Spring Phase


These are some of the offerings St. Benedict’s traditionally offers during Spring Phase. Spring Projects are required for graduation, awarded academic credit, and included in your academic average. There are reading and writing requirements in EVERY course.

1. KAYRIX COFFEE HOUSE: A WRITING WORKSHOP: We will invest ourselves in writing, seriously, for the sake of publication, using each other as an audience, and as support for our progress. We will discuss writing styles, genres', conventions, tricks, and challenges. We will experience unique settings for published work, including NYC's more renown and/or historic bookstores. Our collaboration may include visiting authors from Benedict's alumni, as part of the school's sesquicentennial celebration. All work will be considered a submission for publication in the KAYRIX.

2. REAL MEN COOK DINNER: Chicken fried steak with pan gravy or hot dogs? Artisanal ramen bowls or Cup o Noodles? Blueberry lemon French toast or Pop Tarts? If the first choices sound better to you, come learn how to prepare meals that taste delicious, look appealing, and don’t come out of a box or bag. Be a food blogger, create a cookbook, visit the best example of New Jersey’s farming heritage, grow a culinary herb garden, compete for the biggest savings at Shop Rite, and be a line cook up at the trail. Must see Mrs. T before choosing this course.

3. FIT AND TRIM: This course is for those of us that want to start a fitness regimen but need some help. Starting from the very basics we will begin to build a fitness program that will start you on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Be ready to work hard and stay committed!

4. THE KING’S MEN OR, SHAKESFEAR (AND HOW TO CURE IT): Become a member of an early modern theater company! Students will be responsible for performing, directing, producing, and developing educational material for William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors" following an original practices company model. No acting experience required but a strong work ethic and teamwork skills needed.

5. FINE HOME TUNING: Did you ever wonder what goes behind a wall, how power tools work, what is the purpose of mulch, or how to fix a wall? Then this is the project for you. In this project, we will work in different areas of the school, both here and at Munsee, in order to restore, beautify, and build projects with our hands and tools to service different areas of the school. This project might require overnight stays at Camp Munsee, where we take our students during the Appalachian Trail.

6. ART & NATURE: Students will create artworks that use nature landscapes in a variety of ways with an emphasis on working out-of-doors. Students will use many media: color pencil, ink, marker, pastel, watercolor, acrylic paint, clay, and block print. Students will study and emulate artists who used nature as the subject of their paintings, sculptures, and graphic novels. Some projects will be made outdoors with field trips to South Mountain Reservation in So. Orange, Greater Newark Conservancy Gardens, The Newark Museum, and The High Line, New York City.

7. GROW A GARDEN: CHANGE YOUR LIFE: Ever wonder where lettuce really comes from (no, not Shop Rite) or how tomatoes taste when they have just been picked? Does your family have special vegetables it likes to cook and eat? If you are interested in learning about and growing healthy food, you should join "Grow a Garden." You will plant seeds and seedlings and nurture all sorts of vegetables during May. We will also build garden structures, help in the Abbey Garden, care for the hydroponic table in the cafeteria and the Rain Garden on the corner of the Abbey property. The project is part of St. Benedict's sustainability effort which includes encouraging recycling, eliminating single use plastic, and developing environmentally friendly lifestyles. If you have been hired to work in the garden this summer, please register for this project.

8. DOWNTOWN CLOWNS: If you have ever thought about running away to join the circus, here's your chance. Here you will learn how to develop your own clown character, design and apply clown make-up and perform stylized clown entertainment based on traditional clown principles. You will have the opportunity to study the history and development of clowning, build clown props and perform on stage for the school. INTERESTED STUDENTS MUST SEE MR. GALLERANI.

9. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? MASTERING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MIND OVER MUSCLE: Our objective is to teach students the finer psychological and physical components of peak athletic performance. They will study the importance of mental strength and stamina (M. Fitzgerald "Racing Weight" & "How Bad Do You Want It?") while relating these skills to the personal story of Joe Rantz from "Boys in the Boat". During this course, students will actively monitor their personal performance as an athlete using other metrics as well; personal journals, weekly readings from the texts (+100 pages each week), weekly chapter tests from the texts, psychological assessments, and physical tests (through the sport of rowing), will be administered throughout Spring Phase. There is a final paper, which you will outline, proofread, and write, throughout the project. Come ready to work. No scrubs need apply.

10. A HISTORY OF MARTIAL ARTS AND ANIME: No prior martial art training is required. This project may surprise some that it's not about violence. Students will learn to search for and find new and fresh understandings about themselves. They will learn to strive to reach a state of harmony with their environment through the study of the history of the multitude of forms of martial arts and their development from cultures from around the world. The project will focus on aspects of geography, history and literature, anatomy, physics and philosophy as well as terminology. Stereotypes will be erased as students learn propriety, etiquette, control, dignity and grace through martial arts discipline and practices. Anime will also be looked at in a way similar to how martial arts is seen in this class.

