Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"The WHOLE book?"

I do have to mention that last week I asked my students in the "American Political Thought" course here in Erlangen to read all of the Thomas Paine's COMMON SENSE, and be ready to discuss it.

And one of the students actually said, "The WHOLE thing?"

COMMON SENSE is about 40 pages, if you print it in large type with generous borders.

Yes. The WHOLE thing. Lordy.

To be fair, there is clearly a different system here. The professor summarizes, argues, presents. The students read on their own. The idea that reading is required for class is apparently a bit unusual.

But....still.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, how long is "Common Sense?" You might say in your blog post, but I can't read the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was actually I who asked whether we should read the "WHOLE thing" because I had - and still have - a compilation of works from Paine in a book titled "Common Sense", and I thought we were supposed to read the entire 400-something pages, because I never really read more than a few quotes from Common Sense before that and didn't know how long the actual text was. So, sorry for that misunderstanding. :p

Anonymous said...

When I was at high ranking and respected university, a visiting professor from a nearby barely-academic "football" university assigned us a paper on Monday that was due on Friday. Come Friday we all turn in our papers.

The professor was shocked! He said he gave Friday deadlines when he really meant the following Monday, but because students at the other university never turned their work in on time.

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