SUMMER PHASE/FIRST TERM
(July – August)
These are some of the offerings St. Benedict’s traditionally offers during Summer Phase/First Term. Summer Phase classes are required for graduation, awarded academic credit, and included in your academic average. There are reading and writing requirements in EVERY course.
1. CHORUS: Do you like to sing? Would you like to improve your tone, skill, and learn to read music? Then sign up for Chorus and get ready to learn! This course is open to all grades. While an audition is not required, it is recommended so that I can get an idea of where you are vocally. We will sing many different styles of music, while working to sound great!
2. DRAMA WORKSHOP: Actors are students of human behavior: why do we do what we do, and how do our inner feelings reveal themselves in outer behavior? By exploring challenging and hurtful personal experiences theatrically, students will seek to identify, and better understand their own feelings and behavior, and begin to heal in the process. Course will include acting exercises to strengthen performing skills and build ensemble, and the development of scenes which will be performed in front of an audience as the final. This course is paired with the psychology course, which it compliments.
3. THE MYTH AND THE MYTHIC: This course will involve the examination of mythic literature as a tool to understand and communicate things about our own and different cultures as one human family. Emphases are on the development of basic reading, vocabulary, comprehension and analytical skills, visualization, along with oral and written presentation. Students will be introduced to classical works of folklore, fantasy, science fiction and mythology from around the globe. The goal is to help strengthen and integrate practical application and understanding using allegory, symbolism, and other literary teaching stories. Works by Joseph Campbell, Ursula LeGuin, Douglas Adams, James Fenimore Cooper and many others will be included.
4. THE ART OF MAKING ZINES AND MINI-COMICS: A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. The Course is a complete how-to for students on illustrating, writing, and self-publishing zines. Students will learn tips and tricks to create characters, craft stories, and illustrate them using all the elements of cartooning from character design, to narrator voice, to speech balloons, pacing, title design, layout for printing, etc. Materials will include professional inking pens, markers and watercolor. Students will leave this class with copies of their own printed zine.
5. VIETNAM WAR: THE FORGOTTEN WAR: The Vietnam War is a black eye for America and its military power in the 21st century. In this class, we will read first person accounts from American and Vietnamese soldiers, look at war footage from the field, and Hollywood movies that portray the conflict. We will start with the rise of Vietnam’s independence against France which led to the small Southeast Asian country to be divided at the 17th parallel. How the US became increasingly involved in Vietnam, leading to the first US foot soldiers to land in the country after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. We will look at US tactics and strategies from adding more ground troops, to increased bombing campaigns, the effects of Tet Offensive and finally to the US withdrawing. We will also look how the American people reacted to the war and how it helped shape presidential elections, policies and pop culture. Finally, we will look at if there was a real winner of this war. UD2 & SY ONLY.
6. SECRET LIVES OF BIRDS: Why in the world would bald eagles play catch with a dead duck’s head? Why do female cowbirds make other birds take care of cowbird kids, and trash the other birds’ nests if they refuse? Birds can be gangsters, lotharios, and thieves – and they can also care for their community members and display shocking intelligence. Find out what goes on while we aren’t looking…or even when we are.
7. DRUMLINE - BEGINNING & ADVANCED: Drumline will work to develop basic ensemble drumming skills including rudiments and cadences. Students will work on drumline featurettes as well as material that they can play while in the stands at sporting events. Students will be placed in either Beginning Drumline or Advanced Drumline based on their overall experience level. The classes will be playing outside everyday in August while suited up in a heavy drum carrier, so be prepared for a workout.
8. CATHOLICISM AND FILM: This course introduces students to the basics of Catholicism in terms of The Creed, Liturgy & Sacraments, Christian Morality, and Prayer. Based upon learning the ins and outs of Catholicism students will survey the pros and cons on how Catholicism is represented in the media and film in today's society.
9. YOUTH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Participate in the democratic process and learn about youth civic engagement as we approach the 2020 Election. Study and research not only Presidential candidates but state and local candidates as well. By exploring and debating the issues these candidates face you will understand your influence as a teen and learn how to empower yourself to be an engaged constituent and informed future voter.
