the humanities: actually going to humanities places and events such as museums,
theaters, and/or architectural sites to see, hear, and sometimes even touch
cultural/social events. I ask that you attend online class regularly (or
do substitute work when you miss), and that you try to attend the cultural
events with the class or on your own.
However, if you are willing to do extra work outside
of class, you can also treat this course as a sort of semi-independent study by
regularly doing "makeup" work. Attendance is developed from how many times
you participate, and for how long, in the discussion boards, in on-campus
meetings or museum or play visits, or equivalent make ups of those. You
also can earn extra credit.
Grading system: Grading for the semester is
based on 100 X's (100 points or 100%) being equal to an A+. The X's you
can earn are divided as follows:
(or points): weekly homework papers
(or more): attendance and/or extra credit
final paper (up to 20)
Participation, attitude, attention, hard work--can slightly lower or raise
final letter grade
earn X's by completing the work. In attendance, an "X" (or a "V")
is about 70 min. of work. The same is true for extra credit - about 70
min. of work per X. In weekly homework, most assignments are worth 1 X
each, with a few being equal to 2 X's. By the end of the term, your
total X's will determine your grade as follows:
100 (or more) X's = A+
90-99 X's = A
80-89 X's = B
70-79 X's = C
60-69 X's = D
0-59 X's = F
Basically, you can determine your grade by how many X's you earn. The
method of doing well in this class is to earn as many X's as you can, depending
on what grade you want.
Lateness/Leaving Early: If you are 15 min. late to arrive or early to leave
a physical-classroom class, you'll lose half a credit
for that class hr.
Make up: You may make up 1 missed class hr. by doing 1 hr. of extra
Practice Activities, or 1 hr. of combined reading and Comments on a directly
related reading that is not in Lamm (or that we skipped in Lamm). You
also can make up 1 missed class hr. by watching 2 hrs. of directly
related videos, plays, movies, and TV; by listening intensively to music
(not while doing something else) of the periods we're covering; looking at
art books; etc.--I'm open to suggestions--and then
summarizing/explaining/commenting on what you've read, seen, or done for
100+ words per 2 hrs.
I hope you enjoy the class. If there's anything I can do to help you enjoy
it more--alternatives, help with understanding something, etc.--come see me,
email me anytime, or call me from 9 am-9 pm. My phone number, email
address, and other info are at the beginning of this syllabus.
See also How To Start Online.
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