A chronology


There follows a list of many of the activities that we members of the Truth in Society section of the Aquinas Program engaged in during the past academic year. These activities were not, of course, random; rather, they were all directed toward the collaborative inquiries that formed the heart of this academic learning community. The instructors envisioned two large cycles of inquiry, one each term. Each cycle involved an exploration of some potential historical episodes in which belief or changes in belief could be studied. This exploration included a process of exploring and selecting focal episodes, further collaborative investigation, and writing, editing, and publication of what was learned. In each case, as it turned out, this publication was in the form of a written and printed book (the course produced three books during the first term -- on the Salem witch trials, the Jonestown suicides, and the Scopes trial; and four during the second term -- on the holocaust, the Viet Nam war, euthanasia, and the Salman Rushdie affair). Since this is, in fact, what transpired, the account below is arranged first by term (cycle of inquiry), and then by smaller chunks of time within those cycles. Each activity is described in more detail in one or more of the prompts that the instructors wrote and distributed to the students regularly.

the first cycle of investigation

Sept. 13 - Oct. 4: introducing and engaging [Prompt #00]
introductory inksheds (students' beliefs) [Prompt #01, Prompt #02, Prompt #03]; boxes with episodes choices [Prompt #04]; Film Celebration [Prompt #05, Prompt #10]; library meeting [Prompt #07, Prompt #08, Prompt #09]; e-mail using [Prompt #06]; collaborating on reports & recommendations [Prompt #11, Prompt #13]; using reports & recommendations [Prompt #13]; attending "occasions" [Prompt #12, Prompt #15, Prompt #33, Prompt #40, Prompt #42] ; Reader Group Reports; attending When Rights Collide Conference [Prompt #16, Prompt #20]; WordPerfect [Prompt #17]; evaluating episodes using colleagues' recommendations [Prompt #15]; choosing three episodes [Prompt #18, Prompt #20]; reflective inkshedding [Prompt #21].
Oct. 6 - Oct. 20: focusing on episodes
focus groups on the Salem Witch Trials, the Scopes "Monkey" Trials, the Jonestown Suicides [Prompt #22]; reading whole books [Prompt #22, Prompt #23]; writing on context [Prompt #25]; collaborative bibliography [Prompt #26]; researching and writing discussion papers [Prompt #26]; citation format [Prompt #26]; reading and commenting on discussion papers [Prompt #27].
Oct. 20 - Oct. 27: working on bias
seeing bias/perspectives/triangulating [Prompt #28]; reading more books [Prompt #29]; more discussion papers [Prompt #30]; more bibliography (all electronic); reading discussion papers [Prompt #31], looking for points of comparison and contrast.
Oct. 27 - Nov. 22: breaking down the inquiry into smaller working groups
forming temporary working groups which make statements of undertaking on behalf of larger focus group [Prompt #32, Prompt #34]; acknowledging colleagues -- reflecting on learning [Prompt #36]; written reports [Prompt #35, Prompt #37] for focus group, with cover letters [Prompt #38]; making readerly responses [Prompt #38]; using responses in revision [Prompt #39]; revised working group reports [Prompt #40].
Nov. 24 - Nov. 29: making texts
compiling the reports into a whole text, the focus group's booklet [Prompt #41]; revising [Prompt #43]; collaborating.
Dec. 1 - Dec. 6: the public event
preparing for the event in the Black Box theater [Prompt #43]
Dec. 6: reflecting
inkshedding; celebration [Prompt #44].
Dec. 6 - Dec. 16: evaluating
writing colleague and program evaluations; learning statements; evaluating [Prompt #45].
the second cycle of investigation

Jan. 10 - Feb. 7: re-grouping, exploring, disciplinary seminars
reviewing Christmas marks; setting up disciplinary seminar groups, task forces [Prompt #46], on-line discussion for occasions [Prompt #48, Prompt #49, Prompt #55, Prompt #59, Prompt #64]; assessing evaluations; writing read logs [Prompt #47]; planning the chautauqua [Prompt #49, Prompt #61]; revising (editing, reflecting on) read logs [Prompt #50].
Feb. 9 - Feb. 21: choosing episodes
researching [Prompt #50, Prompt #51, Prompt #52, Prompt #53, Prompt #54], writing and using feasibility studies [Prompt #56, Prompt #57, Prompt #58, Prompt #59]; coming to decisions about focuses [Prompt #50]; editing files with WordPerfect; reading colleagues' read logs and writing about them [Prompt #51].
Feb. 21 - Feb. 23: focusing on episodes, initial phase
organizing focus groups on the Holocaust, the Rushdie affair, Euthanasia, and the Viet Nam war [Prompt #58]; researching an aspect or angle of an episode of believing individually or in small groups [Prompt #60]; library strategies with disciplinary focuses [Prompt #60]; writing research reports [Prompt #61].
March break

March 14 - April 6: focusing on episodes, next & last phases
filling out questionnaires [Prompt #62]; scheduling [Prompt #63]; assembling drafts of chapters [Prompt #63]; reading and responding to drafts [Prompt #65]; using readers' responses for revising [Prompt #66]; more revising [Prompt #67] and compiling; reflecting on the whole text -- introduction [Prompt #68]; readying the book for publication [Prompt #69].
April 11: closure
reflection inkshedding [Prompt #70]; almost-publication party; Holocaust group performance.
April 11 - April 18: evaluating


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