I invite you all to hit "comment" and reply with your own introductions, and (bearing in mind that this is an open site) your answers to two basic questions: Who are you? Why are you here? (in this course, on this campus, in this state, on this planet...)
Our first class meeting will consist mainly of introductions and a heads-up that this is an unconventional course in ways I hope you'll find delightful, instructive, and rewarding. If you don't like to move, breathe, and converse in the open air on "nice" days, this may not be the course for you. But if you don't especially like the conventional lecture-style academic model in which I talk and you scribble silently in your seats, it may be just what you're looking for.
We'll not go over the syllabus or get bogged down in the nuts and bolts of course mechanics on Day #1, there's plenty of time for those details later. But do peruse the blogsite and syllabus (linked in the right margin) before next class and let me know what's unclear. Meanwhile, read your classmates' intros and post your own.
I'm Dr. Oliver, aka (despite my best efforts to discourage it) "Dr. Phil." I live in Nashville with my wife, Younger Daughter (a HS Senior), a dog (Angel) and a cat (Zeus). Older Daughter is a college Senior in another state.
My office is in James Union Building 300. Office hours are Mondays thru Thursdays 3-4 pm, & by appointment. On nice days office hours will probably be outside, possibly in front of the library (in the "Confucius" alcove, if it's available) or at another designated location. I answer emails during office hours, but not on weekends. Surest way to get a quick response:come in or call during office hours.
I've been at MTSU since the early '00s, teaching philosophy courses on diverse subjects including atheism, childhood, happiness, the environment, the future, and bioethics.
My Ph.D. is from Vanderbilt. I'm originally from Missouri, near St. Louis. I was indoctrinated as a Cardinals fan in early childhood, so I understand something about religious zeal. My undergrad degree is from Mizzou, in Columbia MO. (I wish my schools weren't in the SEC-I don't approve of major collegiate sports culture or football brain injuries, as I'm sure to tell you again.)
My philosophical expertise, such as it is, centers on the American philosophical tradition ofWilliam James and John Dewey. A former student once asked me to respond to aquestionnaire, if you're curious you can learn more about me there.
What you most need to know about me, though, is that I'm a peripatetic and will encourage you all to join me in that philosophical lifestyle as often as possible during discussion time. (If you're not sure what peripatetic means, scan the right sidebar or read the syllabus or ask me. Or look it up.)
I post my thoughts regularly to my blogs Up@dawn and Delight Springs, among others, and to Twitter (@osopher), and am continuing to experiment with podcasting as a classroom tool this semester. Follow me if you want to.
But of course, as Brian Cohen said, you don't have to follow anyone. (Extra credit if you get that reference... and real extra credit if you realize that my "extra credit" is usually rhetorical.) However, if a blog or podcast link turns up with the daily quiz (which will always be posted on this site no later than the night before class), you might find it helpful to read or listen.
Enough about me. Who are you? (Where are you from, where have you been, what do you like, who do you want to become,...?) Why are you here? (On Earth, in Tennessee, at MTSU, in philosophy class)? Hit "comments" below and post your introduction, then read your classmates'... and bear in mind that this is an open site. The world can read it. (The world's probably busy with other stuff, of course - Drumpf and Kardashians and cooking shows and other examples of what passes for "reality" these days.)
Please include your section number in your reply, and in all future posts on this site:
- H1-TTh 11:20-12:45, H118.
- H2-TTh 1-2:25, H118.
- H3-MW 12:40-2:05, H117.