10. SCI-FI AND THE REAL WORLD: Societal matters of inequality, war, and economics have been the foundation and focus of countless stories, TV shows, and films. And no better example of this is the world of science fiction. In this course, we will be watching various sci-fi movies and TV shows of the past and present while understanding the circumstances that influenced them. From Star Trek to The Expanse, we will be discussing and analyzing the themes and motifs that connect this genre of fiction to "the real world". This is a course that will, hopefully, encourage you to think more critically about entertainment. It is not a course for those expecting to just sit in the back and gawk at a screen, nor for people who have no interest in film or science fiction.
11. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: This class is intended to provide basic fundamental structures to English learners. Focus will be placed on Vocab Rehab, grammar, verbs conjugation, reading, writing, and conversation drills.
12. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY: Why do I exist? What does it mean to be human? We often take the worldview that is passed on to us by our family and society for granted . But is this worldview true, and ultimately, is it satisfying? Following Socrates' dictum that the unexamined life is not worth living, we will examine the proposals of several different philosophers on the meaning (or lack thereof) of life. Students must have strong reading and critical thinking skills for success in this course.
13. BEGINNER FITNESS: This class is intended for students who are new to fitness and want to start getting in shape. We will be utilizing a CrossFit model, which focuses on functional fitness movements which are constantly varied/changed on a daily basis, and we will be performing these movements at high intensity. These movements will range from simple gymnastic movements (moving our bodies through space) such as squats and lunges, to weightlifting movements (moving a load through space). We will focus on technique, always stressing form over weight. By the end of this class, you will lose fat, gain muscle, and increase your cardiovascular endurance and capacity.
14. INTRODUCTION TO DEBATE AND RHETORIC: This course is designed to introduce you to a range of complex issues as well as to give you practice in several essential skills: listening, debating, reading, highlighting, and timed essay writing. This course exposes you to a method of approaching controversial issues by emphasizing multiple perspectives and the development of an informed point of view. Through its structured format, you will learn to make connections between the “talk” of the class, the materials you read, and the essays you write. As you become more informed and articulate, you also become more engaged and empowered and gain confidence in your ability to have and defend a point of view.
15. GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL: Using the Pulitzer Prize winning text of the same name, this course will investigate human history and human ecology over the last several millennia. We will attempt to find out why history developed quite differently on various continents. Why did literate Eurasian societies expand and conquer the globe and not the peoples of Africa, South America, New Guinea, and elsewhere? Why, when contacted by European explorers, were aboriginal people in Australia and New Guinea still living in primitive conditions? Working from the main thesis that it is the Earth's geography and resulting ecology that has had a fundamental influence on which human societies were able to develop to the industrial stage and conquer the world with guns, germs transported with them, and the steel of their inventions.
16. TOXICOLOGY, POISONS, AND POISONINGS: We will examine several basic concepts of toxicology as they apply to common poisons, environmental pollutants, and biological substances that harm the human body. We will discuss statistics and how common (or rare) certain poisons are, how they enter the body, the body's response to the substance, the elimination of toxic agents, as well as the fundamental laws governing the interaction of foreign chemicals with biological systems. We will primarily focus on the application of these concepts to the understanding and prevention of exposure to toxic substances, as well as how the media (newspapers, books, and films) have made certain poisons famous (or infamous). We will read every day from a book called "The Poison Squad". Students will be required to do research and give a presentation at the end of the course.
17. GLOBAL MELTINGPOT: The idea of a melting pot in which many cultures provide their own unique spices to create a new recipe has been an important concept in American history; After all, it is often said that the United States is a nation built by Immigrants. However, immigration has been the economic, political, and social locomotive for many countries around the world through different periods of time. From Latin America, to Asia and Europe, immigration has changed economic and political policies. It created neighborhoods in foreign countries that shared more similarities with the residents’ homeland than with the host country itself. This course will analyze the political, economic, and social influences of different immigration trends in the United States and the World.