11. CIVIC YOUTH: In the upcoming 2020 presidential election, 22 million young people will be eligible to vote for the first time. Whether you are one of the 22 million or not, you will be exposed to a flood of information from the Internet, social media, cable news, and print journalism. The messages may be confusing and overwhelming. This course will help you understand how mass media influences public opinion, and show you how to turn that knowledge into informed civic action on the public issues you care about. You don't need to be 18 to make a difference. Young people have been agents of social change throughout history--from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to Malala Yousafzai, to the Parkland kids. You, too, can be change makers in your community.

12. JACK OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF NONE: Who said Spring Phase projects had to focus on just one thing? In this Spring Phase class students will explore a variety of activities from baking, to drawing, to animal care, to beginner magic! There is no course fee; however, students will be required to cover the cost of transportation for any field trips. During the last few weeks of the course students will choose their own topics that they want to learn more about. So, if you're having trouble on picking a single course, choose this one and get a little of everything!

13. ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101: Have you ever thought about being a business owner after college? This course will look at what it takes to own, open and operate a small business. We will learn how to find the right business, write a business plan, manage cash flow and financing, and develop business through sales and marketing efforts. It’s true entrepreneurship.

14. INSIGHTS BEYOND NEWARK: An Exploration of the American South and the History of the Civil Rights Movements: In this course, we will examine and evaluate the factors that have shaped our country’s approach to race and justice, and the evolution of civil rights in America. Through bi-weekly seminars and working sessions during the Winter Semester, students in this course will read and research about the history of slavery before and after the Civil War; the racial terrorism of lynching; legalized racial segregation commonly known as “Jim Crow”; and mass incarceration. Students will build timelines to understand the history of the Civil Rights movements, and prepare detailed plans about our travel to the places in the South that were important in the Civil Rights Movements.

15. NUTRITION AND TIME MANAGEMENT FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE: In this class, we will learn the importance of eating correctly through nutrition coaching and the presentation of different diets that have shown to be effective for the athlete. We will also focus on time management with the implementation of different projects designed to teach kids how to manage multiple athletic and academic responsibilities.

16. COMMUNITY SERVICE: The Community Service application is available on Google Drive and will be shared with students by Mr. Adubato. Print it, fill it out, and submit to Mr. Adubato by FRIDAY, MARCH 1. YOU MAY NOT SIGN-UP FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR A THIRD TIME or at the same location for a second time. In addition, you will have to attend one mandatory orientation which will be scheduled and announced during Convocation.

17. TRANSFER BACKPACKING: Available to current transfer students only who have already committed to the Backpacking Project. Students in this category do not need to list additional options on the schedule signup form.

18. BACKPACK COMMANDERS: You must have already spoken to Mr. Cassidy about Backpacking Project.

19. ADVANCED BACKPACKING (Instructors) You must have already spoken to Mr. Cassidy.

20. CERTIFIABLY L.I.T. (Learning–Inspiring–Teaching): This course will have a dual purpose and is considered a community service project. The first purpose is to learn & help teach the Certifiably LIT health curriculum and the second is to take experiential learning field trips into NYC. The Certifiably LIT Health Initiative has been developed by Ironbound USA & Rutgers University. It is based on the concept of peer to peer teaching. We will work with full professors and graduate students from Rutgers to learn the curriculum and then learn to teach the curriculum to other students at SBP. The second purpose is to enjoy and learn from experiential field trips into NYC. We will have a minimum of 4 trips into NYC to visit businesses and museums. The scheduled trips so far (subject to change) are to Brookside Properties Manhattan West project ($7 billion), Universal McCann (UM) one of the largest and most prestigious marketing firms in the world, The Whitney Museum & Central Park.

21. STAGE RAGE: Stage: theatre artists explore why people do what they do. We observe human behavior, delve into our own motivations and intentions, and reveal what we discover through our performances onstage. Rage: mental health professionals assist individuals in discovering and creating meaning to situations that have taken place in the past, present, or will take place in the future. Additionally, the ultimate goal of this process is for us to assist individuals in discovering their identities, better understand their emotions, and learn to live authentically. If you want to better understand yourself and the people closest to you; if you would like to share your newfound insights with younger kids, through an original performance piece you create, then join us. Heal yourself, and help others to find a path to mental health, through creativity. Project includes group therapy, theatre exercises, writing, and visual art. Give voice to your rage on stage! Speak with Ms. Flynn and/or Mr. Canova if you want to choose this project.

22. MAKING THE HIVE THRIVE: The Advancement Office and the Business Office are looking for a few good men to join them and learn what it takes to keep this place buzzing. From alumni engagement, marketing, and fundraising, to budgeting, investment management, and accounts payable/receivable, students will have the opportunity to help with, and experience, all that goes into the integral work that occurs behind-the-scenes at The Hive. Project may include a few evening events.

23. THE HISTORY OF THE SQUARED CIRCLE: Take a stroll down memory lane and learn about the history of sports entertainment. Students will learn about the evolution of professional wrestling from past generations to the current day. Learn about the some of the all-time great champions and factions the sport had to offer.