Saturday, December 23, 2006

Praecepta et Mandata

This blog is going to be our collective journal as we work on, work with, read, recite and ruminate on the poems of Catullus. Here are some basic rules for how we will do this:

1) I will post a comment or reflection each Friday about something we've done that week. This might be on a single poem, or on a theme in several poems. It might be on the message of the poem, on words that Catullus has used, or on some nagging grammar issue.

2) You are expected to respond to what I write with a thoughtful response. Your response should be PRIMARILY to what I have written and to the work of Catullus, and if it seems to aid in our conversation, you may refer to, remark on, or respond to a comment of one of your classmates.

3) If I write in English, you must respond in English. Si Latine scripsero, Latine tibi respondendum erit.

4) You will receive a weekly grade for your blog-comment based on the following rubric:

18-20--High Quality--comments include insight into the work of Catullus, into teacher's
comment. Shows independent thought, insight and creativity with the issues.

16-17--Good Quality--comments touch on the work of Catullus, the teacher's comment, and
make a coherent point worth considering. Shows steady progress with the issues.

15--Acceptable Quality--comments basically reiterate class discussion or teacher's
comments but make no real contribution to the discussion. Shows that the student
has grasped the basic ideas of the discussion.

14--Poor Quality--comments are only slightly connected to the work of Catullus or to the
teacher's comments. Shows that the student is not grasping the basic ideas of the

10--No Quality--student made no comment for this week's work by the deadline.

5) As you can see from the rubric, only regurgitating my ideas will get you a "C". I am not interested in you agreeing with me. I am interested that you use the works of Catullus and my comments as a jumping off place to do some of your own thinking about his poetry and our work on it.

6) Comments must be posted by 10:00 PM on the Monday following my Friday post. This gives you the weekend and Monday to comment. By then, we will have started another week's work. Be aware that I have set up this blog to time stamp every entry. Entries posted after the deadline will not be accepted.

7) All comments are moderated before they are posted. This is largely to protect our work from spammers and those who might not share similar interests in this work. Individuals outside our class may post here, but they must be on topic.

8) Should have said this first: in order to post comments, you must join this blog. Please do not use your full name in creating a user name. After you have joined, I will get your user name in class so that I can identify you.

My intention in creating this blog is to raise the level of our conversation and reflection on this classical literature--something that we always don't have time to do in class, but in a way that allows all of use to participate and be heard.

Magister Patricius

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