Pro Vita 2014: C Period
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.
THE ART OF CARD DEALING
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.
BEYOND BAGELS: CULTURE AND TRADITION OF JEWISH COOKING
Using its holy center, we will explore bagels and other Jewish foods commonly found in American cuisine and the cultural exchange so frequently associated with food. In this class, students will learn to cook some dishes that have become favorites both inside and outside the Jewish community, while also discussing other religious and ethnic food traditions.
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.
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.
CROCHET: DON’T JUDGE
Unlike other textile handiwork, crochet’s history is much more ambiguous. Regardless of its past, it’s become a popular tradition in America for both men and women. In addition to learning to use the tools of crochet, you will use a pattern to crochet your own scarf. No previous experience needed.
CROSS COUNTRY COURSE DESIGN
Berkshire Cross Country has been From legendary coach Twiggs Myers to the years of Bill Gulotta, cross country has been a pinnacle athletic program, one of the most successful sports programs in the history of the School in fact. Much of the Berkshire School community has missed out on recent exciting cross country races due to the course location, across the street on East Campus. Students will work with Berkshire’s Maintenance Department to bring the course back to the main campus and utilize some of the natural wonders under the mountain. Students will design their own course and present it to a panel of judges.
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, New York will cap off the week.
DISCOVERING THE MOUNTAIN
KEVAN BOWLER AND EVAN NIELSEN
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
CENCY MIDDLETON AND STUART MILLER ’97
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.
FABRIC COLLAGE: FAST, FUN AND FUSIBLE
Collage is a fun and spontaneous technique for creating artwork. In this class we will explore fabric collage using the fusible applique method used in quilt making. Students will be guided through a specific project using personal color preferences to create a real or imaginary city/town/village. This course will blend the components of collage, quilting and architecture into a unique outlet for creative expression. Each project will be as unique as the individual who constructed it. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s fusible.
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!
GET ON THE BALL, AND GET TO THE POINT!
Relieve stress, unwind knots, and loosen tight muscles with this self-massage trigger point program. Participants will learn how to take care of their own aches and pains while improving strength and flexibility and enhancing performance in sports. The goal for this class is to teach students how to efficiently target your painful and tight spots and effectively eliminate them with success! Basic human muscle anatomy will be taught so participants better understand how to map out pain patterns. Pre- exercise warm-ups and post-exercise stretching will also be taught for re-education and positive muscle memory. By the completion of this course participants will understand the missing tool in their workouts, a must for any serious athlete!
HAVE A HEART: FUNDRAISER PREPARATION
In May of 2014, the week prior to Mother’s Day, the Philanthropy Society will host the “Have a Heart” fundraiser—a bleeding heart plant sale. Bleeding hearts are a very old variety of perennial and signify sympathy for others. All of the proceeds of the fundraiser will go directly to Village Health Works and Deo Niyizonkiza’s vision of building a state-of-the-art Women’s Health Pavilion in Burundi. This Pro Vita offering is centered on all of the planning for this fundraiser including but not limited to: learning about bleeding hearts, planting all of the bleeding heart seedlings that will be sold in May, and creating the marketing materials for the fundraiser.
HOW TO FOOL FISH WITH FEATHERS: FLY TYING, CASTING, AND TROUT FISHING STRATEGY
Have you ever wanted to tie your own fishing flies? How about learn to cast or perfect your double- haul? Maybe you are just curious about what fly fishing is all about. This class will provide opportunities for learning for absolute beginners all the way to those who want to tie their first “muddler minnow.” In addition, we will discuss trout habitat and current conservation efforts underway. If you are curious about fishing for trout, learn how to fool fish with feathers.
HOW TO SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
Based on Max Brook’s recent field guide, The Zombie Survival Guide, students will explore the world of the undead, zombies’ key attributes and weaknesses, and how best to interact and survive if confronted by one, or many, of these menacing individuals. Students will examine the myths surrounding zombies, how best to evade capture, discuss strategies for humanity’s survival and spend time contemplating and preparing for such a dystopian future.
