Smith's January Interterm
Includes Swing Dance, Bridge and Even "Schmoozing
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- After spending an intense semester
in the lab, lecture hall and library, most college students
are ready for a break. Smith College's January Interterm
gives students the opportunity to stretch their minds --
and bodies -- in unexpected directions.
Starting January 5, some 500 Smith students are expected
to return to campus after the winter holidays to participate
in 44 eclectic, non-credit courses that range from "Burmese
Cooking" to "Marionette Puppetry" to "Bridge
for Beginners." The courses frequently position students
as teachers, faculty members as students and kitchens and
dormitory living rooms as classrooms.
"This is one of the things I like best about Interterm," notes
Susan Briggs, who coordinates the program. "Students
learn so much by teaching that they often express a newfound
respect for their faculty members."
This year's roster of classes includes a few to help future
graduates brave the rigors of the real world, -- including "Schmoozing
101: How to Meet, Greet and Network Effectively" and "Public
Persuasion: Making Your Case in the Media." "Schmoozing," taught
by two members of the college's advancement staff, is designed
to put participants at ease in social and professional situations
and to avoid making faux pas. "Public Persuasion" teaches
students how to deal with the media, including writing press
releases and conducting interviews.
An important goal of Interterm, Briggs explains, is to encourage
students to try new things without risk or prior preparation.
Accordingly, the only prerequisite for "Supernatural/Paranormal
Phenomena" is an open mind. Co-taught by an astronomer,
a philosopher and a psychologist, the class explores astrology,
ESP, divination, palm readings and extraterrestrial contact.
A live demonstration of psycho-kinesis -- moving objects
with the mind -- is a highlight.
Smith sophomore Shengchu ("Chloe") Zhu teaches "Classical
Chinese Painting." She considers Chinese painting to
be "the most abstract art that balances passion and
wisdom, love and calmness." Zhu has studied Chinese
painting since she was 11, and she says that, while mastering
Chinese painting takes several years, "... this Interterm
class is, by all means, an introductory and experimental
Kate Lee, who has more than 15 years' experience in the
video multimedia industry, teaches "Videography: The
Art of Visual Communication."
"The class is open to anyone who is intrigued by the
process of designing, recording and editing a video production," Lee
says. "Videography provides a tremendous creative outlet,
and the production process combines a plethora of creative
skills -- writing, music and graphic design -- and allows
producers to tell powerful and compelling stories."
Heather Neal, who returned to college after careers in advertising
and massage therapy, is offering "Massage, Self-Care
and Stress Reduction." She's confident the course will
fill a need.
"I can't help but notice postures in students that
lead to pain and discomfort," she says. "I hope
to teach those who take my class how to be aware of our stress
points, our posture and how we use our bodies in repetitive
ways," says Neal.
Knitting, already a favorite among many college students,
will be taken to the next level by Smith senior Ariadne Nevin
in a course titled "Invent a Hat."
"Whether your ideal hat is wild or sedate, coax it
out of your imagination," Nevin urges in her course
description. Nevin has knitted "God knows how many hats," and
hopes to encourage students to lay aside traditional patterns
and "have a little more faith in their ability to improvise."
In addition to courses, Interterm also features field trips.
Students have the opportunity to see the Metropolitan Opera's
production of "The Barber of Seville" at New York's
Lincoln Center as well as the provocative Broadway hit "Avenue
Q." A trip billed as "Disorder on the Court" will
provide tickets and transportation to see the Boston Celtics
play the Houston Rockets at Boston's Fleet Center. A film
series running throughout Interterm will feature faculty
members and administrators -- including Smith President Carol
T. Christ -- introducing and discussing their favorite films.
Smith College is consistently
ranked among the nation's foremost liberal arts colleges.
Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries,
Smith is the largest undergraduate women's college in the
Office of College
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