SW 4150-02 HOW TO LIVE A WONDERFUL LIFE!
Summer session III: June 6, 2005 to August 13, 2005.
Telecourse: One weekly 1.5 hour broadcast for 13 weeks. In addition to these 13 broadcasts, students have two class periods for examinations.(Note: these two exams are usually on-campus examinations are in the evenings. However, this time I will be doing the exams online. Instructions for the exams will be emailed to you so be sure that you watch you MTSU email account for information on the exams and other course announcements.)
BE SURE TO E-MAIL DR. FROST USING YOUR MTSU EMAIL ACCOUNT. DO NOT USE YOUR ANY OTHER EMAIL ADDRESS AS THE MTSU SYSTEM MAY BLOCK INCOMING EMAILS FROM OTHER THAN MTSU ACCOUNTS.
In addition to participating in the above 15 sessions, students will write papers, answer questions via e-mail, watch additional related broadcasts, and explore the course topics on various web sites. The course website, on which this syllabus lives, contains over 400 pages of handouts which you will be expected to read and upon which you will be tested.
Course description: This course is designed to explore 13 vital topics, all related to issues individuals need to thoroughly understand, if they are going to live a balanced and joyful life. Each of the 13 broadcasts covers one of these topics and ends with an experiential exercise that you need to complete. The 13 topics are: developing perspective with a view of the future, recognizing the importance of effective loving, pursuing goals in a balanced manner and avoiding fanaticism, learning how to be joyfully involved in work, becoming emotionally intelligent, developing flow while engaged in activities, prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, identifying what makes for a successful life, developing habits that place you in control of your life, becoming a highly sensitive person, valuing responsibility, and becoming increasingly self-aware.
Course Instructor: Dr. Charles Frost is a professor and Chair of the Social Work Department and a former mental health director and psychotherapist.
You can NOT reach him by phone at: 615-898-2477 because he is in the Philippines while you are taking this course. If you are having trouble contacting him, let his secretary, Dian White, at email@example.com or @ 898-2868, know as he will be in regular contact with her when he is in the Philippines.
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you have a webcam as part of your computer system you can see and talk with Dr. Frost over the Internet while he is in the Philippines
Visit his web site at www.mtsu.edu/~cfrost/ for additional information and handouts that can be of help to you in this course.
Change of Address: If your address changes, you must notify the Registrar's office in person or by letter immediately in order to be certain you receive all necessary information. This is important. Also, please inform the telecourse office and Dr. Frost of the change.
Drop Policy: It is the STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to formally drop a course or withdraw from the college. Failure to do so will result in your receiving a poor grade, usually a grade of "F." This grade is figured into your overall grade point average.
1. To provide the student with information about 13 vital areas that impact upon their ability to live a balanced and joyful life.
2. To engage the student in experiential exercises related to these 13 areas in order to assist them in their effort to incorporate them into their lives.
3. To monitor the student's success at incorporating the 13 areas into their lives.
4. To individually assist the student with suggestions on how they might overcome any difficulties they are having related to incorporating the 13 areas.
5. To present the above within an OVERARCHING PHILOSOPHY that emphasizes empathy, unconditional positive regard, genuineness, creativity, a strengths orientation, and which helps you understand the importance of attitude when dealing with stress and anger management concerns.
Course Requirements and Assignments:
Your textbook for this course is The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm. In addition, the handouts attached to this syllabus are required readings. (Note: any words or websites underlined and highlighted in this syllabus, when clicked upon, will take you directly to readings or websites you need for this course.)
You will be given objectively scored mid-term and final examinations which will require that you come to the MTSU campus to take the proctored exams and provide the proctor with your driver's license to establish your identity. These two objective examinations will be based on the readings you will find on the course website and the textbook and will each be worth 25 points. You will also have two self-awareness papers to complete and they also will each be worth 25 points. The self-awareness papers are your telling of some part of your life and the lessons you have learned from living. You are required in the papers to address one or more of the 8 elements in the Overarching Philosophy stated below in this syllabus. The papers must be typed, doubled spaced, and approximately 10 pages in length. Make sure they are carefully proofread.
Any students needing to make arrangements for special considerations in graded assignments due to disabilities, including learning disabilities, are encouraged to discuss these arrangements with the instructor.
The due dates to e-mail me the papers are:
First Paper due: July 11, 2005
Second Paper due: August 8, 2005
Papers may be turned in early, but points will be deducted from late papers.
Note: Since papers can get lost, always retain a copy for your own files.
