J-Term Courses for 2016

This month's round-up of class options for students. Each student is enrolled in one of the following classes for the next three weeks. The second semester will start on Monday, January 25th.

Art of Cooking
This course will focus on hands-on cooking classes designed to start or develop culinary skills and get an understanding of ingredients and cooking methods so that the student can cook confidently with and for others.  This course will cover topics such as how to make a menu, going shopping, cooking simple meals, cooking gourmet meals, setting the table, cooking dessert, cooking appetizers, creating a theme for the meal, styles of food, music, etiquette, and environment around a meal, how to serve the dishes, how to clean the table, and how to make a meal with $20 dollars. Experience with professional chefs included.

EV Conversion J-Term
The goal of this ongoing course is to complete the electric vehicle (EV) conversion of the Toyota Supra. Students from the original group that planned the conversion will join with new students to conclude their research and develop a mutual vision for the future of the EV car. The car will be examined and refurbished in preparation for conversion through close work and training from a local EV specialist. Students will practice mechanical and electrical engineering by designing the battery system, calculating load bearing capacities, and welding. The EV car will expose students to higher organizational skills, business, mechanics, engineering, and team dynamics.

Falmouth Field School
In this ongoing course, students acquire a deep appreciation for the role played by the Jamaican port city of  Falmouth in the global sugar and slave trade of  the 17th to 19th centuries and for the ways that the global economic system (in particular, cruise ship tourism) continues to transform the lives of the city’s inhabitants.  Through their work in architectural restoration and other projects, students also help to improve the lives of  the Jamaicans living in Falmouth today, as well as  forming life-long relationships of empathy and friendship with the Jamaicans with whom they work and live.  In keeping with the field school model, students are encouraged to take the course as many times as they are able, strengthening  their relationships with the Jamaican people, deepening their study interests, and expanding the scope of their individual projects over time. 

The Filmmaking J-Term gives students the opportunity to learn about the art and technology of filmmaking by planning, shooting, editing, and screening their own films. Like the filmmaking process, the course is divided into three parts. Week one is pre-production, during which students work with local filmmaking experts and learn about film genres, avoiding clichés, writing screenplays, storyboarding, and choosing props, costumes, and locations. Week two is production, during which students learn to use filmmaking equipment and shoot their short films. The final week is post-production, during which students edit their films and make rough and final cuts which local filmmaking experts critique. The culmination of this course is a film festival event, planned by students, at a local theater.

Positive Psychology and Mindset J-Term
This course covers two topics that are very “hot” in psychology today: Positive Psychology and fixed vs. growth mindset. Positive psychology is the study of not only what makes people happy, but how happiness is, in part, created from one’s own attitude, rather than externally. Fixed vs. growth mindset is the idea that attitude about whether one’s intelligence, emotional well being, or social status is either set in stone, or can be changed by hard work, attitudinal change or diligence.  Course topics are explored with videos (TED talks and other lectures), Skype visits with researchers in both fields, readings, and experiences around these topics. Assessment is based on participation, presentations, papers, and a journal of reflections on learning. 

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