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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 23-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | INT-1050-VO12 - Dimensions of Self & Society

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Bradford Houk
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

Course Description

In this interdisciplinary first-semester seminar, students make the transition to college-level academic culture. This seminar is designed to help students develop the learning skills and habits of success that will support them throughout their college experience and as they consider career pathways. Reading, writing, and discussion (both in class and online) are central to developing an understanding of academic and societal responsibility. Students will start by analyzing personal beliefs and styles of thinking and then begin to look at how others and society view core concepts such as power, dissent, alienation, oppression, and freedom.

Essential Objectives

1. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate a text and its sources.
2. Demonstrate foundational information literacy, research skills, and academic honesty necessary for academic writing.
3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in both online and classroom settings.
4. Apply effective strategies for building new knowledge and skills through reflection on learning preferences, challenges, and goals.
5. Identify possible career goals and educational pathways.
6. Examine social issues through the lens of the individual and society.
7. Examine personal assumptions and biases, and ethical impacts of decision making and participation in society.
8. Consider issues from multiple perspectives and discuss, debate, and defend ideas with clarity and reason.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a low cost ($50 or less) textbook or resource class ***

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Spring 2023 textbook details will be available on 2022-11-14. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

INT-1050-VO12 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


The course objectives will be met through a variety of teaching methods and strategies that will address a diversity of learning styles and Habits of Mind which may include, but not be limited to: online class and small-group discussions, group and individual projects, film clips, literature readings, essay writing, presentations, speaking, teaching, collaborating, and other relevant assignments and fun activities.

Evaluation Criteria

Points (5–200) will be awarded for contributions and responses to: 1) Posts, threads, and discussions on readings, videos, and films; 2) Responses to classmates in online threads; 3) A research project; and, 4) Other relevant assignments, exercises, and projects. Be sure to always follow the instructions for each assignment. Complete all assignments by their due dates. If you miss the due date, move on to the next assignment and take the loss. DO NOT EXPECT LATE WORK TO BE ACCEPTED but always find a way to turn in your work no matter how late it might be without any expectation that will change your grade. Other rules include: 1) NEVER GIVE UP; 2) THINK DEEPLY ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER; and, 3) ALWAYS DO COLLEGE-LEVEL WORK. Meanwhile, for a general understanding of letter grades, please read the Letter Grade Criteria.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Dimensions resources:


Introduce yourself

Hero's Journey

Introductory videos

Empathy, Class, Race, and Caste

Communication Guidelines

TILT Tutorials

Irony and readings for WEEK II




Instructor's Biography


See Module for WEEK I or Canvas syllabus in the lefthand navigation


Module readings and videos



Section One: Journals, Memoirs, First-Person Accounts


Section One: Journals, Memoirs, First-Person Accounts

Read, reflect, and respond:

Your first reading assignment are the following stories fromThe Dimensions Reader, between pages xi–80. If you do not have the book, just google the title and author, you can find these stories online in many places.

NOTE: Many of our readings have to do withdissent, alienation, oppression, and freedom.Look for these themes in all your readings and throughout this course.

1) "Learning to Read and WriteLinks to an external site." by Frederick Douglass ... or click on this:

...Douglass Learning to Read and Write.pdfDownload Douglass Learning to Read and Write.pdf

2) "The Library Card" by Richard Wright ... or click on this:The Library Card.pdfDownload The Library Card.pdf

3) "At Last I Kill a Buffalo" by Luther Standing Bear ...

... or click on this:At Last I Kill a Buffalo.pdfDownload At Last I Kill a Buffalo.pdf

4) "Indian Education" by Sherman Alexie ...find yourselfor click on this:

Alexie_IndianEducation.pdfDownload Alexie_IndianEducation.pdf

5) Watch the following two videos by Robin DiAngelo: a) thisvideo on mythsLinks to an external site.; and, b) thisvideo on White fragilityLinks to an external site..

6) Read Layla F. Saad's book,Me and White Supremacy, pp. ix–28


Readings and videos.

