C Period Courses
ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOLK BLUES
Students will be introduced to the iconic artists behind North American regional folk blues through the life and playing styles of Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, and Sonny Terry. We will study their specific techniques and learn to copy their energetic blues-style with our own instruments. Students will need an acoustic guitar for each class.
Interested in carpentry? Ever want to build a building? Working from a set of plans, we’ll construct a “moldering” latrine. That’s right… a privy… an outhouse. It’s one of those little buildings with a crescent moon on the door that people used to visit before the days of indoor plumbing. Our outhouse design will be based on those currently used by the Appalachian Trail Conference and the Appalachian Mountain Club and will be situated up at the Russell Shelter so that campers will have all the comforts of home. Construction will take place at Chevalier Lodge and the building will be assembled and then disassembled for a short journey up the mountain. In one week’s time we’ll go from drawings on paper and a pile of wood to a working, environmentally-friendly outhouse. No carpentry skills required.
THE ART OF CARD DEALING
DARY DUNHAM AND R.G. MEADE
What can one do with a pack of cards? Learn the intricacies of Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, Cribbage, Hearts, and Oh, Hell. These are lifelong skills sure to serve you well if ever stranded in a snowy cabin in the mountains. Did you know that President Clinton loves Oh, Hell, as does Oscar de la Renta? Harry Truman loved poker. Learn the rules and grasp the nuances of five important card games. You will walk away with an appreciation of the amazing range of what a deck of cards can do for entertainment and social gatherings.
THE BIG CHEESE
If the stinking, gooey wonders of spoiling milk equate to your idea of gastronomic bliss, then this is the class for you. We will not only sample literally dozens of cheeses but also visit local cheesemongers and cheesemakers as well as make our own fresh cheese. By examining the biological processes which make cheese possible, we will master the techniques of purchasing, serving, and storing it. Become an aficionado in the history and international political intrigue— really—of this strange, delectable food. (Not for the lactose intolerant.)
BLADES OF GLORY
DAN DRISCOLL AND SYLVIA GAPPA
Have you always wanted to glide effortlessly across the ice? Come learn the basics of ice-skating from the head boys and girls varsity hockey coaches. Designed for students with no prior skating experience, student will learn how to start, stop, turn, and most importantly, have fun on the ice. Come learn how to navigate your way around the rink in the Jack!
BUILD YOUR OWN BAT
Swing batter, swing! Starting with a block of ash wood, students will visit a wood turner and use a lathe to shape their block into a bat of their own design. We’ll center the bat, sand the handle, determine its center of balance, and stamp it. By the end of the course, students should have a functional bat that they can take to batting practice this spring.
Candy making began when sweets were first produced by physicians to hide the taste of medicine. In chemistry, the properties of simple sucrose and glucose allow candy to take on various shapes. Students will get the opportunity to make a variety of different candies, learn about their chemical properties through entertaining demonstrations, and simply enjoy candy's tasty physical properties.
CHESS OPENINGS AND END GAMES
This course is open to students who are already familiar with the basic moves in chess. We will study famous sequences of opening moves such as the Ruy Lopez and the Sicilian. We will also work on end games—the final moves of a game which occur when one player has an advantage. Boards and pieces will be provided. In addition, time will be allotted for students to play games with one another for speed and to determine Berkshire’s Grandmaster.
In a 2010 TED presentation, Chef Jamie Oliver announced his hope that “every single American child leaves high school knowing how to cook 10 recipes." Because many chronic diseases can be prevented by proper nutrition, this became his platform for the Food Revolution. With an emphasis on this “revolution” we will deconstruct and prepare 10 basic recipes that can be made at home, in a professional kitchen, or a dorm room. Getting ready for a first apartment or even a first date? Be prepared with some basic skills in the kitchen.
In this class, you will learn to crochet, a lifelong skill, while making baby blankets to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House on Gracious Living Day. Using provided patterns, students will learn to use crochet hooks and yarn to master the basics. Students will create a generous gift to share with babies in need.
THE CULTURE OF TEA
CHENG-CHIA WU AND CLIVE DAVIS
This course examines the importance of tea in Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, and English culture. We will focus on one culture per day, discussing tea selection, brewing, aroma, and tasting of tea. We will supplement the lecture and demonstrations with readings, videos and other materials. Tea will be made each day and a trip to Harney & Sons Tea Company in Millerton, NY will cap off the week.
