SPARTANBURG, SC—From the Rubik’s Cube to yoga, environment to fashion, World War II to the Vietnam Era, Wofford College students begin the 2003 Interim term on Monday with a wide variety of options for non-traditional projects, internships and study-travel opportunities.
This year’s campus seminar options run the gamut of the study of World War II or the Vietnam War, to the history of baseball, healthcare systems in transition, and science fiction in books and on screen. Many of these projects will include community outreach or hands-on learning, while other Wofford students will participate in internships both in Spartanburg and elsewhere, where they will be working with doctors, dentists, television and music industry professionals and much more. Still others will be involved in independent study projects that will take some to Ground Zero in New York City and others to the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C.
Wofford’s Interim is a month-long January academic term that provides students and faculty opportunities to explore non-traditional courses of study.
“At a time during the late 1960s when many colleges and universities rushed to abandon the core curriculum in an effort to give students more intellectual freedom, Wofford was determined to maintain its traditional liberal arts framework, and has done so with nationally recognized success,” says Dr. Ana Maria Wiseman, assistant dean of students, director of Interim studies and study-abroad programs. “However, it was felt that there should be some brief time during the year when faculty and students could enjoy non-traditional learning together.”
The Interim permits and encourages teachers and students to explore the new and untried, “and in doing so, to run risks that could not be justified in the traditional semester course work,” she adds. “The Interim frees teachers and students from many of the usual class commitments of the semesters and permits each to concentrate for a month on a single study project of his or her choosing. Interim projects are designed to move beyond traditional classroom courses and teaching methods, to consider important topics in relevant ways and places, to observe issues in action, to develop capacities for independent learning, and to encourage the responsible self-direction of educational development.”
Here’s a sampling of some of the Interim offerings at Wofford this year:
Rubik’s Cube: A Mathematician’s Guided Tour—An exploration of the world of abstract mathematics normally the province of specialists.
Dale Carnegie Leadership Development Program—A focus on the core competencies necessary for effective leadership. (A donor has provided funding for several Wofford Bonner Scholars to participate in this program.)
Immersed in Strangeness—A study of independent filmmakers and the criticisms they have of Hollywood and of American society.
Latino USA!—An introduction to Latino culture in the U.S., with local community research and community involvement.
Baseball in American History, Literature and Film—An examination of the “national pastime” in American society.
Environmental Issues—A project designed to address topics to motivate interest in the environment and stimulate those participating to search for solutions to environmental problems.
Seeking Balance: Yoga, Indian Medicine and Philosophy—A focus on classic Indian medicine and philosophy and the relationship between the mind and the body in promoting health.
From Togas to Tommy Hilfiger: 20,000 Years of Fashion—An examination of the history of fashion through images and descriptions, and what modern dress says about us.
Changing Courses: A Project for Students New to Wofford—Specifically designed for students enrolling at Wofford this month, the course will help ease the transition into this new phase of their lives.
Among the internships in which Wofford students will participate during Interim are introduction to dental medicine, preparation for medical school, other healthcare-related internships, and accounting and pre-law programs.
The Capitol Hill Internship Program will involve nine Wofford students doing internships in Washington, D.C., including working on The Hill as well as with other D.C.-area organizations, such as CNN and a children’s hospice program.
Independent study projects this Interim also are varied.
One student will work on “Envisioning a New Community: Nine-Twelve’s Response to Nine-Eleven,” with the Nine-Twelve Community Foundation at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City with Wofford alumnus Father Lyndon Harris, known as the “Ground Zero priest.”
A group of three students will embark on “Highway 29: Main Street of the South,” an exploration of U.S. Highway 29 and its social economic and artistic role in both Spartanburg and the South as a whole.
“Micro-Economics of the Music Industry” will have one student writing, recording, producing and marketing an eight-song album of original music.
Two students will participate in “Low Budget Wonder II: The Everglades,” producing a documentary on the Wilderness Waterway in the Florida Everglades.
A number of Wofford students will be traveling for Interim, studying in such locations as New Orleans, Peru, New Zealand and New Mexico.
For a complete listing of all on-campus courses and off-campus projects, not including independent study projects, go to www.wofford.edu/interim.