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Jan Term at Hampshire: Expect the Unexpected

By Taliesin Nyala 07F

January term 2010 is underway, three weeks dedicated to intensive exploration. This is a time for students to deviate off the path of their concentrations and do something unexpected, or to engage their chosen course of study on an even deeper level. 

On campus, students are learning to shape and maneuver light in a course titled Lightworks, while another group designs, builds, and installs a fixture in the main library entrance to make the space more empathetic in The Empathetic Space, an innovative course offered by the new Design, Art, and Technology program.

Those interested in theatre and writing are learning to both script and perform dramatic short monologues in The Performance of Biography. Others are Crafting the American Short Story in a course designed to teach students to read like writers, analyzing and discussing a variety of published stories while receiving peer critiques of their own writing.

Those enrolled in Student Heal Thyself learn good nutrition, mindfulness, and self-care while studying physiology and biochemistry. Hikers are exploring the local wilderness while learning animal ecology in Ecology Through Animal Tracking.

For students who can’t go to Russia, they are instead getting to know the country through some of its most influential and provocative films in the course A Century of Attractions: Contextualizing Russian Film. Down the hall is a community of language students enrolled in Immersion Spanish courses, learning to listen, speak, and write in a Spanish-only zone.

For those who want to travel, Jan term offers opportunities both domestic and international. Coordinated by the Outdoors Program/Recreational Activities (OPRA), staff-led groups are climbing the best rocks in New Mexico and Arizona while cold-weather enthusiasts are ice climbing, skiing, and snowshoeing across the northeast.

Overseas, students are at The Hague, Netherlands, to better understand international law by exploring the International Criminal Court, among other sites, in the course International Human Rights Tribunals. Just across the way, in The West of Ireland: Land and Landscape, others are learning about environmentalism, agriculture, ecology, and history in Ireland.

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