Hastings College ready for 50th year of January Term

During what was initially known as Interim and now called January Term or J-Term, Hastings College students have spent the month of January studying one course. This feature unique to the College’s academic program, begun 50 years ago, allows students to complete internships, participate in study tours abroad and delve into a course with a depth difficult while juggling other coursework. The upcoming session begins on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Below is a partial listing of the 2016 J-Term courses.

Off-Campus Courses

East Meets West: The Culture and Communication of Southeast Asia                        Instructor: Jessica Henry

Location: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam (12 days)

This travel seminar will give you the opportunity to experience the communication and culture of three countries in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. As companies become more global, there are many more opportunities to travel and work in areas you might not have thought about previously. If you have traveled to that area and you have a basic understanding of the culture, you will be at an advantage in the job market.

Educating in a Multicultural Society                                                                      Instructor: Lisa Smith

Location: Jackson, Mississippi (7 days)

This course is designed to explore and develop skills necessary in the development of transformational learning environments that provide every student an equal opportunity to develop to their full potential. Areas of emphasis include developing a first-hand understanding of what it is to live and learn in an intercultural community and how to engage in actively ending oppression of all types. This course will also investigate examination of educational practices and their impact on students learning (e.g. assessment, instruction, curriculum, education materials).

Immersion in French Language and Culture                                            Instructor: Constance Malloy

Location: France (15 days)

This course is a 15-day language immersion trip with a 10-day stay with host families in Provence and a 5-day trip to Paris. By staying in host families, attending the local high school (Lycėe) forten days, and practicing their French while traveling, students of low-intermediate, intermediate and advanced abilities in French will be able to improve their French, especially their listening comprehension and their ability to hold a conversation in French. At the same time, students get acquainted first-hand with French culture (architecture, art, food, and everyday life) in both a rural and an urban setting, ad will be able to see some of the most famous symbols of French culture while in Paris. During the home stay, students will see medieval villages, many of them fortified, as well as hear the French unique to the region spoken at native pace, and will experience the beauty of the southern part of France very near the Mediterranean Sea.

England and Wales: From Stonehenge to Stone Cathedrals Instructor: Sharon Brooks/David McCarthy

Location: England and Wales (25 days)

England and Wales are home to a wonderful variety of sacred and secular images.  This travel seminar will consider how and why people have created these images and how those purposes have changed over time. Sites will include Canterbury, the setting for Chaucer’s famous “Canterbury Tales,”  Stonehenge, Wells Cathedral, Caernarfon Castle in Wales, and the ancient healing waters of St. Winifrede’s Well, a destination of modern pilgrimage.

Discovering Post-Communist Europe                                           Instructor: Ingrid Bego

Location: Europe (19 days)

During this J-Term course, students will travel to southestern Europe to experience the political, social and cultural environment in the newly democratized countries of the region. This course will contribute towards students’ better understanding of the challenges of democratization, nationalism, state formation and European Union membership. This course aims to improve critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze political phenomena cross-nationally. More particularly, during this course students will visit the countries of Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. Among other things students will attend parliamentary sessions, meet with governmental officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations, visit historical sites and museums as well as have a chance to interact with the local citizens.

On-Campus Courses

Implied Motion in Art                                                                                   Instructor: Tom Kreager

This course will focus on creating sculptures that give the appearance of movement. Students will learn various methods of forming steel to construct their sculptures, methods will include cutting, bending, rolling, welding and whacking it with a hammer.

A Sense of Place: Landscape and Imagination    Instructors: Dan Deffenbaugh and Turner McGehee

This is a study of the literature, philosophy, music and art of landscape. Through selected texts from such writers as Petrarch, Thoreau, Wordsworth, John Muir, Barry Lopez, and Pablo Neruda, we will explore how people throughout history have come to understand who they are—their personal identity of “face”—in relation to where they are—their “place.” We will pay special attention to the ways in which the American landscape has been interpreted and represented by visual artists over the last two centuries. A portion of the class will take place at the Sylvan Dale Ranch near Loveland, Colorado.

The Horror Film: Critical Studies in Media Communication         Instructor: Austin McDonald

This course will focus on the horror film as media communication and as cultural artifact. Criticism of the horror film has grown exponentially in the last two decades. With components like monster as metaphor, this course will interrogate a variety of elements and functions of horror films. Students will develop the skills necessary to access, interpret, and analyze horror films and their respective connections to social/cultural contexts. The course will ask: What do horror films do? How do we use horror films? This class does not focus on fandom or simple reviewing of movies. Rather, this course asks students to recognize the horror film as a social and historical process of media communication.

“It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”                                              Instructor: Ann Auten

No matter what one chooses for a career path, all adults will interact with children. The old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” suggests that all members of a community have a responsibility to its children. After all, they are one third of our population and our future leaders. Class participants will learn behavior strategies for working with children from authors including Bill Cosby, Stephen Covey and Jim Fay. Hillary Clinton’s perspective from her book, “It Takes A Village” which advocates a society that strives to meet all of a child’s needs, will also be included in discussions. Students will participate in two service learning projects with children in the local community.

