Going Back to School? Marlboro College Courses

Over the next week, we’re going to feature a couple of colleges in the Vermont area that are teaching courses this upcoming Spring Semester that stuck out as we looked through the course lists. There’s a lot of variety to the courses here, ranging from new digital technologies, to looking at speculative fiction as a genre to foreign policy for other countries around the world. There’s a facinating range of things to learn.

Obviously, admission to these courses are going to depend on your student status, but if you’re looking for an excuse to go back to school, it’s worth talking with their respective admissions departments and seeing what you have to do to sign up.

Our last college to look at this time around, Marlboro college is an alternative liberal arts college located in Marlboro, Vermont. Here’s what they’ve got to offer:

Marlboro College

HUM1447 Making the American Enemy
From the course catalog: Just after the antagonism of World War I, America faced the domestic issue of radical political dissidents on its home soil. Refugees escaping the ravages of war and reconstruction in their own countries came to America with politics that were, occasionally, outside the acceptable limits of democratic ideology. The politics of post-nationalism had become a threat with the success of the Russian revolution, and the rhetoric of union bosses seemed equivalent with that of socialists and bomb throwing anarchists. America began to organize its culture and its political machinery against the ravages of anarchism, socialism, communism, and fascism-a process that often meant withdrawal into attitudes of isolationism and racism.
This class will cover the creation of American enemies during three decades of the Twentieth Century (from the end of the First World War to the opening moves of the Cold War). We will be looking at American propaganda campaigns, commercial film successes, print journalism, and the political literature that helped to define UnAmerican ideology from the First Red Scare to the Second. The goal of this class is to interpret American anti-ideological propaganda-its development, its general trends, and its obvious implications for later attempts at defining the American enemy. Prerequisite: None

HUM1200 CHINA’S PROBLEMS SINCE MAO
From the course catalog: During the last thirty years, the People’s Republic of China has achieved economic growth on a historically unprecedented scale. But at what cost? This class will consider some of the problems that have attended China’s tremendous development: environmental degradation, ethnic conflict, and human rights. While each problem has roots that run deep in Chinese history, each also has very distinctive contemporary expressions. After a brief survey of contemporary China’s political, economic, and geographic framework, we will examine the relationship between individuals, social movements, and the state through case studies on water quality, ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, the pro-democracy movement of Tiananmen Square, and the One-Child Policy. Students will write frequent responses to the reading, and will track, over the course of the term, specific issues of interest to them using on-line resources. Prerequisite: None

NSC597 Building Gadgets: An Open Electronics Lab
From the course catalog: A hands-on exploration of interactive electronics using a programmable microcontroller such as the Arduino,
some sensors, motors, and a computer. After looking at some basics of circuits and loading programs at the start of the term, you’ll choose a project, purchase the materials, build it (probably following a recipe), and explain it. We will likely also play with 3D printing using a RepRap. To take this course, you should be comfortable with a do-it-yourself approach to tinkering, and have had some exposure to foundation courses in physics and/or computers. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

HUM1444 The Dynamic Legend of King Arthur
From the course catalog: Kings, queens, knights, damsels, battles, magic, quests, the Holy Grail. These are some of the common images associated with King Arthur and his court. This course will survey a number of medieval and modern works surrounding the stories of King Arthur, his knights, Merlin, and the quest for the Holy Grail. Medieval authors will be studied before turning to authors from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The class will begin with an exploration of the “traditional” Arthurian legend. Discussion will then be directed to the historical treatment and development of Arthur and his legend before considering the later versions. The course will examine the ways in which traditional characters and themes have been adapted and altered to deal with more modern interests and mores.Prerequisite: None

HUM1453 Exploring Paradise: Milton & Morrison
From the course catalog: “To be born is to come to the world weighed down with strange gifts of the soul and an inextinguishable sense of exile.” Ben Okri
In this seminar, we will spend seven weeks (the first half of the semester), exploring John Milton’s 1667 epic poem, Paradise Lost and Toni Morrison’s 1998 novel, Paradise. A side-by-side reading of the revolutionary visions of each of these writers – Milton’s “to justify the ways of God to men” and Morrison’s to explore “why paradise necessitates exclusion” – will open up many questions about the meaning of paradise and the shape of spiritual heroism. We will consider Milton’s logic of liberation, and Morrison’s exploration of “the one all-black town worth the pain” and the all-female community that challenges it. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

HUM1448 Dystopian Literature & Capitalism
From the course catalog: Literature has always been positioned strangely against the culture of which it is a product. From this place it enjoys the capacity to evaluate the society which creates it-whether that be the social diorama of human experience or, in the case of this class, the economic forces that guide material desires and necessities. In America, this has become a description of a tension that began with American laissez faire economics and free enterprise, and the associated problems relative to the human condition. America’s system of capitalism is generally held responsible for such excessive practices as slavery, child labor, generally unsafe working conditions, and the rising rift between the nation’s rich and poor; quite often, it falls to literature to voice the cry of protest.

