Pro Vita 2013: B Period
Tracing the beginnings of the traditional ballad from its origins as a medieval French dance song to the time of Robin Hood and continuing through the 20th century, students will listen to singers of ballads, research the story of their own favorite ballads, and then write and perform their own version for the class. Will it be another Tom Dooley, Charlie on the MTA, or Bob Dylan’s The Hurricane? A ballad of lost love, cruel murder, or keen adventure? Work on your expressive and creative side as you join one of Berkshire’s best improvisational singers for a week of songs.
Learn to take photographs the old-fashioned way! Say goodbye to the digital age and say hello to black & white film, darkrooms and smelly chemicals, as we explore shooting photographs with film and analog cameras. Students will develop and print their own photos using Berkshire’s darkroom facilities and through the process, gain a better understanding of the underlying principles of photography and an appreciation for patience needed to create a small, unique work of art. Point, click, and develop!
DESIGN TEAM 101: THE ART OF GRAPHIC DESIGN
ANNA RUBINO CP ’13
Do you like websites with cool graphics? Ever stopped to consider the graphics on your favorite energy drink can or the logo on a t-shirt? Ever want to design those kinds of things yourself? Explore what it means to be a Professional Graphic Designer/Visual Communicator. You will learn firsthand the way professionals apply design thinking and what it is like to work on a real life design project, generating an original design both solo and in collaboration with a design team. Can’t draw? Not a problem. We’ll create, choose, and organize design elements for a variety of items ranging from t-shirts to a movie website and everything in between!
MIKE DALTON AND QUINTIN POLLART ’15
Want to learn how to play the iconic musical instrument of the Clans of the Highlands and one of the world’s oldest instruments? This course will introduce participants to the Great Highland Bagpipe, which is known as Piob Mhor. No musical experience required. Participants will need to purchase a practice chanter, which all pipers use to practice their tunes. By the end of the week participants should be able to work through tunes like Scots Wae Hae and Amazing Grace. During the week students will have the opportunity to handle several types of pipes. Oh, and you don’t actually have to be Irish or Scottish, as bagpipes are played by peoples all over the globe.
Are you an artist and a “green” thinker? Combine your interests in sustainability with the art world. Many modern artists are making a living by creating art from cast-off materials! Paper, plastic, soda cans, candy wrappers, you name it! We will make a different piece of “upcycled art” each day and take a day trip off campus to a museum or gallery to see some large-scale installation sculptures made from reclaimed materials. Explore inflatable sculptures, woven materials, illuminated art pieces, and installation work. The winner of an in-class creative challenge will see their work come to fruition in Berkshire Hall Atrium.
Culture, Literature, and Society
JULIA COHAN AND DEMPSEY QUINN
What…why…how? Are criminals truly psychotic, or are they victims of poor choices that will forever change their lives? What motivates an individual to commit a violent crime? Is there hope for non-violent criminals to one day return to their families and live “normal lives”? In an attempt to answer these questions, we will explore the topics of psychopathy and criminal justice through a variety of sources, including face-to-face interviews with incarcerated men and women. We will consider models for lowering recidivism and discuss what can be done to aid in criminals’ return to society.
Student enrollment limited to sixth formers.
JENNIFER ANDERSON AND DONALD ANSELMI
Undoubtedly, there is a reason that one-liners from Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will all be mainstays in our culture for years to come. Class, gender, family dynamics, teenage angst, and music are the pillars of film director John Hughes' appeal. In this course, students will be exposed to the pop culture phenomena of his movies, their effect on American teens and parents of the time, and explore the commonalities and differences in the teen culture of today. We will finish the course creating our own modern interpretation of several of Hughes' most famous scenes.
