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2019 Plan II Family Day Events

Family Weekend presented by Texas Parents registration begins Monday October 7 

Sunday, October 27th, 2019
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

As part of Family Weekend, Plan II hosts events on Sunday for Plan II families, beginning with a brunch at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, followed by a selection of Plan II model classes. Arrive anytime between 10:30-11:15 a.m. for check-in, where you can pick up a nametag, program, and even purchase some Plan II merchandise to benefit the Plan II Students' Association. Enjoy a brunch buffet with other Plan II families, students, faculty, and staff. Plan II Director Alexandra Wettlaufer will conclude the brunch with remarks right before we adjourn for the model classes in nearby Patton Hall.  

Because seats at the brunch are limited, registration is required. Cost is $5 per adult; current UT students and those under 14 years old eat free. Registration for Family Day is via Texas Parents and is now closed. The model classes beginning at 11:30 a.m. are free and open to anyone; see schedule below.

Click here to see the full 2019 program

Model Classes, 11:30-12:30 (choose one):

RLP 0.130, Helena Woodard - Plan II World Literature professor
Difficult Dialogues: Teaching Race and Slavery in Huckleberry Finn
This class will discuss complexities in teaching Mark Twain’s classic, iconic American novel, Huckleberry Finn, on the subject of race and slavery. Huck Finn has long been deemed problematic and frequently banned from libraries and classrooms, especially for its pervasive use of the “N” word (some 200 times) and other racial epithets. But should the novel have been re-issued through a new edition, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Revised edition), Penguin Classics, 1986, edited by Alan Gribben, that deleted those words, and replaced entire passages with language defined as “inoffensive?” We will take a look at side by side passages of Twain’s original edition paired with the modern edition of Huckleberry Finn. Dr. Woodard will enter into discussion Toni Morrison’s comments about her first-time encounter with the novel. Finally, we will discuss the pros and cons of teaching and reading Huckleberry Finn as Twain wrote it or as modern editions have reissued it. Handouts of excerpts from the novel will be available at the check-in table.

RLP 0.128, John Morán González - Plan II Signature Course professor
U.S. Immigration & The American Dream
The concept of the American Dream has been intertwined with reality of immigration to the United States from the earliest days of the United States. In this model class, we'll discuss the ways that two early commentators—Benjamin Franklin and J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur—advocated for European immigration to the new Republic. Even while touting the promise of the American Dream, they also anxiously reveal the social contradictions that delimits who can be a dreamer as an immigrant. Recommended reading handouts can be downloaded here and will also be available at the check-in table.

RLP 0.126, Michael Starbird - Plan II Math professor
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
The root of success in everything from academics to business to leadership to personal relationships and everything else, is effective thinking—whether it’s thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision-making or problem solving or creativity, it’s all thinking. Practical methods of effective thinking can be described, taught, and learned. They are not inborn gifts of a special few. All people can learn them and use them. This talk will describe practical, memorable elements of effective thinking and how to learn them.

RLP 0.112, Chris Kirk & Alex Huk, Plan II Modes of Reasoning professors
Ancient Eyes: The tarsier as a lens onto sensory perception and evolution
This model class will introduce participants to the the star of their current Plan II Crucible Course - the tarsier. This small, nocturnal, carnivorous primate native to Southeast Asia is a true "living fossil" that offers a rare glimpse into the evolutionary origins of monkeys, apes, and humans. With enormous eyes, bat-like ears, and almost absurdly long feet, tarsiers present an array of unusual features that make them as bizarre as they are charismatic. These unique attributes make tarsiers an excellent starting point for broader discussions across a range of scientific topics, such as the intersection between behavior and anatomy, and the evolutionary underpinnings of human special senses. Just as the full-semester course is team-taught, the instructors will share their respective expertise in describing tarsiers from multiple angles, and offer insights into tarsiers as a “vehicle" for motivating novel future research.

Parking information: There is no free parking on campus without a UT or handicapped permit, so please plan accordingly. The closest parking garages to the Alumni Center are listed below, and will be charging the usual hourly rates. There are some handicapped parking spaces available in front of the alumni center on San Jacinto Blvd for those who need it (no charge). 

• San Jacinto

If you have questions or need accommodations for this event, please contact the Plan II Family Day Coordinator, Mary Dillman at

  • Information for Visitors Coming from Outside Austin  (other hotel and Bed & Breakfast listings, restaurant information and more)

  • Printable Campus Tour Maps: 

    • Use The University's Self-Guided Walking Tour of the UT Campus to learn about campus on your own and at your own pace.  This makes your day more flexible and allows attendance at other college or program information sessions, tours of dorm(s) and visits to the wonderful Blanton Art Museum, the world-renown Humanities Research Center or the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. 

    • The Diversity Tour introduces you to the diversity that is represented on campus through various academic units, programs, notable buildings, statues and collections. Learn more about the historical background of The University of Texas as it continues to serve all people in the state of Texas through a culture of inclusive excellence.

  • Campus Maps and Parking Information

  • Texas Parents

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  • Plan II Honors Program

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 East 23rd St
    RLP 2.102
    Austin, Texas, 78712-1250