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Winterim at Harpeth Hall

 

Since 1973, Harpeth Hall's signature Winterim experience has enabled students to develop wonder in learning, independence of thought, honor in action, and joy in community. The three-week experience takes place every January and offers Upper School students an exceptional opportunity to develop new interests, travel to unfamiliar places, explore potential careers, and create memories for a lifetime. 

Students in 9th and 10th grades enroll in project-oriented courses on campus taught by our faculty and professional experts in their fields. These select studies push beyond the bounds of the traditional curriculum and allow students to pursue personal interests and develop new skills. Read more about what the Winterim experience is for 9th and 10th grades by the teachers who lead them.

Adrienne Jacobs
Upper School Social Sciences Teacher

What classes are you teaching during Winterim?

Ticket to Moscow, RetroFit, Understanding Monsters

What are the goals of your Winterim class?

In Ticket to Moscow, we're aiming to introduce students to Russian history, culture, and language. We want to spark their interest for that part of the world! In the past, most students have come to the class with only vague impressions of Russia; some have distant familial connections to Russia or Eastern Europe. We want them to see it as a place that has a really rich past and a fascinating present. There's a lot that's dark there, but we also have a lot of fun with things like a tea party, watching movies, and getting to know some of the quirky, unexpected aspects of Russian history and culture. 

RetroFit is a new class! We're giving students a whirlwind tour of past fitness fads - it's mainly about having fun while getting moving! From the academic side of things, we'll talk about changing beauty standards, the similarities and differences between the past trends and today's fads (if they look past the neon leotards, they'll see a LOT that's the same), and hopefully help them approach contemporary fitness culture critically.

Understanding Monsters is all about digging into the idea of the monstrous and figuring out what makes particular monsters "tick." Why are they prevalent in our popular culture? Where did they come from? Why do people think they're scary (or not)? We try to answer those questions. We'll spend most of our time on vampires, zombies, and witches, though the class also touches on a variety of other monsters, ranging from werewolves to Japan's yokai. Many students are surprised to learn that there is serious scholarship on all of these topics! We also watch some monster movies and the students have an opportunity to create a monster of their own.

What is your favorite part about Winterim at Harpeth Hall?

I love everything about Winterim, so it's hard to pick a favorite! A few things that are always highlights... watching the original Night of the Living Dead with my Monsters class, enjoying student performances at the Winterim coffee house, and the relaxed vibe of the entire three weeks.

If you were a student, which Winterim class would you want to take?

Bat the Birdie!

 

Samantha O'Connor
Upper School Science Teacher

What classes are you teaching during Winterim?

I am co-teaching Med School 101 with Ms. Heath, my fellow Upper School science teacher! 

What are the goals of your Winterim class?

Our goal for Med School 101 is to create a challenging, immersive, and authentic experience of what it might look like to pursue a career in the medical field. We hope to broaden the perspective of different roles in the medical field to highlight the diverse skills and interests that medical professionals bring to their work. 

What is your favorite part about Winterim at Harpeth Hall?

I love the opportunity to see students pursue their interests in a more relaxed environment! The conversations and learning moments that happen during Winterim allow for students’ personalities to become a more integral part of the classroom experience. 

If you were a student, which Winterim class would you want to take?

I would love to take Mr. Chapell’s class on Beyoncé’s Feminism.

 

Martha Elrod
Upper School Math Teacher

What classes are you teaching during Winterim?

I am teaching Finance and Designing Women during Winterim this year. 

What are the goals of your Winterim class?

For the Finance class, my goal is to help the girls realize how math skills can help them plan a budget, save for retirement, make sound financial decisions, and understand how to handle finances once they graduate from college. For the Designing Women class, my goal is to help the girls make the connection between the creative process of building and designing a home and the math skills necessary for budgeting and designing.  

What is your favorite part about Winterim at Harpeth Hall?

Winterim is a great opportunity for the girls to apply their academic skills in a non-academic setting. They learn "real world" applications of math they will use for a lifetime!

If you were a student, which Winterim class would you want to take?

If I were a student, I would like to take The Royal Family class. I have always been intrigued by the Royal Family, and I remember watching Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding many years ago!