The Rules

[Happy fun stuff, and one of the pieces of writing I’ve been working on the longest and revising the most painstakingly recently. For courses. Use if useful, CC licenced etc.]

AIMS, OBJECTIVES, EXPECTATIONS, RESPONSIBILITIES, GRADING CRITERIA

I. AIMS & OBJECTIVES

See specific description for this course.

It/we also hope to provide you with, as a bonus,

  • a love for learning
  • some enjoyment and pleasure
  • an awareness of the potential of language and literature to open up other worlds to you, and to provide an infinite resource of comfort and consolation: through “geeking out” with French words, turns of phrase, seeing how the languge is constructed… leading you to different ways of thinking about the world, seeing it from a different perspective.
  • = useful life skills, whatever life you choose to lead and wherever life takes you after this course

II. EXPECTATIONS

What you should expect from this course:

  • an interactive format, that will include some short lectures
  • discussion, work in groups and individually, intensive writing in a workshop style
  • reading, in the full sense: reading, rereading, and thinking while reading, making notes
  • writing, every week: most of this will be short, and it is intended to be non-traumatic but intensive
  • to learn: through a combination of lectures, discussion with peers, and your own independent initiative
  • to learn to enjoy and maybe even love learning, especially via linguistic geekery: this is “education” and a major step towards becoming, in the longer term, “educated” and a philologist and/or philosopher
  • to have—it is seriously and strongly hoped—some fun

III. RESPONSIBILITIES

(In proper 18th-century social-contract style.)

You will be expected to:

  • attend class: regular attendance is expected of all students. Unexcused absences and late arrivals will drastically affect your final grade
  • do so in an attentive manner
  • participate and contribute: this contributes to part of your final grade
  • prepare for class: have the requisite texts, and have read (and in most cases reread) them in advance
  • be courteous, respectful, and tolerant of other students:
    this includes thinking of others (students but also other human beings such as faculty and staff)
  • think
  • ask questions

  • complete the required assignments in a timely manner, and do so without cheating or other low, disreputable, underhand, unethical, or illegal means; late work will be penalized, and will not be accepted once it is a week late (unless covered by medical or other acceptable official certification)
  • know and act in accordance with University, Faculty, and any other applicable rules
  • check your email frequently, and check this site regularly; and keep your email contact information up to date with UBC IT.
    NB: that’s also one of your obligations as a UBC student, as per Student Declaration and Responsibility
  • communicate in a timely fashion with your instructor (or the coordinator, if appropriate) if you are absent, ill, suffer a mishap, and/or—especially—if this will impact on the due handing in of work or sitting of examinations
    NB: PLEASE INCLUDE THE COURSE NUMBER IN YOUR EMAIL SUBJECT LINE (otherwise your email will go into a general inbox and be read later; it may even land and malinger in spam)
  • bear in mind that there are some times when your instructor will not be accessible and available: instructors are humans and need to rest, the better to work with you
  • bear in mind that your instructor can only do for you what they can also do for every other student in the class/course; and they cannot do something for you that they could not also do for every other student (ex. individual tuition)
  • be familiar with principles of justice and fairness, and their application to everyday life
  • try very hard to have a generally positive and sunny outlook, and to be of a cheerful disposition

AND IN RETURN…
Your instructor promises to

  • attend, participate, be prepared
  • be courteous, respectful, and tolerant
  • be patient, non-judgmental, encouraging, kind, and sympathetic
  • listen
  • be open to questions and requests for further explanations
  • be fair and just, to all students: i.e. practice what she preaches on applying principles of justice and fairness in everyday life
    NB this may mean making decisions that go against a student’s individual self-interest, when acting in the interests of the greater good
  • comment on, mark, grade, and return your work in a timely manner (usually a week after that work’s submission); this should include useful and constructive comments, as needed
  • make time to go through corrected work with students, in office hours or by appointment
  • hold weekly office hours
  • communicate with you in a timely fashion on any matters pertaining to the course:
    for example, composition topics and chapter test review guides will be emailed between one and two weeks before their due date
  • read her email regularly during usual working hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. *
  • respond to your emails within 24 hours, sooner depending on the urgency of the matter *
  • try very hard to have a generally positive and sunny outlook, and to be of a cheerful disposition

* (O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)

IV. GRADING CRITERIA

(all sections and all instructors)

This next bit won’t necessarily be relevant for the specifics of all courses, but it may be useful for your other courses and it’s part of my general “Rules” statement. I’m leaving it in here, just in case.

This next bit IS IMPORTANT AND APPLIES TO ALL FRENCH AND INDEED ALL UBC COURSES!

V. ON PLAGIARISM: IMPORTANT:

(all sections and all instructors)

Plagiarism robs you of what you think and what you can learn. Avoid it. Please be reminded that your education includes academic integrity. Unattributed use of someone’s else work (book, journal article, newspaper clip, online material, etc) and other demonstrated incidences of plagiarism will result in penalties ranging from an F course grade to expulsion from the university when the incident is reported to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline.

This is a part of your formal relationship with the University. See further:

VI. LATE WORK POLICY

(O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)

Late work WILL BE penalized:

  • -20% for the 1st day or part thereof, counting from when I open my email the morning after your homework is due in. Warning: I usually get up early!
  • plus another -10% per day thereafter
  • so:
    -20% if it’s 1 day late,
    -30% for 2 days late,
    -40% for 3 days late,
    etc.
  • no late work will be accepted after 1 week after the deadline

VII. EXTENSIONS & MAKING UP FOR MISSED WORK

(O’Brien: in multi-section courses such as FREN 101 & 102, policies may differ for other instructors)

  • subject to negotiation, and not guaranteed or to be taken for granted
  • ONLY if asked for in advance, in writing (email me), and with supporting documentation (following University guidelines on what counts). I usually liaise with Arts Academic Advising (or other Academic Advising office, if you are in a different Faculty): this saves you some time and trouble seeing every prof for every course…
  • In advance, when possible: except for exceptional circumstances such as accidents, of course!

VIII. EXAMINATIONS

(all sections and all instructors)

On the midterm (if applicable) and final examinations:

  • see exam policies and accommodations
  • in certain circumstances (medically-certified illness, etc.) a make-up version can be arranged: this will be a different test (or exam, etc.) from the one sat by the rest of the class
  • ONLY by arrangement, and with supporting documentation

Supporting documentation: what counts?

These rights, rules, and responsibilities are in addition to, not instead of, all policies and guidelines as supplied by the University, Faculty of Arts, and Department of FHIS. Some rules may change along the way; this should always be for good reason and be done in a reasonable way.

IX. SOME QUICK LINKS FOR UBC RULES, POLICIES, & PROCEDURES

(all sections and all instructors)

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