Owning the Intangible: Possession, Theft, and (Mis)Appropriation of Ideas

Miscellaneous Assignment 3: Course Planning, Revisited

Summary: In this exercise, you will answer a number of questions and take notes about possible courses for beyond the coming semester.

Purpose: To expand your thinking about course planning, both the particulars and the process.

Due: 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Course planning at Grinnell is sometimes a more complex task than you might expect. In part, this complexity is due to different departments' perspectives on how one should progress through a major. In part, this complexity is due to a variety of prerequisite structures. In part, this complexity is due to the wide variety of courses we make available. In part, this complexity is due to the limitations in numbers of sections we can offer at a College of Grinnell's size.

Thinking Broadly

1. Pick between two and four potential majors that you might choose at Grinnell.

2. For one of those majors, map out a four-year plan that ensures that you meet all of the requirements of the major.

3. Pick three upper-level (200-level and above) courses you'd like to take before you graduate from Grinnell. I'd prefer that you pick one from each division. For example, you might pick CSC205, Computational Linguistics, from Computer Science, ENG204, The Craft of Argument, from English, and ECN338, Applied Game Theory, from Economics.

4. Determine how you will meet the prerequisites for those courses. For example, in order to take Computational Linguistics (an alternate-year course) in fall of your second year, you'll need to take LIN114 and CSC151 before the course is offered. In this particular case, you should think about taking both courses this spring.

Thinking Broadly, Revisited

5. Assume that you get all the courses you indicated in Miscellaneous Assignment 2. Sketch a plan of courses for spring 2011 and fall 2011, giving you a three-semester prospective plan. In this plan, you should list four courses for each semester. You should make sure that you take the introductory course for each prospective major somewhere in these first three semesters (preferably within your first year). You should also strive to meet each of Grinnell's Elements of the Liberal Arts within this time frame. If you can't meet all of these requirements, that's okay; just do the best you can.

You can find Grinnell's Elements of the Liberal Arts on the Web at



Tuesday, 10 August 2010 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]


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