DISCOVERING THE MOUNTAIN
KEVAN BOWLER AND STUART MILLER
Designed for outdoor novices and experts, this course revives Berkshire’s Mountain Passport Program. Originally created by the Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program as a guide to aid students exploring the mountain, the passport will lead us to South Pinnacle, Black Rock, the Appalachian Trail, the Telephone Trail, and the Reservoir, all in an effort to visit as many different and perhaps undiscovered sites on the mountain as possible. You should have sturdy hiking boots for this course.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GAMES
Come let us take you back to the days before Facebook and video chat when the highlight of the day was the recess game of SPUD or freeze tag. You’re never too old for a game of Four Square or Dodgeball. Mastering these skills is not only necessary for success on the playground, it will also serve you well in life.
FÚTBOL Y TAPAS
Futbol and tapas are two of the most ingrained Spanish traditions and though Americans aren’t always aware, the two go hand-in-hand in Spain. Students will take a look at the lively atmosphere surrounding soccer matches by recreating the experience at Berkshire. Before viewing some of the best European matches in recent memory, we will prepare a typical tapas recipe to be consumed during the game. Come ready to cook, eat, and cheer!
HEALTHY COLLEGE COOKING
Soon enough, all Berkshire students will be responsible for feeding themselves. All too often, the college diet consists mostly of Ramen noodles, pizza and chicken wings. While tasty, these food sources have little to no nutritional value, are not cost effective and are of no benefit to the future of the planet. This course will cover smart food shopping and creating meals that are easy, tasty and nutritious.
BRIAN SULLIVAN AND WILL CRONIN
This class will introduce the terminology, rules and strategy of the game of football to students. We will teach students offensive formations, play calling, running attacks and passing attacks. Defensively, students will learn about stunts and blitzes, pass coverage and run defense. Students will be broken up into teams and will play flag football games throughout the week.
Have you always wanted to learn to play piano but never had the opportunity? Thought you were too tone-deaf? Lamented your clumsy fingers? Wrote it off as too hard? Didn't have access to a baby grand? Now is your chance! This is piano for the very beginner. Using iPads, we will learn to read notes and understand the basic techniques of playing the piano. By the end of the week, we will be able to perform a collection of simple songs. Mary Had a Little Lamb and Amazing Grace, here we come!
IT’S TO DYE FOR!
Have you ever noticed Ms. Morgan’s carefully decorated lab coat? In this afternoon class, we will explore several different techniques for tie-dying shirts and other articles of clothing. We will also experiment with other dye art forms such as Batiking, Shibori, and Hausa. Students will have to provide their own articles of clothing to dye or purchase one for minimal cost.
KNITTING FOR EVERYONE
Enjoy the camaraderie of hanging out with yarn, needles and other like-minded souls. If you know how to knit, you can help others learn. If you don’t know how to knit, you’ll find out it’s not all that tough. We’ll knit a baby blanket composed of individual squares and then donate it to a local organization.
LEARN TO COOK AUTHENTIC CHINESE FOOD
Did you know American Chinese restaurants are opening branches in China as a foreign food? If you’ve never been to China, you haven’t experienced Chinese food. Learn how to prepare and cook authentic food from Northern China including fried rice, bun, wonton, and dumplings. Beyond enjoying our daily feast together, you’ll get the opportunity to try your hand at some traditional Chinese cooking methods.
Magic is a collectible card game created by Seattle mathematics professor Richard Garfield in 1993. With approximately six million players worldwide in over seventy countries, Magic has become the world’s most played trading card game. The premise of the game is straightforward: play cards that represent spells, tricks, creatures and artifacts to get your opponent’s life total down to zero before getting killed yourself. The catch? Each player designs his or her own deck from the thousands of cards that have been printed through the years. The course will cover the basics of this complex and multi-layered game and culminate in a tournament.
