High School Seminars Course Descriptions - Colgate University Skip Navigation

Course Descriptions 2014-15

Jump to: Session I  |  Session II  |  Session III  |  Session IV

Session I

Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Make-up Oct. 22
Registration Deadline: Thursday, Sept. 18
Active Wellness
Christina Turner, MS, CES, Director of Recreation and Chair of Physical Education
Clark Room in James C. Colgate Student Union

Wellness is the active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence. Students enrolled in this course will actively participate in this seminar to enlighten them on how physical wellness can influence one’s growth and development throughout a lifetime. Each class session will include a 40-minute lecture portion followed by a 60-minute activity portion.
Harnessing the Sun
Beth Parks, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Ho Science Center 238

Solar photovoltaics offer the hope that we can obtain electricity from a clean and sustainable source.  In this seminar, students will learn some fundamentals of how solar cells work and then build a toy car that's powered by a solar cell.  We'll also see how solar photovoltaics can be implemented on a larger scale and learn about New York State subsidies that can make solar photovoltaics affordable for students and their families.
The Making of the Atlantic World: Indians, Europeans, and Africans in America
Antonio Barrera, Associate Professor of History and Africana & Latin American Studies
Alumni Hall 108

This seminar examines the encounter between Europeans, Africans, and Indians during the first period of the Atlantic World, 1400s to 1650s. I will explore the formation and consolidation of the Atlantic World as a network of regions and space of exchange. I will explore such themes as European, African, and Amerindian empires and cultures, imperial expansion, colonization, navigation, and European-Indian-African relations, the transatlantic slave trade, the Atlantic economy, and Euro-American colonial societies.
Religions of the World
Aaron Spevack, Assistant Professor of Religion
Lawrence Hall 310

An exploration of some of the world's religions--including Islam, Hinduism, and Taoism--through their sacred scriptures, music, art, and literature. This course will explore how do different faiths address the big questions of life, death, and the nature of things. It will also introduce students to various ways of thinking about religion which can help avoid the pitfalls of oversimplification, generalization, and bias.
Rhetoric in Public Life
Ryan Solomon, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric
Lathrop Hall 210

In this seminar, we will consider the role of public speech in democratic life. Democracy, at its best, it evokes the belief that everyone can and should participate in deciding what our shared world will look like and how we will live together in that world. Of course, the reality of democracy is a far cry from the ideal – truly democratic participation is limited by a number of constraints, from social inequality to issues of power to the fundamental fallibility of human beings. Still, despite the very real challenges presented by these constraints, democratic aspirations have been a powerful source of creating demands for inclusion, participation, and social change. The purpose of this seminar is to identify ways in which you can participate in public life and make your own voice heard on the issues that matter in your own communities. This seminar will be interactive and participatory - it will be discussion focused, with lots of opportunities for practice and experiment in public speech and deliberation.
Why one should Google Thyself
Matt Hames, Manager of Media Communications
Lathrop Hall 107

In a world where 4 million Google searches are done every minute, your digital personal brand is vital. When you go off to university, use Facebook 95% of the time, and use LinkedIn 5% (get a profile.) By your senior year, flip the percentages. Facebook can cost you a job, LinkedIn can get you a job. It isn't always that simple, but it will continue to be important to understand your digital brand. In this presentation you'll learn how the internet already creates your personal brand – and how to take more control over it. 

Session II

Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19, make-up Dec. 3
Registration Deadline: Monday, Oct. 27
African American Influence on the Transformation of American Humor
Mel Watkins, Colgate NEH Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English
20 Humanities Auditorium, Lawrence Hall

This three-session course will provide a brief overview of the evolution of American humor and African Americans’ influence on its development. Using audio and video examples, the course will trace American humor from its backwoods and minstrel roots through vaudeville, motion pictures, and radio to the 1950s and early TV when more satiric comedy featuring social commentary surfaced. It will conclude with an examination of the humor of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and comedians such as Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, and Wanda Sykes who emerged in the wake of Pryor’s groundbreaking comic innovations.  
Climbing the Walls
Trevor Kreznar, Assistant Director, Colgate University Outdoor Education
Climbing Gym located on the 3rd floor of Huntington Gym

Have you ever wanted to climb a wall like Spiderman? Take this course and learn how to tie knots, use ropes to belay (hold) other climbers and move up the wall using good technique. This class guarantees great fun and that you will be hungry for dinner! *Limited enrollment- only sign up if you can reliably attend all three classes  
Crash Course in the Blues
Kara Rusch, DJ/ artist/ music critic
Lawrence 101

Interested in the Blues? What kind of Blues? Rural Blues? Chicago Blues? Folk Blues? Electric Blues? You don’t need to choose. We’ll touch on the history of the Blues in this crash course as well as trace the source music of Elvis Presley and Rolling Stones. Most importantly though--we’ll spend time listening to the best in various Blues genres. Explore with your ears and soothe the soul. 
Everything About Alcohol and Other Drugs That You Didn’t Really Know—You Should Know
Jane Jones, Assistant Director of the Counseling Center, Director of Alcohol and Drug Services
Lathrop 107

Students will access information about common drugs of choice. Through the use of PowerPoint, lecture material and some humor, individuals will come away with a sound appreciation of the effects of alcohol, marijuana and other street drugs. It will include understanding the way that alcohol and street drugs work within the central nervous system from both long-term and short-term perspectives. A review of the addiction process and the common defenses employed by chemically addicted individuals will be discussed. 
Japan through Calligraphy
Yukari Hirata, Associate Professor of Japanese
Japan Center, 107 Lawrence Hall

This course will introduce some cultural aspects of Japan through traditional Japanese calligraphy or “Shodo” (The Way of Writing), a life-time spiritual and artistic pursuit. We will start from making ink from an ink stone, learn basic strokes with a brush on special thin calligraphy paper, and actually practice writing Japanese characters as an artistic form. This hands-on experience, along with lectures on Japanese language, will help to catch a glimpse of language, art, history, religion, and customs and values of Japan. *Limited enrollment- only sign up if you can reliably attend all three classes  
Modernist Poetry & The Rethinking of the Human
Michael Coyle, Associate Professor of English
J308 Lathrop

This seminar will explore poetry by some of America’s most important modernist poets, such as Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, or Mina Loy. Each of these poets struggles to come to terms with what it means to be human, and to give form to human experience. What makes this struggle “modernist” is twofold. First, pursuing their work in the wake of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud, these poets endeavor to find both meaning and truth but do so knowing these two things are not necessarily synonymous. Second, knowing that meaning and truth are not necessarily the same thing leads them to the conviction that experience can only be modeled in aesthetic terms. Students should leave this seminar with a clearer understanding of not just what these poems mean but also how they mean. You will also have begun thinking about why poetry matters—not just in the terms of the poets we read together but also on our own. 

Session III

Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, make-up Mar. 4
Registration Deadline: Thursday, Jan. 22

Courses TBA

Session IV

Apr. 8, Apr. 15, Apr. 22, make-up Apr. 29

Registration Deadline: Thursday, Mar. 26

Courses TBA