To wit, while American capitalism is often praised as the basis for modern global economics, it has also been the target of scathing reviews. Especially in fiction, capitalism is shown in social realistic novels as deeply dystopian and, at its very core, flawed with a lack of humanity that enslaves its workers and destroys their lives. We will be reading some of these literary works and looking at them as a basis of understanding American responses to its own economic system.
In this class, we will be reading critiques of capitalism in fiction from the latter half of the nineteenth century and early half of the twentieth from Melville, Lewis, Sinclair, and Powers. As this is a writing class, we will also be producing essays rooted in social and literary criticism. We will produce three major papers for the class.

Going Back to School? Burlington College Courses

Over the next week, we’re going to feature a couple of colleges in the Vermont area that are teaching courses this upcoming Spring Semester that stuck out as we looked through the course lists. There’s a lot of variety to the courses here, ranging from new digital technologies, to looking at speculative fiction as a genre to foreign policy for other countries around the world. There’s a facinating range of things to learn.

Obviously, admission to these courses are going to depend on your student status, but if you’re looking for an excuse to go back to school, it’s worth talking with their respective admissions departments and seeing what you have to do to sign up.

Located in downtown Burlington, Burlington College offers a number of courses in the visual arts:
Burlington College
CIN240-1 Introduction to Screenwriting
From the course catalog: Start with an earthquake and move toward the climax. What makes a story great? More importantly, how can you learn to tell a great story? This introductory class will help you become comfortable with this exciting form and how it relates to and is different from other forms of storytelling. We will read and discuss texts by writers such as Syd Field, Joseph Campbell and many others who have explored both the architecture and mythic structure of stories. We will learn to map a screenplay from its page twelve inciting incident to the first plot point, midpoint and climax. Throughout the semester, the students will be encouraged to read their original projects aloud, receive and give feedback, and practice the exchange of ideas in “table–read” recreations. The emphasis and focus will always be “finding and telling the story”. Prerequisite: Vision and Revision or permission of academic adviser, and familiarity with Final Draft software for screenwriting .

CIN100-1 Introduction to Cinema Studies
From the course catalog: In this departmental introductory course, we will explore the unique nature of the motion picture medium through an examination of such seminal works as Metropolis, Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane, and Do the Right Thing with special focus on the cinema’s formative years. Students will learn to distinguish the formal elements (mise-en-scene, editing, sound, etc.) by means of which the cinematic experience is constructed, and become conversant with the language of cinema studies, including both technical and aesthetic concepts and terms. This course emphasizes the cinema’s dual nature as a commercial enterprise and an art form, and the ways in which films reveal cultural attitudes toward race, class, and gender.

COR107-1 First Year Seminar: Urban Legends and Modern Folklore
From the course catalog: Did you hear about the guy who woke up in a bathtub full of ice to discover that one of his kidneys was missing? Or the one about the teenagers out parking in the woods, threatened by an escaped convict with a hook for a hand? A friend probably swears that it happened at the Lover’s Lane in your hometown in the 1970s, and her aunt’s friend was one of the victims. In this course, we will examine these stories—called urban legends—within the context of the study of folklore in general. We’ll examine the function of folklore in our everyday lives, and discuss how folklore is transmitted, especially in a modern and technological age. More importantly, we’ll ask why people share folklore, why they tell urban legends, and what folklore practices and texts reveal about our society.

COR370-2T Globalization and Pirates
From the course catalog: From 18th century pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read to the World Trade Organization, this class will examine the roots and rise of globalization through economic theory and pirate history. By looking at historical parallels between the global economy and piracy, we will address the following questions: How did labor organization on standard Atlantic merchant ships compare to the work environment of pirate ships in the 18th century? How did the globalization of culture and language on Caribbean pirate ships and communities compare to globalization in the world’s major cities throughout the 19th century? While dissecting the inner workings of the 20th century corporation, free trade agreement and international lending institution, we will examine the modern day pirates and social movements that have risen up against these global powerhouses. From indigenous hip-hop in the Andes and International Monetary Fund policies in India to pirated computer software in Paraguayan street markets and sweatshops in Thailand, we will look at the winners and losers of globalization.

