Interterm Non-Credit Courses for January 2014

Celestial Navigation

See new courses as of December!

Beyond Shopping: Acquiring Art for the Mead

Intro to Machine Shop

Student Support Network Training

"Disappearing Print(s)": Yesterday and Tomorrow

Becoming a Leader

CLOSED! Introduction to the Recording Studio

CLOSED! Filming a Scene

Celestial Navigation

An Introduction to the Principles, Practices, and Procedures of 737 Turbine Flight

CANCELLED! Visualizing Data: Designing Tables and Graphs

Mapping Knowledge with Geographic Information Systems

CLOSED! Web Programming

Contact Improvisation

The Food, the Bad and the Ugly:  The State of Modern Agriculture

Thesis Writers' Winter Retreat

CLOSED! Private Equity Investments in Natural Resources: Translating a World View into an Investment Strategy

Organizing for Social Change

Who Am I?: An Experiential Journey into our Social Identities

Social Enterprise in Action

Painting a Word Portrait

Cultural Competence: An Essential Component of Medical and Health Care Site

Environmental Leadership in the 21st Century

Reading without Paper

Developing a Mindset for Academic Success

Research Poster Design Principles

New! AC Winter Creative Writing Residency

New! Rethinking Education: Solve a Real and Compelling Question 

New! Mindfulness-Based Practices for Students

New! Filming an Interview

New! Financial Accounting

New! Drawing Marathon

New! Crash Course in Career Planning for International Students

New! Makerspace Uncourse

Course Name: Beyond Shopping: Acquiring Art for the Mead
Dates & times: Tues., Jan. 14 - Fri., Jan. 17, 12:30 to 4:30 pm (4 successive afternoons)
Location: Mead Art Museum
Facilitator: Elizabeth E. Barker
Description: Curious to learn how museum acquire the objects they hold? Interested in purchasing a real work of art for the permanent collection of the Mead? Then this Interterm course is for YOU. In four afternoons spent behind-the-scenes at the museum and on field trips to artists' studios, participants will learn the ins and outs of museum acquisitions, and will lay the groundwork for the project's grand finale: the mock court-style presentation, scheduled for Friday, January 24, at 1:00 pm, in which two teams of participants will argue the case for two final artworks, and the museum's docents and curators will select by secret ballot the work to be purchased in memory of the former curator of American art, Trinkett Clark.
How to register for the course: Please send an email message to the facilitator, Elizabeth Barker, at
Sponsored by:
Mead Art Museum

Course Name: Intro to Machine Shop
Dates & times:  January 6-10; January 13-17; January 20 & 22 from 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Student Machine Shop  Merrill Science Center
Facilitator:  Jim Kubasek
Description: This course will be an introduction to the machine shop and metal working in general. Students will be introduced to a variety of machinery such as the lathe and milling machine as well as other pieces of shop equipment and hand tools. The students will work on different projects that will introduce the basic concepts of metal cutting such as drilling, tapping, turning, sawing, and milling as well as layout and measurement with precision measuring tools. The students will work with aluminum, brass, and steel for their projects.
How to register for the course: Contact Jim Kubasek at or more info and to sign up.
Sponsored by:
Physics Department

Course Name: Student Support Network Training
Dates & times:  Jan 10, 14, 17, 21 from 1:00pm - 3:30pm *Students must be able to attend all 4 sessions.
Location: To be determind
Facilitator:  Jessica Gifford
Description: The goal of the Student Support Network (SSN) is to build on students existing empathy and listening skills and provide information and resources for responding to friends in crisis.  The interterm training consists of four 2.5 hour sessions that will cover:   
  - Active listening and support skills;
  - Recognizing and responding to signs of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, substance use/abuse and disordered eating;
  - Ways to support friends and connect them with resources that can provide help
How to register for the course: For more information, visit the webpage or contact Jessica Gifford, Mental Health Educator, or x5637.
Sponsored by:
Mental Health Education