Ursula K. LeGuin: Sci Fi That Asks Wicked Questions                                       Instructor: Keith Rhodes

Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Hainish” science fiction novels (the subject of this course) have several differences from her “Earthsea” fantasy novels (which will not be part of this course). Most prominently, in her science fiction she seems to relish posing interesting anthropological and philosophical questions. What if our consciousness were more of an ecological “dreamtime”? How would we organize our culture if each season of the year lasted twenty years? What if we changed genders at different times of our lives? Readers of her fantasy might find familiar, however, the way LeGuin’s novels portray a consistent and thoroughly conceived “future history.” While LeGuin herself does not claim to have written her novels as a consistent historical cycle, we will read a selection of them in the order of their setting in that future history rather than in their publication order. In that way, we will seek to gain a better understanding of LeGuin’s art and thought.

Book Production                                                                  Instructor: Patricia Oman and Emily Bennett

Have you ever wondered how books are made? In this class, students will simulate an actual press working environment, focusing on the production side of book publishing, with students serving as proofreaders, typesetters and project managers. Students will learn advanced features of Microsoft Word, InDesign and Photoshop to produce hard copy books and e-books.

The Battle for the West: The Greco-Persian Wars          Instructor: Billie Cotterman

This class is an overview of the Greco-Persian Wars (499-449 BCE) in which the Persians attempted to conquer Greece. Some of the most famous ancient battles were fought during this time, including those at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. In this class we will read some primary sources, some secondary sources, and read/watch some creative interpretations, and discuss the history, strategy, culture and influence of not just the Greeks but also the Persians.

Traffic: Drugs and Alcohol in World History                                          Instructor: Glenn Avent

Addictive, intoxicating, and mind-altering substances have long been important commodities in an international trade that contributed significantly to the development of world empires and industrial society. This class explores the historical importance of goods ranging from coffee and tea to opium and cocaine in the creation of the modern world. Changing attitudes towards the production and consumption of intoxicants as well as the social and political effects of this commerce will also be addressed.

“The Land Was Too Big for the Armies”: The Eastern Front in World War I  Instructor: Rob Babcock

“In the west, the armies were too big for the land; In the east, the land was too big for the armies.”—Winston Churchill

While the tragedies of the Western Front in the First World War are well-documented in European history, literature, and the arts, the Eastern Front remains something of a mystery to English-speaking audiences. It was on the Eastern Front that military campaigns took place that destroyed the Austrian and Russian empires, campaigns that redrew the map of Eastern Europe into what it looks like today. This course is the military history of this front of the war, examining among other campaigns the Russian invasion of East

Prussia, the Carpathian campaigns of 1915 and 1916, the Brusilov Offensive, and the Romanian campaign of 1916. If there’s time, students in the course will also examine three military efforts that developed in the fallout of events on the Eastern Front: the Polish invasion of the Soviet Union, the war of Latvian independence, and the Hungarian-Romanian War.

Photographic Gourmet Food: Looks Good Enough to Eat                  Instructors: Brett Erickson

Ah, the gourmet food photograph in that glamorous magazine: glisteningly tasty, colorfully enticing and painfully out of reach. If you’ve ever wanted to learn the secrets behind cooking, styling and shooting those beautiful photographs in publications like Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Coastal Living and Condé Nast Traveler, this is your chance. We’ll study the techniques for producing winning photos, plan our meals, cook and style the subjects—food!—and then make our shots. Just as importantly, we’ll examine how these kinds of media images tie into modern debates surrounding the nature of what we eat.

Musical Theatre Workshop: “Monty Python’s Spamalot”         Instructors: Jim Fritzler/Fritz Mountford/Annette Vargas

The class will produce and perform the musical comedy “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” ending in performances the first week of the spring semester.

Saxophone!                                                                                                   Instructor: Debra Rhodes

In addition to learning to PLAY the saxophone, students in this class will study the sordid historical background and social ramifications of the instrument. The class will study and listen to recordings of major saxophonists from all genres of music. It will also address the basics of music reading, so no prior musical experience is necessary. All equipment will be provided.

The Fab Four: Beatles                                                                                             Instructor:  Byron Jensen

While the Beatles were known primarily after February 9, 1964, their road to success was a seven-year journey, not an over-night success. This course covers the entire Beatles story from 1957-1970. Emphasis on developing the student’s listening skills in music will also be stressed.

Learn to Play the Piano in Three Weeks                            Instructors: Ruth Moore and Jonathan Sokasits

Learn the basics of playing the piano without prior musical instruction. Students will play in both popular and classical styles and learn note-reading, basic music theory, harmonization, improvisation and composition.

