It’s Intense, It’s Hot, It’s Summer at Antioch
by Jocelyn Robinson
2001 marks the fifth year of Antioch’s innovative summer program – deep courses, challenging field experiences, visiting faculty, and more cultural events than a body can attend in three months.Summer courses are designed around three one-month blocks, with each class involving the same number of contact hours as in a 15-week semester. By taking only one course per block, students are able to investigate specific areas of interest in greater depth than is possible during the other academic terms. Block courses make possible a diverse combination of classroom work, immersion experiences, and service learning. Both students and faculty have an opportunity to experiment with novel approaches to learning and teaching. Many students find summer the perfect term to enroll in language courses or complete general education requirements.
The academic curriculum is further enriched by four summer institutes: Documentary, Peace Studies, Performance, and Writing. Students can register for an institute for credit or attend any of the myriad activities and happenings that accompany each institute. Through the institutes, learning is enhanced by workshops, films, concerts, lectures, performances, visiting scholars and artists, and other cultural and academic events, creating a rich milieu for Antioch and the surrounding community. Last summer’s Writing Institute gave graduating senior Angele Davenport ’01 a chance to be part of a writers community on campus. “Participating in the salons gave me insight into the world of the writer. Now I’ll actively seek out that world after Antioch.”
Another innovative learning opportunity unique to summer is the Environmental Field Program (EFP). EFP is an interdisciplinary traveling study term, facilitated by two recent graduates, that examines social and environmental issues in a different bioregion in North America every year. Recent programs have traveled to British Columbia, the Southwest, the Great Lakes, and Appalachia. This summer, Amber Pleasant ’00 and Anna Johanson ’00 will guide 10 students on an excursion to eight communities from Cincinnati to the Mississippi Delta. “A River Story: Environmental Racism and the Environmental Justice Movement Along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers” has been planned, according to Anna, “with a slower pace than previous EFP experiences. This summer, students and the communities we visit will have ample time to interact and form lasting, meaningful connections.” Working with grass roots organizations along the way, EFP students will develop and assist with projects based on the needs of those communities. It’s hoped that these connections can be maintained beyond the summer, possibly through a newsletter, an interactive area on Antioch’s web site, or development of future co-op jobs.
No discussion of an Antioch education, summer or otherwise, would be complete without international experiences. Antioch Education Abroad (AEA) currently offers Antioch in Japan. Based at Kyoto Seika University, the program includes course work in Japanese language, history, political systems, and social and environmental movements. Kali Strand ’00 joined Professor Harold Wright on last summer’s trip and found that exposure to all aspects of contemporary Japan yielded a revelation. “I learned that I like to travel, and this has helped shape my choice of graduate study.” Students visit shrines, attend festivals, and study a range of topics from traditional theatre to queer culture.
Whether spent immersed in learning a new language, performing in a theatre production Under the Stars, or traveling to far-off locales, summer at Antioch is fast-paced, productive, and sometimes overwhelmingly intense for all concerned. Get a heady taste of it by joining us during the Alumni Reunion – or use your alumni discount to audit a course and relive that marvelous intensity yourself.
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