Midwinter Term, or M-Term, is an opportunity for High School students and teachers to work intensively on group and individual projects during three weeks, usually in March, between Winter and Spring Terms. Classes and programs in a wide variety of subjects are offered to expose students to in-depth study, new interests, possible college/career paths, volunteer opportunities, and recreational pursuits. Many of these occur in conjunction with travel, both abroad and within the United States. Independent study projects may also be proposed for M-Term. M-Term projects often form the basis for continued study or interaction, expansion into a Senior Project, or the impetus for fundraising or other service efforts.
|OFF-CAMPUS COURSES WITH TRAVEL 2013|An Intensive Documentary Experience: Ethiopia Visit BlogExpedition Galapagos: A Program of Service Learning and Exploration Visit BlogEthnomusicology in Bali Visit Blog
Walking/Seeing/Understanding: Hiking the Hill Towns of Tuscany Visit BlogCommunity Service & Cultural Immersion on Thailand’s Coast Visit Blog
Independent Study in Brazil: International Tennis Matches and Training Visit Blog
An Intensive Documentary Experience: Ethiopia
This intensive course will focus on documentary photography/filmmaking as well service learning and peer teaching. On this trip, students will visit Ethiopia. We will travel from Addis Ababa to Lake Tana and Blue Nile Falls, Lake Lango, Lalibela, Mago National Park, and Turmi. Students will create photo essays and short films, and perform community service in the form of educational exchange. This trip will examine the history of Ethiopia with its early Christian heritage and post-colonial struggles for independence. Ethiopia is an interesting case study within the Ross Spiral. This expedition is for those who enjoy adventure and experiencing the unknown. We will visit traditional Hamer and Karo villages. Both tribes incorporate rich, cultural symbolism into their rituals by using ornate body art, intricate headdresses, and body scarification. We will also be on safari and experience wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos, birds, buffalo, giraffe, elephant, and kudu. In many cases, we will experience the culture firsthand by camping and sharing personal exchanges with the people of Ethiopia.Expedition Galapagos: A Program of Service Learning and Exploration
The students involved with this M-Term trip will participate in the restoration of habitats in the Galapagos Islands, work with local communities, visit ecologically important sites, teach local children about the environment and ecological issues, meet and interact with people (locals and volunteers) of diverse backgrounds, and explore the island and marvel at the unique wildlife. Each year, the local workers and international volunteers that support Hacienda Tranquila accomplish more conservation work and contribute to improving sustainable development of this fragile environment. This organization has continued to expand its outreach and accelerate environmental accomplishments on the island and green growth, restoring endemic forests while protecting vulnerable farmers from invasive species and providing the community with improved access to water, therapy, education, and intercultural exchange of ideas, values, and love for our planet.
Throughout their study in the Galapagos, the students will have the opportunity to study several systems: (1) the reef and human/environmental impacts on it; (2) the reforestation process, from germinating seeds in a nursery to planting trees in order to protect endangered species and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; and (3) the organic farming process, including how to nurture native and endemic plants, removing invasive species and making compost. While in the Galapagos, the students can use what they learn from their role in the conservation of the Galapagos Islands and their studies of environmental issues to identify the problems/challenges we face locally (and others, internationally) and explore innovative ways to improve the way we live back at home (and globally) in order to prepare for a more sustainable future. They will also create media to inform the public about the need for active change in the here and now to improve human and environmental well-being for the future. Last, students will be given the opportunity to work with disadvantaged and special needs children and learn the benefits of hippotherapy. Students can use the information they learn on the trip to become involved in/start a program here at home.Ethnomusicology in Bali
This is the seventh course in an ethnomusicology series. The 2013 program is a rigorous study of Balinese music and dance in the village of Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. The program includes intensive study with master artists in dance or gamelan music, both important and ancient forms of Balinese cultural expression.
For this course, students experience cultural immersion through daily intensive instruction with the master teachers and their assistants, as well as local social and cultural explorations. Excursions are in the form of visits to Balinese Gamelan and Dance Studios and a High School for the Arts; Balinese sacred sites (e.g., temples, traditional art market, etc.), ceremonies (e.g., ngaben, tooth filling, wedding, etc.) and performances (e.g., Barong and Kecak Dance). Students stay in modest accommodations on a beach within walking distance of the training site.