18. SPREADSHEET SKILLS: Want to keep track of your grades and finances more easily? Or to complete your homework more quickly? Or to use data to predict how sports teams will perform? In this course, you will learn spreadsheet skills that will decrease your workload and increase your productivity. From using basic formulas for analyzing numerical data to creating tables and graphs for visualizing results, this course will help prepare you for research projects and professional presentations. We will use Google Sheets in class every day so A LAPTOP OR TABLET IS REQUIRED FOR THIS COURSE.
19. HISTORY OF SCIENCE: Explore the historical context of various scientific discoveries (i.e. what else was happening in the world during the time of the discoveries) and delve ethical challenges of some of the scientific advances of the different ages. Topics include evolution and intelligent design; the Church and the Newtonian Laws of Motion.
20. HUMANS AND THE NATURAL WORLD: This course explores the relationship between modern humans and our natural world. Has our move away from green spaces and insulation from the elements affected our biology or psychology? What tangible pros and cons are there to life in the 21st century? We will explore different ideas and schools of thought on living a fuller and more meaningful life through a stronger connection with nature. As we explore these ideas we will work toward gaining a more comprehensive understanding of our place in, and impact on, the natural world.
21. THE PACIFIC WAR: This class is going to take an in-depth look at the Pacific War during World War II. We will be looking at first-hand accounts from American soldiers and war footage to get a better understanding of the following encounters, beginning With Japan's military conquest of Asia to the bombing of Pearl Harbor which brought America into the War. We will then look at specific battles like the war's turning points at Coral Sea and Midway, to the bloody battles of Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and the Philippines. Finally we will look at America's final push on Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the closing of the war with the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb and the aftermath of the war.
22. PODCASTING 101: In a few short years, podcasting has gone from novelty to mainstream status. Why not learn how to create your own? This course will teach you how to research, structure, write, produce, and upload a podcast. Class-produced content will not exceed PG-level.
23. WORLD RELIGIONS: From the early centuries before Christ until today, a plethora of religions have come into existence throughout the world. What, first of all, is a religion? What do the various religious traditions teach about the purpose of life and the significance of the human person? How does the Catholic Church approach other religious communities? All religious beliefs and points of view are welcomed in this class.
24. GRAMMAR FROM THE GROUND UP: Calling all those who want to engage in enjoyable and highly productive SAT preparation - as well as poets and story writers, musicians, future architects, engineers, lawyers, politicians, and even teachers! Choose this course and master language in a way you never thought possible. This is a hands-on analytical grammar and rhetoric course that will hone your verbal skills in a FUN, intense and non-stop grammar lab—with virtually no 'homework.' Your reading comprehension and ability to write a paragraph or an essay on-the-spot will be instantly enhanced by your immersion and participation in our analytical exercises and 'imitations' of all kinds of writing. This course is not suited to the faint-brained type. But, for the true 'verbal athlete,' or the serious craftsman, who gives his all to our intense, daily work, the glory (including higher SAT scores) will be great.
25. INTRO TO HUMANITIES: This course is for students who are struggling in their Humanities courses and for students who will begin taking courses in the Learning Center in Fall 2020. In this course, students will learn fundamentals that will enable them to be successful in English and History courses. Skills covered will include: assignment tracking, reading with purpose, active note taking, building reading comprehension, outlining, and intro to the five paragraph essay structure.
26. AMATEUR RADIO: Like to talk? Like meeting and helping people? When phone and TV networks get knocked out during hurricanes or other emergencies, the only thing still working has always been amateur radio and its operators. Learn to be part of this vital communications network that is also used to simply talk to anyone around the globe. This course combines classroom and hands-on learning of the basics of amateur radio, better known as HAM radio. It is also a means of communications for the Spring phase Backpacking Project and the St. Benedict's Prep HAM Radio Club, which has been around since the 1920’s. There will be an opportunity at the end of the course to take the FCC-required Technician-class licensing test for free.
