High School Seminars Course Descriptions - Colgate University Skip Navigation

Course Descriptions 2016-17

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

Session I

Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Make-up Oct. 19
Registration Deadline: Tues., Sept. 20
Hispanic Language, Literature, and Culture
G. Cory Duclos, Director, Keck Center for Language Studies

This course will look at the culture of Latin America and Spain through the lens of literature. Works will be read in translation, but we will also note some of the linguistic elements of the original texts. This course will complement students' study of Spanish, but no prior language knowledge is necessary for the course.
Visualizing the Universe   
Joseph Eakin, Senior Director, Colgate Visualization Lab

We will start off exploring the origins of the universe and end up with our solar system. Each session will comprise of a vis lab show and interactive demos. The first week we will look at the forces behind the big bang and the universe. The next week we will explore our local universe and our solar system. The final week we will look at leftovers of the solar system by exploring comets, asteroids, and meteoroids. 
Modernist Poetry & The Rethinking of the Human
Michael Coyle, Associate Professor of English

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 by 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.
Going Green: At home and at school!  
John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability

In this course, we will explore the meaning and practice of environmental sustainability. We will discuss solutions for a sustainable future, exchange ideas for greener living, and participate in interactive exercises.
Music Appreciation: Crash course in the Cover song
Kara Rusch, DJ/Artist/Music Critic

Class will be devoted to comparing covers of songs to the originals we all know and consider the definite version—but is it? We will listen to different treatments and arrangements of Classics and hear a range from listenable to far out groovy and strange. This course will mainly be centered in Jazz, Blues and Pop but expect a dip into many genres including Cabaret, classical and Hip-hop.
If you love music this class is for you.
Why One Should Google Thyself
Matt Hames, Communications Strategist

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 brands as you prepare to graduate from high school. In this course you'll learn how the internet already creates your personal brand - and how to take more control over it. ***This course is only open to juniors and seniors.***

Session II

Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16, make-up Nov. 30
Registration Deadline: Monday, Oct. 24
Becoming an Ally
Khristian Kemp-Delisser, Assistant Dean & Director of LGBTQ Initiatives

All students are welcome to take this course in order to enhance their ability to be an ally by increasing their sensitivity to and awareness of social, political and cultural aspects of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and identities. Each class session will include a brief lecture portion followed by an interactive activity designed for students to explore their own experiences and questions. Students will walk away with basic knowledge of social justice issues, and local/national resources relevant to supporting LGBTQ friends, family and classmates.
Night at the Museum: A Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Colgate University Collections
Melissa Davies, Educator, Longyear Museum of Anthropology  

Have you ever wondered how that dinosaur egg ended up in our geology museum? Or if the objects in our anthropology museum come to life at night like they do in that Ben Stiller movie? Or what the artist was thinking when he made the edgy art in our galleries? Are you interested in a museum career? This is your chance to get your questions answered! Explore a variety of campus museums, discover art in unexpected places, peek behind the scenes, and meet a bunch of museum professionals during this fun and interactive seminar.
Church, State, and Law in America
Jenna Reinbold, Assistant Professor of Religion 

What do we mean when we talk about "the separation of church and state"? Where does this principle originate? Are there exceptions? This course will explore these questions as they pertain to the United States. We will consider the question of what Americans mean when they speak of the separation of church and state, and we will explore the manner in which the US Supreme Court has attempted to implement this principle within American law. This course does not assume any prior knowledge of American religion or American law.
Rhetoric, Democracy, and Populism: Is Democracy a Fallacy?
Ryan Solomon, Assistant Professor in Writing and Rhetoric

Democracy affirms the possibility of broad-based participation in political decision-making. But that is incredibly difficult to implement in practice. Our political differences inevitably lead to conflict. Political life is defined by all kinds of inequalities. And lots of people don't seem to care much about the responsibilities that democratic life requires. All of these problems are reflected in the turbulent presidential election we are experiencing at the moment, which has raised difficult questions about the viability of democratic agency in everyday political life and the dangers of populist politics. The purpose of this class is to consider the meaning of democratic politics, its viability in practice, and the role of public communication in either achieving democratic ends or undermining its purposes.
Climbing the Walls 
Josh Solomon, Assistant Director, Outdoor Education

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
Harnessing the Sun
Beth Parks, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy 

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.  

Session III

Feb. 1, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, make-up Mar. 1
Registration Deadline: Mon., Jan. 23


Session IV

Mar. 22, Mar. 29, Apr. 5, make-up Apr. 26

Registration Deadline: Mon., Mar. 13