Course Name: "Disappearing Print(s)": Yesterday and Tomorrow
Dates & times: January 8-10: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Locations: Beneski Museum of Natural History, Emily Dickinson Museum, Mead Art Museum, and the Archives and Special Archives at the Frost Library
Cindy Dickinson, Director of Interpretation and Programming, Emily Dickinson Museum;
Mike Kelley, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Frost Library;
Wendy Somes, Coordinator of Community Programs, Mead Art Museum;
Fred Venne, Museum Educator, Beneski Museum of Natural History’
Mila Waldman, Study Room Supervisor, Mead Art Museum
Description: Emily Dickinson once wrote to a correspondent “ I did not print.” Indeed, Emily Dickinson did not print, which in the 1800s meant “to publish”.  But the publishing world was thriving—nineteenth-century America saw monumental change in the printing and publishing of image and text.  

Today we live in a world in which “print” has new meanings, and printed material – books, newspapers, photography, even visual art, is increasingly in digital form.  Conversely, many artists and artisans today adopt traditional printmaking methods as a way to reinvent this time consuming, highly skilled, and disappearing form of communication and expression.

This three day course will explore the past and future of print via four Amherst College resources: the Beneski Museum of Natural History, the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Mead Art Museum, and the Archives and Special Collections at the Frost Library.  Participants will get up close to wide ranging examples of print – from prehistoric dinosaur footprints, 15th century texts, masterpieces by artists ranging from  Rembrandt to Warhol, rare books, and first editions of Emily Dickinson’s poems. We will also visit with a local artisan letterpress printmaker, Big Wheel Press, in Northampton, MA for an in-person look at historic printmaking techniques utilized today and a discussion on the future of this art form.
How to register for the course: To register please email Wendy Somes at and provide the following information: Name, class year, email contact, telephone, campus address.
Sponsored by: Beneski Museum of Natural History, Emily Dickinson Museum, Mead Art Museum, and the Archives and Special Archives at the Frost Library

Course Name: Becoming a Leader
Dates & times: January 15 - January 17th. Times are to be determined.
Location: Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center
Facilitators: Gregg DiNardo '01, Director, Amherst LEADS and Devin Fratarcangeli, LEADS Fellow
Description: Amherst LEADS is a leadership development program that provides a comprehensive and educational view of leadership. Amherst LEADS is offering a course that will allow students to explore different leadership styles, discover how to create effective work relationships, and examine the impact of leadership on team dynamics. This course will feature a variety of presentations, group activities, experiential exercises and a keynote speaker on the topic of leadership. Throughout the duration of the course, students will examine their personal behavior styles and explore the dynamics of high performing teams, providing invaluable lessons that can be applied to the fields of academics and athletics, as well as life after college. Open to students from all Five College campuses.
To learn more about Amherst LEADS, please visit:
How to register for the course: For questions or to register for this course, please email Amherst LEADS at
Sponsored by: Amherst Athletics

COURSE IS CLOSED! Course Name: Introduction to the Recording Studio
Dates & times: January 6 - January 9, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Seeley Mudd 115 and 116
Facilitator: Joshua Baum
Description: In this course students will learn to use the recording studio in the Seeley Mudd Center for Creative Technology. We will cover basic studio setup, principles of acoustics, recording techniques for various instruments and applications in studio and field environments, microphone selection, audio engineering, editing, mixing, and finishing. Each student will have the opportunity to create a song, interview, radio essay, audio collage, or other audio project of their choosing.
How to register for the course: Email Joshua Baum, with the following information: Name, school, class year and a very brief description of interest and experience in music or audio recording
Sponsored by: IT - Academic Technology Services

COURSE IS CLOSED! Course Name: Filming a Scene
Dates & times: Part 1: Production: January 10, 13 & 14, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Part 2 : Post-Production (optional) January 21-22, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Part 1: To be determined, Part 2: SMudd 115
Facilitator: Peter Marvin
Description: This class will simulate what it's like to film a scene on location for an independent production company. Participants will be able to experience what it's like to direct, shoot, record audio, set up lights, maintain continuity, and slate a film. Part One will be shooting a short scene on location and Part Two (optional) will cover editing using Final Cut Pro X. The class sessions are long to take into account the needs for filming and editing a complete scene, and all participants must be willing to try all roles (including appearing on camera!)
How to register for the course: Email Peter Marvin:
Sponsored by: IT - Academic Technology Services

