GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISCUSSIONS: Your contributions should be thoughtful and developed. Answer all parts of the question and use concepts from the course materials. Use a professional style of communication, with attention to grammar, spelling, and typos; cite your sources.
Unless your instructor specifies otherwise, choose TWO of the following questions, and give a substantive response to at least two other students.
1. REFLECT ON YOUR OWN LEARNING. Please identify and share one of the most meaningful insights you obtained from the course. This insight must be strictly about you.
2. REFLECT ON THE ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONS OF OTHERS. From the many artistic expressions provided in the course (paintings, photographs, videos, links, etc.), choose one that identifies a meaningful experience in the course. Explain why you chose that object and why it is meaningful. If possible, paste a copy or the link. Imagine that your choice will become a part of a Course Album of Meaningful Objects and your choice will be your contribution to the album.
3. REFLECT ON YOUR LEARNING ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS. What would you tell them about your experience together? What would you say to encourage them to continue their exploration of the humanities? How might you use the tools for interpretation that you have learned about in your life or at your job?
4. PERSONAL GROWTH. Paraphrasing Einstein, a person cannot grow remaining static—it takes new ideas, fresh thoughts and inspiration to bring about transformation. This is why the humanities are important. Where do you see the humanities helping you grow as a person?
5. “DEAR JOHN…” Write a letter to a friend about the course. In 150-300 words, tell your friend why you think the course would be valuable and personally enriching. Describe what you think they would learn from taking the course, and evaluate any aspect of the course that you think would be most relevant to your friend.
6. REFLECT ON THE VALUE OF THE HUMANITIES. There is a big focus on STEM fields of studies today, science, technology, engineering and math. However, there are those who argue for STEAM, which includes the arts. What do you think the value of the humanities are to other fields? How might you convince someone in a STEM field of this value. This article from the Atlantic may be of use in thinking about your response.
7. REFLECT ON YOUR POSITION IN THE CAVE. We began this semester talking about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. How can you use this allegory to discuss your experience of going through this class and your understanding of the Humanities? For instance, are you still chained in the cave watching shadows on the wall? Have you moved outside of the cave? Do you exist in both places now with regards to the Humanities? Do you prefer one place over another? Explain.