2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Wonderful Ideas

Revised Last Updated: 11/17/2008

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Stephanie Kozick human development, Marla Elliott performance

Major areas of study include human development, theater and expressive arts, family studies, literature, writing, developmental psychology, culture and community studies.

Class Standing: This Core program is designed for freshmen.

This program will not be accepting new students winter quarter.

The title of this program comes from a key idea in a book by Eleanor Duckworth in which she ruminates on the "having of wonderful ideas," which is the way we come to "understanding." We need to have a number of wonderful ideas in life in order to navigate through personal, social, cultural and community landscapes in fulfilling and meaningful ways. This program will explore the creative process of writers, filmmakers, dancers, musicians and other thinkers. We'll see, hear and read the works of creative people; for example, we will learn how the choreographer Twyla Tharp creates dances in The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (Tharp, 2005), we will learn about Thinking Musically (Wade, 2004), and we'll read about Kundera's ideas on writing in The Art of the Novel (2003).

Wonderful Ideas will become a study of the complex variety of elements that secure human purpose, creativity, concentration and mindfulness. The curriculum will rely on human stories drawn from fiction and nonfiction literature, theater, film and expressive arts. Thich Nhat Hahn's life reveals his wonderful ideas on learning to "reveal and heal" in his popular book, Miracle of Mindfulness. He instructs us how to take hold of our consciousness and keep it alive to the present reality, whether eating a tangerine, playing with children, or washing the dishes. We will read, talk to each other, act, sing and write in order to practice the creative process.

In fall, the program will focus on how individuals and intimate groups such as families, musical groups, dance companies and theater groups work out wonderful ideas. In winter, we can expand outward to examine the ideas that consider wider public and political life. Each quarter, students will participate in experiential workshops in group problem solving, voice, theater and movement, and writing. Individual work will include the exploration of one's own journey to a creative, meaningful life. Students will learn about and be expected to engage in close reading of texts, view films with an eye for media literacy, practice the writing process of "write-rewrite," collaborate constructively in a number of group workshops, and spend centered time reflecting on the process of learning.

The program will include lectures, workshops, seminar discussions, film critiques and attendance at professional performances. Students will be required to keep an active portfolio of their work that will act as a personal story of progress in this program. At the end of this two quarter program, students will be able to identify a set of key concepts that have emerged from our collective inquiry into personal, social, cultural and community creativity, and to express their new understanding.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 46

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in social sciences, theater, community/cultural studies and expressive arts.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 2nd, 2008 Marla Elliott has joined the faculty team for this program.
November 17th, 2008 Restriction against joining program winter quarter added.