MYSPACE: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A LOCAL
Hit the road and meet some of our neighbors, all natives of the Berkshires: three police chiefs who grew up locally; two fire chiefs who help protect our homes and schools; several local business people working as lawyers and bankers; and the proprietors of the Sunrise Diner and other local establishments. What is it about this area that made them choose to stay? Do you feel the same way about your hometown? What do you sacrifice when you go, and when you stay?
Board games have come a long way since Monopoly first hit the shelves in the 1930’s. Eurogames, or German-style board games, emphasize strategy and theme and downplay luck and player elimination. A variety of creative mechanisms are used, and familiar mechanics like dice-rolling and moving are avoided. If a game has a board, the board is usually irregular rather than uniform or symmetric and often contains random elements. In this course, you will be exposed to and sample several famous Eurogames, most notably: Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Bohnanza, Citadels & Ticket to Ride.
MICHAEL BJURLIN AND ANDREA BOWLER
Ever driven through a country club or sports complex and seen a shrunken tennis court surround by chicken wire? Well, that mini-court is home to a fantastic sport called paddle tennis. Played for over a century, the game is adapted from tennis though it features a different ball, hard racquets, a smaller court, and a lower net. All of these factors combine to create a fast and reaction-based game. Join us as we travel to surrounding schools to play for an hour each afternoon.
Matthew Syed’s popular book Bounce highlights the author’s quest for greatness on the World Table Tennis circuit. He attributes his skill not to talent but to practice and knowledge. This course will take an in-depth look at the physics involved in table tennis. Each day a different aspect of the game, such as speed, spin, serves, returns, and offense will be studied from a physics standpoint. After discussing the physical concepts, the students will be given the opportunity to practice what they have learned by challenging one another on the table. Who knows, you may be honing your skills to become the next great Table Tennis champion!
HEIDI WOODWORTH AND DAVE OLSON
A classroom education will carry a person far in life, but what happens when classroom skills and life skills don’t overlap? This course aims to close that gap by examining the everyday skills involved in the art of life. What happens when you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere? Power’s out and you’re wondering how to use that majestic looking fireplace for the first time? Invited to a gala that could advance your career, but don’t know what black tie means? Wondering why you can’t seem to save any money even with that great job you have? This course will give you the hands on experience to help you solve these important everyday questions.
SUE DELMOLINO IVES AND GUESTS
Quilters everywhere make charity quilts (often called comfort quilts) for all sorts of causes. Working together with members of the Berkshire Quilters’ Guild, students will construct baby/children’s quilts to be distributed to two Massachusetts’s non-profit organizations; the Children’s Health Program in Great Barrington and the Shriner’s Hospital in Springfield. The students will learn about quilting as a method of artistic expression, the history of quilting as an American tradition, how to select colors and fabrics, and the design process.
In this course we will examine the health benefits of keeping a raw food-based diet. Perhaps it can help us look at life with a clearer perspective, and guide us to maintain a healthy body from the inside out. We will supplement the lecture with readings, a viewing of the documentary Food Matters, and by preparing delicious and nutritious raw food and treats. We will cap off the week with a visit to the Riverbend Café in Great Barrington, for a tonic juice.
WHEN RADIO RULED THE AIRWAVES
Prior to TV, history was heard. FDR’s fireside chats, Winston Churchill’s rousing World War II speeches, the Hindenburg disaster, and Pearl Harbor were all conveyed through airwaves and the medium of radio. We will study famous radio transmissions in history and then choose an historical broadcast to recreate in the studios of WBSL.
LISSA MCGOVERN AND LINDA BELLIZZI
Travel with us as we visit vegetarian cuisines from diverse cultures. You will learn how to plan meals, purchase recipe items and prepare some delicious foods as we cook and bake our way around the globe. No cooking experience is necessary. This course will offer you the opportunity to acquire skills not just in the kitchen, but in the grocery store, too. Believe it or not, soon you will be cooking up your very own delectable vegetarian delights!
YOGA: FROM WARRIOR ONE TO DOWNWARD DOG
LINDA D’ARCO AND ELIZABETH SKOGLUND
Led by a Kripalu-certified local yoga teacher, this course will serve as an introduction to the practice of yoga. Each day will focus on a different part of the body or yogic philosophy including breath, gaze, mindfulness, and meditation. The classes will be physically challenging but appropriate for beginners and experienced yogis alike. Ommmmmmm!