Summer Session Course Descriptions

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Course Descriptions


All courses are open to any student of any grade, with no prerequisites, unless otherwise specified at the end of the course description.


Science Fiction and Philosophy

Instructor: Tony Ferraro

In this course, students engage with the philosophical questions raised by science fiction of many forms, including short fiction, television, and movies. Do we have free will? How would time travel work? How would we interpret alien communication? Could we tell if we were living in a simulation? Students raise and discuss questions about artificial intelligence and personal identity, the nature of the mind, metaethics, time, and the meaning of language. Students develop their own philosophical ideas and positions, and develop their ability to articulate and defend them in discussion and writing. They will also produce their own science fiction, exploring philosophical concepts significant to them. Short fiction may include texts by Asimov, Atwood, Butler, Clarke, Chiang, Le Guin, Miéville, Okorafor, and others. Digital content is selected from Black Mirror, Star Trek, Arrival, Inception, Minority Report, Black Panther, Interstellar and others.

Junior/Senior/Postgraduate Course


Introduction to Athletic Training

Instructor: Shelby Pocius

This course introduces students to the field of sports medicine. It is designed for those with interest in in sports medicine, athletic training, fitness, physical therapy, strength and conditioning, and other related fields. The course elaborates on the importance of each member of the sports medicine team and how each role aligns to achieve a common goal. This program provides an excellent foundation for continuation in college and health-occupation programs. During the course, each student has the opportunity to further explore the career of their choice, and discovers the academic requirements to obtain certifications and degrees and how their chosen career fits within the sports medicine team.


Wilderness Survival: A Guide to Making it Through Anything, Anywhere, Anytime

Instructor: Jason Mis

This course gives students first-hand knowledge of the skills needed to survive in the wild. Too often we depend on the comfort and reliability of our lives; but when crises strike, preparation is vital and necessary. Nowhere is this more applicable than in the scenario of being lost in the wilderness. From the introspection of mastering your attitude, to the practical application of collecting water from vegetation, this course provides the basic tools to be equipped to survive. Students discuss gearing up, orienteering, pioneering (including knots!), astronomy, weights and measures, trapping and snares, foraging, and more. Students finish the course preparing their own go-bag. In addition, students learn the qualities of a prepared survivor: leadership, altruism, decisiveness, rationality, readiness, and problem-solving abilities. They are more aware of their surroundings, their strengths, limitations, and how to use these to the best of their abilities.


Financial Literacy 101

Instructor: Jennifer Dillon

This course walks students from the basics of savings and investing mechanisms, to creating budgets, and portfolio plans. Financial literacy is the ability to understand and apply financial skills such as budgeting, investing, and financial management towards the goal of becoming financially stable. Being financially literate is a skill that must be learned just as one learns to read. In the United States, 1 in 4 workers do not set aside any savings each month, and 1 in 10 workers making $100,000 or more lives paycheck to paycheck. The average American has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages. Through online games, stock simulations, and research, students uncover new ways to think about money, and develop strategies for financial planning to last a lifetime. At the end of the three weeks students create a budget for their future self, as well as create a hypothetical stock portfolio tracking earnings and losses over time.


Social Justice: Compassion, Inclusivity, and Awareness of Self and Others

Instructor: Allison Bass-Riccio

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of social justice and become empowered to make small changes in their own lives to have a big impact on the world. In a world where students see unjust and unkind actions in the daily news and on social media, students may often feel powerless. Aligning with Cheshire Academy’s mission of challenging students to “develop confidence, character, and critical thinking skills that enable them to thrive as global citizens,” this course explores definitions of social justice and social justice movements. Students think critically about examples of social justice organizations that already exist, and develop the character to implement social justice techniques in daily life. Students come to understand global citizenship and engagement, build empathy skills, and ultimately create a plan for social justice action.


Monologues: A Writing and Performance Workshop

Instructor: Emily Roller

This course tackles one of the basic building blocks of theatrical writing and performance–the monologue. Interested in writing for the theater? Performing in the theater? Trying your hand at stand-up comedy? In the course, students explore famous monologues–from Shakespeare to Trevor Noah–learn the basic principles of interpreting and acting them, and then create and perform their own. The course culminates in the creation, performance, and recording of original monologues. The class includes guest workshops with Edwin Joseph, a professional opera singer and actor who recently graduated from the masters program at Yale University.



Things Your History Teacher Taught You That Were Wrong

Instructor: Butch Rogers

The course examines periods in history where the narrative has changed over the years. The course is loosely based on James Loewen’s very successful Lies My Teacher Told Me. Teachers don’t lie. However, revisionists have discovered some difference of opinion on some of the major historical events in history. Some of the topics to be explored include the following:

The Fall of Rome. Well, it never really fell, and Edward Gibbon’s multi-volume set, which ancient history students have read for decades, has been reevaluated. The Dark and Middle Ages. They were not dark or in the middle. Something cooked up in Florence during the Renaissance. The Vikings were fearless and seafaring explorers. Yes, but they were also murdering, plundering extortionists spanning the area from Russia to the New World. The American Civil War was not about slavery. Yes, it was. And, unfortunately, there were over 600,000 casualties to settle the issue. Dwight Eisenhower was a low energy, bumbling President who spent all his time on the golf course. Actually, after defeating the biggest threat in human history – Hitler and the Nazis – he went on to oversee one of the most peaceful and prosperous decades in American history. The course examines these topics and more, as students learn to question and look critically at other subjects as well as what the media, government, and pop culture tell them.


