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Last updated: 10/01/12
SAS 004: Water in Popular Culture
Greg Pasternack, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources
Formal: Importance of water in many aspects of society as revealed through a survey of its depictions in film.
Informal: This class is about a student's individual quest to find meaning in life through illumination about our own nature, how societies create meaningful events that influence people, and the role of nature, best exemplified by water, in forming the milieu within which people strive, struggle, achieve, or fail.
The course begins with an introduction during the first discussion section, so be sure to go to that. Read the first reading in the course reader before the first full-class meeting on Wednesday night. On the first Wednesday class, there will be a 50-minute presentation by the professor to further introduce the class. Then the first movie, Chinatown, will be screened. Students work on their Movie Log assignment during the movie and in the following week. Students should read the next reading before their next discussion section. At the next discussion section, 3-4 students will give presentations about the screened movie and there will be discussion about the movie and reading. Movie logs are due at the beginning of the next Wednesday class. Finally, the professor wraps up the topic by giving a presentation about the previous week's topic. Some students find lectures boring, but the student consensus of the pilot course in 2005 was that students wanted to hear the professor's scholarship and perspective as one aspect of the course. Then it is on the next screening and the cycle repeats itself.
I give my presentations using MS Powerpoint with a lot of color imagery and I do not have a high speed color copier to make >200 sets of slides for every student, so I will not be passing out lecture notes on paper. Instead, I will make the slides available to you as digital handouts in PDF format with 2 slides per page. Then you can choose to view them on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone in class OR you can print them and bring the paper version to class to take notes on. The material on the slides is covered on the final exam, so you do want to have the ability to take notes during class to supplement your understanding of the slides as you see fit.
The lectures will be posted to the SAS004 SmartSite 'Resources' page, where there is a folder for the lectures. I do update the material each year, so sometimes they are not available until a day before the lecture.
This courses uses the UC Davis Smartsite tool to provide you with many features, including announcements, email communication, a chat room, and all of the proprietary course materials (except the reader). On Smartsite, go to the Resources folder to find the lecture slides and movie logs. please try to keep space available in your email inbox to make sure you do not miss any important course announcements. Check the Smartsite page weekly as well.
There is no textbook for this course, but there is a variety of readings drawn from different sources. A complete list of the readings with guidance on how to obtain each reading and when to read them can be found HERE.
Readings are meant to be done after you watch a movie and before the next discussion section.
To obtain these readings, do the following:
- Follow the instructions HERE to freely download many of the readings in the course. This is *required*.
- A course reader is available for purchase for fall 2012. I use an independent vendor for this to provide students with a product that is priced fairly for students without violating copyright laws. I get no money from the vendor, so this is purely what I think works best for the students.
To purchase the course reader, please follow the instructions below:
- Step 2: Click on the white "STUDENTS BUY HERE" button located in the "Student Store" section (upper right-hand corner of the page).
- Step 3: Create an account or log in if you have an existing account to purchase.
- Step 4: Easy-to-follow instructions will guide you through the rest of the ordering process.
Payment can be made by all major credit cards or with an electronic check. from http://www.universityreaders.com.
Did you Miss a Movie Screening?
All of the movies are available from the commercial service Netflix (some by streaming and some by DVD), if you subscribe to that. One set of all movie DVDs (Except Even the Rain, which is not presently available in DVD format) is available for viewing in the Shields Reserves. Be sure to download, print out, and fill out the movie log for that movie before the next class.
For Fall 2012, here are the locations and times for the sections:
Lecture is Wed 6:10-7:00 pm in Giedt 1001.
Movie Screening is Wed 7:00-9:00 pm in Giedt 1001.
Discussion Section details:
Copyright Greg Pasternack 2005.
All federal and state copyrights reserved for all original material
presented in this course through any medium, including lecture or print.
Individuals are prohibited from being paid for taking, selling, or otherwise
transferring for value, personal class notes made during this course to any
entity without the express written permission of Greg Pasternack. In addition to
legal sanctions, students found in violation of these prohibitions may be subject to
University disciplinary action.
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