WCN254-1 Workshop: Special FX
From the course catalog: How did they do that? Creating the illusion of fires, gunshots, stormy weather, and other engrossing visual effects is the mainstay of Hollywood films. A great many motion picture special effects tricks and techniques are not as complicated as one would think. This three-day workshop will cover some of the basic special effects—special make-up effects, “gags”, “squibs,” and simple weather effects—enabling filmmakers to create their own movie magic.

HMS241-1 Families in the 21st Century
From the course catalog: Families in the 21st Century will explore the expanding and changing definitions of “family” that have emerged in recent decades. Leave it to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet defined the perfect unit in the 50’s. We now have families headed by single parents, same sex parents, divorced and separated parents including foster and adoptive children, step children and other blended configurations. We will discuss legal implications, changing trends and geographical and political influences. We will see how the media has influenced and defined our emerging views. The course material is intended to be accepting and inclusive and the discussions will likely involve personal disclosure.

Going Back to School? University of Vermont Courses

Over the next week, we’re going to feature a couple of colleges in the Vermont area that are teaching courses this upcoming Spring Semester that stuck out as we looked through the course lists. There’s a lot of variety to the courses here, ranging from new digital technologies, to looking at speculative fiction as a genre to foreign policy for other countries around the world. There’s a facinating range of things to learn.

Obviously, admission to these courses are going to depend on your student status, but if you’re looking for an excuse to go back to school, it’s worth talking with their respective admissions departments and seeing what you have to do to sign up.

The University of Vermont is our school for today. Vermont’s largest college, there’s a lot to choose from on their Burlington Campus:

University of Vermont

ENSC 222 – Pollution Ecology
From their course catalog: Impacts of pollutants on the structure and function of ecosystems. Examination of how air, land, and water influence fate and effects of pollutants. Prerequisites: BioCore 11; Chemistry 23, Natural Resources 103 or equivalent ecology course.

ENVS 183 – Env Impacts of Consumerism
From their course catalog: Ecological footprint assessment for human use of energy, housing, water, waster, food. Review of regulatory strategies, economic options, and consumer awareness to reduce environmental impact. Prerequisite: ENVS 001 or ENSC 001 or NR 002.

ENGS 040 – Science Fiction & Fantasy Lit
From their course catalog: Representative modern works of fantasy and science fiction, including works by Asimov, Tolkien, and Clarke. I, II.
Credits: 3

ENGS 113 – Topics in Genre
From their course catalog: Topics focus on the theoretical problems of various kinds of writing. Representative topics: Narrative; Gothic; Sentimentality. May repeat for credit with different content. Pre/co-requisites: 3 hours in English courses numbered 5-96 and sophomore standing.

MMG 104 – Intro Recombinant DNA Tech
From their course catalog: Introduction to the basic principles and techniques used in recombinant DNA technology. Pre/co-requisites: BCOR 11/12 and a Microbiology or Molecular Genetics major or minor restriction. Spring.
Credits: 2

GEOL 055 – Environmental Geology
From their course catalog: Introduction to geologic processes and materials pertinent to environmental problems: ground water movement, supply, and contamination, waste disposal, flooding, subsidence, and landslides. Local field trips. Designed for intended natural science majors.

PHYS 362 – Quantum Mechanics II
From their course catalog: Mathematical and physical foundations of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics from the unifying point of view of Dirac. Symmetry operations and the algebraic structure of quantum mechanics are emphasized. Prerequisite: 273. Alternate years.

Going Back to School? Middlebury Courses

 

Over the next week, we’re going to feature a couple of colleges in the Vermont area that are teaching courses this upcoming Spring Semester that stuck out as we looked through the course lists. There’s a lot of variety to the courses here, ranging from new digital technologies, to looking at speculative fiction as a genre to foreign policy for other countries around the world. There’s a facinating range of things to learn.
Obviously, admission to these courses are going to depend on your student status, but if you’re looking for an excuse to go back to school, it’s worth talking with their respective admissions departments and seeing what you have to do to sign up.
Today, we’re looking at Middlebury College. In addition to the founding of the Quidditch craze, Middlebury is a reputable school located in Middlebury, Vermont, known for its Business and political science programs. Here’s a couple of courses that we’d sign up for:

Middlebury College

AMST 0225 Gothic and Horror
From their course catalog: This course examines the forms and meanings of the Gothic and horror over the last 250 years in the West. How have effects of fright, terror, or awe been achieved over this span and why do audiences find such effects attractive? Our purpose will be to understand the generic structures of horror and their evolution in tandem with broader cultural changes. Course materials will include fiction, film, readings in the theory of horror, architecture, visual arts, and electronic media.