Spanish Bridge Course, Level I to II

Instructor: Kaity Mehleisen

This course reinforces foundational language acquisition skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing from Spanish I. Grammatical concepts are reviewed through covered through assignments that engage and build student confidence with language skills. Students apply grammatical constructs in authentic ways with the goal of feeling better prepared to converse about real-life topics in the target language. The students engage in cultural exploration and comparisons. An end-of-course project displays student skills with the content reviewed in the course, reflects personal interest, and demonstrates the knowledge gained throughout the course. The main goal of the work is to continue to hone language skills to prepare for the next level in their language learning journey.


Fashion Design Process

Instructor: Sally Pollard

In this course, students learn how to conceptualize and illustrate a fashion line. Pulling from different sources of inspiration, students learn to create a mood board, the first step for any designer. From here, students learn to illustrate different elements of garments, including shirring, zippers, sequins, lapels, collars, fullness, buttons, buttonholes, cuffs, turtle necks, and cable knit. Additionally, students learn how to render skin and different textiles. Students learn the process of “research sketching”, merchandising, flat technical sketching, and creating final illustrations. The class also covers some fashion history through the Victoria and Albert fashion collection and ‘About Time,’ the new Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Exhibition. Students also learn basic sewing skills to better understand how a garment is constructed. Each class, students share their work for a collegial critique. At the end of the course, students will have two projects, one final illustrated collection, at least three mood boards, five flat technical sketches, and dozens of research sketches.


CA Summer Stock Theater

Instructor: Jennifer Guarino

In this course, students explore theater games, ensemble building, performance techniques, scriptwriting, designing, directing, and producing an original piece of virtual theater. The course culminates in a virtual production that is shared publicly and includes a live talkback between students and audience. No theater experience is required, although experienced theater practitioners will have the opportunity to assume leadership roles in the ensemble. Be a part of CA’s exciting summer theater program!


Creative Music Theory and Performance

Instructor: Eunyoung DiGiacomo

This course provides the opportunity for students to learn and experience a variety of musical attributes and techniques. Students learn the fundamentals of music theory, create original songs, arrange of their favorite music, and perform both solo and in ensembles. Students also improve their fundamental rhythm work and harmonic chord progressions. Some simple sight-reading and music appreciation of different music from various time periods are introduced as well. This course is discussion, project, and experience-based. Students apply their musical skills and knowledge to create projects and performances. Students share their work with others while they exchange positive and constructive critiques. This course is appropriate for all students, including those with different musical backgrounds, and with all types of musical instruments, as well as vocal performers.


Continuing Conversations

Instructor: Nicole Beaudwin

In this course, students embark on an intensive exploration of the way texts shape one another and how language, structure, and style affect meaning. When we read, we enter a conversation with the author of a specific text and with the authors that author has read. Through a comparative study of George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the 2005 movie V for Vendetta, Muse’s 2009 album Resistance, and more, the course delves into overarching ideas of power, government, and identity, and their relevance to today’s world where people question the government’s authority and the information relayed by the media. Students analyze the content, audience, and purpose of various texts, including political cartoons, propaganda posters, and news articles. Students contribute to this

ongoing conversation by crafting artistic representations and analytical responses to show how texts are interconnected, language affects thinking, and universal themes are timeless.

Junior/Senior/Postgraduate Course


Environmental Science

Instructor: Caron Quantick

This course offers students the ability to use their scientific, research, debate, and problem-solving skills to identify and analyze environmental issues. It focuses on how human actions affect biodiversity and other resources. Topics include matter and energy cycles; the interdependence of organisms; populations; and air, water, land and energy resources. Students explore the concepts of preservation and sustainability including environmental, economic and social aspects of environmental issues, and connect to real-world issues and current data.



Instructor: Mike LaSpina

This course provides a six-week introduction to economics. Units include selected concepts from the foundations of economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, development economics, and financial literacy. Economic theories are introduced and then reinforced through historical and present-day examples. Content is delivered through lectures, economic models/diagrams, and related video clips. Students are expected to learn actively by asking and answering questions and participating in class activities and discussions. The grade for this class is based on the successful completion of weekly problem sets and class participation. There are no formal prerequisites for admission. Students should, however, have an interest in business and/or history and social studies and a comfort level with arithmetic, algebra (linear equations), and geometry (area).



Instructor: Theresa Mautner

This course gives students the opportunity to explore major topics in psychology, exploring memory, perception, childhood development, intelligence, psychological disorders, and the history of psychology. Students explore their own interests within these subjects via a discussion-based classroom, research projects, and both oral and written assessments of various kinds. Note: There is a text required for this course available as a digital book for purchase.


English Language Learning (ELL)

Instructor: Eva Betjemann

In this course, students develop writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills in English. The focus is on the diverse needs of language learners, and therefore, the curriculum is differentiated to meet students’ individual learning needs. The goal of the course is increasing fluency and confidence with verbal and written expression in English. Students will learn to find their own English ‘voice.’ Course content is based on a variety of reading selections, online activities, and group work, which include games to facilitate written and oral expression as well as listening skills. Grammar points are discussed as needed. Assessments are based on homework, group work, projects, and a portfolio that includes a variety of written and oral activities completed throughout the summer.


Summer Math Fun & Fitness

Instructor: Tom Marshall

Review and practice the foundational concepts of your mathematical past and future. In this three-week course, you can make sure that you don’t forget the important skills you have learned and are prepared to have a successful start to your next math course if you are entering Integrated Math I, II, or III at any level. Topics will be differentiated for individual learners, and will include functions and graphs, linear, quadratic, and polynomial functions, key statistical ideas, and foundational geometry, as well as basic exponentials, logarithms, and introductory trigonometry for rising juniors and seniors.


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