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Smith College's January Interterm 2004 Program, now in its seventh year, gives students, members of the Smith community and area residents the opportunity to stretch their minds -- and bodies -- in unexpected directions. In early January some 500 Smith students returned to campus after the winter holidays to participate in 44 eclectic, noncredit courses like "Burmese Cooking," "Marionette Puppetry" and "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, assistant to the dean of the college, 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 included a few to help participants and future graduates become skilled in promotion and advocacy. "Schmoozing 101: How to Meet, Greet and Network Effectively," taught by two members of the college's advancement staff, is designed to help participants feel at ease in social and professional situations and to avoid making faux pas. "Public Persuasion: Making Your Case in the Media" taught students how to handle publicity, write press releases and conduct interviews.

In addition to courses, Interterm 2004 featured field trips. Students had the opportunity to see the Metropolitan Opera's 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" provided tickets and transportation to see the Boston Celtics play the Houston Rockets at Boston's Fleet Center. A film series featured faculty members and administrators introducing and discussing their favorite films. Among them were Smith President Carol T. Christ and her husband, Paul Alpers, a scholar of English Renaissance literature, presenting one of their cinematic favorites: Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 Strangers on a Train.

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