27. NJIT CALC PREP: This is a prep course required for students that took Calculus with Ms. Kranz during the 2019-2020 school year, and will be taking the class at NJIT this Fall or Spring. PREREQUISITE: CALC A/B
28. COLD WAR AND THE KENNEDY WHITE HOUSE: In October 1962 the world held its collective breath as the young, charismatic and yet untried president John F. Kennedy stood toe to toe with the older, more sly, veteran Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in a thirteen day military standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. How did the world’s two superpowers at the time find themselves plunged into one of the most dangerous Cold War confrontations in history? In this course we will examine the culture, politics, and events that ushered in the Cold War and the major personalities and ideologies that catapulted the world to the edge of nuclear disaster. The course will also focus on writing skills, footnoting, and other important skills required to construct a history paper within the context of Cold War historical events.
29. PUBLIC SPEAKING: Do you get nervous when speaking in front of a room full of people? Do you want to learn how to structure really good arguments when speaking AND writing? In this course, you will receive instruction and practice in the arts of public speaking, crafting logical arguments, and organizing various kinds of speeches for maximum impact. This is not a writing intensive course, but the skills you will learn are directly applicable to constructing outlines and theses in your writing.
30. THE 60’s: A CRITICAL LOOK AT A KEY PERIOD IN AMERICAN HISTORY: The decade of the 1960s was a critical time in American history. It was filled with assassinations (two Kennedys, King, Malcolm X, Medger Evers), protest (against the war in Vietnam, for Civil Rights), new music, psychedelic art, Woodstock, the Black Power Movement. It was also a critical period in local history, and in the history of Newark Abbey and St. Benedict's Prep. Using documents and audio-visual materials, we will examine this period for insights into how the events of the 60s influenced America as it is today. Each student will pick an incident or a movement to research and report on.
31. VIDEO EDITING: Video Editing has become a valuable skill to have. There are a ton of career opportunities that come with the ability to edit video together well. In this class, we will learn the basic principles of video editing, using Adobe Premiere as our editing software. We will work with preexisting footage, practice constructing scenes and make trailers. This class will require a lot of work outside of class time to complete projects.
32. CURRENT EVENTS JOURNALISM: How can you even begin to understand the news stories that dominate our day? Presidential debates, virus outbreaks, stock market meltdowns, medical and technology breakthroughs -- these complex stories are coming at us daily. But the world IS comprehensible. In this course, we will focus on the events of the day, seek to understand them and how the stories themselves are conceived, written, and produced. We will also study the geography of regions of breaking news as well as "news literacy" techniques.
33. INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Infectious diseases like COVID-19, Ebola, and AIDS are emerging and spreading faster than ever before, thanks to the increasing ease of fast, efficient, worldwide travel. Why do only some viruses and bacteria get us sick, but not others? How does our immune system work to keep us from getting sick? What can we learn about how infections move through a population, and how can we use this knowledge to predict future epidemics? This course will examine the life cycle and transmission methods of disease-causing bacteria and viruses, our immune response to these pathogens, patterns of disease spread, and issues surrounding the prevention, treatment, and control of infectious diseases. We’ll look at several historical outbreaks, including the 1918 Spanish flu, Cholera, Lyme disease, and AIDS, and discuss what the next big pandemic might be. BIOLOGY PREREQUISITE.
34. TRANSFER ORIENTATION: This course is for all incoming transfers. The goal of this class is to help acclimate the incoming transfers to life at the Hive. Transfers will be taught the history, traditions, geography, and expectations of SBP. Ultimately, this class' goal is to help transfers feel more welcomed and a part of our community despite not experiencing the pleasantries of the Freshman Overnight.
35. A HISTORY OF LYNCHING IN THE UNITED STATES: Between 1882 and 1968, nearly 3,500 African-Americans were lynched in the United States. Such extreme extrajudicial violence served as a tool of intimidation by white supremacists unwilling to share power and control. In this course, we will look at the work of abolitionists, advocates, artists and theologians who sought to end this brutal, unjust practice.
36. ADVANCED FITNESS: This course is for the athlete that wants to take fitness to the next level. Using the latest in CrossFit training methods the course will address individual fitness needs including sport specific workouts. Focus will be on improving cardio and muscular endurance as well as power and speed. If you are not already at an above average fitness level, this course is not for you.