Monday, April 26, 2010

Party Week

This is the last week of the semester at CU. I won't do a party for my large lecture class - just a very helpful review session with all the answers for the final handed to them on a silver platter. For my small 11:00 a.m. freshman intro to ethics class, held in the Farrand residence hall, I'll just have donuts and orange juice. Ah, but for my Rousseau class, we will have the best party imaginable.

The food will be food Rousseau would have loved: crusty, rustic baguettes - cheeses from France and from his native Switzerland - fruits mentioned in the Confessions (cherries, if I can get them, grapes if I can't, apples) - a few sweets "for the ladies," as one of my students said, as Rousseau commented frequently that women prefer milk products and sweets. For music, we will listen to the CD of Rousseau's opera, Le Devin Du Village (The Village Soothsayer), for which he wrote both libretto and score - what other great philosopher can boast of an opera in his collected works? We will discuss the last and most haunting of Rousseau's late-life Reveries of the Solitary Walker: the Tenth Walk, unfinished at the time of his death, the walk from which Rousseau never returned.

I also have a Rousseau-themed game. I'll tape index cards to each student's back, bearing the name of a character from one of Rousseau's works, and the student will have to guess his/her identity by asking only yes/no questions: "Am I man?" Am I fictional?" "Am I in love with Julie?" "Am I St. Preux?!!!" I have easy ones like Madame de Warens and Monsieur de Wolmar, but also hard ones like "the magician with the wax duck" and "Robert the gardener."

I can't wait for my Rousseau class party!

1 comment:

  1. You're so lucky. I never had fun parties like this in my physics or math classes.