Look for irony in its many forms:

Irony:Irony has to do with the opposite of what’s said.

Verbal irony:Irony has to do with the opposite of what’s said. For example: “Clear as mud.” Language signifying the opposite for humorous effect.

Dramatic irony:“I’m not going to kill you!” the actor in a film says but the audience sees the gun he’s hiding from the soon-to-be victim.

Situational irony:1) John Hinkley shoots at Ronald Reagan and misses him before the bullet ricochets off the limo designed to protect the President from gunfire but then the bullet hits Reagan; 2) The Wizard in the Wizard of Oz (all-powerful but actually has no power), Dorothy (searching for a way to get home but has the power all along), the brainless Scarecrow (who is actually smart), the cowardly Lion (who is actually brave).

Historical irony:WWI (the war to end all wars ... which, of course, ended no wars); the Titanic (said to be unsinkable ... but sank).

Sarcasm:Use of irony to mock or convey contempt.“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.”Oscar Wilde

Double-entendre:a figure of speech that has a double meaning, one of which is often sexual.James Bondfilms have many sexist examples, such as: “Cunning linguist” (for cunnilingus), or, “Brushing up on a little Danish” (not referring to the language).

Satire:The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize contemporary politics or other issues or people in power (seeThe Colbert Report,The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,Saturday Night Live, etc.).





1)Go to Poets.org and read their webpage,"How to Read a PoemLinks to an external site.". Pore over this page and study it before applying it to the poems in your assigned reading for this week.

2) Read the poems (the play is optional),pp. 81–123, inSection Two:Poetry and DramafromThe Dimensions Reader.For those who do not have a copy ofThe Dimensions Reader, I will attach the titles and authors of the poemsso you can look them up yourself and read them online.

3) Go to Sarah Kay's TED Talk,"If I Should Have a Daughter"Links to an external site., and watch it. Observe how she uses poetry to figure things out. Writing, and poetry, and drawing, are all ways of figuring things out. Build on this and apply it.

4) Read Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy, pp. 29–59. Then be prepared to respond to a prompt from her book (go here,Layla Saad Part II.pdfDownload Layla Saad Part II.pdf, in case your book has not yet arrived ... but after this week you must have your book).


Reading, writing, and watching videos.



Short Stories and fighting White supremacy.


1) Watch this short video by The School of Life entitled, “Literature — George OrwellLinks to an external site.”.Pay particularly close attention to his perspectives of writing and freedom.

2) Read George Orwell's, "Shooting an Elephant".

2) ReadShirley Jackson's,"The Lottery".

3) Read Layla F. Saad'sMe and White Supremacy,pp. 60–83.


Reading, writing, and watching videos.



Thinking deeply about things that matter.


1) Read“Cuss Time” by Jill McCorkleLinks to an external site..

2) Read“White Privilege” by Peggy McIntoshLinks to an external site..

3) ReadPlato's "Allegory of the Cave"Links to an external site.. (Do not do any research on this. Tackle this on your own. Use your own brain not those of others. You will not be penalized for getting anything wrong. But I am looking for evidence of you reading it and the struggling to understand it. Struggle is important. It's where growth happens.)

4) Read Layla F. Saad'sMe and White Supremacy,pp. 84–120.

5) WatchAva DuVernay's highly-acclaimed film, "13th"Links to an external site.(found on YouTube and Netflix).


Short stories, video, spoken word poetry, an allegory, film, and fighting White supremacy.



Socialization, Anti-Blackness, and fighting White supremacy


1) Watch a selection of short videos about socialization into American culture.

2) Read Layla F. Saad's,Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestorby Layla F. Saad, pp. 125–210 (finish the book), and respond.

3) Open and look over the PowerPoint, "Once You See It, You cannot Unsee It", that I have attached. Explore all the links. You DO NOT have to read the links to various readings, but YOU MUST watch all the videos. Watch the videos and respond. Although this will finish up our work in class on racism and anti-Blackness, this work will never be done in our lifetimes.