Students are asked to engage creatively and innovatively with these unfamiliar forms of cultural expression. Thinking of the big picture, students are asked to understand not just the dances and music, but also the contexts in which they developed in order to better understand the history and culture of the Balinese. As in all previous courses in this series, students collaboratively write an ethnographic study and return to the Ross School with a performance to share with the community. Students will be assessed on their engagement with the arts and culture of Bali, their cross-cultural sensitivity, and their contributions to the ethnography and ensemble performance.Walking/Seeing/Understanding: Hiking the Hill Towns of Tuscany
How often do we actually comprehend the world we live in? Do we notice detail or simply look without understanding? In the fast-paced world of modern technology, our world flashes by at the speed of the automobile, the blur of the bullet train, the fast-cut scenes of modern film or television. Students spend more time with their cell phones, computers, video games, and other digital devices than in actual conversation. According to the distinguished Harvard University design professor John Stilgoe, “I just like to meander along, with or without my students, and just look.” Professor Stilgoe, who teaches the art of exploration and discovering the built environment, including everything from architectural history to advertising and design, introduces his students to a method of discovering a hidden world that’s always been right in plain view. Stilgoe states, “Education ought to work outdoors, in the rain and the sleet, in the knife-like heat of a summertime Nebraska wheat field, along a half-abandoned railroad track on a dark autumn afternoon, on the North Atlantic in winter. All that I do is urge my students and my readers to look around, to realize how wonderfully rich is the built environment, even if the environment is only a lifeboat close-hauled in a chiaroscuro sea.” Using this commitment to slow-paced understanding, students in this course will move deliberately through Italian cities and countryside in order to develop their sense of discovery, creativity, and imagination. From large cities like Rome and Florence to tiny villages like Pienza and Montepulciano, students will recognize unseen details and innovations that provide understanding about how people have interacted with their world throughout history and about how that impacts the world of today. The students will first map their experiences by recording the locations of historical buildings, monuments, personal encounters, and environmental factors. They will then use these maps to help determine the ways that humans interact in urban and rural environments and how Italians’ interactions may be different from the student’s perceptions of normal. They will also perceive how these differences influence innovation in design and how the manner in which we explore influences what we see and how we see it. Students will read selections from Stilgoe’s work and create imaginative and innovative ways of reflecting on their own experiences.Community Service & Cultural Immersion on Thailand’s Coast
In this course, students engage in community service, cultural immersion, and interactive learning in the natural diversity of the gorgeous coast of Southern Thailand. Following their arrival on Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, students will travel south to the province of Phang Nga, on the shores of the Andaman Sea—a melting pot of various religions and culture. Students will participate in activities varying from meeting a local abbot at a Buddhist temple for an introduction to Thai Buddhism to exploring the mangrove forest in a fascinating journey through the tidal canals, learning about this amazing ecosystem and how to preserve it.
Students will also be involved in a service project at a local school to work with Burmese migrant children and learn firsthand about the education system in Thailand. They will take part in many different activities with the children, ranging from teaching English to physically working on the school grounds of a community in need of service. They will learn what it is like to be involved in a community different than what they are accustomed to, while changing the lives of children in this area. In addition, students will interact with a local family during a home-stay experience. Students will also engage in local conservation efforts, in order to allow everyone to continue enjoying the beauty of the pristine nature of the region, and gain an understanding of the risks of globalization.
As they travel further down the coast to Koh Surin and Khao Sok National Park, both well-conserved paradises of white sandy beaches, clear water, amazing coral reefs, and a 20-million-year-old jungle, students will have the opportunity to snorkel, visit the five islands in close proximity to Koh Surin, go on nature trails, and meet the island’s original inhabitants. They will reflect on their experiences over the duration of the trip through daily journaling and during nightly gatherings alongside their peers. Take this trip to learn about this culturally rich, exceptionally fascinating, and diverse part of the globe through hands-on experiences.Independent Study Trip to Brazil: International Tennis Matches and Training
This M-Term is an independent study trip to Brazil with Tennis Director Vinicius Carmo and former RSTA Tennis Coach Mauricio Gattuso. The trip will include opportunities for intense tennis training, matches against top Brazilan junior players, and touring the beautiful and exciting city of Sao Paulo. Ross Tennis Academy students will have an opportunity to undertake a two-week intensive training session with Brazilian natives Vinicius and Mauricio and experience international competition daily with a variety of top junior players from the Sao Paulo area. This is a great opportunity for RSTA players to recharge their minds and refresh their energy in one of the world’s most renowned hubs for junior development in tennis. Students will also participate in sessions with a top-rated junior tennis fitness expert daily. In addition, there will be time available for our players to sightsee in Sao Paolo and relish its beauty through the eyes of their two native-born coaches.
|ON-CAMPUS COURSES 2013|
Early Education and Community Service
The Future Through Science-Fiction Visionaries
Aboard the Hogwarts Express
Invention, Innovation, and Design
Global Agent of Change
Early Education and Community Service
Students who sign up for this course will work with the students on the Lower School campus. Students should be able to choose which grade or age level they would like to work with and will use Creativity, Innovation, and Imagination to develop lesson plans to help the cooperating teacher. These lessons will be determined with the cooperation of the teacher and the student. They should include learning opportunities to further develop and refine the Ross Spiral Curriculum. Each day, the students will go to the Lower School campus for hands-on work with the students in the classroom in the morning hours. Students will then return to the Upper School campus for lunch and planning for the next day.
