DCS 1020: How to Read 1,000,000

Books (FYWS)

Professor Crystal Hall

Where to find our class

Meeting time Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:20pm EST

Indoor Classroom Visual Arts Center 303, also known as VAC South Tented Classroom Tent #4 (see the map for details)

Remote Office Hours

See the Zoom link on Blackboard

See Calendly link on Blackboard

Course Description

I invite you to reconsider definitions of basic words that you have used throughout your education so far: reading and books. In a world where there is always too much to read (thankfully there’s TLDNR), what we read has so many formats, and it can always be updated or even deleted, this course encourages you to think about processes for taking in information, finding patterns, and expressing your arguments about those findings. My hope is that you develop habits of choosing which way of reading and writing that suits your goals in the moment. Bring your love for your favorite books and I challenge you to see how you might find the same curiosity and enthusiasm for libraries, digital repositories, and other data sets. I am committed to a collaborative, active classroom in which we listen attentively and react respectfully to our peers’ perspectives. You will have the opportunity to synthesize what you have heard, read, and computed through an end-of-semester writing project that answers the big question of the course: how do you read 1,000,000 books?

Required Books

Bowdoin will update the campus status daily, and I will communicate how and where we will meet in accordance with the campus status and our class needs. Even with a yellow status, we may meet via Zoom.


Instruction is either outside in tents, remote, or in designated classrooms


Instruction is either outside in tents or remote


Instruction is fully remote

Grading Policies & Academic Integrity

As a FYWS, DCS 1020 is not eligible for the Credit/D/F grading option.

It is important to note here that time management is the most significant contributor to lapses in academic integrity. We are going to talk about this more during the semester, but I want to say at the outset that you are invited to talk to me about deadlines, consider your shifting workload, and reflect on your work habits as this uncertain semester progresses. In short, don't jeopardize your academic career over an assignment in this course. Come talk to me first.

This semester might go smoothly for us all or it might be full of surprises for everyone. Clear communication can help us to lower the stress associated with deadlines. If things feel out of control, be in touch to discuss late submission. I can work with you on timing of the individual responsibilities. Importantly: I can’t help if I don’t know what is going on.