Course Name: Celestial Navigation
Dates & times: January 6 - January 14 (No class on Sunday)
12:00pm - 2:30pm
In addition, there will be two all day field trips sometime during above dates.
Location: Merrill 220
Facilitator: Henry Parker Hirschel
Description: Visit Amherst College Department of Astronomy (Interterm 2014) for complete course description.  ALL MAJORS WELCOME.
How to register for the course: Contact instructor directly:
Sponsored by: Department of Astronomy

Course Name: An Introduction to the Principles, Practices, and Procedures of 737 Turbine Flight
Dates & times: January 15 - January 22 (No class Sunday or MLK Day)
12:00pm- 2:30pm
In addition, we will make an all day field trip to Bradley International Airport sometime during the above dates.
Location: Merrill 220
Facilitator: Henry Parker Hirschel
Description: Visit Amherst College Department of Astronomy (Interterm 2014) for complete course description.  ALL MAJORS WELCOME.
How to register for the course: Contact instructor directly:
Sponsored by: Department of Astronomy

Course Name: Mapping Knowledge with Geographic Information Systems
Dates & times: January 6 - January 10, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Seeley Mudd 014
Facilitator: Andy Anderson
Description: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful tool to discover spatial relationships and illuminate your research with intuitive maps:
  - Illustrate historic sites and extract features from old maps
  - Spatially correlate census, economic, and other data
  - Display geologic formations and delineate watersheds
  - Track human, animal, and plant populations
  - Map locations from a GPS receiver
The course will cover the following content, meeting for two hours each day:
  - Constructing and Sharing Maps (including with Google Earth)
  - Mapping Named Data (including census data and street addresses)
  - Mapping Coordinate Data (including using a GPS receiver and web data )
  - Mapping Image Data (including scanned maps and remote sensing data)
  - Analyzing Geographic Data (including watersheds)
  - Extracting and Editing Map Features

Please also note that another noncredit GIS course will take place the following week at Smith College.
How to register for the course: E-mail
Sponsored by: Academic Technology Services

COURSE IS CLOSED! Course name: Web Programming
Dates & times: January 13 - 17, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Webster 102
Facilitators: Andy Anderson and Aaron Coburn
Description: The World-Wide Web is a set of computer technologies that publish and display information over the Internet in a highly interactive manner. At the heart of the Web are several content and programming languages that will be covered in this five-day course:
  - Monday: Static Web (HTML, CSS, SVG, Canvas)
  - Tuesday: Dynamic Web (Javascript/D3 1)
  - Wednesday: Interactive Web (Javascript/D3 2)
  - Thursday: Server-Side Web (Node.js)
  - Friday: Database Web (SQLite via Node.js)
How to register for the course: E-mail
Sponsored by: Academic Technology Services

Course Name: Contact Improvisation
Dates & times: January 6 - January 10;  2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Studio 1 Webster 117
Facilitator: Felice Wolfzahn
Description: Contact Improvisation is primarily a duet movement form. Two people move together playing in a physical dialogue, communicating through he language of touch, momentum, and weight sharing. In these classes we will explore some simple solo and duet skills such as rolling, falling, spiraling, playing with balance, counter-balance, jumping, weight sharing and tuning our sensory input. We will work with an emphasis on releasing excess muscular tension in order to allow more vital inner support for the body to move freely. Classes will combine improvisational explorations with skill work in a supportive, fun and focused environment.  Felice Wolfzahn is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She has been involved with New Dance for over 20 years, teaching and performing in the US and in Europe. Her performance work combines investigations into Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, and collaborations with artists of other disciplines including music and theater.
How to register for the course: Email Linda Celi
Sponsored by: Theater & Dance