In addition, students who sign up for this course might be asked to work outside of the school, earning community service hours. Possible experiences include volunteering at ARF or local food pantries, beach cleanup, or working in the garden. Students will work on their self-wellness using campus facilities as well as take advantage of the many nature trails and beaches in the area.
A student who chooses this course must be very excited about the prospect of working with the children of the Lower School. They must also not be afraid to get dirty and be outside to help other members of the community. On the plus side, the student will be able to accumulate many hours of community service hours toward his or her graduation requirement.
The Future Through Science-Fiction Visionaries
In this course, students will explore our hopes, fears, and dreams for the 21st century and beyond through the perspectives of some of the visionaries—scientists, artists, and philosophers—who have contemplated its many possibilities. Students will watch classic science-fiction movies including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner,
as well as some cult classics. Most of the movies stand on their own as film. That they also show percipience or are exemplars of the genre only serve to further their educational significance. Students will analyze these movies through many of the perennial lenses—accelerating technology, utopias and dystopias, deteriorating environment, societal collapse, evolving consciousness, cyborgification, etc. Serving as context, several of the seminal papers on these topics will also be considered.Aboard the Hogwarts Express
Welcome to Hogwarts! Together we shall enter the magical world of Harry Potter, and meet him, his friends, his enemies, and the other witches, wizards, and Muggles. We shall enjoy and analyze these fascinating books, watch and critique the films based on them, and discuss important topics such as technoculture, children’s literature, the hero’s story with all of its stages and archetypes, home and family, gender representations, racism, class systems, education, and censorship. We shall tap into our own imagination and creativity, and envision what the first chapter of an eighth Harry Potter book would be like, had J.K. Rowling chosen to write one. Please remember to be on time, the Hogwarts Express leaves promptly. See you on the train!Invention, Innovation, and Design
Students make use of the Innovation Lab @Ross 3D fabrication and design tools—including 3D printers, scanners, and computerized routers—to design solutions and new products of their own invention. They will develop skills using both digital design tools and real-world manufacturing and machine tools. Students will explore the successes of inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators throughout history as examples of the creative process. Students will also explore new avenues of online fundraising and distribution, such as Kickstarter and Etsy, and develop a business plan for their own product or service.Global Agent of Change
This course is for motivated students who wish to explore using infographics, video, mobile apps, and social media to educate their peers about the challenges faced by people displaced due to conflicts and natural disasters. During class time, students will learn about displaced populations using Hurricane Sandy, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and conflicts across the African continent as examples. Students will also learn about the International Declaration of Human Rights and how the rights of members of these populations are being violated. Students will draw inspiration from visits to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy and interviews with people who helped in the relief efforts. Products from this course will be media projects that tell the stories of people displaced by natural disasters and conflicts using data presented in a fun and informative way.
|ON-CAMPUS COURSES WITH TRAVEL 2013|
Innovation in Art
New York, New York
Innovation in Art
This course is for motivated students who wish to explore the avant garde in art, writing, theater, movement, and film on the East End and in New York City. Students explore the impact of participation in a cutting-edge “art scene” from a historical viewpoint and by experiencing the vibrancy of current locations in Brooklyn and New York City in which the arts are flourishing. Students engage in their own art production and experimental writing, drawing inspiration from visits to artist studios, art centers, museums, and theater and movement performances. They make a special study of The Living Gallery, a Brooklyn art center established by a Ross graduate. They also map the process by which communities of avant garde artists in New York City and the boroughs have transformed neighborhoods and led to their gentrification.
New York, New York
In this course, students will experience the sights, sounds, and culture of New York City, considered by many the greatest city on earth. Students will visit New York’s unique blend of ethnic neighborhoods; meander through its world-class museums; sample different ethnic foods on street corners as well as in renowned restaurants; explore such landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge; stroll down world-famous Wall Street and 5th Avenue; and take in a show on Broadway. Students will spend five nights in a New York City hotel, and a total of eight out of the 14 M-Term days in New York City. The other six days will be spent on campus studying New York’s history and culture, doing collaborative research projects, listening to music about New York, and watching several New York–based movies, such as Goodfellas, The French Connection, and The Basketball Diaries. Students will each keep a daily journal, make research presentations on different aspects of New York’s history and culture, and submit a final project in the medium of their choice.