My Apologies, One More Delay

Hello folks,

First off, let me apologize for the added delay. I love my job and am desperate to begin the year with you, but I must see to it that my family is ok first. So, hang in there. I will do my best to make it worth your wait. In the meantime, here is the plan for the next two days:

9/19: Frankl, A Critical Discussion

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

Open class by thinking (independently) about Frankl’s point here. Then, write a critical response (20 minutes of writing) to Frankl. What do you think of his argument? Keep in mind Frankl’s points in development of his argument. Your response should be in paragraph format.

Close class with a small group discussion. Listen intently to one another. Please do not just go around and share your response. Talk to one another. Have a conversation.


  • Kierkegaard–Print and read this handout on Kierkegaard. Read the sections on Ethics and Religion!
  • Soren Kierkegaard–Print, Read, and annotate That Individual.

9/20: That Individual

Spend the first half of class outlining Kierkegaard’s argument in this essay. Start with his thesis and then outline how he develops the thesis.

Conclude class with a small group discussion. Practice intellectual accountability by ensuring that everyone in the group understands his argument. Then, move into a critical discussion.

So, if you have taken all assigned work seriously and completed it meaningfully, we will be good to go on 9/25! Can’t wait to meet you!

Due 9/14: Class Forum

Hello folks! The first week is almost in the books. If all goes as planned, I will see you on Monday and this class really begins! It is imperative that you have taken care of all responsibilities by then. This includes:

  • Registered for the website
  • Posted a response in the Welcome thread on the class forum
  • Completed the in-class essay
  • Read the course syllabus
  • You should have supplies for the class

Tomorrow, you will do the following:

Day 5: Existentialism is a Humanism Discussion

Please be sure to have a printed copy of your forum response in front of you. During this period, discuss each of the four reproaches and Sartre’s response to those reproaches. DO NOT get into a critical discussion until you think you have great control of his argument. Leave your printed response with the Sub at the end of class.

HW: Class Forum–Remember you must post by midnight before the next class period (in preparation for Thursday’s class)! AND REMEMBER TO BRING A PRINTED COPY OF YOUR RESPONSE IN TO CLASS. The responses should be added to the reading response section of your binder. Be sure to include the heading and title each printed response.

Due 9/13: Existentialism is a Humanism

1. Print and read a little over half of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism. (Through page 8B)
2. Print this handout on précis.
3. Annotating Literature: Print and closely read this handout on annotating literature. Keep it in your binder ALL TERM!

Due 9/12: In-Class Essay

Most of you have registered successfully and posted on the class forum! Good start! Those of you who have not, be sure to do it today. If you are having problems, email me at Remember:

Your username should be your Full Name (First and Last). Do not use nicknames and leave A SPACE between your first and last name. Be sure to capitalize the first letter or your first and last name. If you do not register in this way, the system will delete your account. This is a safeguard in place to protect against random spammers from registering for the sight. Take care.

So, to review:

  1. Use your first and last name
  2. Capitalize first letter of each name
  3. Leave a space between the first and last name

Today, you were to prep for the tomorrow’s essay:

You will answer the following question in this essay: Per Man’s Search for Meaning, what is Viktor Frankl’s view of the human condition?

Ultimately your objective for this essay is to craft a thesis reflecting Frankl’s view of the human condition. In doing so, you will demonstrate control of logotherapy (covered in Part II).

The following are major points to consider in his argument:

1. Frankl titles Part II of his text “Logotherapy in a Nutshell.”  Scholars suggest his thesis here can be reduced to the Freidrich Nietzsche quote (Remember, Frankl himself cites it on numerous occasions):

“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

2. Inner life/value and spiritual freedom

3. Discovering meaning in life in three different ways:

  • By creating a work or doing a deed
  • By experiencing something or encountering someone (Love)
  • By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering

*These are key elements and they are, frankly, obvious. Certainly, you can discuss them in your essay; however, do not limit yourself to the obvious. Engage the nuances of his argument (i.e. Noo dynamics). The more nuanced your discussion, the more textual control you have and the more interesting your discussion will be. That is what I am looking for. The less nuanced, the more I will call into question your actual reading of the text.

*In this essay do not merely write that Frankl believes we can attain meaning in three different ways. That is a gross simplification of his existential view and logotherapy. While I do not expect to see mastery in this essay, I do expect to see sophisticated control of his argument.

Your essay should demonstrate control/understanding of both Part I and Part II of the text. So both parts of the book should be explored in your essay. This essay is unlike English essays of the past!  Your thesis is actually what you believe to be Frankl’s argument. There should be no critical discussion!

HW: Be ready for in-class writing assignment!

Due 9/11: Laying the Foundation

1. Course website: (I will tell you more about that name later. So much that I have to tell you later.). My email:

This weekend you should register for the class website, (Some of you may have already registered so check to see that your account is still active.) Please do so by midnight on Sunday at which time the site will be closed to registration. To do this, you must scroll to the bottom of the right column of the homepage and click “Register.” Your username should be your Full Name (First and Last). Do not use nicknames and leave A SPACE between your first and last name. Your password will be emailed to you at which point you can change it if you would like. I also suggest you take a moment to familiarize yourself with the website! Here, you and your family can access the following: homework assignments, class forums, updates on the happenings and direction of the class, complementary materials, writing and research resources, Essay and Creative Project exemplars, a link back to the Beacon homepage, and so much more! Don’t forget to bookmark your course page! So, if you are in my sophomore class, bookmark the sophomore page.

2. Remember, you should keep the syllabus in your binder ALL YEAR. I will review it with you on Monday, the 18th.

3. Class Forum: I would like to get to know you a bit; a humanized learning environment is the best learning environment! Be sure to post in the appropriate Existential Literature class forum. DO NOT start a new thread! This response should be posted by midnight Sunday.

So, this weekend, you should:

  • Properly register for
  • Review Man’s Search for Meaning in preparation for the in-Class Assessment.
  • Post your response to the Class Forum by midnight Sunday. As with all responses, be thoughtful.
  • Let your parents review the course syllabus.