Minicourse Stories

So minicourses finished a little over a week ago; last week Director of Outings and English teacher extraordinaire Peter Poutiatine invited minicourse leaders to his classroom to share stories and photos from their minicourse. Here are a few highlights:

Mark Stefanski — From Farm to Fork

  • So everybody on this minicourse got to learn a ton about organic farming. Mark took his group to multiple farms and dairies. Did you know that Bivalve Dairy, here in Marin, is entirely organic and supplies to Clover?

Scott Ebke — High Sierra Backcountry Ski and Winter Skills

  • This looked crazy fun! Those of you on this course are super tough! Drinking snowmelt, trekking up hills laden with snow, bracing against 80MPH winds, and then ripping down the hills with two sticks attached to your feet! Scott mentioned how some kids learned from direction and other from experience. I love how in these sorts of conditions, learning styles really come to the fore.

Ellie Brockman and Krista Tokarz — Wanna Tri?

  • And speaking of tough, MA is building its own ironman triathletes! Those students on this trip got such a cool week–after swimming clinics, wetsuits lessons, bike-fittings with one of California’s experts, running practices, each got to challenge her or himself and  put it all together in a sprint triathalon! What I liked best about the pictures was that though everyone looked exhausted (whether at the end of a 38 mile ride or walking out of the surf on a cold pale morning) everyone was smiling! Good work MAthletes!

Peter Poutiatine — Zion Outdoor Leadership

  • Ten MA students flew to Nevada, drove to Utah, and then trekked into the Kanab mesas and canyons. The pictures were incredible! Ochre hills and yellow scrub, blue skies and splashes of green where there was a hint of moisture, and, best of all, pictures of y’all! I thought it was really cool that everyone got to teach something one day, and learn something from one of your friends the rest of the week,and that everyone got to unplug and open up to the massive expansion of the landscape!

John Hicks — Catalina SCUBA expedition

  • When John explained that for this minicourse there was 35 people aboard one very small ship, I was taken a little aback. But then I saw some of the underwater pictures. Fish silver and yellow, a rust-ish colored octopus, sunlight streaming down from the surface of the water above, illuminating copses of kelp. I get it now–I’m not much of a swimmer but I think I would learn for this one.

Trevor Calvert (yours truly) — World Culture through Martial Arts

  • I led this one, and unlike those above but similar to many minicourses, it was right here in campus. We had masters from multiple martial arts–Poekoelan, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Capoeira, Tai Chi, and WingChun. We had external and internal martial arts, really active-make-you-sweat days and slow-down-breathe-feel-balance days. We learned a little about the countries from where these arts came, and learned to express ourselves a little better through our own movement. One of my favorite memories was working with a student who I probably outweigh by 80 pounds and have over a foot on in height, and having that student take my balance and throw me as if I were a kid.
Seeing and hearing about all of these minicourses made me wish that I could learn more about all of them and go on quite a few! If you’ve got a moment, stop by the library and tell me about yours, and/or if you have a great story, email it to me and I’ll post it here!

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