Course Syllabus

Humanities 5
Section 8316, Summer 2023 Course Syllabus

Course Description

In this course we "travel the silk roads" focusing on Islam, The West, and China.

Student Learning Outcomes

We spend two weeks on each of three cultures:  Islam, the West, and China. The first week is devoted to tradition, the second week to the present. Much of the work is on a credit basis: You are given full credit if you submit the assignment on time, NO LATE SUBMISSIONS ACCEPTED.

Two main graded assignments: the weekly T/F multiple choice slide lecture quizzes; the biweekly written essay. And two short essays, subjective--the Analysis and Commentary on Chinese landscape art; the short essay summing up the course.


ZOOM SESSIONS :  6-7 pm Mondays review the assignment, provide a guide to the essential. You are requested to turn cameras on. You can "blur" so your background is not visible, or select a background you like. I take roll call so that I can credit people positively if between grades. I answer questions and guide in understanding the material. Zoom is also a way students become acquainted and help each other.

TUTORING: I started in community college myself due to mediocre grades, but went on to do well at Cal-Berkeley, U of Wisconsin-Madison, and SF State U. I WANT YOUR SUCCESS.  ADDITIONAL ZOOM on Wednesday 10-11, longer if needed, answer questions and prepare you for the exams.  The big problem some of you may face is that while you are magnificent at texting, structuring an essay may be a problem. That is a skill you need for college and university and the business world. I am here to help.

Class Meetings

The course is completely online, but the tutoring Zoom lessons are highly recommended and attendance at the 6-7 Monday meetings help your grade.

Instructor Contact
Prof. Stephen Petty

Email:, contact by email or Zoom preferred

Office Hours: See Zoom. Open to communicating privately by emaiI. I try to respond to emails within 24 or fewer hours.

Course Web Site

Students will use the Canvas course web site for assignment instructions, submitting assignments, viewing classmates' work, sharing resources, and viewing grades.


Only two books: "Desert Flower" by Waris Dirie; "Traveling the Silk Roads" by Stephen Petty, an anthology.

You can locate and order textbooks online via the SRJC Bookstore. The Dirie book should be in used bookstores and can be picked up cheap. The Silk Roads anthology is expensive at less than $100, but most of the money goes for copyright. I don't take a cent of profit.

Required Software

You are not required to purchase any software but you will be asked to screen some online films provided free.

Important Dates

Day Class Begins: 6/12  

Last Day to Opt for Pass/No Pass: 6/25. A credit/no credit or Pass/No Pass means you get a C or better and is transferable to the University and State College Systems. I recommend this for those of you who wish a lighter workload or who are not fully proficient in English.

See previous page for crucial dates.

Dropping the Class

If you decide to discontinue this course, it is your responsibility to officially drop it. A student may be dropped from any class when that student's work is not turned in for a week. It is strongly advised that if you need to miss more than one class/homework deadline in a row that you contact the instructor to avoid being dropped from the class.


For classes that meet online, students who fail to complete the first week's assignments may be dropped by the instructor.

Pass‐NoPass (P/NP)

You may take this class P/NP. You must decide before the deadline, and add the option online with TLC or file the P/NP form with Admissions and Records. With a grade of C or better, you will get P.

You must file for the P/NP option. Check June date for when you must do this. Once you decide to go for P/NP, you cannot change back to a letter grade. If you are taking this course as part of a certificate program, you can probably still take the class P/NP. Check with a counselor to be sure.

Instructor Announcements and Q&A Forum

The instructor will post announcements throughout the semester that will appear in the Announcements section. Canvas notifies students according to their preferred Notification Preferences.

Late Policy!!!

All assignments are due at midnight PST on the due date. A late submission is NOT accepted. THUS, assignments credited only if submitted on time. These credit assignments set you up for the graded written work and I give pointers on improving your essays.


Every week there are two ungraded fully credited papers; weekly 300-word Analysis and Commentary, 150-word Response and one graded T/F Multiple Choice slide lecture quiz. Thus there are three university-level graded essays, spaced two weeks apart, and two smaller graded essays where I try not to give less than a "C". The main final essay must be submitted to pass the course even if taken pass/no pass.

Grading Policy

Click the “Grades” link in Canvas to keep track of your grades. I grade once a week and post grades and comments in the Canvas grade book. During the semester a total of 500 points are possible. This is how the points are distributed:

Full credit: 4 Analysis and Commentary papers, 4 x 20 = 80 points

Full credit: 5 Response papers, 5 x 8 = 40 points

Graded: A&C on traditional China, 36 points

Graded Weekly Quizzes: for total of 115 points

Graded Biweekly Essays: 3 x 70 = 210 points

Graded course sum-up Essay: 19 points

Total Points Possible: 500 points

Grades will be assigned as follows:




450 points or more



390 to 449 points



350 to 389 points



280 to 349 points

Note on grading: Student must do the final essays to pass the class. For example, if you have the grade you want and think you can get by without doing the final essays, think again. You would fail the course.

If taking Pass/No Pass you need at least 70% of the total class points and complete the two midterm essays and the final essays to pass the class. IN FINAL WEEK, you MUST do the third University-level essay and the accompanying more easily graded essay, MUST be taken or student receives an "F" in the course.

Standards of Conduct

Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. See the Student Code of Conduct page.

Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. Students are encouraged to share information and ideas, but not their work. See these links:
SRJC Writing Center
SRJC's statement on Academic Integrity

Special Needs

Every effort is made to conform to accessibility standards for all instructor-created materials. Students should contact their instructor as soon as possible if they find that they cannot access any course materials. Students with disabilities who believe they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disability Resources (527-4278).

List of assignments

Note to students: To view all course content, go to Modules.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due