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Deadly Sins, History of the World, Yoga, more explored

Friday, January 07, 2005

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – From the Seven Deadly Sins to the History of the World According to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to yoga, pottery making and calligraphy, and a whole lot in between, Wofford College students will find some interesting study topics in the 2005 January Interim term.

Interim is a time to provide students and faculty an opportunity for non-traditional learning. Innovation and experiment are the keynotes of the Interim, permitting and encouraging students and professors to explore the new and untried, and in doing so, to run risks that could no be justified in the traditional academic semesters.

Students are offered a variety of choices for Interim – traveling with faculty members as guides; participating in an off-campus internship; or conducting an independent study project individually or in small groups. All programs have some sort of academic component.

Among the dozens of on-campus courses being offered this January are:

“The Seven Deadly Sins” – Lust, pride, greed, anger, envy, gluttony and sloth. When taken to extremes, they can clearly create certain problems, but within reasonable limits, is there anything especially deadline about them? Through daily discussions of a variety of texts and films dealing with the seven deadly sins, the course will address these and related questions.

“Demonstrating Science or Inquiring Minds Want to Know” – Hands-on observation of how nature functions can be spellbinding, understanding these natural laws can be powerful, and explaining all of this to young minds is immeasurably rewarding. Serving as experts, students who participate in the project will travel in teams to area elementary schools and Scout Packs and Troops to help children better understand interesting scientific events by having the young students participate in hands-on activities.

“The History of the World (According to Monty Python’s Flying Circus)” – From an anarcho-syndicalist commune in King Arthur’s Britain to the Philosopher’s Song to Marx, Lenin and Mao answering questions about English football on a TV game show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus has made extensive use of historical events, people and ideas in their outrageous comedy. Students will examine sketches from the TV show and the films by the group, analyzing the history behind the comedy.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” – Students will receive intense, hands-on experience of producing a major main-stage show with all of the acting, singing, organization, public relations and technical work such a production entails.

“Functional Beauty: The Art and Craft of Pottery” – Through hands-on experience, students will explore the craft of wheel throwing pottery with emphasis on the creative process that transforms functional pieces into works of art.

“Chinese Calligraphy and Painting” – A piece of Chinese calligraphy can suggest an expressionist or abstract work as it evokes a complex beauty by the simplest of means: black ink on a piece of white paper. Students will learn and practice basic techniques, and will hold an exhibit during the last week of Interim.

“Effortless Effort: Yoga and Indian Philosophy” – Students will focus on the ideas of classic Indian philosophy and medicine, and the relationship between the mind and the body in promoting health.

Students traveling for study during Interim will participate in such projects as “Culture and Creativity in Northern New Mexico: The Ghost Ranch Experience,” “SCUBA Diving Adventure on Cayman Brac,” and “Thailand.”

An unusual study-abroad program will take students to South Africa. From the Cape of Good Hope to Kruger National Park, students will explore the culture the cultural and biological diversity of South Africa and Swaziland. They will spend almost three weeks in country, including several days on safari in some of the world’s top game preserves. They also will learn about the issues surrounding racial reconciliation and study the impact of HIV/AIDS on the country and the African continent. Students will spend two days building homes in Durban, where former President Jimmy Carter started a Habitat for Humanity project several years ago.

Independent projects include two students preparing and running a marathon, introduction to forensic science, learning the fly airplanes, getting a real estate license, examining the slave culture and plantation life of the South Carolina Low Country, and a variety of internships, including dentistry, chiropractic and veterinary. Seven students will be doing internships with the Turner Broadcasting System in Atlanta.

For a full list of Interim courses and projects, and more details about Wofford College's Interim, go to http://www.wofford.edu/interim/default.asp.