Week 15: Introduction to the Victorians

This week, you’re getting geared up for the Victorian era by watching Jane Eyre. (You guys, picking an adaptation of Jane Eyre is hard! There is not a perfect version, and if you want to fight me on this and watch your own adaptation of choice, I do not have a good argument to put up to convince you otherwise. I picked this version because 1.) it does a good job visually capturing the Victorian-ness of the text, 2.) it doesn’t completely give short shrift to Jane’s time with the Rivers family (which so many versions seem to do), and 3.) it is as reasonably faithful to the story as a 2-hour adaptation of a 400+-page book can be.)


Getting Started It’s time to write your new contract, which you will remember from last semester is a several-hours-long process. It’s okay if you have all new goals, if you have all the same goals, or if you have some combination of both. Remember: This what you want to focus on this semester, so the only “bad” goals are ones you haven’t thought about or don’t really care about.

Critical Thinking We get to do thought experiments this week, and I bet you are going to love them! (Either that, or you are going to hate them with a fiery passion, but either way, it should be a lot of fun.)

Biology We’re kicking off the semester with Charles Darwin — who isn’t just a big deal in biology but also in the whole Victorian intellectual, religious, and philosophical world.

History I promise this is a quick and painless: Here’s a little talk to get you up to speed on all the reasons I think we’re going to have a great time focusing on the Victorians this semester.

Literature This is where that Jane Eyre adaptation comes in. (Is it weird to watch a movie for your first official lit class of the semester?)

Latin Don’t worry if you feel like you’ve forgotten the second declension and all your vocabulary over the break! We’re going to review all of it this week, and I bet it will come back to you faster than you might have thought.

Composition Don’t panic, but you’re going to write a history research paper this term. It’s going to be fine! Today we’re just talking about it, but there’s a whole plan to get you through it.