MS 195: Golden Gate Park (First-Year Seminar)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:55–11:40 am, Education 307
Professor David Silver
Office / hours: Kalmanovitz 141, Tuesdays & Thursdays 2–3 pm & by appointment
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu
Golden Gate Park is a First-Year Seminar that explores the history, built environment, mixed uses, and popular narratives of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. As part of an accelerated writing seminar, students will research, write, and edit their ways through the park – writing in journals, using photography, and contributing on Wikipedia. Through readings, class discussions, park walks, and field trips, students will develop a broad and keen appreciation of Golden Gate Park.
In this class, student will
1. Learn how to read, analyze, and summarize multiple texts of varying lengths and complexities;
2. Learn, practice, and become confident with the process of inquiry: identifying a topic, posing good questions, researching, evaluating, analyzing, synthesizing, and creating new knowledge;
3. Learn how to search for, locate, evaluate, and use information;
4. Learn how to put one’s scholarship in conversation and collaboration with other people; and
5. Learn and appreciate how some sand dunes called the Outside Lands became Golden Gate Park.
Course Texts and Costs
1. There are no required books to purchase for this class. All readings are either free and online or sent to you as PDFs. You are, however, required to print out all readings and bring printout to class.
2. You also must purchase/make/barter for a journal and bring it to class on Tuesday, September 1. Be sure to spend some time to find the right journal.
3. You are also required to purchase a map of Golden Gate Park. Maps range from $4-5 and can be bought at various gift stores located across the park.
4. All admission fees and field trip costs are covered by USF’s First Year Seminar Program.
Tuesday, 8/25: Introductions and expectations.
Thursday, 8/27: Read Chris Walker, “The public value of urban parks,” The Urban Institute (2004); and Project for Public Spaces, “Signature places: Great parks we can learn from” (March 14, 2014).
Unit 1: Approaches to Golden Gate Park
Tuesday, 9/1: Journal assignment due in class. Read “Golden Gate Park” entry on Wikipedia at least 2-3 times. Read and be ready to discuss both its content (the information it contains) and structure (its outline, components, links, sources, and style).
Thursday, 9/3: Read Raymond H. Clary, “The Beginning of Golden Gate Park” and “The Visionary Plan of William Hammond Hall,” from Making of Golden Gate Park: The Early Years: 1865-1906 (1980), pp. 11-27. Park walk.
Tuesday, 9/8: Journals due in class. Read/complete Wiki Education Foundation, “Online Training for Students.” This includes creating a Wikipedia account and a user page.
Thursday, 9/10: Read Ray Oldenburg, “The Character of Third Places,” from The Great Good Place: Cafes, coffee shops, community centers, beauty parlors, general stores, bars, hangouts, and how they get you through the day (1989), pp. 20-42. Park walk.
Tuesday, 9/15: Journals due in class. Read “Editing Wikipedia” and “Using Talk Pages.”
Thursday, 9/17: Read Dolores Hayden, “Contested Terrain,” from The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History (1995), pp. 2-13.
Unit 2: A museum, a memorial, and a tea garden
Tuesday, 9/22: No class. Time pooled for later-in-the-semester evening field trip to Off the Grid.
Thursday, 9/24: Read “California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894” entry on Wikipedia; and James R. Smith, “California Midwinter International Exposition – 1894,” in San Francisco’s Lost Landmarks (2005), pp. 111-126. Field trip to the Music Concourse.
Tuesday, 9/29: Journals due in class. Read “Citing sources on Wikipedia” and “Avoiding plagiarism on Wikipedia.”
Thursday, 10/1: Park walk and workshop with Barbara Fister, librarian at Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library at Gustavus Adolphus College.
Tuesday, 10/6: Journals due in class. Read “Illustrating Wikipedia.” Field trip to de Young Museum and de Young Café.
Thursday, 10/8: Read “AIDS Memorial Grove” entry on Wikipedia; and watch Andy Abrahams Wilson and Tom Shepard, The Grove: AIDS and the Politics of Remembrance (DVD), 2011.
