Roman, Jew and Christian is a demanding course. You’ll be doing a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and, we hope, a lot of thinking about cultures political and religious. Here are a few tips to help you manage the course more effectively and to help you get more out of it.
1. Check the website. Is there a way to always know what we’re doing in class? Are there going to be suggested readings, blog posts, and other cool additions to the readings and lectures? You are so lucky, because the answer is yes. We have created a fantastic website just for this course, and you will see that it has all the information you need—including mandatory weekly quizzes and assignments, as well as scintillating blog posts on topics which complement our readings and in-class discussions.
2. Check your email. To log in to the website you will need your Cougarnet ID and password. To communicate with us via the website, or to get updates on the website, requires that you check your UH email address.
3. Keep up on readings. We will cover an enormous amount of material. You will need to be reading regularly and so it pays to be disciplined from the beginning, lest you fall behind. Remember the pirate code: who falls behind, stays behind, and will be forced to wallow miserably in ignorance while watching their colleagues become educated adults.
4. Read actively. Don’t just keep up on the readings. Rather, take notes, writing down questions, finding key terms, and really thinking about what you’re reading. Doing this will help you to get a lot more out of our time in class.
5. Be in class. In class we’ll be integrating in lectures and discussions all that you’re reading. This is where you’ll get the narratives which draw together the worlds we’re exploring. It is imperative that you be present to take full advantage of our stupendous lecturing skills and, of course, have an opportunity to ask those questions you’ve been writing down.
6. Check the website. Like FightClub, this one bears repeating. Absence is never an excuse for ignorance—you must find out assignments, as our syllabus is subject to change. Where can you find out if there have been changes, or if you have missed something? The website. The website is your best friend.
Doing these few things will greatly improve your experience in this class, as we explore some of the most formative and surprising moments in religious and cultural history.