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Indiana University Bloomington
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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

H233 Great Authors, Composers and Artists: Great Problems and Great Decisions
Great Authors, Composers and Artists: Great Problems and Great Decisions
MW 9:30-10:45 a.m., HU 111
David Rubinstein

Authors and artists, kings and truckers, you and me - - we all face great problems, and we all need to make great decisions, but almost Nobody does, except in the movies. Here brilliantly:
But we can. Please, you must see this film clip.

What is a Great problem? How can we tell when a decision is Great? There are precisely 39 Steps in achieving a great decision. We'll cut through the bologna. Some of these steps are unsurprising, but many are amazing, and the full picture is powerful. We will see how some writers, philosophers, and leaders have addressed these questions. Readings will likely include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Chan Kim, Chip Heath, passages from the Bing Fa, and Dan Heath. We'll also view a film or two.

We will define problems, identify alternatives, make rules, and break rules. This semester, the course is deeply rooted in the Stanford perspective. We all make bad decisions. The real issue is: what are we going to do about it?

The answer is The 39 Steps. We'll wrestle with some challenging, no-nonsense Harvard MBA cases, and make decisions. The factory is closing, and there's nowhere to turn. We need to find a way. The railroad bridge is decaying, but the railroad won't fix it. We need to find a way. In all of music (opera, pop, country, rap, jazz, rock, all), there are millions of songs, but only a few "hit songs". We need to find the secret to writing a hit song. And we'll spring from the darkness with Sherlock Holmes as evil approaches.

Discovering the 39 Steps is a starting point Take the lead in charting a direction and creating a path using the steps.
How ambitious is our project? Your decisions and actions are going to change the world in 13 weeks.
Class format: directed discussion, including a "so you think you can lead a seminar" challenge. Contributions to class discussion are expected of all students.
Required work: A variety of writing assignments including some brief responses, some quizzes, a few short essays, a mid-term and a final - - and the Project.