Tuesday, 10/13 Journals due in class. Read “Evaluating Wikipedia” and “Moving out of your Sandbox.”
Thursday, 10/15: Read class-sourced readings on AIDS and AIDS in San Francisco. Field trip to National AIDS Memorial Grove.
Tuesday, 10/20: No class: Fall Break.
Thursday, 10/22: Read class-sourced readings about Japanese Zen gardens and San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden.
Tuesday, 10/27: Journals due in class. Read “Japanese Tea Garden (San Francisco, California)” entry on Wikipedia.
Thursday, 10/29: Field trip to Japanese Tea Garden and Tea House.
Unit 3: Writing Golden Gate Park (with objects other than words)
Tuesday, 11/3: Journals due in class. Read “Human Be-In,” “Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival,” and “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass” entries on Wikipedia. Read Project for Public Spaces, “10 Tips for Taking Great Photos of Public Spaces.”
Thursday, 11/5: Prior to class, listen/read/walk with Marina McDougall, Alison Sant, Richard Johnson, and Kirstin Bach, “An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park,” a 7-part guided podcast (Studio for Urban Projects, 2008): http://www.anunnaturalhistory.net/podcast.xml
Tuesday, 11/10: Journals due in class. Prior to class, add 1-2 sentences of new information, backed up with an appropriate citation, to a Golden Gate Park-related article on Wikipedia.
Thursday, 11/12: Read William H. Whyte, “Food,” from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (pp. 50-53). Evening field trip to Off the Grid.
Unit 4: Writing on Wikipedia
The last unit involves editing and adding to existing Wikipedia pages related to Golden Gate Park and/or creating new ones. Time management warning: You will be spending significant out-of-class time researching, reading, writing, and editing. Class-time will be spent on group work, reviewing and improving your classmates’ Wikipedia contributions, and visits from Wiki Education Foundation staff.
Tuesday, 11/17: Journals due in class. Begin work on individual and group Wikipedia projects.
Thursday, 11/19: Continue work on Wikipedia projects.
Tuesday, 11/24: Journals due in class. Wikipedia projects, con’t. Field trip to the Downtown SF Public Library.
Thursday, 11/26: No class: Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, 12/1: Journals due in class. Wikipedia projects, con’t.
Thursday, 12/3: Complete individual and group Wikipedia projects.
Tuesday, 12/8: Reflective essay due in class. Field trip to Haight Ashbury, Escape From New York Pizza, and the Children’s Playground.
Projects and Grading
Participation – 20%. Participation includes regular, on-time class attendance; useful and frequent contributions to classroom discussions; and quizzes, homework, and in-class assignments.
Student Journals – 30%. Journals are due in class each Tuesday and I will return them on Thursdays. Journal entries will range from informal reflections to research findings to polished essays, with sketches, doodles, and collages in between.
Wikipedia Project – 30%. Working individually and in groups, students will contribute to existing Wikipedia pages related to Golden Gate Park. In some cases this will include adding a single sentence and source, in other cases it will include adding a new paragraph, section, and, if necessary, page.
Field Trip Tour Guide – 10%. We will take multiple field trips into Golden Gate Park. During each field trip, a small group of students will work together to research our pathways and destination and share their findings creatively.
Reflective Essay – 10%. Finally, students will reflect upon and write a short essay about their experiences with Golden Gate Park, Wikipedia, and their first semester at USF.
Attendance is crucial. Missing class (or attending class unprepared) will significantly affect your final grade. If you do miss class, contact a classmate to find out what you missed and ask to borrow her or his notes. Then, do it again with a different classmate. After doing this, if you still have questions about missed material, visit me during office hours or schedule an appointment via email.
Plagiarism is using another person’s words works, and/or ideas without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic honor and personal integrity and can result in failing an assignment, being removed from this course, or even being asked to leave USF. Plus, it’s just lazy.
1. No late work accepted.
2. In class and on field trips, no drinking out of non-reusable containers.
2. In class and on field trips, no drinking out of non-reusable containers.