We cover a lot in English 100, and the smaller group that meets in HSE gets the chance to go even deeper into these ideas (and to decompress a bit, together). Each theme introduced in your composition course will have a corresponding place in HSE, where you’ll explore your individual strengths as thinkers, readers and writers, learn about the resources and community available to you in our class and at MiraCosta, and find your collective place as students in the world of ideas.
Power, storytelling, identity, community, hybridity, carnival, “reality” (and reality), mythology, persuasion, shadow, monstrosity, gothic and horror
We have used broad philosophical and psychological frameworks like Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” or the “Hero’s Journey” monomyth to understand how and why stories are told. Additional readings for any individual assignment might be an interview with a family member or a close friend, a speech, a film or TV show, a video game, song lyrics, or your social media feed. Depending on the semester’s focus, we expand these conversations with a novel, short stories, humor, opinion and academic articles, podcasts or videos.
Students analyzed the main character in Michael Schur and Rashida Jones’s “Nosedive” (Season 3, Episode 1 of Black Mirror), by using psychologist Carl Jung’s theories of the shadow self. Others explored similar “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behaviors in Batman and The Joker, or in Walter White and his shadow alias, Heisenberg (Breaking Bad).
When I'm not teaching, you'll most often find me with my family, playing Heardle (challenge me!), or swimming in the ocean. Water has an important place in our class, metaphorically (Bruce Lee fans: prepare).