Emotional Intelligence and Computer Literacy


TT 5-7 Par 102

Jerome Bump,

Department of English, Parlin 132, 471-8747w, 267-7884h, bump@mail.utexas.edu

We will explore the implications of the best-seller Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, which demonstrates the value of right brain skills in business, medicine, education and many other fields. One of our goals will be expressiveness or emotional literacy: the ability to communicate emotion in writing, the key to a lot of great literature and creative writing. For most students all or almost all of the forty or more courses taken in college focus on thought rather than emotion, the left brain rather than the right, the mind rather than the heart. This is one attempt to redress the imbalance.

On the other hand this course is not for you if you want this seminar primarily to sharpen traditional left brain skills such as learning to read critically and analyze at the college level or to write standard academic college papers. We are seeking "real" assent rather than merely "notional" assent to the ideas of the authors of the Texas Constitution who demanded a "university of the first class ... for the promotion of literature." John Henry Newman, the Victorian Englishman who wrote The Idea of a University a few years before the Texas Constitution was framed, distinguished between "notional" assent, an intellectual assent to a proposition, and what he called "real" assent, assent of the whole person, assent of the heart as well as the head or, as we would say now, of both sides of the brain. If our goal is the education of the whole person we need to recall that, as Newman put it in his Grammar of Assent, "the heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us." Hence we will explore the logic of the humanities: "the real and necessary method is...the cumulation of probabilities, independent of each other, arising out of the nature and circumstances of the particular case which is under review; probabilities too fine to avail separately, too subtle and circuitous to be convertible into syllogisms, too numerous and various for such conversion, even were they convertible."

The other skill we will develop is computer literacy. Students will be encouraged not to only to explore the World Wide Web but to add to it. They will work in groups to add pages concerning emotional intelligence to the web site for this course. In addition, every third class or so we will use software developed in the English department called Interchange and Mail, for computer-assisted class discussion and to read and comment on the first draft of each other's essays. Revisions of the essays will be due a few weeks later. Each story will also be read carefully by the instructor for form, content, and expressiveness, and returned with written comments, including suggestions for improvement. Finally, using Interchange there will be a final exam at the end of the semester, partly individual and partly collaborative.

Course objectives: By the end of the semester you should

  • Be more able to access both sides of your brain in your writing.
  • Be relatively familiar with the World Wide Web and its language, HTML.
  • Be better at working in groups in a networked environment.
  • Be a skilled, self-sufficient user of Power Macintoshes and the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment
  • Requirements:60% of the final grade will be determined by the projects, 20% by daily assignments, attendance and class participation, 10% by the take-home exam on Goleman, 10% by the final exam. Attendance is required, especially on computer lab and other group days because other people in your group will be depending on you.

    Due dates of assignments and readings are listed on the Schedule.

    Required Texts: [1] Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman [2] a collection of xeroxes, and [3] Connections, by Anderson et al, both to be purchased at Jenn's, 2000 Guadelupe [473-8669], in the basement of the Church of Scientology.

    Required Supplies: at least two 3 1/2," 1.44 Megabyte, High Density Diskettes, preferably already formatted for MAC computers, labeled with your name and your instructor's name; and a pocket folder with your name on the outside.

    Also required is an e-mail account. It is free from the Student Microcomputer Facility (SMF) in FAC 212. It will enable us to communicate with each other at all times. In fact, you will also be able to communicate with anyone in the world with an Internet address. Also recommended and available in the SMF are SLIP software and an IF, Individually-Funded, account. The SLIP software will enable you to use e-mail from your apartment or dorm-room (you may also need a modem); it includes Eudora, the recommended e-mail program. The IF account will also give you access to the printing facilities on campus. See pp. 301-317 in your anthology.

    Office hours etc. I will be in my office at 3:30 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but the best way to set up an appointment is through electronic mail sent to bump@mail.utexas.edu. or call me at 267-7884 MWF.

    This site was developed during the Fall Semesters of 1996 and 1997 at the University of Texas at Austin. The site was constructed by Jerome Bump, the instructor, and by the members of the Hmn305 class. It is sponsored by the Computer Writing and Research Lab and curently maintained by Jerome Bump. Feel free to add your thoughts to our Message Forum or to get in touch with me personally.

    I owe Bret Benjamin a great deal of thanks for his help with these documents.

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    updated 11/3/97

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