Fractal Tree  
||  WHERE WE ARE GOING   ||         ||  HOW WE WILL KNOW WE GOT THERE   ||         ||  STOPS ALONG THE WAY   ||         ||  THE GUIDE   ||        ||  INSPIRATIONS   ||












Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night"What was God doing before He made heaven and earth?"      
If, they say, He was at rest and doing nothing,      
why did He not continue doing      
nothing for ever after      
as forever      

St. Augistine, Confessions, Book IX      

∞ Reflective Journal

What is a reflective journal?
In Falling from Infinity, your reflective journal will be a place to explore ideas encountered in the readings and discussions. The point of the journal is to develop a regular, habitual practice of figuring out what you think of the course materials. When you add to your journal consistently, regularly, and thoughtfully, you'll find that your thinking—your ability to make connections and to have insights—will deepen. Your journal will also provide material and direction for your final reflective portfolio.

What will you need?
You will need a spiral binder, a small three-ring binder, or some other journaling medium, reserved for use in this class alone. Be sure to bring your journal to class daily.

What will you do?
You will make two kinds of entries in your journal: in-class entries and out-of-class entries. Each of these entries should be anchored in the week's readings and/or discussion.  They should also be dated and given some sort of title or label. Entries may be typed or handwritten.  Feel free to write in first person.

Out-of-Class Entries: Before each class, you will write a journal entry outside of class. These entries should be at least one page in length unless otherwise specified. The entries, which should explore the course materials or the in-class discussions in more depth, provide a means for you to track your voyage through the infinite, record your questions, pose your answers, and document how your questions and answers change over time.  For a few of your journal entries, you’ll have choice in the topics you explore as well as the direction you take in discussing those topics.  For most others, you will be given small tasks to complete beforehand and then asked to reflect on the tasks.

In-Class Entries: Sometimes you will write in class for a few minutes on a specific question. These in-class entries will stimulate or conclude discussions.

Occasionally, I'll ask you to share your entries with your classmates.

How you will be graded?
Two or three times during the semester, I will collect your journal and read a few entries chosen at random (or by you). In evaluating your journal, I'll be looking for these things:

Regularity & Length: Is there one entry per week which meets the minimum page requirement?

Appropriateness to Topic: Are the entries relevant to the course? Do they address the specific assignment for the given week?

Insight, Seriousness, or Creativity: Do the entries make serious efforts to grapple with the ideas? Do they demonstrate reflection? original thought?

A minimum of 10 full-page entries which adhere to the Regularity & Length and Appropriateness to Topic criteria are required for a passing grade. Journals which demonstrate Insight, Seriousness, or Creativity will receive a grade of A or B, depending on quality and regularity.

Adapted from Deandra Little, Reading Journal