News from Paul:

December 12, 2012

Classes are entering into their last legs. In Americana, students just finished working on presidential and vice-presidential debates. Though it was challenging for them, we had a great time. It was wonderful to see two Chinese sisters arguing about American foreign policy with China from the perspectives of Obama and Romney. We spent a week learning about this history of Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and some of the less-well-known reasons why the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts. We’re also continuing our look at American stories with our study of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

In Arts of China and Tibet, we just wrapped up our unit on the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). Luckily, I was able to bring in a few guests to help the students get a variety of perspectives on the arts of that time. Our first set of guests demonstrated Chinese calligraphy to the students and gave them a chance to try it out for themselves. Some of the students liked it so much that we took a field trip over to IU to participate in a calligraphy workshop where we made New Year’s cards. Our next guest introduced us to Chinese music and demonstrated her abilities on the erhu, a traditional string instrument. Our final guest gave the students a tour through the history of kung fu and its origins in the Shaolin temple. We wrapped up the unit with games of weiqi, the ancient Chinese version of the Japanese game Go.

In the afternoons Digital A/V students have been working busily on their electronic music compositions. They are now beginning to create their own videos for their music. This group of students in particular has worked hard to record their own music samples and incorporate them into their songs. I’m excited to see what they come up with for their final video projects!

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