Course Name: The Food, the Bad and the Ugly:  The State of Modern Agriculture
Dates & times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 7 - January 21, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Fayerweather 113
Facilitator: Peter McLean and Tobin Porter-Brown, Book & Plow Farm
Description: To talk openly about agriculture, community, health, and all things related to food.  Discussion is spurred through viewing documentaries, reading essays, and group presentations on topics like GMO's versus organic crops, government subsidized agriculture, the sustainability of local agriculture, and the future of food.
How to register for the course: Email
Sponsored by: Book & Plow Farm/Facilities

Course Name: Thesis Writers' Winter Retreat
Dates & times: January 6 - January 10, 9:00am - 12:00pm (session 1-AM)
January 6 - January 10, 1:00pm - 4:00pm (session 1-PM)
January 13 - January 17, 9:00am - 12:00pm (session 2-AM)
January 13 - January 17, 1:00pm-4:00pm (session 2-PM)
January 21 - January 22, 9:00am - 12:00pm (mini-session)
Location: The Writing Center
Facilitator: Jessica Gorman
Description: Perhaps you plan to work intensely on your senior thesis during the January term, but staying motivated to write on a daily basis can be challenging. You are invited to join fellow writers at the Writing Center's Winter Retreat, where writers commit to write together for a consistent, extended period of time. Every day, writers will set writing goals and then review those goals at the close of the writing time.  Writing Center staff will be available for consultation and will provide coffee and snacks.  At the close of each week, writers will discuss their progress and goals over pizza.
Writers may register for one or both weeks, and may choose either morning or afternoon sessions (but not both in the same week). Participants must commit to attend all five days of the session.
In addition, participants of any session are invited to attend the final week's mini-session.
Registration is required, and space is limited. The retreat will be held in Charles Pratt Common Room, but on the first day, please meet us in the Writing Center for a brief orientation.
How to register for the course: Registration is required, and space is limited.  Participants must register on the Writing Center's web site.
Sponsored by: The Writing Center

COURSE IS CLOSED! Course Name: Private Equity Investments in Natural Resources: Translating a World View into an Investment Strategy
Dates & times: This three-session course will be offered on January 14,  January 16  and January 21, 1:00pm - 3:00pm.
Location: Converse 207
Facilitator: Bob Saul is a Managing Director at Wood Creek Capital Management in New Haven.  He spent fifteen years as a Partner and Director of Northern Hemisphere Investments at GMO Renewable Resources in Boston. He recently joined Wood Creek Capital as a Managing Director natural resource investments.  At GMO RR, Bob invested more than $2 billion in forestry and agricultural properties in 21 States and several Latin America countries. Bob and his wife Kate Fretwell ('81)  own 200 acres of farmland in New Hampshire and western Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Amherst  ('81) and Harvard University s Kennedy School of Government (MPP '85).
Description: The news is filled with dire predictions regarding the rapid depletion of global natural resources caused by the increasing global population and the acceleration of global economic growth. Philosophically, there are at least two sides to this story; the first is Malthusian, aka, we are doomed,  and the second, is Cornucopian, aka have some faith in human ingenuity.  Investing  with a Malthusian philosophy might mean going long on scarce natural resources (water, arable land) while a Cornucopian investor might choose to put capital into emerging technologies that could mitigate these resource shortages (seed technology, cellulosic ethanol). The private investment world, to some extent, is a place where the two views merge and become an agnostic pursuit of returns. The investor does not care if the world is ending or humanity is entering a new Renaissance. Instead, the investor is either concerned about making more money than his peers, or making enough money to meet his future obligations (at least until the world ends).
The ability to invest well is usually the result of clearly and consistently translating a well-researched world view into ideas that find expression in investment strategies. When the world moves in a direction consistent with the investor's world view, the investor's investments should benefit. Investing money successfully; however, is a tricky business. This course will use several case studies to demonstrate real world  examples of how the natural resource investment process works. We'll begin with an examination of various world views,  and move through the identification of  investors and investments, and then the modeling, due diligence, and execution process; a process which increases, but does not guarantee, success.
How to register for the course: Email Sarah Barr,
Sponsored by: Center for Community Engagement