From silent, physical genius of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin to the brutal and bruising satire of contemporary directors like Armando Iannucci, the Coen brothers, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone, comedy has always been an important cornerstone of Hollywood films. In this course, we will screen classic comic films (and scenes from films) across nearly one hundred years of cinema history. If Henri Bergson was right that “there is no joke but at someone’s expense,” then no jokes are entirely innocent, but to what purpose, and by what techniques, do filmmakers make us laugh? We will explore many of the sub-genres of comedy, engaging our brains as we hold our guts. This course will produce a week of uncontrollable laughter, guaranteed.
After an historical overview, we will consider three different linguistic/cultural heritages in the Caribbean: Spanish, French and English. For each island grouping, we will read selected literary texts; listen to an eclectic musical playlist; watch contemporary videos; and interview local residents with personal connections to these various nations. As a culminating project, we will plan a collaborative “Island Festival,” encompassing music, food and dance of the Caribbean.
CHRISTINE FITZGERALD AND HEIDI WOODWORTH
Why do we kill? In this course, we will use The Hunger Games as a foundation for our study of what drives us to kill and how are we affected by these actions, along with why we are so intrigued by atrocity. To supplement the book and movie, we will take a multimedia approach to relating these themes present in The Hunger Games to both historic and current events. We will explore topics ranging from the gladiators of Ancient Rome to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. At the conclusion of the course, students will no longer see The Hunger Games as simply a bestselling novel and blockbuster film, but also as a greater dialogue about the culture in which we live. Students should be familiar with both the book and movie.
THE NEXT DR. SEUSS
From Grimm’s fairy tales to Dr. Seuss, what books have the ability to captivate a preschooler as well as an adult? How are these stories developed? This class will take a look at books specifically written for preschool children. Students will examine the writing process and how reading these stories can make them come to life. They will then write their own picture book and read it to our youngest students on campus at Undermountain Child Care.
SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING IN THE DIGITAL AGE
NINA BJURLIN AND RUTHIE FISH
Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Spotify, Tumblr, Flickr, and on and on indefinitely. Accessible, ubiquitous, and ever evolving, social media is the way we communicate today. With over one billion users, if Facebook were a country, it’d be the third largest in the world. No wonder corporations have spent billions of dollars infiltrating the social media scene. In this class students will use social media including blogs, photography, podcasts and video, to produce an online marketing campaign for a new client: Pro Vita Winter Session. Beginning with the basic principles of marketing, students will discover how these strategies have been adapted to the social media sphere while gaining firsthand experience crafting a mini marketing campaign designed for the digital age.
CHRISTIAN WILLIAMS AND JACOB EPSTEIN
Writers drive the creative process in scripted television. This class will provide an introduction to how writers create and pitch their ideas, how those ideas become a pilot script and how a script must be considered as part of a larger whole of a series. Students will come away with a collaborative script and insight into the professional writing process for television. They will learn how to bring a creative idea into a very competitive professional business and learn to work and communicate as a team. The message and the creative process of the writer will be examined through all phases.
History, Politics, and Current Events
Throughout the 20th century, the world witnessed the rise, and eventual fall, of several notoriously bad men: Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Ayatollah Kohmeini. Each of these men had a significant impact on their own society, as well as on the world beyond their direct power. What conditions enabled these individuals to rise to power? Why did they pursue such evil policies? Who was the most malicious? Will the 21st century suffer from the presence of their like? This class will investigate the rise of these men, as well as consider their individual “achievements” in a comparative context.
FIVE GREEK HEROES
What is a hero? What does it take to become a hero? Achilles, Hercules, Odysseus, Oedipus and Perseus were five of the mightiest Greek heroes, effectively ancient versions of Superman. Each of these heroes offers us a different look at the human condition. In this class we will look not only at their lives and mighty deeds, their loves and their significance in the context of Greek culture, but also at how these iconic figures have influenced western European culture from antiquity. As we discuss these characters, we will examine how they have been represented in art and the impact they have had on other aspects of our culture.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE COLD WAR
Over the course of the last several decades, the Cold War has permeated myriad forms of mass media: music, books, and movies among them. In this class students will be introduced to the Cold War and its political and social impact on the United States. Through the use of movie clips from Rambo, Rambo III, Rocky IV, and Red Dawn students will see how heroes and villains are created and destroyed on the big screen. By the end of the week students will come away with a firm understanding of how Hollywood can influence people’s attitudes, political views and shape people’s understanding of a country or a group of people.