Grading: 100-90points=A, 89-80=B, 79-70=C, 69-60=D, 59 or below=F
Dr. Frost does not use the "+" or "-" grading system.
On the websites listed below, you will find suggestions as to how to effectively study for the examinations and how to write an outstanding paper.
Internet Search Engines:
With millions of websites in existence, finding information on the Internet would be a daunting task if not for the availability of search engines. A search engine is a website that uses special software (known as a robot) to comb the Internet and find nearly instantaneous matches for keywords typed by the searcher. Each search engine has its own characteristics; a bit of experimentation will reveal which is best for a particular searcher's needs. Some of the search engines available to you are:
As noted throughout this syllabus, numerous web sites exist. You are required to examine the ones I've listed in the syllabus. If you know of others that you feel should be listed, please e-mail me your suggestions. The fact that I have listed a web site in no way means that I agree with or endorse any of the material that you will find on that web site. This disclaimer especially applies to ".com" or commercial web sites. Most of the material on ".com" web sites should be viewed very skeptically by you. The greatness of the internet and web sites is that they provide a very democratic form of communication. Any person can create a web site and let others know their opinion. That greatness is also the danger or weakness of web sites.
Philosophy websites: http://www.pdcnet.org/
Mega-Quote: There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance. Socrates
If you want to draw, you must shut your eyes and sing. Pablo Picasso
Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training. Anna Freud
2. Empathy: websites: use one or more of the search engines to explore empathy
Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity, what I give I give of myself. Walt Whitman
Special Note on Movies: Empathy is a very important factor in a person's ability to live a meaningful and joyful life. We learn empathy by receiving it from wonderful parents and other loving individuals, by reading great literature and identifying with the characters, from viewing great art and absorbing the powerful empathic messages of the artists, by hearing and feeling the emotions in great music, and by watching and becoming immersed in the drama of great movies. It is through our own painful experiences that we are able to empathize with the pain and suffering of others. In the course outline you will find, under each of the 13 lessons, that I have identified movies that you should watch that will help you develop your understanding of and empathy for those persons experiencing various situations. Although all the movies listed are English language films, many of my favorite films are foreign films made in Europe, Australia, South America, India, Japan, Russia, and China. I have chosen to recommend only those films that have been nominated for Academy awards, in one or more categories, as a way of letting you know that the professionals who make films have seen these as great ones worthy of your viewing. I have also chosen ones over the past 70 years as a way of communicating to you that this field of art, like all the others, has been struggling with how to get you emotionally involved in the subject matter for many years. Although this course is concerned with developing your intellectual understanding of how to live a wonderful life, even more important is the need for you to develop your emotional understanding, so that you are able to empathize with the plight of others. Great art, in all its wondrous forms, can help you achieve that emotional understanding. Due to the limitations of space and time, I have only listed great movies. However, I encourage you to begin to develop your own special list of great art, poetry, novels, non-fiction, and music that you make a part of your life. The numerous quotes throughout this syllabus and its linked readings, provide you with a start on developing your lists as they incorporate the ideas of great artists, muscians, architects, philosopers, poets, novelists, and other creative individuals who have struggled with the essential ideas related to how to live a wonderful life.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude. Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. Genuineness: website: www.selfgrowth.com/
He flattered himself on being a (person) without prejudices, and this itself is a very great prejudice. Jacques Anatole Francois Thibult 1844-1924
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Confucius
5. Strengths Orientation: websites: use one or more of the search engines to explore this topic area---you might search personality and strengths.
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do. Helen Keller
Knowledge is power. Sir Francis Bacon
6. Attitude: website: www.earthshare.org
First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others. Thomas A. Kempis
Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results.
The life which is unexamined is not worth living. Plato
Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
8. Anger Management: websites: www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw
Note: Although it is not a course requirement, I strongly suggest that, if you don't already have one, you begin keeping a journal as you start this course. A journal is a written record of your thoughts and feelings about your past, present, and future.
Journal work is an excellent approach to uncovering hidden truths about ourselves, and I heartily recommend keeping an autobiographical, private log of both triumphs and tribulations along this path. Marsha Sinetar
vital changes are going to happen and how will they impact the way we live our lives?
Everything has changed except our way of thinking. Albert Einstein (after the first atomic bomb fell in 1945)
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Helen Keller
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Henry David Thoreau
Story: CIA/FBI and Clinton Legacy. (Commitment to corrupt leaders rather than to principles.) Thinking for ourselves, rather
than regurgitating advertising copy. Being creative, open to new ways, new paradigms. Rock-n-roll: Little Richard, Buddy
Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and the global impact of rebellious therapeutic music.
Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Network (1976), Blade Runner (1982)
Question: What is half of "8"?
Book: The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
The role of the artist is exactly that of the lover; if I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see. James Baldwin
When I accept myself as I am, I change; and when I accept others as they are, they change! Carl Rogers
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. Horace Mann
Stories: National Cleaning Contractors of NYC, XYZ system in Sacramento, My Mom and her life post-accident.
Understanding how the culture and environment influence our method of attempting to obtain and give love. Katherine
Mansfield's The Change and the messages from mom.
Movies: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967)
Question: Why do you put the rocks in the jar first? (metaphor)
3. BALANCED: How do we begin to build a better more balanced brain in order
to more effectively deal with the new millennium's challenges?
Book: Descartes' Error by Antonio R. Damasio (N.Y.: G.P. Putnam's Sons) .
Wisdom, benevolence, and fortitude---these are the universal virtues. Confucius
Courage may be the most important of all virtues, because without it one cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. Maya Angelou
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain
Story: My father and his life as a role model. Dangers of drug use. Elsa TenBroeck and standing outside the door.
Movies: The Great Santini (1980)(based on Pat Conroy's novel), Zorba the Greek (1964) (based on Kazanzakis' novel).
Question: What is the shortest complete sentence in the English language?
Book: We Build the Road as We Travel by Roy Morrison
When I am gone and my warnings are no longer heeded, the craft and avarice of the white man will prevail. Red Jacket (Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, He keeps them awake) died at Buffalo Creek in 1930.
SSEU and Bert Alpert. Sacramento Ballet Company.
Movies: The Grapes of Wrath (1940) (based on Steinbeck's novel), How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Treasure of the
Sierra Madre (1948)(based on B. Traven's novel), The Apartment (1960), Norma Rae (1979), and The Mission. (see
also, Chaplin's Modern Times)
Question: Who would you pick as a role model related to your career development and why would you select that person?
5. INTELLIGENT: What type of intelligence will be valued most highly?
Book: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth in a few hands, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis
We stupidly use the effect as an argument for a continuance of the cause. Jane Addams from 20 Years at Hull House
We are each of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realize, not intellectually but actually, as actually as we would recognize that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all this existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world, because we have contributed to it in our daily world, because we have contributed to it in our daily lives, and are a part of this monstrous society with its wars, division, its ugliness, brutality and greed---only then will we act. J. Krishnamurti (See the movie Sphere based on Michael Crichton's novel for a powerful example of this concept of personal responsibility and how far we have to go before we are not part of the problem.)
Story: The debate team and Hyde Park Corner, London. The Spanish Prison
lesson. The Smithsonian connection.
Movies: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (based on Remarque's novel),
Never Cry Wolf (1983), Amadeus (1984), Rain Man (1988), My Left
Question: Nietszche said that: All things that are truly great are at first thought impossible. What are the things that you think are impossible for you to accomplish? What would you have to do in order to accomplish those impossible things? Are they truly worth the struggle that they will cost? Keep examining your life until you find at least one impossible thing that you are willing to struggle to accomplish, then, commit yourself and begin the struggle!
6. JOYFUL: How do we go about enjoying ourselves as we change?
Book: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Nelson Mandela from his 1994 Inaugural Speech
Story: The example of Dr. B.F. Fern, learning to get into a state of flow no matter how limiting your situation appears to be.
Movies: Some Like It Hot (1959), A Hard Day's Night (1964), M*A*S*H (1970), (see also the films of the Marx Brothers,
Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, the Monty Python series of videos and films, The Yellow Submarine, Silver Streak,
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the Fawlty Towers video series.)
Question: How can you incorporate "sustainable extravagance" into your life?
(Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth, Touchstone, 1993).
Chicken Soup for the Soul by Canfield and Hansen
I can think, I can wait, I can fast. From Siddartha by Hermann Hesse.
The soul never thinks without a picture. Aristotle
Story: George Scholtz and concentration camps. Chicken Soup and Amy Graham.
Movies: Papillon (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Question: Murphy's Law states that: If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. What can you do to reduce the potential
impact of Murphy's Law in your life? Think about all aspects of your life, especially your health.
Books: Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Christiane Northrup
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves by The Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Der weg ist unser Ziel (The path is our Destination). Goethe
Story: Information please! Pigeons and hunting spiders.
