Unless specifically indicated in your class’s syllabus, the following are the policies that are in place for all of my classes. Please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions.
Attendance is extremely important in my classes; the bulk of the work we do takes place in discussion, and you can’t do that work if you’re not there (and ready) to participate. You can miss the equivalent of one week of classes during the course of this semester — meaning that, if our class meets twice a week, you can miss two sessions without penalty (one if the course meets once a week; three if the course meets three times a week). After that, I reserve the right to lower your final grade at my discretion. Please note that this policy makes no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, as that distinction that puts me in a role I’d rather not play.
1. Unavoidable absences due to travel for college athletic events may be exempted from this policy, but you must give me your team’s schedule in advance.
2. If you are genuinely sick, especially with something that may be the flu, please do not come to class. Instead, you might be able to participate in our discussions via the network. We’ll discuss the options at the beginning of the semester.
If you miss class, it is your responsibility to check with your classmates in order to find out what happened in class. Few things annoy me quite as much as being asked “did I miss anything?” The answer to that question may be found here.
Lateness (of you)
It drives me absolutely bonkers when people walk into class after it’s begun. It’s both rude and distracting. Get to class on time; every three late arrivals will add up to one absence.
Lateness (of work)
All assignments are due at the time noted in the syllabus. You may turn work in up to one week late with no grade penalty; however, as a consequence of throwing off my schedule, and in order to be fair to your colleagues who did manage to get their work in on time, late assignments will receive no comments. And after one week, grade penalties will kick in ferociously.
Please note that because of the built-in cushion of this policy, I will give no extensions. Don’t even ask.
Despite the fact that one paper may only count for 15% of your grade, you cannot pass my class if you don’t complete it. All assignments must be completed in order to pass my class.
Technology fails us all the time, from computer crashes to empty toner cartridges to corrupt files. Such technological failure is not an acceptable excuse for late work. You need to prepare for the potential of technological failure by managing your time wisely (i.e., not expecting to be able to complete and send in an assignment at the very last instant), by backing up your work, and by having a contingency plan in case something goes wrong.
Many of my classes are taught in a laptop-based computer lab, and there may be other classes in which you want to use your own laptop. You are welcome to do so, as long as I am confident that you are fully participating in our class discussions. I reserve the right to ask that all computers be put away if you do not appear to be on task. Please be responsible in your in-class computer use; do not allow yourself to become distracted, and do your best not to distract others.
My officially designated office hours for the Spring 2010 semester are Monday and Tuesday from 4.00 to 5.30. If you need to see me, please make every effort to come by then; I’ll take appointments during those hours, but they’re also open for drop-in visits. If you want to make an appointment with me, please consult the calendar on my home page and follow the “request an appointment” link.
If you just have a quick question, you might take advantage of the online office hours I’m experimenting with, on Sundays from 4.00 to 6.00. I’ll be available at kfitz47 at gmail. You’re also welcome to ask me questions if you catch me online at other times, as well.
The Writing Center
I’m of course happy to meet with any of you during my office hours to discuss your work and ways to make it better. That said, I also want to encourage you to make use of the Writing Center, which is located on the ground floor of Pearsons, and which offers students free, one-on-one consultations at any stage of the writing process — from generating a thesis and structuring an argument to fine-tuning a draft. The Writing Fellows — Pomona students majoring in subjects including Economics, Molecular Biology, English, Politics, and Religious Studies — will work with you on an assignment from any discipline. Consultations are available by appointment, which you can make online: http://writing.pomona.edu/writingcenter. This is a phenomenal resource, one that I hope you will make good use of.
I am happy to accommodate the learning difficulties or other disorders that you may be dealing with as needed. Please note, however, that Pomona’s policy on disability accommodations requires that the disability be documented with the dean of students’ office before I can make any accommodations. If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. I am happy to be of any support that I can.
Academic dishonesty in any form will result in automatic failure of my class. Period. If you have any concerns about what constitutes academic dishonesty, refer to the official Pomona policy, or ask me.
updated 17 January 2010