honi soit motto

Animal Humanities

Flags: Writing and Ethics/Leadership

OUR GOALS

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honi soit motto[1] IMMEDIATE PRACTICAL GOALS

 honi soit motto [2] REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM GOALS

 honi soit motto [3] UNIVERSITY GOALS

honi soit motto [4] EXPLORE U.T. GOALS

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 honi soit motto [1] IMMEDIATE PRACTICAL GOALS

Our goals are to help students meet college academic standards and to help them get and keep jobs. To that end, students need to learn

honi soit motto[1A] how to survive despite apparent craziness like Alice in Wonderland

honi soit motto[1B] pro-active, positive attitude

honi soit motto[1C] how to read and follow directions

honi soit motto[1D] how to listen

honi soit motto[1E] time management (Time management is vital in life, but especially in writing, because the secret of writing as discovery learning; of writing as innovative thinking; of writing as creativity; in short, of great writing, is rewriting. A key to rewriting is allowing enough time to elapse between drafts -- the opposite of procrastination. To teach the importance of this kind of time management, punctuation and proofreading will be stressed in the grading of student writing for they are good indications of how careful the student has been in his or her writing and how much time has been budgeted between drafts

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honi soit motto [2] GOALS OF THE REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM

 honi soit motto[2A] LEADERSHIP AND ETHICS

honi soit motto[2B] DIGITAL LITERACY

honi soit motto[2E] WRITING

honi soit motto[2I] INDEPENDENT INQUIRY

Basic Education Requirements of U.T.: “The University must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today.“

Core Curriculum Goal is “To better prepare students for a changing world by making sure they graduate with the flexible skills they need”

honi soit motto[2A] to be leaders in our communities,”* and better able to deal with

honi soit motto[2B] the technological revolution;

honi soit motto[2C] a state and country that are more culturally diverse;*

honi soit motto[2D] closer proximity to other nations and cultures.*

honi soit motto*These goals are met in part by the six required course areas that are “flagged”: [2A] Leadership[2A1] and Ethics [2A2];”: [2E] Writing; [2F] Quantitative Reasoning; [2G=2D] Global Cultures; [2H=2C] Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity; [2I] Independent Inquiry

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honi soit motto[2B] DIGITAL LITERACY: “students will be  better able to deal with  the technological revolution” by being able to

honi soit motto[2B1] recognize the value of multimedia for access to right brain, the whole person

honi soit motto[2B2] recognize the power of multimedia to change society, prime example Earthlings

honi soit motto[2B3] move from making slide shows to making movies (road map assignment)

honi soit motto[2B4] increase web 1.0 skills of web: email, websites, electronic portfolios;

honi soit motto[2B5] increase web 2.0 skills, social networking as in Facebook and Blackboard

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.GOALS OF TWO FLAG COURSES: WRITING and LEADERSHIP/ETHICS

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honi soit motto[2E] WRITING. GOAL  OF THE OLD AS WELL AS THE NEW CURICULUM: “Every graduate of the University is expected to be able to express himself or herself clearly and correctly in writing” (U. T. “Basic Education Requirements”)

honi soit motto[2E1] To get a taste of what it is like to be a professional writer aiming at perfection and adopting the necessary time management, rewriting, and proofreading to become a great writer.

honi soit motto [2E2] To get a taste of writing as a work of art. We practice informal writing as way to overcome writer’s block and as a foundation for becoming good writers. Our formal writing is writing as art, and thus the best writing you can possibly do. Think of your project as, say, a statue: you want it to have as few flaws as possible, to be as “perfect” as possible.

honi soit motto[2E3].  To experience writing as discovery learning, especially as one connects parts of the essay, usually while rewriting.

honi soit motto[2E3a]. Only connect! . . .Live in fragments no longer.” E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910).

honi soit motto[2E3b]. “‘One day when I was twenty-three or twenty-four this sentence seemed to form in my head, without my willing it, much as sentences form when we are half-asleep, ‘Hammer your thoughts into unity’. For days I could think of nothing else and for years I tested all I did by that sentence [...]” William Butler Yeats (cited in Frank Tuohy, Yeats, 1976, p.51 )

 honi soit motto[2E4] To practice writing energized by positive rather than negative motivations, by compassion for other beings, by desire to find them loving homes, etc. rather than fear of deadlines, going through the motions.

 honi soit motto[2E5] To practice the new writing as the product of conscious, deliberate collaboration as well as isolation, drawing on the help and advice of your fellow students as well as your instructor.

 honi soit motto[2E6] To experience writing as inspired by and contributing to something greater than the individual ego. In addition to most of the formal writing assignments, writing for the internet is a good example of this. You must first find your "place" is this complex verbal and visual ecosystem. Then you make your contribution and see it in its place in this greater whole.

 honi soit motto[2E7] To get a taste of the new world-wide writing, the instant publication of web writing. To face the changes in writing computers demand. Computers don’t do what you want them to do: they do what you tell them to do, and in their coding they demand perfection. They have no forgiveness for errors in code. Hence, proofreading and attention to detail becomes even more important.

 honi soit motto[2E8] To practice the new multimedia writing which appeals to multiple intelligences, the right as well as the left side of the brain.

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honi soit motto[2A1] LEADERSHIP, FIRST GOAL OF REQUIRED LEADERSHIP/ETHICS FLAG COURSES, is also

 the key to meeting the goals of the Basic Education Requirements: “The University strives to enroll exceptionally well-prepared, highly motivated students and to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in both their chosen professions and their communities.”

Leadership is also one of the six traditional core values of U.T.: (leadership; individual opportunity; discovery; learning; freedom; responsibility). Some of the others also stress leadership such as the core value of responsibility: “As the State of Texas takes an expanding position of leadership in the world arena it depends more and more on The University to accept this responsibility and to truly be an agent for positive change.”

