Once again I pushed both sections right up to dismissal time, largely because my EMMA demo took longer than I had anticipated. Next Tuesday will be a relatively easy day, as my only preparatory task will be to design some exercises for early-finishing groups, but once we dig in to Republic, I need to be more mindful of how much time we do and do not have.
We finished out the trial of Socrates today, working through Apology and Crito and talking about different pictures of corruption, different modes of duty, and why Socrates, at seventy or older, seems still to have young children. (Eww.) We talked about America’s Selective Service program and that, whether we think much about it or not, our own “city” has paperwork indicating our consent to fight if the government deems it necessary. We also dug into some of the problems with democracy that Plato is already articulating, including the obvious one that a democracy has just executed Plato’s beloved teacher. I threw this bone to them and let them chew on it before we left:
If you put 100 people in a room and let the 51 dumbest make every important decision, that’s democracy.
I could tell some of them didn’t much like it, and I look forward to moving forward into Republic. By then we’ll be into matters of citizenship, family, the afterlife, and education–in other words, more chips on the table.
I love teaching this class!