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Online Format and the Pandemic

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our plan for the semester will be to use an online format. We will meet synchronously via Zoom at our registrar-appointed meeting times (MWF 10:30-11:20am Eastern). The nature of the class makes it difficult to complete the course objectives and participate in the community of the class without synchronous attendance, so if you anticipate any difficulties or obstacles in meeting at our prescribed times, please contact me so that we can work out a plan.

Class meetings will be recorded and made available to students registered for this class upon request if an accommodation has been granted or if you have missed a class and would like to stay up to date on what we discussed. Duplication or redistribution of video capture recordings by any other party without the consent of the course instructor is prohibited.

Needless to say, these are unprecedented times which call for extraordinary measures. My goal is to set up a distance learning environment that is supportive and safe as you navigate what’s happening in our world and deal with everything else that you have to deal with, in practical and emotional terms. Please don’t ever hesitate to email me, visit with me during student hours or non-preordained times via appointment, or leave a group or private message in the GroupMe with any questions, issues, or concerns that you have. We’re all figuring it out as we go; the best we can do is to be here for each other with compassion and patience. And maybe an occasional fuzzy animal picture or meme. Here’s a recent favorite of mine:

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Zoom Suggestions

You may have considerations that will prevent you from keeping your camera on during our synchronous meetings, including internet speed or access issues, family responsibilities, or personal discomfort, so you may absolutely leave your camera off if you want or need to do so. To the extent that you are comfortable and able to turn your camera on, though, please feel free to do so (and be mindful of what’s within your camera’s view or which virtual background you’re using!). This will help us to create a sense of connection and community in our class and encourage engagement with and trust in one another.

(More thoughts on the pros and cons of keeping cameras on can be found here.)

Please try, however, to mute your microphone unless you are actively speaking or would like to offer a thought or question. This is to ensure that we give due focus to whoever is speaking and to avoid being distracted by unintended background noise. Because of the small size of our class, you may unmute to speak and grab attention when you’d like, but if you are more comfortable using the chat box or “raise hand” function in the “Participants” section of the Zoom call, please feel free to use them! I will make sure to monitor those functions during our class meetings.

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Academic Conduct

You are expected to abide by Holy Cross’ Academic Integrity Policy, posted here. Cheating on homework, quizzes, or exams (defined here as but not limited to reproducing answers from an answer key, referring to forbidden notes to help answer questions, or copying another student’s answers) may result in penalties ranging from a failure on the specific assignment or quiz to failure for the entire course.

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Student Hours

Student hours are an opportunity for you to meet with me outside of class to discuss anything you’d like: questions about grammar and syntax, clarifications about assignments, even simply shooting the breeze. My student hours are times that I am sure to be in my Zoom meeting room, unless you’re notified otherwise, so I highly encourage you to take advantage of them! I’m also happy to make appointments outside of my regular student hours if they conflict with your availability; simply shoot me an email with what times and dates work for you.

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Gender Expression and Identity

I (Prof. Libatique) am a cisgender man and use he/him/his pronouns. Your first assignment will be to fill out a Google Form to let me know what your preferred name is, what pronouns you use, and what you hope to learn from this class. My goal is to avoid dead-naming, as your preferred name may not match the legal name on my class roster.

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Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Studying Greek at Holy Cross is one way to challenge a centuries-long tradition that reserved the study of the ancient world for a privileged elite. The challenge goes beyond simply welcoming students however they identify their race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual tradition, or socioeconomic background. As we work to see the multicultural world of the ancient Mediterranean through the original thoughts and language of Greek speakers and writers, we reflect on and actively explore how this can help us recognize and respond to structures of power and privilege in our own lives.

This work is especially important today, when historically false images of the ancient world are being invoked to support particular political viewpoints. Studying Greek helps us see through erroneous assertions about the “whiteness” of the ancient Mediterranean, and reject claims that the Greco-Roman world is the special province of any ethnic or political group.

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Any student who feels the need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services to discuss support services available. Once the office receives documentation supporting the request for accommodation, the student would meet privately with Accessibility Services to discuss reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Contact information for the Office of Accessibility Services can be found here. You may also call 508-793-3693.

If you are already registered with Accessibility Services, please be sure to get your accommodation letters and deliver them to me in a timely fashion. Instructors need 4-5 days advance notice to be able to facilitate the process of receiving testing accommodations.

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External Resources

In addition to my email and student hours, there are resources outside myself and the Classics department, like Academic Services and Learning Resources that can help with assignments or your progress through the course in general. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

By the way, to test whether you’re reading the syllabus all the way through, please send me an email indicating your favorite uppercase Greek letter by 10:30am on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, with the subject line “Easy as PI! Nothing NU!” If you do so, you will receive five (5) extra credit points (see the grading page for the course grading structure).

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Mandated Reporter

As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as your professor. It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, any information that you disclose that addresses sexual misconduct or relates to a prior suicide attempt or an intention to attempt suicide requires my sharing that information with those on campus who are able to provide you with necessary resources.

Following the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, I will share information about sexual misconduct with the College’s Office of Title IX Initiatives. If you would like to talk to Title IX directly, they can be reached at 508-793-3336 or titleix [at] holycross.edu. For more information, please visit this website. If you would like to discuss the matter confidentially, the following confidential resources are available to you: the Chaplains’ Office, 508-793-2448; Counseling Center, 508-793-3363; Health Services, 508-793-2276.

Following the College’s Suicide Protocol, if you disclose a prior suicide attempt or an intention or plan to attempt suicide, I will share that information with the Chair of our student CARE Team, who will engage in appropriate outreach.

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