Jan 28, 2009

Draft Course Descriptions

Hi folks - here are the course descriptions! (Revised 1/29)

Animal Rights
Ms. Kang & Casey Simkunas
Scientific research using live animal subjects has produced important advances in medicine. But is it morally acceptable for humans to exploit, torture and ultimately kill animals for our own benefit? This course will explore animals rights from the points of view of animal awareness, the necessity of research and computer simulations that may make animal testing unnecessary.

Athletics and Service
Ms. McEvoy & Leanne Galletly
Professional athletes are often assumed to behave poorly in their personal lives. Since they have the tendency to become pop icons they often get away with unacceptable behavior. But does the reality match the image? This course will explore athletics and service from the points of view of athletes doing community service by force to save their public personas, the positive impact of authentic service through athletics and the value of service as a marketing tool.

Buy Now, Pay Later!
Ms. Farr-Williams & Jade Zhang
Is it acceptable to spend more money than we really have? The answer might be a simple ‘no’ when it comes to a new TV, but the question becomes more difficult when we consider college loans, or your first car. This course will consider personal credit financing from the points of view of college loans, credit history and how banks make choices about who to lend money to.

Discovering Justice
Ms. Frame & Rob Collins
Illegal drug use and the misuse of legal drugs has profound affects not only on individuals, but also on our society as a whole. This course will explore the issue of drug abuse and justice from the points of view of the perceived acceptability of some types of drug abuse, how the police system handles youth drug offenders and how the courts treat young minority youth.

Food and Culture
Ms. Guardenier & Jess Epstein
Many people in the United States seem to take food for granted. Yet when we look closer we see that food has deep meaning from the points of view of socioeconomic status, religious traditions and other cultural influences. Why do people fast? How does education influence dietary choices and health? This group will explore these issues and more. Warning: to participate in this group you must be willing to step out of your culinary comfort zone!

Going Green
Ms. Hanley & Evan Litsios
The choices we make every day relate to our impact on the earth as global citizens. In Boston, ‘green’ businesses may create new opportunities, while other businesses may be regulated out of existence. This course will explore going green from the points of view of green businesses making a positive impact on the earth, the downside of a greener economy, and the powerlessness many feel about their ability to create lasting change.

Immigration and the English Language
Mr. Quintero & Brian Shin
Although English is not the official language of the United States it creates a significant language barrier to new immigrants. On the other hand English may be diminishing in importance as America becomes a more ‘global’ nation. This course will explore immigration and the English language from the points of view of encouraging multi-lingual education, making English the official and required language for America and the melting pot theory of assimilation.

Powerful Images
Ms. Wilson & Jordan Elliot-King
Imagery surrounds us all day long. Although we try to filter it, we are still influenced by it. It finds its way into the depths of who we are and shapes our thoughts, beliefs, and desires. This course will explore the power of images from the points of view of censorship, political and commercial imagery, and art.

The Power of Music
Ms. Finer & Max Harris
At times there are social and political conditions that are unacceptable. Singers, rappers and musicians who play music in protest of war, injustice or corruption can bring unique attention and action to the causes they believe in. This course will explore the power of music from the points of view of historical issues and songs, the qualities of enduring protest songs, and modern issues and the artists who protest.

Redefining Fashion
Ms. Freeborn, Ms. Shepp, Molly Masland & Meg Dunne
Being ‘fashionable’ is a means of self expression and also an impossible treadmill of packaged products and fast moving trends. This course will explore how we can redefine fashion from the points of view of wealth and high fashion, fashion extremes such as cosmetic surgery and liposuction, and the impossible ideals portrayed by the fashion industry.

College Fit
Sally Smith
This course will explore the importance of reflection and a thoughtful process when making a college choice.

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