Watching videos, reading, writing, and viewing a PowerPoint.



Video and extended novel reading.


1)WatchHyeonseo LeeLinks to an external site.'s TED Talk on her escape from North Korea.

2) Read Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son,pp. 01–90. (ATTENTION: Talk back to the text; take notes; write in the margins; use a highlighter; work the text; ask questions; look for clues; make informed decisions based on the evidence provided; consider the ethical decisions Jun Do makes on a daily basis; get in practice of doing these things now because you will need to do this in the second part of the book to make sense of it.)


Video, reading, writing.



Video and extended novel reading.


1)ReadThe Orphan Master's Son, pp. 91–175.


Reading and writing.



Extending novel reading.


1)ReadThe Orphan Master's Son, pp. 179–259.


Reading and writing.



Extended novel reading.


1)ReadThe Orphan Master's Son, pp. 260–351.


Reading and writing.



Extended novel reading.


1)ReadThe Orphan Master's Son, pp. 352–443 (FINISH THE BOOK).


Reading and writing.



Watch the classic film, "Casablanca" (1942/43) directed by Michael Curtiz.


1) Watch the film, "Casablanca" (1942/43), directed by Michael Curtiz.This film can be found in the following places:

a) Renting from Amazon ($4) might be your best option.

b) Renting from Youtube ($4) is an equally good option(Note: Youtube used to offer the full film for free but now that option is a version of the film that is NOT worth your time, so don't do it.)

c) Your local library should have a DVD in their video collection, and that might be for free.But you'll need a library card. If you do not have a library card, you should get one. You should always have a library card. Access to your local library as well as to the Harness Library, are important for Vermont college students and informed citizens.

d)KanopyLinks to an external site.:You have access to Kanopy, which is awesome, but you need to create your own account and access through the Hartness Library. Unfortunately, it does not look like Kanopy offers "Casablanca" at this time. Perhaps that'll change before the due date but I wouldn't count on it. Nevertheless, you should explore Kanopy for fun since, as a CCV student, you get access to it.



Watch a classic film and write.



Map reading and reflecting about white supremacy in Vermont.


Throughout this semester, your assignments have included stories from memoirs, biographies, articles, short stories, longer pieces of fiction and non-fiction, a novel, poetry, videos, film shorts, a documentary, and a feature film.

Next week, you will have a map to read and make sense of fromGuerrilla Cartography.

The map and blog you will read and respond to can be found here:


The readGo toGenocide Watch

Links to an external sitClick onTen StagesLinks to an external site.in the top navigation ... or scroll down toTEN STAGES OF GENOCIDELinks to an external site.and click on that.

Scroll down to the second listing of the Ten Stages of Genocide (black type with white background) and click on each stage so the definitions appear. READ ABOUT EVERY ONE OF THE TEN STAGES OF GENOCIDE.


Read a map and the process that went into creating it. Then reflect and respond through writing and posting your thoughts.



Research project.


Research project based on Dr. Stanton's Ten Stages of Genocide.


Researching, reading, and writing.



Career Research Project.


Career exploration.


Reading and writing.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Class attendance and participation is essential and required. All students are expected to participate fully and respectfully and in a timely manner. To participate, students must complete all reading, writing, listening, and viewing assignments by their respective due dates. Our assignments and classes build on each other, therefore, it is important to keep up with the work. Do not fall behind. I expect everyone to try, to push themselves, to take risks, and to create a safe, nurturing, respectful classroom environment for everyone equally.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Late work is not accepted as a general rule. Meet the deadlines. Our online class relies on posted, well-thought-out, group discussions in our weekly threads. Failure to due the readings, listenings, viewings of the literature, videos/films, or podcasts/broadcasts undermines the structure of the course. Keep up with the work. Meet the deadlines. And contribute to our online discussions so the whole class can learn together.

However, if you want me to see your late work, email it to me. I make no guarantees about your grade, but who knows? My email address is: bradford.houk@ccv.edu

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.