Hastings College’s 2013 J-Term courses provide unique academic opportunities

One of the most successful and popular features of Hastings College’s academic program, J-Term allows students to immerse themselves in one course during the month of January, instead of four or five courses. Students can focus on a topic in their major field or study something new. J-Term at HC is a time for discovery, innovation and unforgettable learning experiences.

Now in its 47th year, J-Term includes both on-campus and off-campus courses taught by HC professors and various visiting faculty.  Below is a partial listing of the 2013 J-Term courses. 

Off-Campus Courses
Inequality and Health Care in Trinidad and Tobago: Medical Anthropology and Service Learning
Instructor: Bohmfalk and Heriot
Location:  Trinidad and Tobago (23 days)
The class will travel to Trinidad and Tobago to work with children in orphanages, one which houses orphans with AIDS/HIV related illnesses and the other which houses orphan girls.  While students will not be able to do medical procedures, they will be able to interact with the children, learn about their needs, and about the medical health care delivery system in Trinidad.  We will also cover the basics of cross-cultural perspectives on illness, disease, and alternative healing practices. The trip closes with time off at the pristine beaches of Tobago.

Biology of Central America/International Infrastructures and Cultures    Instructor: Meyer and Wilhelm
Location:  Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala (21 days)
This excursion takes travelers to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize to experience the cultural, biological, and infrastructural diversity in first, second, third, and fourth world countries.   This course offers jungles, metropolitan cities, cloud forests, rainforests, volcanoes, Mayan ruins, and both Atlantic and Pacific Ocean adventures—all incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  Canoe, snorkel, zipline, ride horses, raft, canyon, and underground tube to some of the world’s most historical and ecological treasures.

International Infrastructures and Culture will obtain an overview of topics pertinent to international infrastructures and cultures in first, second, third, and fourth world countries; an examination of the constraints and limitations imposed on nations because of their infrastructures, environments, and cultures.

Natural History of Central America students will obtain a working knowledge of Central American ecosystems and problems in maintenance of such systems in the face of increasingly sophisticated infrastructures.

History and Culture of Guatemala                    Instructor: Glenn Avent
Location:  Guatemala (21 days)
This tour will introduce participants to the history, culture, and social diversity of Guatemala.  It will also provide two weeks of Spanish immersion while living with a Guatemalan family, complemented by daily one-on-one instruction tailored to individual language abilities.  Students will also observe various cooperative community projects, including an orphanage, a women’s shelter, and an organic coffee plantation operated collectively by a group of former refugees.  There will be opportunities to visit black sand beaches, relax in natural hot springs, explore street markets, and climb one of the volcanic peaks that surround the city.  A portion of the fee for the trip will go to support a rural school.

On-Campus Courses
Natural Disasters                            Instructor: Beth Hinga
This is designed for first year students from all disciplines.  Students may take this course to fulfill the college’s L.A.P. requirement in Physical Science.  The course provides a brief introduction to: the earth’s structure; physical and chemical processes that occur inside the earth and at the earth’s surface; several types of natural hazards; the response of local public officials, members of society, and the global community to catastrophic events; and the possible ways in which hazards may be mitigated.  Topics covered in the course will include: structure of the earth, plate tectonics, hazard versus risk, global distribution of geologic hazards and populations at risk, the economic, psychological, and societal responses to disastrous events, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, subsidence, landslides, severe weather events, disaster mitigation, and planning for future disasters.

Adventure Art                                Instructor: Steve Snell
In this course, students will collectively invent and perform an adventure in the Hastings area, while utilizing a range of tools, art-making processes, and popular media in order to perpetuate and establish its image and meaning in a mediated format.  Students will learn various camera techniques as well as basic editing and green screen post-production effects.  They will also learn to build simple, cheap DIY camera equipment such as stedi-cams, shoulder mounts and dollies.  Not only will students have a real adventure in the Hastings area but will look epic and amazing in the process.

So You Think You’re Funny, Huh?                    Instructor: Jim Fritzler and Annette Vargas
Beginning with Commedia Dell Arté, the course will trace the history of improvised comedy.  Through workshops, the student will perform publicly in an improve situation based on such models as “The Second City,” “The Groundings” and “Whose Line is it Anyway.”

Mayaland Yucatan                            Instructor: Turner McGehee
This course is a study of the ancient Maya of Pre-Columbian Meso-American.  

Comic and Graphic Novel Story Telling and Illustration    Instructor: Bob Hall – Distinguished Visiting Professor
This course will introduce students to the landscape of comic and graphic novel creation.  Students will work on devising a story, whether fictionalized or biographical using their own experiences, and then shaping and illustrating that story.  Although there will be instruction in drawing, emphasis will be on story-telling.

Current Issues for American Businesses                Instructor: Roger Doerr and Jamie Read
A seminar based course designed to delve into current topics that American businesses will be dealing with in 2013.  Examples may include job creation, the global economy, workforce demographics, global warming, sustainability, and other topics from the news in January 2013.