Course Name: Organizing for Social Change
Dates & times: January 18 - January 20, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Fayerweather 113
Facilitator: Destry Sibley '09
Description: This three-day training will focus on developing skills to organize for social change. Drawing from our collective experiences and case study examples, we will cover winnable and non-winnable issues, campaign strategies, and membership recruitment. All are welcome, especially those with a commitment to social justice. No prior activist experience required.
How to register for the course: Email Destry Sibley,
Sponsored by: Center for Community Engagement

Course Name: Who Am I?: An Experiential Journey into our Social Identities
Dates & times: January 13 - January 17, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Chapin Hall Lounge
Facilitator: LizAnette Perez and Nick Cream
Description: Do you need a space for critical thinking and dialogue around social identities?  Are you curious about how your identities influence how you see and experience the world?  Are you interested in how the world sees you?  This course will delve into aspects of how our identities impact who we are through an experiential learning model based on David Kolb's work.  We will provide participants with a theoretical framework through which to understand these complex issues and invite them to challenge their own comfort levels.  One of our goals will be to become more comfortable interrupting racism, sexism, heterosexism and classism using various techniques.
How to register for the course: E-mail LizAnette Perez or Nick Cream
Sponsored by: Multicultural Resource Center

Course Name: Social Enterprise in Action
Dates & times: January 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, all days from 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Fayerweather 117
Facilitator: Megan Lyster
Description: Are you interested in learning more about how social enterprises use business models to address social problems?  Participants in this course will gain practical experience tackling a real-world, real-time business problem by working directly with local social enterprise startups, and will get exposure to the start-up process in general.  Each group will produce a detailed summary of their work for the social enterprise client and present it at the end of the course.  Last year's projects included a social media marketing project for Celia Grace, a fair trade bridal wear company, and a funding research project for MissionControl, a tech startup that provides accounting software for nonprofits. Students will work in small groups and should expect to do some work outside of class meeting times, and thus, should be comfortable working collaboratively and doing independent research within a short time frame.  This seminar is open to all students, regardless of experience, but is limited to 15 students, so register early.
How to register for the course: Email Megan Lyster,
Sponsored by: Center for Community Engagement

Course Name: Painting a Word Portrait
Dates & times: January 14, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Location: Writing Center, Charles Pratt Hall
Facilitator: Kristen Brookes
Description: Come do a fun, easy, writing project that will result in a vivid picture of someone important to you. With just the right details, organized just the right way, you will be able to capture something essential about your subject, enabling the reader to see this person in his or her mind's eye. This workshop offers you the opportunity to practice in just sixty minutes  an entire writing process, from collecting or generating details, to finding a focus, to selecting and organizing details, to re-seeing and then polishing the whole. And you may well have, as a result, an early gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Valentine's Day, or just something to display on your refrigerator at home.
How to register for the course: Registration is required, and space is limited.  Participants must register on the Writing Center's web site.
Sponsored by: The Writing Center

Course Name: Cultural Competence: An Essential Component of Medical and Health Care Site 
Dates & times: January 16, 17, 20, 21: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Location: Chapin 101
Facilitator: Richard Aronson, MD, MPH
Description: Cultural competence and humility are central to creating effective medical care, and to addressing health inequities. It’s the way that patients and doctors - and public health - can come together and talk about health concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation, but enhancing it.  Cultural competence in health care doesn’t mean being an authority on the values and beliefs of every culture. This course addresses the core components of cultural competence as it applies to health care. This means being culturally humble, personally and organizationally; holding and practicing a respect for cultural and language differences;  developing an awareness of the specific cultural and linguistic lenses through which we, as individuals and groups, view the world, including the universal human tendency for bias and stereotype; being aware how every aspect of public health and medical care is cross-cultural in nature; learning how cultural factors play a role in health disparities such as the Latino Paradox and the diabetes epidemic among Pima Indians in Arizona; understanding the “cultural competence continuum” that covers the spectrum between cultural destruction and cultural proficiency: and growing to internalize the concept that an individual’s uniqueness transcends cultural traits and that our shared humanity and inter-connectedness ultimately form the foundation for humane and effective medical care and public health strategies.
Sponsored by: Health Professions Advisor/Assistant Dean of Students/Career Center
How to register for the course: Email Richard Aronson, MD, MPH at
Students are expected to attend all four sessions.

