Patrick W. Conner
The following policies are standard in all of the courses I teach.
They apply at all levels, graduate and undergraduate. Read
them carefully, and speak to me immediately if you think that your
situation merits special consideration. The following items are
on this page, and you may click on these items in order to read the
so named: Attendance; Responsibilities;
& Dissembling; Conferences;
Philosophy of Instruction.
This course will meet 15 times this session. You should realize that if
you miss class more than once during the semester, I shall lower
your final grade in whatever amount seems to me appropriate for the
missed. In other words, attendance is required for you to receive a
grade in the course, and if your performance on examinations and other
projects is weak, lack of attendance may well cause you not to succeed in the
Please understand: the permitted absence is intended to cover
illness and other emergencies which make it impossible for you to meet
There are no "excused absenses" beyond this except in rare
To miss two times is to miss more than 10% of the class
While merely attending without participating (by "participating" I mean
being mentally involved in the discussion and classroom activities) is
counter-productive, not attending deprives you of class insights and
understanding about difficult concepts and it deprives the class of
point-of-view as well. Athletes, debaters, and other students
participation in WVU-sponsored events may affect their attendance
should make an appointment to see me during the first two days of
to discuss my policies regarding them.
Everyone is late now and then, but please try to be on time; class
at 4:00 (or as near to that as I can make it) and ends at 6:45.
prepared to sit for 75 minutes without thinking that it is all
right to leave for a bit to go to the bathroom or to make a phone call.
You should neither leave the classroom nor send text messages to your
friends while you're here. This is unacceptable behavior, and I shall
call it to your attention. We shall take a break around 5:15.
Complete the assigned reading and writing for each class before it
and ponder the implications of ideas freshly encountered and facts
met. Search the texts and query the instructor about matters you do not
comprehend before (not after) the examinations. Should you miss a
obtain a full report of our activities from a trustworthy colleague,
please understand that neither a colleague's notes nor my attempt to
summarize the work via email can adequately compensate for classroom activities.
I am always available by e-mail, and you should contact me whenever you
need to do so. Click HERE to do
We now live in the age of computing, and -- as you can see -- a web
site on eCampus will be part of the apparatus of this course.
You are expected to make full and responsible use of the computing
with which you are provided, and it is your responsibility to secure
to an adequate computer in order to use these resources. It is
that you have learned the skills needed, but if you haven't, ask a
to help you learn them. The course evaluation will be provided online,
and I will have no access to your responses until my grades for your
are delivered. It is important to the Department of English, to
the University, and to me that you provide an honest, professional
evaluation of the course. Give some thought to this forthcoming
evaluation while the course is in progress.
As a matter of policy, I do not give incompletes except under the most
unusual circumstances. If a student becomes seriously ill or encounters
personal problems such that he/she cannot attend most classes or do the
work for them, then the appropriate course of action is to withdraw
the University; it is not the University's role to take responsibility
for a student's misfortune by giving credit for work not done.
Refer to the section on "Academic Responsibilities" and "Academic
in the WVU Student
for definitions of cheating and plagiarism. The student caught
whether maliciously or naively, will receive an F in the course, and I
may seek to have him or her removed from the University.
may schedule a conference with me by calling my office (293-4547) or
emailing me. Should we schedule a meeting and should you miss it, I
consider the miss equivalent to missing class and I shall record it as
such, unless you contact my office in due time to cancel the meeting.
I assume that all of my students are responsible, adult human beings
of dealing with sophisticated issues in a sophisticated manner.
and literature cover all aspects of human lives and choices, and we
to be able to talk about social situations and linguistic conventions
many points of view. While I never consciously seek to impose my views
on personal matters on my students, nevertheless I consider it a part
my duties as a university instructor to challenge your beliefs about
that may come up in the classroom, and, particularly when discussing
matters, I may seem to ignore what you consider to be the conventions
"polite" speech to do so. If you feel offended by me or by
your colleagues, or if you experience other negative emotions for
reason, please discuss the problem with me privately.
Having said that, I hasten to add that the classroom should be a
place for all present to think about important issues in an adult
manner, regardless of faith, lack of it, gender, ethnic identity, etc., and I want my classroom to be that kind of place.
Please speak to me privately if you feel this is not the case.