16. Student Midterm Conferences

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Instructions for Lesson 16

1. Read this page.
2. Make an appointment with Dr. G to review your progress
     in the course.
3. Add three more sources to your research journal
    (assigned in Lesson 12.)
4. Try the attached exercise on "research questions." This can help
    to sharpen your thinking about your research project and the focus
    it ought to take.


Module 1

1: Orientation  
2: Goals   

Module 2

  3: Euthyphro  
     4: The Library
 5: The Apology   
    6: Citation   
    7: Crito
    8: Phaedo  
    9: Exam Prep   
10: Plato Exam

Module 3

11: Research Project 
12: Research 101   
13: Books   
14: the Librarian   
15: the Web   
16: conferences  
17: Joy of Research 
18: Reasoning 

Module 4

19: Outlines 
20: Review the Plan:
21: Language 
22: Dr E's Grammar
23: Peer Review  
24: Hit Parade 

Module 5

25: About the Exam
26: Mock Final 
27: Exam Prep
28: Graduation 


1. What's your research question?
try Hacker's exercises below to clarify your focus

Hacker's web site contains useful exercises, some of which we will incorporate in the course. Let's begin her online exercises by reviewing what makes a suitable research question. She says that a good research question is: (1) narrow, (2) intellectually challenging, and (3) grounded in evidence. What does she mean?

Simply click on the area "Researching (general)" and the "Research questions." You will be asked to sign in on this web site; simply provide your name and the instructor's email at gutchess@englishare.net. This exercise is ungraded, but it can count toward your participation for today. The exercise results are automatically to Dr G from Hacker's web site.

If you have questions after trying Hacker's exercises, raise them in class discussion.

 2. The Purpose of Midterm Conferences

Socrates seems to have worked with students one-on-one or in very small groups. Even in "Phaedo," where a number of young philosophers are present at the jail, only Simmias, Cebes and Phaedo appear to be consistently engaged in the conversation with Socrates. This personal method of teaching was traditional in the Greek world, but it was destined to become obsolete as knowledge expanded and as education extended to masses of people.  

I wonder what Socrates would think of the impersonality of the modern university system where one professor, working with a team of student-assistants, services 1,000 or more students per year? In today's variation on "Phaedo," Socrates delivers a short lecture, and then a few of his novice helpers lead the students away for group discussions (in groups of 15-20 for hour-long conversations), while Socrates spends the rest of his day working on his next scholarly book to advance his career. 

English 101 presents a challenge to modern universities because all students need the course, but all students' needs are not the same. Until machines can evaluate and correct student essays, English 101 will remain an "inefficiency" in the impersonal student-processing system of the university--it will remain one of most Socratic pieces of the curriculum.

I am ready help each and every student insofar as I can. Our mid-semester conference is a special opportunity for dialogue.  Please use it to ask questions, to resolve difficulties and to make plans for higher achievement in the second half of the course. If you are not sure what help to seek at your  conference, think back to the goals statement that you wrote in lesson 2 and ask yourself whether those goals are still relevant and whether you are making satisfactory progress toward them.

3. A Message from TC3's Counseling Center

From:  Amy Trueman
To:  Gary Gutchess
Date:  Monday - February 23, 2005 1:43 PM
Subject:  Counseling, Career & Transfer Info.


The Office of Counseling, Career and Transfer Services is a place where professional staff can assist you in reaching your goals. Individual personal counseling, career development, academic support, employment services, and college transfer are some of the things we do. We're located in room 216, at the top of the staircase at the front of the College (yellow area).

Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Evening appointments are available.

If you cannot come to the college, you can access a great deal of information and contact us via our website http://www.sunytccc.edu/counsel/career/index.asp

Amy Trueman
Counseling, Career & Transfer Services
Tompkins Cortland Community College
607 844-8222 x 4244

Dr. G's P.S.: TC3 students are fortunate to have so much professional counseling available. Use the service; it's free. That is to say, you have already paid for it in your tuition.

Stop by the counseling center and see what they've got available there. For one thing, you will find college catalogs, college recruiting films and other materials galore for use in transferring to another college or university. If you are at all undecided about your future career or academic course, why not get expert advice? Even if you know what you want to do, and how you will get there, discussing your plans with a professional counselor can be a great help.

Personal counseling is also available at the center. If you experience a personal crisis, with nobody to talk to, get help from a trained professional at TC3.

You do not need an appointment, but you can make one by calling ahead, if you wish. All counseling is strictly confidential between you and your counselor.

Assignment for Lesson 17: add three more sources, and whatever else you want, to your research journal (as assigned in Lesson 12.)














Make an appointment for your conference with Dr. G, bring your questions with you to the meeting, and don't be afraid to discuss your problems.

















The personal help available to students at TC3, from the library to the counseling center to the faculty in general, is truly remarkable Make use of the services that are available to you as a TC3 student.

gutchess@englishare.net                    Academic writing home page                    Gary Gutchess 2003