Faculty approves total of six new ISIR, math, foreign language classes

Jake Saferstein

Classes in mythology, surrealism, fly-fishing and robotics will be offered next year, along with two new classes in math and foreign language.

The four Independent Studies and Interdisciplinary Research classes added are “The Art and Science of Fly Fishing,” “Mythology and its Meaning: Gods and Godesses; Heroines and Heroes,” “Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film” and “Robotics.”

The Faculty Academic Committee approved the classes at its November meeting. The classes will be offered providing enough students enroll.

The Art and Science of Fly Fishing will be taught by visual arts teacher Art Tobias and science teacher Dietrich Schuhl.

Schuhl’s and Tobias’s goal is to bring together art and science through fly fishing.

“If you fish a lot you have a lot of time to illuminate on things like the physics of the line,” Tobias said. “In the Renaissance, science and art were the same thing, done by the same people; we want to combine those two again.”

Schuhl and Tobias are still finishing up the exact curriculum, but plan to make the course hands-on; however, students do not need any prior fishing experience to enroll.

Latin teacher Paul Chenier will teach Mythology and its Meaning: Gods and Goddesses; Heroines and Heroes.

“The goal of the class is to read the myths through translated primary sources and appreciate them as literary works, but also to ground them back into historical and cultural context by looking at what role they played,” Chenier said. “We’ll discuss how the myths relate to history, religion, and art and architecture.”

The class will also work to relate myths studied to modern art and culture.

Science teacher and Robotics club adviser Karen Hutchison will teach the new robotics course. The class will focus on the competition season, with offseason projects decided by the participants in the class. Additionally, the Robotics club will continue to participate in robotics competitions and will be open to students not enrolled in the robotics class.

“My hope is to have some instruction, but the class will be very project based and focus on whatever the students want,” Hutchison said.

Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film will be taught by English teacher Sasha Watson.

“We want to look at surrealism by looking at examples like reading poems and thinking about photos,” Watson said. “Then we’ll put it into practice, with projects like writing or maybe even film.”

Directed Studies in General Topology, one of the two academic courses added, is an advanced math course for students who have already taken Advanced Seminar in Mathematics. It will be taught by math teacher Joe Busch.

Topology is the study of “rubber sheet geometry” that deals with very abstract geometrical concepts like taking one shape and folding it into another.

Chinese Literature and Culture Honors will be taught by Chinese teacher Yi Jiang and is designed for students who have completed AP Chinese and Chinese V.