“KFKX is on the Air”                            Instructor:  Sharon Brooks
Running a licensed radio station involves all facets of pre-production, production and post-production. It includes music programming, on-air announcing, live talk, news, public affairs, promotion, and public service. Participation in the function of station operations will be available at all levels.

Digital Television Editing                        Instructor:  Chad Power
Students learn advanced digital non-linear editing techniques and apply them on state-of-the-art equipment to create video productions. The course objectives are to produce a quality video production of the student’s choice, learn advanced techniques in non-linear editing, develop long form video production writing skills and communicate effectively with the television medium.

Performance of Literature                        Instructor: John Perlich
Nothing captures the fundamental essence of what it means to be human like mythology, storytelling, and narrative.  For scholar, speaker and Professor Joseph Campbell, metaphors and stories were “the song of the universe, the music of the spheres.”  From the Bible to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”; Shakespearean drama to “Slam” poetry; every tale has potentially powerful implications.  The purpose of this course is to put storytelling in its place!  With equal emphasis on “thinking” and “doing”, students in this class will both analyze/deconstruct and perform literature (ranging from the ancient classic to the neo-pop).  The goal is to both understand the act of narration and develop skills to weave a captivating yarn.  Although advanced students will enjoy this course, the objectives of the class have been formulated for new students.

Organizational Communication                    Instructor: Kittie Grace
Students will study the role of communication in organizations.  Units include organizational networks, personality/leadership styles, power/status, and ethnographic study of organizations.  Students will watch episodes of The Office to learn what not to do in an organizational setting.  Students will also help organize and host a campus event.

PC Hardware and Architecture                    Instructor: Mark Hall

J.R.R. Tolkien                                 Instructor:  Ben Waller
An exploration of the sources, language, mythology, themes, and interpretations of Tolkien’s major fantasy works, including “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”
Literature and the Film: Dystopia                    Instructor: Antje Anderson
In this course, we will discuss a number of well-known and not-so-well known dystopian science-fiction narratives and films, among others the movie Blade Runner and the short story by Philip K. Dick that it was based on, and the novel/film pairs 1984, A Clockwork Orange, Never Let Me Go and V for Vendetta.  The goal is to use these texts and films as examples to get a sense of how stories and movies work, and how they can be analyzed both independently of each other and in comparison with each other.

From Haunted Houses to Horny Teenagers:  The History of Horror    Instructor: Patricia Oman

North American English Dialects                    Instructor:  Dwayne Strasheim

Europe in the Cold War                        Instructor: Rob Babcock
Using the 1974 John LeCarre novel and the 1979 BBC miniseries Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, this course will explore the social and political history of Europe from the end of WWII to the fall of the Soviet Union.  Through the experiences of a fictional, disgraced British intelligence agent, students will come to understand how Europe became divided into two opposing camps after 1945 and what the consequences of that divide were for the continent’s peoples.  Content of the course will include but not be limited to the creation and activities of the great espionage agencies (the CIA, MI5, and the KGB), the creation of East and West Germany, and suppressed revolts in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.  There will be considerable emphasis on students learning to ask good and important historical questions – questions that get them beyond merely “what happened” in Europe from 1945-1991.

Clash of Generals I                            Instructor: Mike Ibeji
Using a combination of battle maps and the Rome: Total War computer game engine, we will break down the tactics of eight of the ancient world’s most celebrated generals, analyzing how and why they won their battles. Then students will split into teams, each taking one general and designing a battle plan based on their analysis. We will test these battle plans head-to-head against the other generals on the virtual battlefields of Rome: Total War in an effort to find out whether Hannibal could ever beat Alexander, or Julius Caesar could take on Atilla the Hun.

Clash of Generals II                            Instructor: Mike Ibeji
How would Alexander the Great have fared at the Battle of Waterloo? Could the Emperor Napoleon have broken Caesar’s line at Pharsalus? In a week of intensive seminars, we shall address these questions by breaking down the strategies and tactics of 12 of the most famous generals in history. Then each student will choose a general to represent, and try to replicate his tactics on the virtual battlefield of the Total War computer game engine. Six ancient generals will do battle using Rome: Total War while six generals from the horse and musket era will face-off in Empire: Total War. The winners of these contests will face one another on the virtual battlefield to see whether Robert E. Less could have outfoxed Hannibal, or Wellington could have held his ground against Alexander’s charge.

Geometry                                Instructor:  Dave Cooke and John Schneider

Logic, Sets and Methods of Proof                    Instructor: Bobbi Buchholz

History and Tradition of Jazz                    Instructor:  Marc LaChance
This course studies the history and cultural aspects of jazz as a way of gaining greater understanding of jazz music.  Some discussion of the elements of music will be included.

Learn to Play Piano in Three Weeks                Instructor: Jonathan Sokasits
Learn the basics of playing the piano without prior musical instruction.  You 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.

Discovery of New York Music Theatre                Instructor: Ruth Moore and Chip Smith
This course is an introduction, history and experience of American Music Theatre.  Field experiences in New York City will include six Broadway productions/workshops.  This class is also available for students registered for ED 382 who may opt to meet their field experience in the New York Public School System.  