Course Name: Environmental Leadership in the 21st Century
Dates & times: January 6 -January 8th 9:00am - 5:00pm
Plus one evening lecture with a national speaker TBD.
Location: Bechtel Environmental Classroom, Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station, Smith College
Facilitator:Jan Dizard (Amherst College), Joanne Benkley, Jessica Bacal, Jennifer Walters (all Smith College).
Description: Environmental sustainability is the global issue in need of leadership today. Students from the Five Colleges, with the strength of their liberal arts education, rigorous scholarship, and history of active engagement, are well positioned to take on a variety of leadership roles in shaping our collective future.
This interterm workshop will give you clarity about your values, and empower you for a lifetime of meaningful and effective environmental action. Over three days, you will engage in training sessions, interact and network with like-minded students and alumnae in environmental fields, and have time to reflect on what you bring to the table. Students from the Five Colleges are welcome to apply, though the workshop can only accommodate 30 participants.
Sponsored by:  Environmental Studies (Amherst College); Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability (Smith College).
The workshop is sponsored by a grant from the Thoreau Foundation and grants from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.
How to register for the course: Interested students can register for the course at

Course Name: Reading without Paper
Dates & times:  January 16, 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location: Writing Center, 101 Charles Pratt Hall
Facilitators: Kristen Brookes and Jessica Gorman, Writing Associates
Description:  Although books haven’t quite gone the way of stone tablets, much college reading is now distributed in electronic format, and many students are reading on laptops or tablets. Unless we turn pages, the human brain, however, doesn’t take in or retain information from screens as well as it does from paper. Further, while you most likely read paper texts with pen or pencil in hand, underlining and writing your responses, you might not have translated those active reading skills to reading on a screen. This workshop will introduce strategies for active reading of digital texts by introducing you to and offering you the opportunity to experiment with selected apps and applications for annotating digital texts. Please bring any devices you are likely to read on, as well as a couple of electronic readings. If you do not have your own device, just let us know, and we will make one available to you.
How to register for the course: Registration is required, and space is limited.  Participants must register on the Writing Center's website.
Sponsored by: The Writing Center

Course Name: Developing a Mindset for Academic Success
Dates & times: January 21, 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Location: Writing Center, 101 Charles Pratt Hall
Facilitators: Charri Boykin-East (Senior Associate Dean of Students and Coordinator of Academic Support) and Kristen Brookes (Senior Writing Associate).
Description: Our fundamental attitudes about ourselves and our academic work have a lot to do with how we approach our studies, how we use our time, how much and why we avoid doing our work, and how anxious we feel about our performance. If you have been procrastinating a lot or struggling to get all of your work done, a change in your mindset might be in order.
This workshop will offer you the opportunity to articulate to yourself your own approach to your studies and then, if necessary, to revise your mindset into a more productive one, one that will help you work more effectively and happily.
How to register for the course: Registration is required, and space is limited.  Participants must register on the Writing Center's website.
Sponsored by: The Writing Center

Course Name: Research Poster Design Principles
Dates & times: January 15, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: Barker Room, Frost Library
Facilitators: Jessica Gorman (Writing Associate) and Kristen Greenland (Science Librarian)
Description: Are you preparing a research poster for an upcoming presentation? In this workshop, we will discuss visual and rhetorical design for this format, critique some examples, and draft the layout for a poster of your own.
How to register for the course: Participants must register on the Writing Center's website.
Sponsored by: The Writing Center & The Library

