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Fall 2014 Senior Seminar Course Descriptions

Listed alphabetically by instructor.

All sections
Student teacher sections

Brouwer, Wayne
IDS 495 03
CRN: 82626
TR 1:30-2:50 PM

Composing a Life: Mary Bateson describes the process of understanding ourselves and our meaning as "composing a life." She uses three metaphors to explain this: (1) there are a variety of influences that weave themselves together like a musical symphony to create the melodies and harmonies that become the song of our lives; (2) this happens only over time, like a musical composition, and often we don't know how it will sound until many bits and pieces come together in a richer whole; (3) the pieces themselves are short stories which, when expressed independently, may take on small and various meanings that may differ from what they express when knit together into a larger mosaic.
We will read several memoirs and excerpts from memoirs, and write a number of the stories of our own lives, with the goal to begin processing them together toward a larger symphony of self that has meaning and trajectory which provide new insights about our futures, and the next stages of our lives after college. In the process we will review our First Year Seminar "Liberal Arts Essay," and also view several deeply moving and insightful movies.

Cho, David
IDS 495 04
CRN: 83169
M 6:00-8:50 PM

Life Together: Faith, Race, and Community: For this Senior Seminar we will begin with basic questions of what it means to be part of a community, especially in the context of a “Christian liberal arts college” such as Hope College. We will start by reading the work of Shane Claiborne, a graduate of a Christian liberal arts institution himself, currently living in a community called “The Simple Way” in the heart of Philadelphia. From contemplating notions of a faith-based community (or communities), we will go on to tackle the ever-present problem of “race, racism, and racialization” and its role in fracturing or creating certain norms within community/communities that we will critically analyze and reflect. Here we will be reading texts by Beverly Daniel Tatum to help define “race” and think through race identity development, along with the work of Amy Eshleman, (and her colleagues: Jean Halley, Ramya Mahadevan Vijaya), a Hope College graduate herself, to think through patterns of “whiteness” as a racial identity and its implications for learning, community, and the academic context. We will then read a range of authors, topics, and textual genres to reflect on similar issues of faith, learning, race, and community, ranging from Native American, African American, Latina/o American, Asian American and Anglo American topics and authors, and fictional, biographical, and even legal non-fictional work. Finally, we’ll come full circle by reading Claiborne again to reflect on the semester and your four years at Hope as a whole—and beyond.

deHaan, Sander
IDS 402 01
CRN: 82852
MWF 9:30-10:20 AM
Christianity & Literature
: We read and discuss a variety of authors from different times and different backgrounds, but all having a view of Christian responses to issues in life. Students write regular reaction papers of two paragraphs each, and, of course, toward the end of the course, a life view paper, which student in my seminar share with each other and also discuss.

Hoogerwerf, Steven
IDS 455 01
CRN: 82433
T 7:00-9:50 PM
Vocation and Health Care
: This course is designed to explore what it means to think about the meaning of vocation (from the Latin vocare, to call) especially but not exclusively in the context of health care. Using the concept of vocation suggests several questions that might be addressed: What would it mean to be ""called"" as a care-giver or healer? How would health care be different if one approached it as a vocation than if one considered it simply a career? How does theology, spirituality and ethics become an integral part of the vocation to care for those who are sick? If you do not expect to be working in health care, similar questions can be posed within the context of your own life and work. In fact, I encourage you to frame some of your own questions and share them with me early in the course.

Japinga, Lynn
IDS 431-01
CRN: 83167
TR 9:30-11:00 AM
Female, Male, Human
: This course uses memoirs to help students think about the role of race, class, gender, religion and sexual orientation in the lives of the authors and their own lives.

Portfleet, Dianne
IDS 468 01
CRN: 82625
TR 12:00-1:20 PM
Change, Complexity, and Christianity
: A deeply reflective course that looks at the rapid changes in our world, the complexity of our lives, the internationalism of all elements of our lives, and how, we as Christians, or how the Christian faith works in the bounds of these tremendous changes. It will look at the quality of our thinking; the type of people needed in the future, and how we as individuals can live the best lives.

Lunderberg, Marla
IDS 495 01
CRN: 82511
MW 12:00-1:20 PM
Making Good on Your Dreams, with Creativity and Grace
: Backpacking across Europe. Signing on for an extended service project. Getting accepted by your top choice of grad schools. Interviewing for your dream job. Establishing a relationship with a significant other. Growing in your knowledge of yourself and your world. As you think about college and about graduating from college, what do you imagine to be your absolutely top-notch, sparkling, over-the-top, utopian experience? In this class, we’ll think about the ways we define our perfect worlds on several levels: personal, political, and global. We’ll talk about our responsibilities in shaping, in making this utopian adventure, and we’ll examine what our ideas of “the perfect world” mean within the context of the Christian faith. We'll consider how we respond when the world we live in doesn’t meet our expectations. (Not just ""why do bad things happen to good people,"" but why do bad things sometimes happen to me and how do I deal with them?) We’ll read some great writing by others who have dreamed of what a perfect world might look like—and by some who are scary-good at pointing out the challenges to such idealizations. Energetic class discussion will be our goal. Disagreement and rebellion will be encouraged. Writing assignments will include reading responses and short essays which will culminate in the Senior Seminar “Life View” paper.

Sanford, Elizabeth
IDS 495 02
CRN: 82853
MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
A Sense of Place
: This course will examine finding one’s place personally, professionally and spiritually through reading and discussing literature in which sense of place, belonging and identity are emphasized. Themes such as what defines home and what makes one feel at home and part of a community will be discussed. The impact of socioeconomic status, national origin, race and religious identity on defining a sense of place will also be explored in this context. All of these topics will be discussed in relation to finding and forming new community upon transitioning to life after college.

Shaughnessy, John
IDS 441 01
CRN: 82855
TR 1:30-2:50 PM
What's Worth Remembering?
: In this seminar we will explore what it means to remember from a variety of perspectives (including our own) to discover the ways in which remembering influences our understanding of others and ourselves. Memory will serve as a window for engaging in reflection and critical examination of our life experiences to discern and articulate why we believe what we believe and why we do what we do. We will read and discuss memoirs as one way to encounter people’s reflections on their remembered lives. These memoirs will serve as a framework for the life view paper students will write.

Walter, Pat
IDS 432 01
CRN: 82854
W 6:00-8:50 PM
Do No Harm: Ethics of Health Care
: This course provides an in-depth examination of the legal and ethical rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the practicing health care provider in a changing medical environment. Discussion will focus on what it means to “do no harm” with an emphasis placed on the analysis of what is morally right or good for those in our care. This course will incorporate case studies and a method for decision-making that will empower students to gain competence in formulating and presenting moral arguments, especially as they apply to questions of medical ethics. This course is designed primarily for students planning on a career as a health professional.

For Student Teachers:

Educ & Christian Ways of Living
W 1:00-3:50 PM
Donk, Tony
IDS 452 01
CRN: 82524
Teachers and Teaching: In Whose Image?
: As future teachers you serve a long and intensive “apprenticeship of observation.” Since kindergarten, you have watched teachers do what you yourself will do. In addition, you have seen teachers portrayed in movies, plays, books and a variety of other mediums. Given these observations and portrayals, this seminar will explore thinking around the central question, “In whose image do you see yourself as a teacher and how does this impact your teaching?” Related questions will revolve around contemporary images of teachers, as well as those that reflect power, spirituality, social justice, the life of the mind, vocation and teacher reform. In short, what is the image of “teacher” that you claim and what do you aspire to?