LISSA MCGOVERN AND GWYNETH CONNELL
The UN was formed in response to a recognized need for effective international cooperation and discourse. The most pressing work of the UN is addressed in the UN Security Council. Over the last year the Security Council responded to many peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts, the on-going crises in Mali, the Sudan, Syria, the Golan Heights, and counter terrorism efforts around the world. As Security Council delegates, students in this course will have the opportunity to learn about individual member nations, their response to a current issue before the Security Council, and the procedures of one of the most important international organizations. This course is designed for students interested in “model UN” style activities as well as for students who are interested in researching global issues, engaging in discussion and debate about finding solutions for current challenges, and learning about diverse perspectives through the lens of the UN Security Council.
BEBE BULLOCK '86 AND BILL BULLOCK
Determining which photographs changed the world has been open to debate since the first Daguerreotype was released in 1839. Our class will provide a historical perspective of photography from the 19th to the 21st century and supply each student with an informed view on the notion of truth and reality in photography. We will also discuss the historical and social implications of this art form, and determine the top ten photos of your lifetime. In addition, students will shoot and select the most iconic and representative photo of Berkshire School to be presented during Saturday morning’s assembly.
THE STAR WARS LEGACY
KEVAN BOWLER AND STUART MILLER ’97
The Star Wars saga is the third highest grossing film series ever. What began in 1977 as a simple tale of good versus evil eventually became a world-wide phenomenon. The idea for these movies was conceived by George Lucas in the 1970s, a time of political upheaval and social unrest related to high oil prices, the Vietnam War, drug use, and the Nixon resignation. This class will study Star Wars: Episodes IV, V, and VI and compare the movies to themes found in literature, mythology, religion, politics and history.
Math and Science
Mobile apps are becoming more and more relevant with each passing day. Have an interest? Search and you will most likely find numerous apps related to that interest. Not only for fun and games, apps are now used in education, medicine, and even public safety. This course will introduce students to the very basics of app development using Google’s App Inventor for Android. The program presents users with a visual representation of their app as they build it, and the programming end is done by snapping bits of code together like puzzle pieces. This is a great way to learn some of the basics of application development, which could then be used to develop more sophisticated programs. Although an Android phone or tablet would be beneficial, it is not necessary because the program has a built-in emulator that can be used to test and debug.
C any; our E. ADT his?... From the days of Caesar’s empire to current “secure” credit card transactions, encryption has enabled only permitted individuals to understand encoded messages. Yet encryption can be deciphered. The Allies were able to intercept and decode Enigma machine messages from the Third Reich during the Second World War. More recently, over 100 million credit card numbers were “skimmed” from a data processing center without anyone’s knowledge. Using mathematics, pattern recognition, and elemental ciphers, students will learn more about cryptography and its rich history, and finish the week generating and attempting to crack their own codes.
Maybe you’ve never asked yourself how the zipper on your parka works…until it gets stuck. Or you’ve wondered why you remain pressed to your seat in a roller coaster even when you’re upside down. If you are curious about everyday physics, English teacher Mrs. Bellizzi will explore and hopefully answer some of your questions. We’ll tap into a massive Online Open Classroom course for some filmed lectures, and we’ll use both Louis Bloomfield’s How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life and David Macaulay’s New How Things Work to set up our own experiments. We’ll tinker, test, and discover and share our budding knowledge with classmates and teachers.
