Tuesday, February 20, 2007
office hours post
What better way to spend office hours than to write a new post for my new blog?
In 20 minutes I will be passing back those 70 midterms. Overall the grades were pretty evenly distributed and despite my complaining, I had about 20 exams in the A category. There were about 25 + in the B category and the rest were C or below -- though I believe we only had two Fails - and it is really only because they did not complete the test, or they plagiarized.
Today in my urbanism course we will be discussing the "emergence of the modern individual" which I think should be quite fun. What kinds of psychological neuroses and personality traits can we ascribe to the modern city dweller? From where (historically and structurally) do these qualities emerge and why? How do artists and/or filmmakers represent these changes in the urban individual? in the social imaginary? What dystopic or utopic visions do they depict about the future of urban life?
They read Georg Simmels canonical text, "Metropolis and Mental Life," and in class we will be screening parts of the films, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
I certainly enjoy this type of lecture -- more theoretical, sociological, and analytical -- than a pure historical lecture which has been a lot of the class up to this point.
[tangent] I picked a sprig of lavender as I was walking onto campus from the parking lot, it smells wonderful - I love crushing the seeds in my hand to release the scent.
I will return to report on the outcome of class today.