work due Dec. 4

Dear circus students,

Please have a look at the questions that I’ve posted under assignments on the course website. Your responses to these questions will be counted as a daily comment.

New courses for the spring semester have been added! If you are looking for another course, or if you are not happy with your current course selection for the spring, have a look here:

Please check this link often if you are looking for a another or different course. It will be updated with new courses!

To add one of these courses, you will need to use an add card. If you would like to add one of these new courses, please email the instructor. You can find the instructor of these new courses on this website:

The only exception to this process is MATH 121 and 200. If you would like to add one of these course, please contact Frank Swenton, the chair of the Math Department.

Here is a link to the documentary on Coney Island, in case you are interested:

See you all Wednesday!


reading/daily comment/announcement

Dear circus students,

Your reading for Monday, Dec. 2 has been posted!

There will be no reading assigned for Dec. 4. Instead, I have posted two questions for you to consider in your daily comment. You will find these questions listed under assignments on the course website. These questions will allow you to reflect on the readings, the lessons of those readings, and the assignments and activities completed over the course of the semester. And it will be an excellent preparation for the final assignment….

The final assignment is due Friday, Dec. 13, 11.59 pm. Information has been posted under assignments. We will be discussing the paper and possible paper ideas on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Have a great break!


work due Monday, Nov. 24

Dear circus students,

I’ve posted your ‘clowning’ activity under ‘assignments’. Please keep in mind that this project is meant to be fun. If you’re not having fun, then you’re not clowning! You may want to clown around together, or work together as you create your own exaggerated, clownish selves. I’ve given some hints to get you started, so please be sure to read what I’ve posted under assignments before you begin. You are not expected to buy any make up or clothing for this assignment. Use what you have. Share. And have fun!

I’ve posted two readings on freakishness and stigma in the modern world. Since there is an assignment (max 400 words total!) due Sunday evening, there will be no daily comment due on Monday.

Have a good weekend, and good luck with registration. If you have questions, send me an email!



Dear circus students,

Your reading for Wednesday has been posted!

Here is a link to a website with information about the alternate pins and when you will be need to use them:

First-year students will be registering on Thursday, Nov. 21, 7 am. Registration will be open until Friday, Nov. 22, 7 am.

On Wednesday night be sure to check how many seats are available in the courses you want to take. It may be the case that some of these courses will have been filled, in which case you will need to identify alternative courses. Keep in mind that, if you put your name on a wait list, you should attend that course in case you a space opens up. I will be on campus most of the day on Wednesday. If you would like to meet again to discuss course options and your schedule, send me an email.

Reminder: Assignment 4 has been canceled! If this is a problem, please send me an email.

See you all on Wednesday!


‘Gladiator’/reading for Monday, Nov. 18:

Dear circus students,

Your reading for Monday (Nov. 18) has been posted!

We’ll be watching ‘Gladiator’ and eating pizza this Friday, November 15, 5.30-8.30, Munroe Hall, room 405.

Information regarding the extra credit assignment has been posted under ‘fun’ on the course website.

See you all shortly!


Work due Wednesday, November 13:

Dear circus students,

For Wednesday please finish watching episode 1 of the PBS series ‘Circus’. Under ‘assignments’ you will find information and the writing assignment, including the website for the episode.

On Wednesday Rob Mermin will be visiting class! Check out his website:

See you all on Wednesday!


Reading for Nov. 6 (final draft of assignment 3 due Nov. 8, 11.59 pm):

Dear circus students,

You do not need to send me a copy of your rough draft, since our schedule changed due to last week’s canceled class. Once again, I really do appreciate your flexibility over the past week, and I do hope that today’s debate helped you identify possible weaknesses in your argument, and perhaps identify new sources of evidence for your points.

I have uploaded some grades to moodle and will be uploading the rest throughout the week. You can access moodle through the course hub for this class (fyse1409a).

I’ll be in my office most of the day on Wednesday. If you would like to meet to discuss your papers, or if you have questions about today’s handout (to be posted under ‘fun’ shortly), please let me know. I’m always happy to meet to discuss ideas, syntax, and punctuation!

The reading for Wednesday will be posted shortly. We are officially commencing our study of the American Circus!


Winter Term!

Dear circus students,

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful VT weather this morning (note sarcasm)!

I was planning on discussing winter term registration with you all this past Wednesday. Since class was canceled, this did not happen. Here is what you need to know…

Registration for winter term should be easier for you all than registration for the fall semester. First-year students will be the second group to register, so it is likely that you will be able to register for your first or second choice, and you only need to register for one course. However, it’s still a good idea to have a couple of courses in mind that you want to take just in case.

Winter term is a time for exploration. Students typically take courses outside of their majors, or courses that interest them but which do not contribute to their field of study. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take courses that may fulfill requirements for your major–if the course interests you, take it! While the courses are intense, students (and professors!) often find winter term a bit more relaxing, since one is able to devote study time to a single pursuit. Winter term courses do fulfill general distribution requirements, but whether or not they fulfill requirements for specific majors is left to the discretion of individual departments.

We can discuss winter term more generally on Monday. If you would like to meet to discuss winter term, please send me an email.

