Cultural Offerings of the City of Davis

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FRS 002 Sec. 030 (2 unit) CRN 34916 F 2:10-4:00pm Olson 21
The Cultural Offerings of the City of Davis

Instructor: Andy Jones, University Writing Program, College of Letters and Science

Description: Freshmen coming to UC Davis may feel overwhelmed by all the new stimuli, choices and responsibilities, despite the university’s best efforts to orient them. Registration procedures, the myriad of clubs and activities, the expansive campus to be navigated by bicycle – all these new challenges, and many more, must be addressed by students coming to our campus for the first time. Because of these primary orientation topics, freshmen too rarely venture into the city of Davis itself to investigate its art galleries, cafes, farmers market, performance spaces, or other cultural offerings. Orienting students to off-campus life rather than to the university itself, this Freshman Seminar will introduce participants to the cultural offerings of the City of Davis.

Participants will investigate most of the following sites and phenomena:

Seminar Goals: Participants will better understand and appreciate the cultural life of a small city.
Participants will learn to appreciate, analyze, and evaluate public art.
Participants will better understand the presentation of art in galleries and in the public.
Participants will improve their writing by writing for the instructor, fellow classmates, and blog-readers beyond UC Davis.
Students will learn how to work collaboratively on art and culture-related projects.
Students will practice inquiry-based learning, and use critical thinking and research to complete a collaborative project.
Students will practice creating multi-modal compositions.

Format: All students will be expected to complete FOUR assignments:
A) Attend all classes and field trips. On those afternoons when we meet at a location in the city of Davis, you should leave yourself extra time to locate and travel to our rendezvous location.
B) Write 500+ relevant words a week in a blog established on WordPress.com or Tumblr, with images when available. The most impressive blogs will present three or more entries a week.
C) Share 100+ words of comments each week on your classmates’ blogs, making sure to comment at least once on each.
D) Complete (with your collaborative group) the photographic scavenger hunt.
Much of the class will be made up of bike-able field trips to locations in downtown Davis. These and the photographic scavenger hunt will take place during class time.

Grading: Participants in this one-unit class will be assigned a letter grade according to their performance in the following four categories:
Class Participation in class and on field trips (preparedness, enthusiasm, quality of comments) 30%
Your blog for the class 40%
Your comments on your classmates’ blogs 20%
Scavenger Hunt Submissions and commentary 10%
About the Instructor: Dr. Andy Jones has taught for a variety of UC Davis Departments and Units, including the Department of English, The University Writing Program, and Technocultural Studies since 1990. In the recent years, Dr. Andy has taught Freshman Seminars on “Writing About the Future,” “Beat Poetry and Film,” “Three Poems a Week,” and “Jazz and Literature.” Always interested in cross-disciplinary thinking and studies, Dr. Andy interviews many authors, performers and pundits as host of “Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour” on radio station KDVS. In 2006 Dr. Andy was named Educator of the Year by the Associated Students of UC Davis.

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