Classroom Revisited

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Return to class (without the tests!)

Classroom Revisited '14 promises to be one of the best ever. This year’s program is the 32nd annual spring Continuing Education Day presented by the Holy Cross Alumni Association. All alumni, parents and friends are most welcome!

Participants may choose from one of the engaging lectures and workshops during each of the day’s three sessions. Visit the course description brochure (pdf) for more information.

The program cost is $30 per person and includes breakfast and lunch.  Most "classes" will be held in the Hogan Campus Center. 

**Online registration is now closed.  Please call the Alumni Relations Office at 508-793-2418 to register by credit card over the phone.

SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY


Breakfast & Check-In  (9:30 a.m., Hogan Campus Center, 3rd Floor)


Session 1 (10:00 – 11:15 a.m.)

 
Melissa Boyle '00
Economics
Economics and Public Policy
 
Mary Ebbott
Classics
How to Read a Homeric Simile - and Why
 
Alison Bryant Ludden
Psychology
The Psychology of Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

Session 2 (11:30 - 12:45 p.m.)

 
Jeffrey Dixon
Sociology and Anthropology
A Crash Course on Survey Research
 
David Harris
Music
A Day in the Life of the College Choir
 
Karen Ober
Biology
Darwinian Medicine and Applied Evolution

Lunch

Session 3 (2:15 – 3:30 p.m.)

  Leah Hager Cohen
English
The Storytelling Imperative
 
Matthew Eggemeier
Religious Studies
Pope Francis and Catholic Theology
 
Michael West
History
'I Want Those Seats:' Rosa Parks, Buses, and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement

Mass (4:30 p.m.)

Mary Chapel

Course Descriptions


Economics and Public Policy
Melissa Boyle '00 
Economics

How do economists make public policy recommendations? This course will consider three public policy "hot topics" – health care reform, Social Security and education – from an economic perspective. We will first apply basic economic principles to understand the potential arguments for and against various types of government intervention in these markets. We will then discuss welfare analysis – incorporating different models of social preferences in order to investigate which policies might maximize social welfare depending on the values of voters. The class will incorporate results from a variety of empirical studies to consider the potential costs and benefits of various competing policy solutions.
top

 

How to Read a Homeric Simile – and Why
Mary Ebbott
Classics

The Homeric epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, famously use long and detailed similes as a poetic technique. How should we understand the comparisons being made with the similes, and why should we read these three-millennia-old poems at all? We will start with two similes from Homer’s Iliad that, perhaps surprisingly at first glance, compare warriors to mothers and their children. After some background about the oral, traditional nature of this epic, we will then use appropriate methods to interpret these and other similes within the poem. This poetic investigation will show what these similes can tell us about the experience of war that remains true for today’s soldiers and how the ancient poetry can resonate emotionally for modern audiences.
top

 

The Psychology of Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
Alison Bryant Ludden
Psychology

Parents often wonder whether or not their teenagers have lost their minds. Is she in a different reality than I am? Is he using his head in way that makes sense to anyone? The answer to these questions is most likely, yes. Recent research indicates that the brain goes through important developmental changes during the teenage years. Not only do adolescents perceive the world in different ways from adults, they utilize their brains in different ways as they respond to social situations. We will examine the science behind these differences and consider how decision-making and social goals change from childhood to the college years. Although we see many shifts in behavior during adolescence, these changes often indicate teenagers’ adaptive responses to the challenges they face.
top

 

A Crash Course on Survey Research
Jeffrey Dixon
Sociology & Anthropology

** Due to the structure of this course, we are restricting its size to 25 participants.

In this course, you will be exposed to survey research, as it is conducted in the social sciences. As part of this course, we will put together a brief online survey using SurveyMonkey, and administer it to a 'random sample' of our classmates. By the end of the course, you should have a general familiarity with survey research and its major features, as well as understand how surveys are conducted in practice.
top

 

A Day in the Life of the College Choir
David Harris
Music

Come and join College Choir students in a typical rehearsal followed by a lunchtime performance. No previous singing experience is required – we will teach you all you need to know. This presents a great "behind the scenes" opportunity to interact with talented Holy Cross students.
top

 

Darwinian Medicine and Applied Evolution 
Karen Ober
Biology

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Evolutionary biology is the theoretical foundation for all biology. Evolutionary principles have been remarkably successful in explaining puzzling, surprising, and incredible features of the living world. As part of the living world, the human body, its pathogens, and diseases have been shaped by evolutionary processes; and Darwinian principles can help explain how our bodies work, and why they so often fail to work as we think they should. However, only recently have evolutionary biologists teamed up with physicians to try to understand the evolutionary causes of "why we get sick." The result is the new field of science called "Darwinian Medicine."
top

 

The Storytelling Imperative 
Leah Hager Cohen
English

It's human nature to desire stories – both to absorb other people's narratives and to relate our own. This may serve all sorts of goals, from simply giving pleasure to increasing social connections to helping us more clearly fathom one another and what truly matters in life. In fact, much of the way we make meaning of our lives occurs through the medium of narrative. From novels to newspaper articles, from diaries to Facebook updates, we use stories to shape our sense of things and navigate our growth. In this workshop, we'll give special attention to memoir – the personal stories we craft to share with others – and consider what elevates such writing from the merely confessional or self-involved to the realm of art and service.
top

 

Pope Francis and Catholic Theology 
Matthew Eggemeier
Religious Studies

In this class we will discuss the significance of Francis’ papacy and examine its fundamental themes in relation to contemporary Catholic theology. As with Benedict XVI’s choice of the name “Benedict,” Pope Francis’ choice of the name, “Francis,” signals some of the central concerns of his papacy: concern for the poor and care for creation. After discussing the transition from the papacy of Benedict XVI to that of Francis we will examine his focus on environmental degradation and global poverty as crises that demand a response from global Catholics. We will then explore the retrieval of the sacramental imagination and prophetic imagination in contemporary Catholic theology as a means of confronting these social crises.
top

 

'I Want Those Seats:' Rosa Parks, Buses, and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement
Michael West
History

This lecture will explore the reasons why segregated buses were the focal point of what historians call “the early civil rights movement.” Far from being simply the spontaneous action of a lone woman, what Rosa Parks accomplished in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955 was but one instance of a growing spirit of resolve among African Americans. Segregated buses were mobile microcosms of the Jim Crow system, driven (in a figurative sense) by the intention to insult and subordinate black people, but driven (in a literal sense) by bus drivers whose anomalous position in segregated society opened the door for the nascent civil rights movement.
top