Guitar from Scratch                                                                         Instructor: Richard Klentz

This course is an introduction to rhythm style accompaniment guitar playing.  Students will learn to read chord charts in standard notation and guitar tablature, accompany vocal and instrumental music.  Musical styles will reflect the diversity of the instrument and will include but not be limited to: folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, country, pop, Latin and jazz.  Both pick and finger-style guitar will be taught.  Chord theory and structure will be presented.  Activities will include: listening, watching performances, discussing history of the guitar and players of influence.

Moneyball Revolution: Football & Basketball Analysis                                       Instructor: Mark Zajack

Michael Lewis’s 2003 best-seller Moneyball propelled statistical analysis in sports into the mainstream. The revolution has since spread from baseball to other sports, including both football and basketball. This course will explore the potential of statistical models to predict success in football and basketball. Students will gain experience collecting, organizing and analyzing data.

Love, Sex, and Death                                                                       Instructor: Ali Beheler

Particular experiences of love, sex, and death can be life altering, to say the least. But is there something about our capacity for and orientation toward these experiences that helps us to interpret the meaning of human life itself? What are these experiences about and what can they teach us about ourselves? Beyond the fact that love and sexual desire have so frequently led to death, is there a more fundamental relation between love, sex and death? This course will explore such questions through an encounter with philosophical texts, essays, poetry, and film within the Western tradition.

Psychology and the Legal System                                                             Instructor: Doyle Daiss

This class will explore the interconnectedness between the American Legal System and the practice of Psychology as it pertains to such topics as Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI); Competency to Stand Trial; Civil Mental Health Commitments; reformation of the mental health treatment delivery system, and the impact that reform has had on the legal system. As a part of this course, students will interact with professionals from the County, State, and Federal legal systems, as well as visit local County and District Courts during times of trials and hearings.

Disconnect to Reconnect: Techonology, Nature and Developement    Instructor: Stephanie Furrer

Drawing on psychological theory and research, as well as contemporary writings regarding concerns about development in the Digital Age, students in this course will examine the impact of technology on their own and others’ lives, and will explore the benefits of nature experiences on physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. In addition to lecture and reading discussions, students will engage in group projects, and will participate in outdoor activities (as weather permits). Overnight travel to Schuyler and

Nebraska City may be required.

Introduction to the Night Sky                                                          Instructor:  Clyde Sachtleben

This course is designed for students who want to gain a perspective on the character of the astronomical universe. Topics will include our solar system, star birth and death, galaxies and cosmology. The observatory and local planetarium will be used for the outside activities.

Understanding How the Brain Works        Instructor: Lorraine Edwards, Distinguished Visiting Professor

This course will be taught at the basic level and will incorporate principles of electrophysiology, neurochemistry and neuroanatomy to understand how the brain works. Students will have the opportunity to experience electroencephalograms, nerve conduction studies and computerized tomography of the brain.

Factors Influencing Marital Quality                                                Instructor:  Robert Kettlitz

This course explores how several factors (expectations, interaction/communication, bonding, and adjustment) impact individuals’ perceptions of the quality of their marriage.

Recent Spanish Cinema: From the “Movida” to the Great Recession        Instructor: Pedro Vizoso

This course explores the major changes in Spanish society during the last three decades (1985-2015), from the integration of Spain in the European Community to the devastating effects of the last economic crisis in the country. Therefore, the emphasis will be put in the impact of the Great Recession in all aspects of the Spanish society: economy, politics, urbanization, nationalisms, globalization, multiculturalism, social life, gender issues, sexuality, family, and community. We will analyze the most recent movies produced in Spain, such as La chispa de la vida, Ocho apellidos vascos, Torrente 5, or Murieron por encima de sus posibilidades, among others, and reflect on the way they are addressing the challenges that Spanish society is facing nowadays. Films will be featured in Spanish with English subtitles. The aim is to provide a good, deep, and multidisciplinary vision of Spanish society in the 21st century, while we learn how to analyze films and write about them.

Foundations in Personal Finance                                                   Instructor:  Deb Johnson

Want to be wealthy?  Foundations in Personal Finance is a program designed by Dave Ramsey with the goal of equipping young adults with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound financial decisions.

Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies                                          Instructor: Laura Logan

The goal of this course is to enlarge your understanding of how gender shapes our world. We will explore a variety of topics including the socialization of gender, reproduction, sexuality, etc. in the media, and the influence of gender on economics. This is NOT a course focusing only on women, but on gender. Therefore, we will also study the history and development of both the Women’s movement and Men’s movement. In addition, we will also consider multicultural perspectives of gender in our global community.

Learn to Play Mah Jong                                                                   Instructor: Hilary Watter

Mah-Jong is a game that originated in China. There are several versions: Chinese, Japanese and American. All three versions will be studied, learned and played. Mah-Jong is a game of skill strategy and calculation yet it also involves a certain degree of chance. Come join us as we learn to play this ancient Chinese game that is making a revival throughout the country.

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