Berkshire’s campus is home to a vast and ever-expanding number of kids. How do they learn? What are they capable of at different ages? Students in this class will learn about child care and development with a focus on child interaction through play. They will learn developmental milestones in the areas of speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, socialization, and play. They will observe children and be expected to create developmentally appropriate activities for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. Led by a Berkshire mom, this class promises to be a joy for participants and subjects alike.
It factors! It solves! It differentiates! It integrates! It may not be as user friendly or intuitive as the TI-84 you’ve been using for years, but it can do amazing (and time-saving) things if you know what to ask it to do and how to ask it to do it. Our time together will be spent collaboratively and entirely with calculator in hand so that at week's end, you will have a far greater level of ease and confidence with using the calculator – and a great packet of materials to show for your time. Limited to students who are currently enrolled in courses for which the TI-89 is required.
POKER AND POWER
Poker is a game that requires strategy, an understanding of probability and some insights into human nature. According to Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson, “poker can be a superior means of teaching critical life skills including negotiation, resource management, risk assessment and numeracy.” This course will explore probability and its value in problem solving, the power of position in strategic decision making and the value of patience. Students will learn from true poker scenarios, analyzing decisions made and whether they will maximize reward in the short run or the long run. No previous knowledge of the game is necessary.
KURT SCHLEUNES AND APRIL BURCH
Black and white? Color? Laser? Now 3-D? The world of 3-D printing has come to Berkshire. Using Google Sketchup, students will learn to design an object in three dimensions and then print it out on Berkshire’s very own 3-D printer. Not just for math and science students, this course will explore the possibilities of printing 3-D art and discuss the impact of this transformative machine on our world. Students will also tour The Chamberlian Group, a local manufacturing company that uses 3-D printing in the design and creation of anatomically accurate models for medical training.
BEYOND TAPE AND ICE
BRIAN LEWTON AND MARC WYSOCKI
Want to know what athletic trainers really do? This course will give students a better appreciation of how athletic trainers diagnose injuries, establish rehabilitation programs and handle emergency situations on the playing fields. Get to know the educational background and courses required of athletic trainers while getting hands-on experience with all the modalities (whirlpools and electric stimulation units), as well as emergency and rehabilitation equipment.
The martial art of Aikido, translated loosely as "way of combining forces," provides its followers with a way to defend without doing great harm to an attacker. However, more than just self-defense, the practice is based on specific ethical principles and was considered an expression of universal peace and reconciliation by its founder. Students in the class will discuss these principles, compare them to their own, and learn some Aikido technique from Sensei Sato in Great Barrington. The course will be your first step in your quest for oneness with "ki" or the cosmic power. Students will also compare Aikido's style to Korea's Tae Kwon Do, which emphasizes the use of leg kick and has its roots in traditional Korean martial arts. Master Brown in Great Barrington will introduce the class to the philosophical pillars of the practice. Beginners and suitors of "ki" are welcome.
YOUR ETHICS OR MINE?
LYNETTE PRESCOTT ’81, CP ’14, ‘16
A 70 year-old Nobel Prize-winning physicist and a 19 year-old electrician are brought to an emergency room with critical injuries following a car crash in a remote rural town. In both cases, without immediate surgery, the patient will die. The small hospital has one surgeon and one operating room. Who receives the life-saving surgery? How do we make such challenging decisions? What makes something morally right or wrong? Is stealing food to feed a starving child ethical? Have you ever wondered what makes a good person? The aim of this course is to hone your ethical awareness and try your hand at debating the large and small moral conundrums of the day.
Deborah Barnett-Brandt CP ’14
How do you respond to stress, social challenges or physical injury? Do you usually blame yourself when things go wrong? Using a powerful blend of Western psychology and Eastern meditation, and drawing on the research of leading psychologists, students will explore the concept of ‘self-compassion’, and learn new ways of responding to challenging moments. This experiential interdisciplinary class will ask you to re-examine your view of happiness and teach you how to motivate with kindness rather than self-criticism. The result will transform your relationships. No prerequisites required other than to come with an open mind.