Movies: Edward Sizzorhands (1990), Malcolm X (1992), Philadelphia (1993), (see also Meetings With Remarkable Men
based on Gurdjieff's book of the same name)
Question: Why do we tend to avoid what we know is good for us, while we are
attracted to what we know will hurt us?
9. SUCCESSFUL: What habits do we need to develop in order to be successful?
Books: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1989)
Prayer is Good Medicine by Larry Dossey (S.F.: Harper, 1996).
Websites: use one or more of the search engines to explore this topic---you might search under "successful personality traits"
Almost everything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. Gandhi
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. Bill Cosby
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Story: Philippines and poverty and the family next door. Chicken Soup and Rick Little.
Movies: Citizen Kane (1941), Chinatown (1974)
Question: How does the following adage apply to you? Don't try to talk your way out of problems you behaved yourself
I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act: but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. G.K. Chesterton
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller
Without struggle there is no progress. Frederick Douglas
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller
Story: Risk taking: loaded gun, knives & clubs & taking away and giving back battered children, S.F. teen trips and gay
empathy and anger management, moving the CIP office.
Movies: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Ironweed (1987)
Question: Should we treat Barbie for anorexia or deal with her influence in some other way? (Barbie Quote)
11. SENSITIVE: When do we value our sensitivity?
Books: The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron (Secaucus, N.J.: Birch Lane Press, 1996)
That's Not What I Meant by Deborah Tannen (N.Y.: Ballantine, 1986).
Websites: use one or more of the search engines to explore this topic---you might want to search under "sensitive personality"
They are great men (and women) who follow that part of them which is great. Mencius
Story: Yuba County attempted firing, who is in control, and sensitivity/empathy. The cracked pot parable.
Movies: Casablanca (1943), The African Queen (1951), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), The Elephant Man (1980),
El Norte (1983)
Question: How sensitive are you? What would you do if you wanted to be a balanced highly sensitive person? What would be
your specific plan to accomplish such a goal?
12. RESPONSIBLE: What is our responsibility to others? What others?
Books: Diet for a Small Planet (N.Y.: Ballantine, 1971) and Rediscovering
America's Values (N.Y.: Ballatine, 1989) both by Frances Moore Lappe.
Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral. From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? Yet if I am for myself only, what am I? Hillel
Story: Harry Glantz and Dieter Springlefski and money management and a minimalist approach. Linda Nedderman and SAFE
film and her website.
Movies: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Ordinary People (1980), Tender Mercies (1983), Sophie's Choice (1982)
Question: How do you avoid temptation and still have responsible fun?
13. SELF-AWARE: How do we develop our self-awareness?
Books: How to Live by Bernie Siegel
Your 6th Sense by Belleruth Naparstek (S.F.: Harper, 1997).
The endless cycle of idea and action Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. T.S. Eliot from Choruses from THE ROCK
Story: Chanting and auras, the work of the Simontons, lessons from the weekend of unbreakable glass and magical swimming
Movies: The Miracle Worker (1962), The Pawnbroker (1965), Gandhi (1982)
Question: What did you learn about yourself from doing the sentence completion exercise?
SCRIPTS: The scripts for the thirteen videotapes can be found here. However, remember that a script is not the same as what is on the tape! These are the scripts I worked off of when teaching the course. You will see that the final taped version is often significantly different than the script. However, I thought you would like to see the scripts as they contain most of the poetry that is used in the course plus a lot of poetry that I didn't have time to use in the course.
The work that you have begun is not over. It never will be. It never should be. You are on a lifetime quest. The key to learning how to live a wonderful life is enjoying the quest that you are on for your lifetime. Throughout this course are ideas that have a spiritual dimension to them. Here in the conclusion, I have added some additional material regarding the spiritual quest that I hope is an integral part of your wonderful life. Good luck on your journey, and God bless!
The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning. John Dewey
What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers. Martina Horner, President, Radcliffe College
OTHER COURSES THAT DR. FROST TEACHES
In addition to this telecourse, Dr. Frost teaches an Interviewing Skills Course (SW 2630) during the regular school year. During the Summer he teaches two movie related courses entitled God's Hollywood and Crazy Hollywood. He also does self-awareness workshops.
Handouts for his Interviewing Skills class are linked below because the knowledge they contain is very helpful in learning how to effectively communicate with others, which is an important element in how to live a wonderful life. This material is a bonus and is not required reading and will not be part of the examinations for this course:
Kadushin and Kadushin: Chapters one, two, three
Johnson: First half of the book.