Why are students of the University of Texas expected to become leaders in society?

Texas seal

Texas sealTexas seal

Austin quote

The seal of the university features a Latin version of this statement of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second President of the Republic of Texas: "The cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy, and, while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of man. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge, and the only security which freemen desire."

Austin quote

Lamar's statement appears on the ceiling of the Hall of Noble Words in the Tower next to this one.

Texas seal

This statement is by the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston: "The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government."

Texas flag

In other words, the State of Texas is investing in your education because your leadership is essential to maintaining democracy in this state and nation.

One of the primary features of your leadership as a citizen of a democracy is the ability to discuss controversial topics seeing and listening to the points of views of all concerned and treating all citizens in a the discussion with respect and courtesy.

Students prepare for class by reviewing "Listening" and "Have You Tried Listening" and related materials in our anthology. During the discussion they listen attentively -- staying in the present moment, suspending judgment -- and help the organizer generate a meaningful discussion. They focus their sympathetic imaginations on the speaker and concentrate well enough to repeat what the speaker has just said and/or the course of the discussion to that point. After a speaker has finished speaking, anyone may be called on to repeat what the speaker has just said and/or the course of the discussion to that point. If they can not do this, their class participation grade for that day will suffer.

During the discussion students must focus on the speaker without talking to others, without interrupting, without thinking about they want to say next. If they do have interrupting thoughts, they might well find that writing down a reminder of what they want to contribute will help them get back to concentrating on the discussion.

 

Finally, leadership is the GOAL OF THE REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM:  “all of our students, whatever their areas of specialization, be better prepared for a changing world: graduate with the flexible skills they need to be leaders in our communities.”

honi soit motto[2A1a] Goal: To express leadership in writing, especially in the leadership vision, focusing on a passion of the writer that works best FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY. (CORE PURPOSE OF U.T.)

honi soit motto[2A1b] The goal of the two formal writing assignments, ethics as well as leadership, is to know that which is greater than the ego. (Better awareness of the world beyond the ego, beyond the conscious self, is not only a characteristic of an ethical person, but also enables a leader to be open to great inspirations and to be able to tap resources far greater than those of an isolated self. )

honi soit motto[2A2] ETHICS [2A2] The second goal of the required leadership/ethics flag courses -- learn to make real-life ethical choices -- is closely related to the core purpose of the University of Texas, to transform lives for the benefit of society. It is also one of the basic education requirements of U.T.: “have experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems.” Our ethics goals are

honi soit motto[2A2a] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by Anti-Semitism, especially the Holocaust.

honi soit motto[2A2b] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by racism, especially slavery.

honi soit motto[2A2c] To experience more directly the ethical dilemmas presented by speciesism, especially cruelty to animals.

honi soit motto[2A2d]  To become aware of real-life ethical choices made daily by all of us, especially involving cruelty to animals.

honi soit motto[2A2e] To return to the traditional college goals of developing character and conscience.

honi soit motto[2A2f] To practice replacing fear and greed with love, compassion, tolerance, and the sympathetic imagination. Albert Einstein called human bigotry against other species an “optical illusion of consciousness.” Our task, he said, is “to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures.”

honi soit motto[2A2g] To practice tolerance for diversity for personality types and races/ethnic groups (African-Americans and Hispanic Americans our prime examples), thereby advancing the goals of the  Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity required flag courses [2C].

honi soit motto[2A2h]To practice tolerance for different global cultures (India our prime example), thereby advancing toward the goals of the Global Cultures required flag courses [2D].

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honi soit motto[2G] INDEPENDENT INQUIRY GOALS

honi soit motto [2I1] “to know thyself.” To know one’s strengths and weaknesses in learning, writing, reading, speaking, listening. Self-awareness is essential not only for leadership and ethics, but for good writing for it enables self-management of time and emotional as well as intellectual resources.

honi soit motto[2I2] to think for your self, decreasing reliance on secondary sources, practicing what is known as active, experiential or discovery learning (as in science experiments, the Moore method in math, and Amherst College’s Baird Freshman English course in the humanities);

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 honi soit motto[3] UNIVERSITY GOALS

Our goal is for students  to experience college as students did at Oxford and other colleges whose seals are represented on and in the Tower. This includes the

honi soit motto[3A] Universal college goal of   living in fragments no longer, learning to think, to connect, to hammer thoughts into unity.

honi soit motto[3B] This is a central principle of Newman’s Idea of a University, still the classic text on this subject. Newman’s model was Oxford. Newman emphasizes again and again the necessity of synthesis -- connection between the various courses and activities of university life -- to achieve a strong sense of university education as the unity it is supposed to be, rather than the fragmented multiversity it all too often is.

 honi soit motto[3C] Our goal is thus also unity, of the self, of the self and others, of the self and nature, of one subject and another, etc.

honi soit motto[3C1] To unify the self, our goal is to maximize our potential by cultivating both sides of our brains, developing all our multiple intelligences.

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honi soit motto[4] EXPLORE U.T. GOALS

honi soit motto[4A] to acquaint students with some of the gems of the university that make it unique (its “signature”)

honi soit motto[4B] Related goal: To capture a sense of the university as a place,  esp. the campus as an alma mater, a second home:  HRC, the tower, totem animals, Dobie walk, etc.

honi soit motto[4B1] To invoke the personal presences (ghosts, genius loci) embodied in place, such as Joe Jones, Frank Dobie, and the students of 1969 and others in Waller Creek, and all the ghosts inhabiting the Harry Ransom Center, the Blanton Museum of Art, etc.; i.e. to give some sense of the social as well as environmental history of this campus.


 

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