Course Name: AC Winter Creative Writing Residency
Dates & Times & Location:
Introductory Meeting: January 7, 1:00pm - 2:30pm, in the Writing Center, Charles Pratt Hall 101A.
Daily writing sessions: January 8-January 10 and January 13 - January 17, 9:00am - 12:00pm in Frost Library (eight sessions in total). We ask all participants to commit to all sessions.
Individual sessions: Up to four 45-minute afternoon sessions, self-scheduled with instructor.
Community Reading: January 17, 4:00pm, location TBA. Refreshments will be served.
Facilitators: Michael Keezing and Roy Andrews (Writing Associates)
Description:Interterm is writing time! Join us for a two-week independent residency in creative writing.
Modeled on writers and artists colonies like MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Workshop, this program offers you the opportunity to devote sustained, undistracted attention to your fiction, poetry, dramatic writing, or creative nonfiction in a supportive environment. We'll begin with a meeting in which we'll explore the writing process for insights on starting, developing, and realizing a creative project. We will then convene every morning -- the heart of the program -- for three hours of writing (eight sessions total). Each session will start with a brief meeting at Frost Cafe to warm up our writing muscles, set goals, and/or review progress, then we'll write independently (together or alone, as suits each writer) until noon. Participants are welcome to work either on new or existing projects.
For participants seeking guidance, instruction, or simply feedback on their work, we'll also offer up to four one-on-one mentoring sessions with one of the program leaders. At the end of the program, we'll come together for a community reading, during which we'll share work produced during the residency.
How to register for the course: To reserve your place please register with The Writing Center.
Sponsored by: TheWriting Center

Course Name: Rethinking Education: Solve a Real and Compelling Question
Dates & times: January 13-22, including MLK, Jr. Day January 20, 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Chapin 205
Facilitators: Pam Allyn and Katie Cunningham
Description: In this exciting, one of a kind problem solving interim session course, we will begin with a live visit from two renowned leaders in educational leadership and policy, the New Jersey Commissioner of Education (and prior to that, Deputy Commissioner for Education for the City of New York and New York's Chief Advisor on Transformation) Christopher Cerf, and Pam Allyn, educational leader and author of many books for teachers, leaders and parents. They will propose to you a compelling question in education for you to help them solve and then, you will help them inquire into what really matters for learners in an increasingly diverse society.

The question they will propose to you will be a question of urgent importance for all of us, especially children, right now. Education is also a multi-billion dollar investment by our nation and critically important to the success of our economy. The pressing issues are not problems just to be solved by one major alone; it will take all perspectives and synergies of ideas to find new pathways and outcomes. Educating our nation's children is a humanistic endeavor that is becoming more and more data driven and the questions of right now are pressing to solve. We are at the dawn of a new moment in education that if successful will synergize the value of multiple perspectives and skill sets.

LitLife leader, educator, author and motivator Katie Cunningham will lead you through the course, both virtually and key in person visits, in readings, video and conversation for a richly rewarding experience in inquiry based problem solving into the most important inquiry of our time. The course will be framed around best practices for teaching and learning for children to become both college- and career-ready while simultaneously empowered to think creatively and act humanely, as well as an exploration of the structure of schools themselves in the 21st century. The K-12 educational landscape is changing rapidly, how we read, write, and engage with the world is changing. 

This course, with input from a variety of perspectives will reflect the excitement of that. Your voices will really matter in just a very short time!

We are seeking highly motivated, integrative problem solving students from all majors who are keenly interested in the unique combination of issues from civil society to the power of children's literature to government and private sector relationships. This course is designed for motivated students who would like to participate in the dynamic energy of immediate solutions and be open to a variety of viewpoints. This "think-tank" style course will culminate with a presentation by the student teams.
How to register for the course: Email the Careers in Education Professions Director, Robert Siudzinski, at
Sponsored by: Center for Community Engagement

Course Name: Mindfulness-Based Practices for Students
Dates & times:
January 13 - January 17,10:00am - 12:00pm Monday is a required Introductory Session for all interested participants.
Location: Conway Classroom, Alumni Gym
David Spound & Adi Bemak, Valley Mindfulness (
The intention of a this course is to offer a week long introductory program in the practice of mindfulness for the support of students' personal health and wellness. It will also help students cope with stress common to being in a demanding academic environment. The emphasis of the program will be on developing a personal daily mindfulness practice that can be sustained over time and with which students will be able to discover practical applications as they meet the challenges of life as a young adult.
How to register for the course:
Please e-mail BOTH Chris Paradis & Debra Edelman

