Thursday, August 16, 2007

Welcome!

To returning students, welcome back! To new students, welcome! Here you will find posts and links to relevant information concerning the courses I teach and the myriad of topics we will be discussing. The main purpose of this blog is to keep the conversation going after class. I plan on providing commentary, links, journal articles, research, newspaper articles and other assorted media, related to the topics at hand, as the semester progresses.

Why am I doing this? Because more often than not I leave a class with much more to say and not enough time to say it. I am also inundated with other information out there (journals, research, the MSM, blogs, etc.) that is relevant to the classes I teach, but for which I often lack the time to assemble, copy and distribute to you. Blogging should help me get you the information quickly, while it's still fresh and "on topic" for all of us.

Because I am teaching Intro to Sociology (1101) , Juvenile Delinquency (3070) and Criminology (3810), you will find a variety of topics and posts, some of which may not relate to your particular class. I will try and alert students to the relevant posts/topics as we go along.

I encourage you to participate on this forum as well. Research shows that only a handful of students accounts for most classroom participation, regardless of the class size. Many students feel intimidated by the class size (this semester's 1101 Intro class has 300 students) or feel their ideas aren't well-formulated enough to speak up. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to participate here, within certain guidelines and parameters (listed below and left).

A couple of quick qualifiers and alerts: first, no notes will be posted to this blog. The links to your left are merely course descriptions and syllabi for the current semester, and the "sociologist of the month" and "recommended readings" are merely suggestions for you to peruse on your own. To obtain notes for class, you must attend class.

Unless otherwise noted, none of the material on this blog will be "testable material". If there is something you have to read/access through this blog that could be on a test, I will notify you in class. But to reiterate, neither I nor the 1101 Discussion Leaders will be posting notes here.

Second, no anonymous posting will be allowed. You must have a Blogger/Google account to participate. As per the comments policy, also to your left, nothing inflammatory, derogatory or otherwise intolerant will be allowed. Commenters can be blocked and I reserve the right to both moderate and/or turn off the comments section if necessary. I trust that won't be a problem.

A quick note to Intro students: should you need to contact your Discussion Leader, make sure you email them directly. Do not leave comments here for them in the hopes of their finding it (or for that matter, me). Good old fashioned email is still the best way to reach all of us throughout the semester.

Most importantly, I hope you find the blog to be an important (and hopefully entertaining) appendage to the class as we roll along throughout the semester. The speed with which information travels today is blistering (much like the 102 degree temperature reading outside my window at this moment). While I won't be posting every day, I will try and keep the flow of information tolerable. No doubt, we will both learn a lot this semester.

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