Perspectives on Leisure and Play

(169:070)  Spring 2010

      Instructor:       David L. Gould (curriculum vita)
  Office:  218 Schaeffer Hall
  Office phone:  319-384-3529
  Web site:
(on Web site)

Login: c169070
Password: gould03

  Office hours:

Wednesday, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday, 10:00am - 11:00 am and 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm or by appointment

  "Java Club"            Schedule a time to have coffee with me on Fridays.
  Class Lecture Tuesdays, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm, 14 Schaeffer Hall


Books and Readings:

The Checker King (Kelley & Gould) At University Book Store/Old Capitol Mall

Grading Criteria:

  Midterm examination 55 points  
  Final examination 55 points  
  Creating a Gap Year 30 points  
  Journal assignments (11) 33 points (3 points each)  


Total 173 points  

Grading Scale:

  A   100-90%  
  B 89-80%  
  C 79-70%  
  D 69-60%  
  F <60%  
  Pluses and minuses will be applied to the grades  

Class Visitors :

Extra Credit - 10 Points Maximum:

Extra credit opportunities are offered during the course of the semester. (5 pts. each)

Options to date:

Important Dates:

  •Campus-wide volunteer fair –Wednesday, January 27th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Main Lounge, IMU
  •Mid-term exam – March 9th
  •Gap Year Papers – Due in class, April 20th
  •Final exam: – Wednesday May 12th, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Room TBA

Tentative Course Outline:


Lecture 1: Play: More Than Just Fun and Games (Assignment: “Why Play = Learning: A Challenge for Parents and Educators”/Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek, and Singer; Do-Over! (Chapter One)/Hemley; In the News – “More than 50% of college students felt suicidal”/USA Today; “Why Grudman was so keen”/Nelson and Cohen; In the News - “Inside the Teen Brain”; Optional: In the News - “The Parent Trap”)

Lecture 2: Play Theories (Assignment: “Nature and Significance of Play as a Cultural Phenomenon”/Huizinga; Optional: In the News - “Enjoy the video game? Then join the Army”)

Lecture 3: The Sexual Selection Theory of Play (Assignment: In the News – “Married couples who play together stay together”/USA Today)

Lecture 4: Animal Emotions and Animal Play (Assignment: “Social Play Behavior: Cooperation, Fairness, Trust, and the Evolution of Morality”/Bekoff; “Play’s the Thing”/Furlow)

Lecture 5: Play and Its Relationship to Violence and Genius (Assignment: “Play as an Organizing Principle: Clinical Evidence and Personal Observations”/Brown; Endangered Species: Play and Creativity, Consuming Kids, Chapter 4 –/Linn)

Lecture 6: Utopian Visions and B. F. Skinner (“A Well-being Manifesto for a Flourishing Society”)

Lecture 7: Discovering Walden Two

Lecture 8: The Making of Things (Assignment: “The Extravagant Gesture: Nature, Design, and Transformation of Human Industry”/McDonough and Braungart; Optional: In the News - “Building in Green”)

Lecture/film 9: The Search for Meaning (Assignment: Excerpt-Man's Search for Meaning/Viktor Frankl “Pearls Before Breakfast”/Washington Post)

Lecture 10: School of Rock: John Lennon’s Search for Meaning (Assignment: Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents-The Mystery Inside John Lennon/Gilmore )

Lecture 11: Waiting for the Weekend (Assignment: Waiting for the Weekend, Chapter 5/Rybczynski; Take Back Your Time , “Is Your Job Killing You? How Work Influences Longevity”; A Slowdown That May Slow Us Down”/New York Times “Life in the Slow Lane”/Newsweek; Optional: The Overworked American, Chapter 2/Schor;“We're Not in the Mood"/ Newsweek;

Lecture 12: Branded Nation (Assignment: “On Advertising: Sut Jhally vs. James Twitchell”) Optional: Consuming Kids, Chapter 5 - Students for Sale: Who Profits from Marketing in Schools?/Linn)

Lecture 13: Growing Old Is Not For Sissies (Assignment: The Checker King must be completed; “Bally's founder Don Wildman speeds up at 76”/Los Angeles Times)

Please Note:

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Policy and Procedures

Administrative Home
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and other related issues. Different colleges may have different policies. Questions may be addressed to 120 Schaeffer Hall or see the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

Academic Fraud
Plagiarism and any other activities when students present work that is not their own are academic fraud. Academic fraud is a serious matter and is reported to the departmental DEO and to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum. Instructors and DEOs decide on appropriate consequences at the departmental level while the Associate Dean enforces additional consequences at the collegiate level. See the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

Making a Suggestion or a Complaint
Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit the instructor, then the course supervisor, and then the departmental DEO. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

Accommodations for Disabilities
A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet privately with the course instructor to make particular arrangements. See for more information.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy.

Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. (Operations Manual, Part IV, 16. See items e, h, and i.)


last update January 19, 2010