WRIT 101

Tai Chi On Paper

Fall 2015

Monday/Wednesday 3:40-5:25 in Admn 210

Professor Sid Olufs, olufs@plu.edu

153 Xavier Hall

Fall 2015 Office Hours:  M 12:30-1:30, T 9:30-12:30, W 12-1, plus by appointment.


What is tai chi?  What happens in our bodies as we learn tai chi?  In this course we explore tai chi movements, and write about them.   The benefits experts have claimed for tai chi include improvements in health, mindfulness, and self-defense.  Assignments include learning Yang Family long form postures, writing and editing descriptions of the movements, developing a research paper on medical investigations of tai chi, and analyzing some self-defense applications.   Here is the class assignments page. 


We are using several texts:

      Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say / I Say," 3rd ed., Norton, 2014, ISBN 978-0393935844.

      Martin Mellish, A Tai Chi Imagery Workbook, Jessica Kingsley Publisher, 2010, ISBN 978-1848190290.  

      The online Purdue Owl  is a guide to many writing issues.  Get familiar with it.

      Here is a web page that supports the study of tai chi. 

      Additional material will be accessible through Sakai. 


Students will write five papers.  Each consists of several steps in the writing process, to be brought to class, worked through with peers, and turned in. 

1.    How do we learn a new skill?  Is tai chi like other things we learn?  In this paper students describe and examine their study habits.  The final version is due September 30. 

2.    What does the scientific literature say about the health benefits of tai chi?  The final version is due October 21. 

3.    Can language precisely guide physical activities?  In this paper students describe particular tai chi postures, and test the language by executing the descriptions written by peers.  The final version is due November 4. 

4.    This is a repeat of assignment #1, based on more experience with tai chi. The final version is due November 18.

5.    This last paper is the WRIT 101 "Common Assignment," an opportunity for you to develop and reflect on your goals for your writing.  The final version is due December 2. 




[last updated September 2015]