AMST 0375 The History of Urban America (Spring 2011)
From their course catalog: “The magnification of all the dimensions of life,” writes Lewis Mumford, ” . . . has been the supreme office of the city in history.” Mumford’s appraisal of the mission of the city can be debated, but the importance of the city to civilization cannot be denied. This course traces the rise of the city in America from the colonial era to the present. It explores why Americans have huddled in concentrated settlements and the consequences of that clustering. Special attention will be given to the growth of the industrial city of the late 19th century and the modern metropolis of the 20th century.

BIOL 0314 Molecular Genetics
From their course catalog: This course will focus on the structure and function of nucleic acids in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Lectures will center on molecular mechanisms of mutation, transposition, and recombination, the regulation of gene expression, and gene control in development, immune diversity and carcinogenesis. Readings from the primary literature will complement the textbook and classroom discussions. The laboratory will provide training in both classic and contemporary molecular-genetic techniques including nucleic acid isolation and purification, cloning, electroporation, nick-translation, Southern/Northern blotting, DNA sequencing, PCR and RT-PCR.

CSCI 0200 Mathematical Foundations of Computing
From their course catalog: In this course we will provide an introduction to the mathematical foundations of computer science, with an emphasis on formal reasoning. Topics will include propositional and predicate logic, sets, functions, and relations; basic number theory; mathematical induction and other proof methods; combinatorics, probability, and recurrence relations; graph theory; and models of computation.

ECON 0499 Experimental Economics
From their course catalog: We examine how people actually behave given economic incentives. Rather than learning economic models of behavior (e.g., consumption, investment, production) students in this class learn how to test these and other models using the experimental lab. Topics include: How and why do markets work? Do people act collectively to provide public goods? What are the determinants of bargaining outcomes?

ECON 0428 Population Growth and the Global Future (Fall 2010)
From their course catalog: This course will show how economic analysis can be used to assess the impact of rapid population growth on economic development, the environment, and economic inequality. It will analyze the rapid “graying” of the industrialized countries and their struggle to cope with international migration. It will assess the causes of urban decay in the North and the explosive growth of cities in the South. The course will consider household-level decision-making processes; the effects of changing family structures; and the need to improve the status of women.

PHYS 0202 Quantum Physics and Applications
From their course catalog: This course introduces quantum theory and statistical mechanics, and explores the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the Schrödinger wave equation, and wave mechanics. These techniques are then applied to atomic, molecular, nuclear, and elementary particle systems.

Going Back to School? Champlain Courses

Over the next week, we’re going to feature a couple of colleges in the Vermont area that are teaching courses this upcoming Spring Semester that stuck out as we looked through the course lists. There’s a lot of variety to the courses here, ranging from new digital technologies, to looking at speculative fiction as a genre to foreign policy for other countries around the world. There’s a facinating range of things to learn.

Obviously, admission to these courses are going to depend on your student status, but if you’re looking for an excuse to go back to school, it’s worth talking with their respective admissions departments and seeing what you have to do to sign up.

We’re going to start off this week with Champlain College. Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain is known for their online and residential programs, particularly in the realm of digital gaming. Here’s a couple of courses that we’d sign up for:

Champlain College:

SWE 346-81, .Net Architecture II With C#
From their course catalog: Students study advanced topics in Microsofts .NET technology framework using C#, ASP.NET and other related technologies. This course concentrates on .NET as it relates to distributed application development, and includes topics such as testing, error handling web security, deployment, web controls, web services, attributes, reflection, and more.

EGD 235-02, 3D Modeling
From their course catalog: As a 3D art student youve covered the breadth of 3D territory but now it’s time to dive deeper and polish your modeling skills. In this class you will become a solid 3D modeler and texture artist. Sculpt believable models using primitives, polygons, Nurbs and subdivisions. Fully developed 3D computer models with realistic textures will be your final products.

WRT 325-01, Adv Creative Writing: Fiction
From their course catalog: This course is an intensive exploration of fiction writing. Presented as a seminar and writing workshop, the class reads and discusses short stories, novels, and essays on the art and craft of fiction writing. Writing three short stories (or the equivalent in chapters of a novel/novella) leads students to integrate theory and practice as they produce work informed by a detailed understanding of such common fictional elements as character, plot, setting, and conflict as well as more advanced concepts that foster finely wrought creative work. Students submit at least one original work for publication.

FOR 270-45, Anti-Forensics & Net Forensics
From their course catalog: Students will study several specialized areas of digital forensics, namely, information hiding, anti-forensics, and network forensics. The broad field of data hiding and anti-forensics will be explored with a specific concentration on cryptography (secret writing) and steganography (hidden writing). Basic principles of digital media will be studied in order to understand how digital images, audio, and video can be manipulated and how such manipulation can be detected. Finally, introductory concepts about computer network investigations will be presented.

