The Oliverian School holds three Electives Weeks per year, which allow students to explore new interests while gaining academic credit. As a part of Oliverian’s unique approach to learning, Electives Weeks are placed strategically within the school year to break up monotony, provide educational diversity, and revitalize student interest in academics. During Electives Week, students choose from a variety of fun and innovative classes that appeal to their curiosity and interests.
Fall 2016 Electives Week Course Offerings:
Construction and deconstruction, aka demolition. These will be done in proportion to their necessity. You will work hard with pride, and you will take another step towards being a complete human.
Magical History Tour
Guided by information on Upper Valley historic site markers in both New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as accounts from the book “New Hampshire Folk Tales” and other sources, students will venture out on daily road trips to visit locations of historical significance. Readings will take place at or near where events took place. Focus will be on early settlers and events up to the early 1800’s. Topics and locations covered will include Rogers’ Rangers, the journey of Elizabeth Webster (wife of Captain Webster, one of Rogers’ Rangers), Haverhill Corner Historic District, Horse Meadow Cemetery in Haverhill, where Ebenezer MacIntosh (a leader of Boston riots protesting the Stamp Act) is buried.
College Essay Writing
In this Senior workshop-style class, we will explore the aspects of writing quality essays. We will write, edit, and review essays for college applications, as well as visit a college campus to learn from an admissions officer what makes an essay stand out. At the end of the week, each student will have written a college essay.
Bikes, a Book, and Breakfast
We will be reading, hopping on our bikes in the morning, and pedaling to a local breakfast spot to discuss the reading with an eye towards how we move about in the world. You will need access to a bicycle and helmet. We can procure some gear for you if you are without wheels and headgear. Each day’s ride will be in the neighborhood of 20 miles so be prepared to spend some time in the saddle.
The Spy Who Loved Tea: James Bond and Britain’s Favorite Beverage
For better or worse, James Bond is one of pop culture’s most enduring icons. For over 60 years, he has delighted fans as one of the silver screen’s preeminent spies, complete with high-flying stunts and cutting-edge gadgetry. However, he has also served as a more disgraceful paragon in pop culture, a prime example of misogyny and Western neo-imperialism. This class will explore some central themes in James Bond films, charting their transformation from their Cold War Era inception to their present, globalized manifestation. We will also drink tea as an homage to the British and, more importantly, because it makes the course title so much better.
Introduction to Acting
In this class, you will awaken your emotion, imagination, and intellect by uncovering the motivations behind a character, discovering the “who, why, where, when, and how” to best serve the vision of a play. This is an experience-based course that will help you gain a critical understanding of the art of acting, developing the techniques of characterization, role analysis, stage movement, voice, and body control. You will explore acting through theater games, structured improvisations, and a theatrical performance at the end of the week.
In this course, students will explore the sport of climbing. Students will practice various skills: proper belay technique, knot tying, footwork, fluid movement, pacing, and risk assessment and management. Students will also develop good climbing etiquette.
Badass Bitches Elective (a.k.a. BABE)
Do you want to be a badass bitch? If the answer is yes, come and spend the afternoon with Bessa and Julie T. A truly badass bitch is a person that can take care of themselves and ask for help when needed. Topics covered will include basic auto care, a better understanding of women’s health, business awareness and how to be an empowered woman, how to develop self-confidence by pushing personal boundaries, and how to practice self-care.
In this class students will learn how to build cooking fires and prepare food using a variety of different techniques. Dishes such as hobo stew, breakfast in a bag, skillet bread, and many fun camp favorites.
Axis & Allies and the Hundred Years’ War
In this course we will be playing an epic game of Axis and Allies 1940. Secondary and tertiary activities will include: other strategy games (there is a bit of wait time in A&A 1940, it’s good to take the occasional chess break), writing parts of a rule-book, researching warfare in the Middle Ages and World War 2, discussions related to how warfare can be quantified and applied to a game system, how historical events can be incorporated into a game system, and how game systems can be balanced to give all players the chance to compete. The written component will be a war journal and perhaps a short research paper (1-2 pages).
Movies That Impact
Students will explore movies that influence the minds of Americans. For each movie, students will keep a journal reflecting on the overarching themes of the movies, and they will discuss the emotions and psycho-social commentary suggested or inspired by them. In addition, students will discuss how these movies may or may not shape social media and film or if there is some reality to these films. Be advised, some films may contain strong or upsetting subject matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak directly with Stephanie.