“I once taught a class on home-growing, but I don’t want to have to deal with the legal issues again.” (actual quote)
We must impose one constraint: it’s got to be legal. But fear not. Past experience has shown that creativity knows no bounds, as these examples will show: wine tasting, feminist perspectives on pornography, knitting and quilting, multiplayer computer games, massage, Indian vegetarian cooking, architecture, paper-making, the work of Stanley Kubrick, Turkish language and culture, mythology, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, meditation, Philadelphia, gardening, Origami, X-Files, chess, trapeze, juggling, car maintenance, star gazing, Nirvana, poetry writing, vegan cooking, sign language, Star Wars, ambulance chasing, self-defense, Quakerism, graffiti art, viruses, aviation, etc.
I have 6 classes and I’m in 3 a capella groups, 2 varsity teams, and a college committee. Oh, and during the weekends, I feed the homeless in Nicaragua. Where will I find the time to teach a class?
Hopefully the subject you’ll be teaching is something that you already enjoy doing. ExCo gives both you and your students a structured time to get together and explore. It’s a great way to refresh yourself for all the other commitments you have.
Somehow I managed to get into college, but it was all a fluke. I really don’t know enough about anything to teach a class.
You don’t have to know everything to teach an ExCo class. ExCo is about learning together, not necessarily leading or following.
I have trouble finding the door from inside my room and the laundry pile is attracting small rodents. So where’s the ExCo class going to meet?
You’re free to run the class in your dorm or any public space on campus (such as the Campus Center). For more coveted rooms or rooms with equipment (Woodside meditation room or Chase Auditorium), we’ll help you contact Room Reserve, and AV Reserve too if you require equipment.
Show me the money!
You don’t get paid to teach a class but Exco is able to offer limited funding for class materials and other expenses (as long as the committee approves your budget first). We will also work with you to find ways to cover the costs.
So, say I wanted to take over the world, and decided to start with an ExCo class…How would I win over the masses?
ExCo will advertise the class roster every semester, but you can advertise too! Tell your friends to take your class; word of mouth is more powerful than tabling. Write up and distribute a syllabus for your class. This gets people excited for the rest of the semester, and helps you enormously to organize your thoughts and goals.
What else should I know?
You’re welcome to assign readings and other homework, but don’t expect complete compliance. Email your class every week to remind them what you will be doing that week. The biggest problem with ExCo is student attendance, so the more excited students are, the better chance you have of maintaining momentum.
Lastly, experiment as much as you want. ExCo is not just about learning unusual subjects, it’s about a different kind of learning, too. If you have any questions or concerns, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org