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Hello to the new E&D: “Phrases and Equations”

THE FOLLOWING excerpt comes from minutes taken from the Jan. 30 Committee to Contemplate the Curriculum (CCC) meeting. The portion below looks at the decision process of the CCC sub-committee, Reimagining and Addressing General Education (RAGE) committee, in choosing the new title to replace Exploration & Discovery (now “Phrases and Equations”)  for the Fall 2020 semester

New Business, renaming of First-Year Seminar:

Sim Wiesle (henceforth SW), president of the college, joined RAGE to discuss the naming of the first-year seminar at the request of RAGE chair Stu Schitz (henceforth Schitz). 


The name “Exploration & Discovery” will no longer accurately describe the first-year seminar and the changes made to it. Along with the new curriculum changes (like the additional handstand and finger extension component), the first-year seminar needs its name to be changed as well. 


CCC: What are the names that you have spent two months coming up with?

SW: We wanted the names to go back to square one. We wanted to take a look at what the heart of learning revolves around. That is why the names the sub-committee RAGE found are as follows: “Bits and Pieces,” “Letters and Figures,” “Words and Numbers,” “Phrases and Equations” and “Books and Proofs.”

CCC: Do we have confirmation that students react well to these options?

SW: Yes. We received 100% support from our single survey taker. They checked the “no” box for all names.

CCC: What was the question they were responding to?

SW: The question was, “Would you mind if the first-year seminar had one of these names?”

CCC: Do you think asking, “do you mind” could confuse survey takers if they did not read it carefully?

SW: No, I think the student who responded would have been able to understand  perfectly fine. 

CCC: Your answer implies you only had one survey response. Did you only have one response?

SW: Yes.

CCC: Very well. Do you really think that “Words and Numbers” belong on this list of otherwise acceptable names? The committee only brings the question up because it seems like a placeholder, at best, in comparison to the other fine ones.

Schitz: The sub-committee has unanimously agreed that it is by far our worst choice so far. Like the list of orders that led to the assassination of General Soleimani, it was largely included to make the other answers look better.

CCC: To confirm what RAGE chair Schitz said, the sub-committee does not believe that “Words and Numbers” should be used to name our first-year seminar, and it was included only to make the other options seem more viable.

SW & Schitz: Yes.

There were no further questions.


Following the Q&A, the CCC Chair Gighels asked if any members had any disputes or questions regarding the names. Some bureaucrat from the Registar’s Office asked if the names had been found met all formatting conventions for BadAdvisor. Chair Gighels confirmed that all formatting conventions for BadAdvisor had been met. The CCC held a vote and passed “Phrases and Equations” to be the name of the first-year seminar.

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