SEC 250-51, Computer & Network Security
From their course catalog: This course provides an introduction to computer and data network security. Students will examine the rationale and necessity for securing computer systems and data networks, as well as methodologies for implementing security, security policies, best current practices, testing security, and incident response.

COR 330-16, ICS: Science & Society in China
From their course catalog: The world of the 21st century is exciting, complex, and important. COR 330 offers a chance to immerse yourself in an important global community, exploring its culture, society, institutions, people, and history. Taught by faculty with extensive interest and experience in the regional focal area of the course, these classes delve into the vital issues of the contemporary world, such as development, globalization, gender relations, religion, security, the environment, and more. Regions and areas covered each semester will vary, depending on faculty experience.

EGD 110-03, Introduction to Game Design
From their course catalog: Whats the difference between an FPS and an RPG? Are discovery and exploration important in every style of game, or can they detract from a cool game concept? We answer these questions by examining genres in games and analyzing some of the gameplay styles associated with them. Then, once we’ve discovered strengths and weaknesses inherent to particular game styles, we’ll develop skills necessary to formulate and evauluate our own original gameplay ideas.

The Economics of Spaceflight

Now this looks like it could have been a cool course to have taken: The Economics of Spaceflight.

Taught at UVM during the 2010 fall semester (It’s since wrapped up), this course has the following online for their syllabus:

The goal of the course is to enhance understanding of basic principles of economics as applied to space exploration. The course runs from 31 August 2010 to 9 December. There is a week-long break for Thanksgiving. Prerequisites: None, except high school physics and economics helpful. Exams: There will be a final and a midterm. Exams will consist of a mixture of problems, short answers and essay questions and will cover material from lectures and the readings. Grades are determined based on the midterm (20%) the final exam (30%), paper (30%), homework (15%) and class participation (5%). Software:All homework problems will be done in Excel and submitted electronically. Some competence in Excel is assumed. (If you are unfamiliar with Excel, there are numerous tutorials available on the web.) Mathematics: Algebra and some basic calculus will be used in the course. The course syllabus is updated throughout the semester. Dates are approximate.

Part 1: Should Humans Fly in Space?

Aug 31-Sept: 23 Does it make sense to spend billions on space exploration when the resources could be better spent on Earth? What are the trade-offs between social and scientific goals? Should we instead invest in infrastructure, education and poverty programs? Can basic economic theory shed any light on these questions?Readings:Heyne et al., Chpt 1-5,7  Why Space? Was the Race to the Moon Real? NASA’s greatest hits On the Threshold of the Universe Five Essential Things to Do in Space Sputnik DeclassifiedTo the Moon

Part 2: Must Humans Fly in Space?

28 Sept-12 Oct. Are the limits to growth on Earth so severe that mankind has no alternative but to colonize space? Will we run out of petroleum resources for example and be forced to travel to Titan (a moon of Saturn) which has seas of hydrocarbons in order to survive? Will we be better off living in space colonies? Readings: O’Neill Chpt 1-10 Midterm exam: 14 October in class covering all readings and class material to date.

Part 3: Can Humans Fly in Space?

Oct 19-28. Are launch cost simply too high to make space colonies a viable alternative? Is it a practical option to become a spacefaring society? Or, is the gravity well of Earth simply too strong and deep to make space travel possible? Also, space travel subjects humans to risks they do not usually encounter on Earth. Are these risks worth it? As both the Challenger and Columbia disasters have shown, the human costs of space travel can be extraordinary. Readings: The Age of Dinosaurs Critique of O’Neill Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report Fear of Flying

Part 4: Space Exploration and Public Policy

Nov 2-18. The US space agency was born in 1958 in the crossfire of debates over public and private roles in space and the Cold War with the USSR. This was the golden age of industrial policy. NASA has evolved since and may now become largely irrelevant. Should the US have an industrial policy that supports space exploration? Should international cooperation be pursued? What then is the role of the private sector? How can can entrepreneurs make money in space? Readings:Heyne et al., Chpt 8, 10   Making Money in Space
Doing Business on Orbit How to build your own rocketship The Way to Go in Space NASA’s Not So Shining Moments July 1969

Part 5: Moon, Mars and Beyond

Nov 30-December 9. We will return to the Moon and eventually visit Mars. There are serious plans in the making for this endeavor but it will be costly. Will the US space agency support it or is the sacrifice in terms of cheaper robotic missions not worth the cost? Readings: O’Neill, Chpt 10    Why Go to Mars 21st Century Space Craft New Dawn for Electric Rockets
Final Exam.

Sign me up! (When they have it next time.)