Weeks 2 – 3: Making questions

Welcome back! Our Tuesday class information can be found here. You’ll want to access this during class to follow along with the agenda. Below is information for things you’ll need to do in the next two weeks. Starting with a calendar to keep you organized. Items in bold are due by midnight that day but can/should? be done earlier.

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
17
post photo
post question
18
share progress
review Perusall
19
class
.
20
.
.
21
Perusall due
office hours
22
.
.
23
.
.
24
post photo
post question
25
share progress
review Perusall
26
class
.
27
.
.
28
Perusall 2 due
office hours
29
.
.
30
.
.
31
post photo
post question
1
Make 2 due
.
2
class
.
3
.
.
4
.
.
5
.
.
6
.
.
Weeks 2 – 3 due dates

Shaler ends his story about working with Agassiz by arriving at a question: how to classify a fish. It can take a while to craft a significant scientific question – or, as Phillips, Watkins and Hammer describe it in our reading this week, to problematize. As you’ll see in that article, scientific inquiry doesn’t always begin with a good question. A good question – a problem that needs solving – is often a hard-won achievement, a product of weeks of inquiry. You’ll want to start this cycle by reading that paper in Perusall (or re-reading; it’s often assigned in Perspectives).

  1. As always, first and foremost, be working to make sense of color. Dedicate about 5 hours each week to this. Share two things (at least) along the way: (1) your workspace photos and (2) your list of questions. Due by Sunday night, every Sunday, on Currents.
  2. Be keeping track in your notebook; including notes, thoughts, etc. from class on Tuesday. (It won’t be graded for a while yet.)
  3. For this make cycle, I recommend you start by reading in Perusall. It’s just 3 pages (+ one sentence on page 4), but it’s meaty! – Read this as, in part, a map for your current make-cycle. As always, highlight and comment on passages you like, find confusing, or disagree with. Reply to my comments/questions where you feel inspired. Do this early; the 21st is the deadline for a first-pass. You’ll then need to visit again in the next week to continue any conversations that have started – that is due by the 28th.
  4. Your “make” for this cycle is to make a problem. Phillips, Watkins and Hammer describe this as: “noticing a gap of understanding, identifying and articulating its precise nature, and motivating a community of its existence and significance.” This is beyond “why do oranges look brown through a green filter?” – though that’s a perfectly great place to start. By the end of two weeks you’ll be posting your problem on Currents – but start early. Come to class next week with progress made – even feeling “done” so that we can question, discuss, debate and push your ideas a little farther – and at least one post in Currents that addresses the problem you’re identifying.
  5. As always, Steve and Leslie are here to help and love to talk! come by on Thursday office hours in our Zoom Room.