The Song of the Sirin Reading Club (Summer)
Term: Summer 2020, July 7–July 30 (8 classes)
Target Grade Levels: 9th–12th and Adults
Schedule: 2x / week, 75 min.
Section 1: T/Th 5:00 p.m. ET with Dcn. Nicholas Kotar
The Song of the Sirin by Nicholas Kotar continues the tradition of epic fantasy begun by MacDonald and Tolkien, but from a Russian cultural and Orthodox religious perspective. This course will be a detailed examination of both the book itself as an example of faith-inspired fiction and of the influences that formed the Russia-flavored world of Vasyllia.
The Song of the Sirin by Nicholas Kotar
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Deacon Nicholas Kotar comes from a family of Russian immigrants who moved from Russia after the Revolution, and he grew up in what was essentially a Russian ghetto in San Francisco. He spoke Russian before he spoke English. He and his sister were homeschooled until a bright and sunny day when their mom had had enough of cat-herding. So she decided to open a school (thinking it would be less of a hassle?), which she and Nicholas’s dad then administered for the next twenty years of their life (without taking a penny for it). This school, St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy, is a shining light of classical education in the Orthodox Christian community. After graduating from UC Berkeley (yes, he studied Russian Literature, how did you guess?), Deacon Nicholas came back to teach in St. John’s for seven years. Those years were formative for him and for many of the teachers, because of the talent of the faculty. There were poets, philosophers, politicians, and musicians among his colleagues, and their regular tea-fueled conversations by the fireplace had something of the Inklings about them.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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