Course Name: Filming an Interview
Dates & times: January 16, 9am to 12pm
Location: SMudd 102
Facilitator: Peter Marvin
Description: This class focuses on basic filmmaking techniques using one video camera for conducting a one-on-one interview. It will cover basic camera operation, collecting proper audio, shot composition, and simple lighting.
How to register for the course: Email Peter Marvin:, please include your phone number.
Sponsored by: Academic Technology Services

Course Name: Financial Accounting
Dates & times: January 6 - January 17, 10:00am - 12:30pm
Location:  Pruyne Lecture Hall
Facilitator: Prof. Dick Asebrook
Description: Principles underlying accounting reports to investors and other external users of financial statements. By the end of this course, you should be comfortable reading corporate annual reports and appreciating the usefulness as well as the limitations of the underlying accounting model upon which these reports are based.
You will be able to prepare the three typical financial statements, The Balance Sheet, The Income Statement, and The Cash Flow Statement. Attention will be given to the topics of: Revenue Recognition, Inventories, Long-lived Assets, Liability Recognition, Marketable Securities, and Shareholder’s Equity.
How to register for the course: S
ee Carol Sharick in the Career Center.  Space is limited, so sign up early.

Course Name: Drawing Marathon
Dates & times: January 14, 10:00am - 5:00am (1 hour break for lunch)
Location:  Fayerweather 101
Facilitator: Resident Artist David Gloman, Sylvia Li '14
Description:  A class for all levels, drawing from live models. We'll begin by discussing and practicing a variety of ways to approach drawing. After lunch, we'll begin a five hour drawing marathon. Paper, pencil, and charcoal provided. Feel free to bring additional supplies of your own.
How to register for the course:  To register, please email Sylvia Li
Sponsored by: Art and the History of Art

Course Name: Crash Course in Career Planning for International Students
Dates & times:  January 13 - 15, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Career Center
Facilitator: Laura Litwiller, Dexter Padayachee, Career Center staff
Description: This is not your average job search workshop! Dive into a full exploration of who you are and what you have to offer employers, while also learning about resources that will help you meet your needs as an international student. This information will help inform your next steps as you consider your future career options. In this Interterm class, you can expect an introduction to the following:
-How to use your skills, values, interests, and cultural or family influences as a guide to finding a good career fit.
-How to conduct research on employers or fields that interest you.
-Where to find information about which employers hire international students.
-Where to find resources to help you search for jobs and internships.
-The ins and outs of Optional Practical Training (OPT) and other options for legal work in the U.S.
-How to approach networking in the U.S.
-How to prepare for interviews in the U.S. and discuss your international status with employers.
-Tips from international Amherst College alumni.
Walk away from this Interterm course with your own career action plan outlining next steps toward finding opportunities that excite you.
How to register for the course: 
Sponsored by: Career Center, International Student Life

Course Name: Makerspace Uncourse
Dates & times: First meeting January 8, 1pm; times and dates of later meetings to be decided
Location: Merrill Science 209
Facilitator: André Antunes de Sa ’14
Description: Makers like to design interesting objects and create software to control fun gadgets. Some of the possibilities include 3D printers, wearable computers, Kinect motion capture, game controllers, and virtual-reality glasses, along with quadcopters, spheros, and other robots. The exact content and schedule of this “uncourse” will be decided by its participants at the first meeting, and everyone will both educate themselves and each other on how to make these new technologies perform. So bring your interests, ideas, and energy and get ready to explore!
How to register for the course: Show up to first meeting, or email André at
Sponsored by: Academic Technology Services


Updated: January 9, 2014


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Did You Know?

  • The average financial aid package provided by Amherst in 2012-13 was $44,888.
  • 89% of Amherst classes have fewer than 30 students; the average class size is 16.
  • Amherst students can participate in several Five College programs, including African Studies, Dance and International Relations.