AVC Honors Program

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Honors: Honors Courses

  • English 102 Wednesday 7-10 Prof. John Toth (crn 33809)
  • English 103 Tuesday 7-10 Prof. Brian Palagallo (crn 33379)
  • English 279 Monday 7-10 Literature & Film Prof. Mark Hoffer (crn 36095)
  • History 108 Monday & Wednesday 8:00 to 9:20 Dr. Matthew Jaffe (crn 34750)
  • Political Science 101 Monday & Wednesday 9:30 – 10:50 Prof. John Vento (crn 33114)
  • Physics 101 Monday & Wednesday 11 to 12:20 Lab: Monday 2:15 to 5:00 Dr. Jason Bowen (crn 33741)
  • Theatre 101 Tuesday Thursdays 9:30 to 10:50 Prof. Carla Corona (crn 32597)
  • Music   101 Tuesday Thursdays 11:00 to 12:20 Dr.. David Newby (crn 30959)
  • History 110 Tuesday Thursdays 12:30 to 1:50 Prof. Sarah Burns (crn 36120)
  • Health Education 101 Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:15 TO 3:35 Prof. Kathleen Bingham (crn 35915
  • Philosophy 105 Thursday 3:45 to 6:50 Dr. Sherri Zhu (crn 35577)

Course Descriptions

Physics 101    
Class M/W 11 to 12:20; Lab, M 2:15 to 5:00           
Dr. Jason Bowen       
CRN 33741

One of the world’s simplest systems is a bee busily buzzing, and Isaac Newton’s tremendous contribution to science are the three rules that describe how a single busy bee goes about its business of moving about. First, however, it is instructive to initially ignore the ultimate cause of the bee’s motion—its wings!—and focus only on describing its motion. This picture is known as kinematics and is completely contained in only two equations which we will analyze for the first month or so of the semester, then we look more closely at the bee (and see that its erratic motion is actually due to the flapping of its wings) and open the field of dynamics by introducing three and only three rules! This picture explains falling flower pots, cannonballs launched from a cannon, fluid drag and terminal velocity, rocket motion, Archimedes Principle, the effects of friction, changing weight on a Ferris Wheel, geosynchronous motion, the motions of the planets, the Ideal Gas Law and the temperature of gases, spinning basketballs (by considering many bees rigidly connected together), and much, much more! Come and see for yourself how much of the universe we can explain with so little!

History 110
T/R 12:30 to 1:50 
Prof. Sarah Burns               
CRN 36120

Imagine taking an afternoon stroll through your home town, observing friends and family going about their everyday chores, careers, hobbies and games. Standing on the perimeter of this peaceful scene, you are suddenly knocked out cold. Coming to, with a bag over your head and chains connecting you to others, stumbling through the countryside. You are completely confused and disoriented. When the bag is finally removed, you find yourself in a strange fortress, with hundreds of strangers who do not speak your language, all looking out upon a vast body of water. This was the experience of millions of Africans, prior to being transported in a tight-packer to the New World. The history of the African American Experience is a story of European hegemony in Africa and the New World, involving the tragic separation of millions of Africans from their homeland and families—along with the creation of America’s “Peculiar Institution” of slavery.  Their struggles, suffering, adaptation and survival have been recorded in their blood, sweat and toil, on plantations large and small, throughout the American South. In this Honors course, we will explore their journey and history in-depth, in seminar-style discussion. Be prepared to be disturbed.

English 102    
Wednesday 7-10 pm              
Prof. John Toth                                             
CRN 33809

Reduce, reuse, recycle—a common phrase in today's environmentally conscious world, but for decades writers and film makers have been going green by revisiting, reimagining, and repurposing earlier texts that have served as a source of inspiration. In this literature-based critical thinking course, we will explore the connections between selected films and literary texts, attempting to identify themes vital to the human condition, which make these works both timeless and universal. We'll examine the various iterations of itinerants struggling to return home as we ask, "O Homer, Where Art Thou?" and trace Francis Phelan's drunken odyssey as an ex-baseball player trying to round third and head for home in Ironweed. We will also witness Woody Allen depend on the kindness of Tennessee Williams and other strangers in Blue Jasmine. Finally, known to cadge storylines from other sources, Shakespeare is one upped by screenwriter Cyrus Hume and director Fred M. Wilcox, who give The Tempest the sci-fi treatment, even throwing in a robot for good measure in Forbidden Planet. During our analysis of film and literature, students will study a variety of critical perspectives and consider how these literary allusions enhance subsequent texts.  In addition, as this is an honors-level course, essays will encouraged to utilize advanced critical thinking, writing, reading, and research skills, as well as the use of literary theory and appropriate film terminology.

English 103    
Tuesday 7-10 pm       
Prof. Brian Palagallo            
CRN 33379

In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” Gloria Anzaldúa writes, “We speak a patios, a forked tongue, a variation of two languages.” The rhetorical question asked here is, is language tamable?  At the same time, is language escapable? 
That is, do we ever really venture outside of a linguistic “spatial partitioning,” as Michel Foucault’s idea of the Panopticon suggests? These are questions this course will strive to understand, as we discover what the link between language and idea creation might be. Using a mix of metacognitive processes, analytical discourse, and various textual media (some at times wayward and nonlinear), we will strive to disorient ourselves from the well-trod path of everyday thinking and, as comedian/musician Reggie Watts shows us, “disorient ourselves in the most entertaining way.”     