Marching Band Techniques                        Instructor: Daniel Laing
This course is an overview of methods and materials related to secondary school marching band design, rehearsal, performance, and administration.  Emphasis will be placed on charting for marching band utilizing computer-assisted drill writing software.

Survey of Choral Repertoire                    Instructor: Fritz Mountford
This course is a comprehensive survey of six centuries of music for choral ensembles.  Primarily through online resources, participants will investigate characteristics and techniques of the major historical style periods through the works of representative composers.  Prerequisite skills include the ability to read music in score, experience in formal and descriptive analysis of musical examples and experience in choral ensembles. Designed for upper-division music majors, but others may enroll with permission of instructor.

The Art of Song-An Exploration of Lied, Mélodie & Song    Instructor: Hillary Watter
This course will explore the history and performance practices of the German Lied, the French Mélodie and the English Art Song.  Students will study and perform several songs from each category.

Get Outside! The Benefits of Nature on Child Development        
Instructor:  Dan Deffenbaugh and Stephanie Furrer
Drawing on theory and research from both ecological philosophy and developmental psychology, students in this course will explore the benefits of nature experiences on the physical, cognitive, and social-emotional aspects of child development.  In addition to lecture and reading discussions, students will assess local green-space availability, evaluate nature-based education programs, and will design their own outdoor education curriculum for children.  Students should be prepared to participate in three or four outdoor class sessions as weather permits.

Advanced Lab                            Instructor: Steve Bever and Jim Dugan
The course provides unique experiences in the physics laboratory, including topics in quantum mechanics, optics, modern physics and analytical mechanics which are not covered in the regular courses.  These experiments will be conducted during the first two weeks of the term.  The final week will be spent in Chicago visiting Fermi National  Accelerator Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago Medical Physics Group plus other various museums.

Happiness Studies-Positive Psychology in Film            Instructor: Mark Zajack
Positive psychology is the study of the conditions in which individuals thrive.  In this class we will compare the concepts from Martin Seligman’s book, Authentic Happiness, to the portrayal of happiness in film.  Evidence for the positive effects of qualities such as, curiosity, persistence, and kindness will be explored.  Class time will be dedicated to discussion of readings and film viewing.

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.

Science and Film                        Instructor: Moses Dogbevia and Neil Heckman
The course will consist of viewing several films and discussing the different scientific topics presented in the films.  Students will be evaluated on written exercises, participation, and group activities.  This course is appropriate for all students regardless of background.

Cowboy University                            Instructor: John Kuehn  
Learn first-hand the traditions of the working American cowboy from the 19th century Vaquero to the modern day rodeo competitor and ranch hands.  Students will learn the basic skills of the cowboy, from roping through basic horsemanship.  Hands-on horse handling and riding will give students a taste of cowboy life.  A trip to the National Western stock show will allow students to observe professional skill in the PRCH Rodeo and AQHA show.  

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.

New York City in Hispanic Literature and Film            Instructor: Pedro Vizoso
 “People referred to in the United States as Hispanics or Latinos—however they are identified by language, race, ethnicity or national origin—have been part and parcel of New York since the dawn of the city’s history.”

Taking Claudio Iván Remeseira’s words as a point of departure, this course focuses on how and why New York City—a leading global metropolis—has also become a center of Hispanic/Latino, Latin American and Iberian cultures.  Thus, the course explores a broad range of cultural expressions (literatures, cinema, art…) on a particular topic: Nueva York.

The Sociology of Virtual Networks                 Instructor: Andrew Abel
What are the social consequences of virtual social networks, such as Facebook? What impact do they have on students’ learning? Are people who spend a lot of time using social media more or less lonely than others — or is there no difference? In this class, students will be introduced to the basics of sociological research; we will employ the simplest statistical tools – averages, medians, etc. – as a means of exploring data on this important subject. In addition, students will be gently guided in the development of a formal, social science writing style. In short, students will learn to ‘tell the story’ hidden in a data set – a highly marketable skill in today’s data-rich economy.

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 Gender Studies                    Instructor: Jeri Thompson  
The goal of this course is to expand 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 of economics.  This is NOT a course focusing only on women, the focus is 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.

Invited Faculty
Dr. Lorraine Edwards, Distinguished Visiting Professor
Lorriane Edwards, M.D., a neurologist from Central Nebraska Neurology, P.C. in Hastings, Neb., is experienced in the treatment of disorders of the nervous system, which include diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.
Bob Hall, Distinguished Visiting Professor
Bob Hall has spent more than 30 years as an artist in the comic book industry. He co-authored a stage adaptation of The Passion of Dracula, which ran in Greenwich Village and London and was filmed for the Showtime network. He founded Nebraska’s Flatwater Shakespeare Company.
Dr. Mike Ibeji, Distinguished Visiting Professor
Mike Ibeji, Ph.D., has produced and directed television series that have aired in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, including “Ultimate Engineering” (History Television), “Ancient Megastructures” (National Geographic Channel), “Warrior Challenge” (PBS) and more. An expert on the Roman army, Ibeji holds a doctoral degree and bachelor’s degree in ancient and medieval history from the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, U.K.

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