INTRODUCTION TO WEIGHT TRAINING
A great workout does not hinge from the amount of weight that we lift; rather, it is the intent with which we move the weight that ultimately leads to a successful or unsuccessful session in the weight room. The first four days of the class will be spent learning each piece of a typical workout, and on the final day, the class will perform a complete workout. Intended for, but not strictly limited to, students with little to no experience in a weight room, this course will cover all of the important aspects of weight training: proper warm-up, core exercises, plyometrics, resistance training, circuit training, and flexibility.
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
Have you ever had the urge to learn how to make your own warm and woolly accessories or longed to give a lovely hand-made gift to someone dear to you? Are you already a knitter yearning for some dedicated time to devote to this wonderful activity? Well, no matter which camp you fall into, join us for Knitting For Everyone and get a chance to fulfill those dreams! No experience is necessary. Beginners will learn how to cast on and will knit a hat (or 2 or 3) using only the knit stitch. Experienced knitters can work on hats or bring in their own project for knitting time and advice. There is nothing like an hour and a half of knitting bliss to brighten your day! Hats will be donated to Warm Woolies, an organization that supplies orphans with warm clothes.
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: THE GATHERING
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.
MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCTION
From identifying and tapping sugar maples to hanging tubing lines and collecting sap, students will “run the rig,” draw off and filter syrup, and can the finished product. Students will learn what it takes to make pure maple syrup and become part of a storied Berkshire tradition. Finally, students will meet with commercial producers to learn how technology has improved maple syrup production.
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?
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.
PRO VITA...NO REALLY!
DORY DRISCOLL AND SKIP BOWMAN
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? Ever find your white athletic shorts have turned pink after you did a load of laundry? This course will give you the hands on experience to help you solve these important everyday questions.
The Berkshire National Fish Hatchery plays an important role in stocking the rivers and lakes of New England. Through daily visits this local hatchery, you will gain a hands-on perspective on managing cold water fish stocks, an understanding of how fish are cultured in an artificial setting, and begin to bridge the gap between the art and science of fish culture.
RECOVERING YOUR CREATIVE JOY: ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ART...SUPERSIZED!
Remember how you used to love art? How you fearlessly attacked every project with wild abandon and felt such pride and joy in your work that you would give your art away as gifts? And then maybe something happened, something that caused you to hesitate inside and second-guess all that you created. In this class, you’re invited to go back in time to recover that fearless sense of self and joy again. From finger painting and 3-D pop-up books, to giant stained-glass windows, we will explore elementary school art projects that will unleash your inner child. You’re guaranteed to make stuff you’ll love and have a blast doing it!
TRI 4 LIFE
A.J. KOHLHEPP AND JULIA SLYER ’14
Triathlon, a multi-discipline sport requiring unparalleled athletic versatility and commitment to training, has been growing in popularity, with nearly 2,000,000 participants in 2011 (USA Triathlon.org). Youth triathlon has also been taking off in recent years, fueled by increasing media coverage of this demanding and exciting sport. You may be wondering whether it would be possible to plan, train for and participate in a complete triathlon in less than a week. Not to worry: Coaches Kohlhepp and Slyer, enthusiastic triathletes in their own right, will welcome you into the world of triathlon training and coach you all the way to the finish line.
NOTE: While you don’t have to be a competitive swimmer to participate, you will need to pass a basic swim test in order to complete the training sessions and undertake the race... We will keep distances for the training sessions and the race itself modest, limiting the impact on your participation in the normal afternoon program (playoffs, tryouts, et cet.).
ANDREW BARTER AND AMY ROWLAND ’15
Michael Cresta, a carpenter who lives in Massachusetts, earned 365 points in one turn for playing the word quixotry in an official Scrabble tournament. If you find this fact intensely impressive, then this course is for you. Scrabble, the popular crossword board game, is both fun and challenging. In this course, you will learn the rules of the game and some tips on simple strategy, all while preparing to play in the inaugural Berkshire School Scrabble Tournament. In addition, we will watch Word Wars, a documentary that explores the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble. Do you have what it takes to be the Berkshire Scrabble Champion? Take this course to find out!
YOGA: FROM WARRIOR ONE TO DOWNWARD DOG
Led by a Kirpalu-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!