Keep in mind that the rough draft of your paper is due in class Monday, November 3.

  • Registration will be open to first-year students at 7.00 am, Tuesday, November 5.
  • Winter Term add/drop begins on November 18 and runs through January 8.  Add cards will be required to add Winter Term courses beginning November 18.


Reading for Oct. 9 posted/paper deadlines

Dear circus students,

Your reading for Wednesday has been posted!

It was brought to my attention after class that this weekend is parents’ weekend. Since you all are first-years and probably looking forward to spending some time with your families, I’ve extended the deadline for the rough draft. We’ll be working on the draft in class next Wednesday, October 16. The draft, peer comments, and your response are due by 11.59 pm on the 16th. The final draft will be due on the 20th. So please enjoy your weekend with your parents, or, if they will not be visiting, a little more time over the weekend to yourselves!

The revised due dates are reflected in the information about this assignment, which you will find posted under assignments.

Please also have a look at the library activity that has been posted under assignments. This is a short assignment and will be due Friday, October 11.

Summary of due dates:

Friday, Oct. 11: assignment two prep.
Wednesday, Oct. 16: rough draft due in class; rough draft, peer comments, response to comments due by 11.59 pm.
Sunday, Oct. 20: final draft due by 11.59 pm.


Paper 2/reading for Monday, Oct. 7

Dear circus students,

The reading for Monday will be posted by the end of the day tomorrow.

Because the due date for the final draft of assignment 1 was pushed back (in order to ensure that everyone was able to meet with Taylor between drafts), the due dates for the next assignment have also shifted.

On Monday we’ll be talking about the next paper, which will be a research based paper. You will not be writing a research paper, but rather you will be using your research for a creative writing assignment.

For this assignment you will adopt the persona of a participant (prostitute, actor, gladiator, charioteer), fan or opponent of the games (spectator), or funder (republican era citizen who wishes to run for office/emperor). Using your research and both the primary and secondary readings from class, you will write a letter to a family member from the perspective of your person (2-3 pages). You will also be asked to submit an annotated version of your letter in which you explain how you incorporate the readings and your research (2-3 pages). If you would like to begin your research this weekend, please feel free to. I’ll be introducing the criteria for this assignment on Monday.

The rough draft of your letter will be due in class on Oct. 14. You will be reviewing one another’s drafts, which means that the feedback on the rough drafts will come from your peers, not from me. However, this draft, the comments that you make on a peer’s draft, and your response to these comments must be emailed to me by the end of the day on the 14th (11.59 pm) and will count toward your grade for the draft. The final draft will be due Oct. 18 (11.59 pm).

Here is a summary of due dates:

Oct. 14, rough draft of assignment two, peer comments, and your response to comments is due by 11.59 pm.

Oct. 18, final draft is due by 11.59 pm.

Good luck with your revisions. I look forward to reading them!



Work due Oct. 2:

Dear circus students,

Your reading for Wednesday has been posted! As promised, I posted the email that I sent out after last Wednesday’s class on our new page called ‘announcements’. I’ll also be reposting this message. If you did not complete the work that was due by today, please send it to me by the beginning of class on Wednesday.

Final drafts are due by 11.59 pm on Wednesday! If possible, please send me your paper in word format.

See you all Wednesday!



Work due Sept. 27/Sept. 30:

Dear circus students,

Here is the work that you have due over the next week:

1) Wednesday, October 2: final draft of your papers is due. Taylor, the writing mentor, will be contacting you all shortly to set up a meeting with him.

2) In preparation for your meeting with Taylor, please review my comments and identify two or three points that you would like to discuss with him. Please send me a summary of these points in an email by the end of the day on Friday (11.59 pm) September 27, or sooner, if you plan on meeting with him before Friday. This summary should reflect the changes you think need to be made based on my comments. However, you are not limited to my comments. Feel free to include in the summary what you think your strengths and weaknesses are as a writer. This summary should be no more than 200 words.

Please include the following in your daily comment for Monday:

3) At the end of this message you will find a link to introductions and conclusions. On each page is the introduction and conclusion from one paper in the class. For example, one person’s introduction and conclusion is on page 1, while a different person’s introduction and conclusion are on page 2. In some cases I have pasted the conclusion first and the introduction second.

Below you will find your name with a number next to it. The number corresponds to page numbers in the attached document that you have been assigned to read. After you have read the introduction and conclusion, please respond by indicating what you think the argument and conclusions are (you are also welcome to include suggestions or moments where clarification is necessary). Your response should be no longer than 200 words.

4) Imagine that you are writing a research paper on any topic related to games and sports in the Roman world. What question would you like to know the answer to? What topic would you like to know more about? Why does this question/topic interest you? Your response should be no more than 200 words.

Rodrigo 1
Alec 3
Bia 5
Kate 7-8
Tyler 9
Greg 11
Hailey 13-14
Lydia 15
Isabel 17
Colin 19-20
Ellie 21
Caius 23
Siobhan 25
Brittany 27
James 29
Joey 31

Please email me if you have questions. No reading for Monday! Please spend the time that you would have spent reading working on your paper!


intro conclusion activity

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