English 279
Monday 7-10
Science Fiction & Dystopian Lit         
Prof. Mark Hoffer     
CRN 36095

A story, a parable, a work of fiction is the vehicle for telling a truth in ways that will resonate with listeners and readers, be they gathered around fire or bathed in the white noise and glow of technology.  Just as mythology and folklore prompt us to look back in order to learn, so science fiction and dystopic literature often project ahead into a symbolic future that usually has much to say about social issues, cultural phenomena, and the realities of power and fear.  This Honors course examines robots, zombies, mutants, monsters, doctors, dictators, landed aliens, synthetic waiters, sedated messiahs, apocalyptic toddlers, ambient girlfriends—in order to arrive at a greater understanding of that strangest of creatures:
the human.

Music 101                  
T & R  11:00 am to 12:20     
Dr. David Newby                   
CRN 30959

Classical music: discover how to listen to it and why it's so fantastic.  Our focus will be classical music's 2000-year tradition.  We'll study amazing musical works and the fascinating composers who wrote them.  Attention will be given to social, political, and artistic events of each musical era.  Concert attendance earns extra credit.

Health Edu 101          
T&R 2:15 TO 3:35                
Prof. Kathleen Bingham        
CRN 35915

Recognizing health as our greatest resource to move forward in our education and life, we will learn what we need to know to live well. In the seminar-style class, we will go beyond the basic information and explore the issues that face Americans related to their health. Do we have a health care system or an illness care system? How does our political system affect public health policy? If the majority of chronic diseases are preventable, why are so many people suffering from them? Why are 1 in 3 children born this year expected to develop Type 2 Diabetes and what does this mean for our future? Are genetically modified foods safe and why have so many other countries banned them? Our research will relate not just to public health issues but also to personal issues as we explore our own values and practices through journaling. 

Philosophy 105          
R 3:45 to 6:50                                    
Dr. Sherri Zhu                                   
CRN 35577

Are you a person who cares about right and wrong, good and bad, and how to live a meaningful life? Do you often grapple with moral issues of our time, such as global warming, animal rights, euthanasia, factory farming, universal health care, just war, or religion? This Honors class is a philosophical study that critically examines all these issues from different theoretical perspectives. It offers unique opportunities that a standard section does not have. The smaller class size makes it possible that our debates will be in depth; more time will be given to group discussion than lecture; you will teach some of the topics and defend your own views.

History 108                            
M/W 8:00 to 9:20               
Dr. Matthew Jaffe
CRN 34750

We are going to debate important issues in U.S. history this course. How did women get the right to vote? Why are racial issues still unresolved?  What really went on in Vietnam?  Who killed Kennedy?  (Any Kennedy.)  Join Dr. Matthew Jaffe for group work, oral presentations, and take-home papers to learn about the last century of your country’s history.  No laundry lists. No in-class tests.  Just lots of sharp, stimulating discussions. This class fulfills American History and Institution requirement as well as social science requirements for CSU and UC.  

Political Science 101              
M/W 9:30 to 10:50
Prof. John Vento                   
CRN 33114

There has been an active debate about whether the American democratic system ensures freedom, equality, and individuality for all citizens. This Honors class will provide a springboard to analyze the American democratic system and whether or not it works. We will focus on major political events, such as the 2012 and 2008 presidential elections, the war with Iraq, and the recall of Governor Gray Davis. We will also examine the terrorists’ attacks of September 11th and the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. Each of these events has demonstrated the various roles of government and provides us with the opportunity to examine the American democratic system at work. We will depart from the traditional classroom format and employ a seminar-structured environment that uses the Socratic method of learning. Taking this class will improve your health—both physically and mentally.

Theatre Arts 101                   
T/R  9:30 to 10:50     
Prof. Carla Corona               
CRN 32597

The Honors Introduction to Theatre course is for students who want to explore and navigate the world of theatre and performance through readings, discussion, and practice. Students will benefit not only by gaining a better understanding of theatre as a collaborative process, but also look at theatre as an agent of change in society. Theatre is not only entertainment, but is a medium for personal, cultural, and social dialogue in everyday lives. Through engaging and reflective assignments, discussions and analysis of theatre, students will gain transferable skills such as interpersonal skills, public speaking, critical analysis, and broad based thinking. Students will be audience members at live theatrical productions, practitioners through group presentation, and critics through analysis. Whether you are interested in Ancient Greek or Contemporary American voices, are brand new to theatre or have been doing it all your life, your opinions and artistic tastes will be welcomed and nurtured in this class.  The world is a stage, come explore with us!

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Non-Discrimination Policy

Antelope Valley College prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex, gender, race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, cancer-related medical condition, or genetic predisposition.  Upon request, we will consider reasonable accommodation to permit individuals with protected disabilities to (a) complete the employment or admission process, (b) perform essential job functions, (c) enjoy benefits and privileges of similarly-situated individuals without disabilities, and (d) participate in instruction, programs, services, activities, or events.