2017-2018 Course DESCRIPTIONS

Monday 

Morning Meditation
9:00am - 9:15 am

Morning Announcements
9:30am
A quick moment for all to get together and see what is on the schedule for the day.  And maybe learn a new word with the morning “word of the day”

Photoshop & the Digital World
10:00am - 11:00am
Using Adobe Photoshop, students will learn the basics of how the program is structured, how to mange, reformat and enhance digital photos, and how to alter them to make their own art.  At the same time, we will discuss how Photoshop and "photoshopping" has impacted culture, art, fashion, advertising, the world, and maybe us. 

Public Speaking
10:00am - 11:00am
In this course we will explore some of the basic skills necessary for public speaking and set them in the context of Aristotle's Rhetoric.  We will take a look at his three elements of persuasion, ethos (reputation or credibility), pathos (emotional and intuitive connection), and logos (reasoned argument) and put them into practice while considering if there is anything the old guy missed.

Humanities: World Religions
11:00am - 12:00pm
World Religions is an introductory survey course in Religious Studies covering the most prominent world religious traditions and some of their ancient precursors. In this course we will begin with neolithic religious traditions and discuss the origins of human religious impulses and speculate about the nature of religion generally. We will use Ninian Smart’s Dimensions of Religion as a tool for comparison and as a means of coming to grips with the difficulties of defining religion at all in the face of such a large diversity of human religious behavior. We will consider the early Sumerian religious traditions, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Mystery Traditions, before beginning work on the roots of the religious traditions familiar in the modern world. We considered the texts, history, mythology, doctrine, philosophy and art of these traditions with an eye to making the course as interdisciplinary as possible touching on content from humanities classes, art history classes, mythology class and history.

Dungeons and Dragons
12:00pm - 1:00 pm

Photography
1:00pm - 2:00pm

We will discover how images and the eye works, and peek into the history of photography and photographers.  Students will learn how to take good still photographs with any device from your smartphone to a fancy camera as well as how to shoot good useful video so you can edit it together for video art.


Tuesday

Morning Meditation
9:00am - 9:15 am

Morning Announcements
9:30am
A quick moment for all to get together and see what is on the schedule for the day.  And maybe learn a new word with the morning “word of the day”

Current Events
9:30am - 10:30am
Do you know a ton about the world? Do you know nothing and want to learn? Are you still figuring out what your opinions are?  Then join us for open and  informative discussions.  Using news materials we will learn about all kinds of current events happening in our world, from politics to pop culture, discuss what we think about them and discover how staying informed can be beneficial.  This course will be very student and discussion driven.

Euclid
10:30am - 12:00pm

Creative Writing
11:00am - 12:00pm

This class will be a safe place to push the boundaries of self-expression and explore experimental and even outrageous ideas in our creative writing endeavors. We will  inspire and support each other as we pursue our creative vision.  Students will make writing goals and will work on them during free write alternate classes, where our small writing community can assist, inspire, critique, and support each other goal progressions.  non- writing alternate classes will cover a variety of writing mechanics and general topics including; grammar, word choice, dialogue, literary devices, imagery & description, and joseph campbell's hero's journey

COMMUNITY MEETING
12:05pm - 12:50pm The Whole Community

A time for our whole community to connect, get business and announcements shared, and discuss any new ideas, issues, or plans for the community. Duration varies based on topics. 

Omnibus of Science
1:00pm - 2:00pm

Hop on the omnibus of science as together we cover a huge range of awesome science topics. We will learn about Earth's different regions, the formation of Earth's wildest places, the life found here, and what is necessary to support it. Find out what makes your eyes the color they are; learn how far you can a kick a ball off a cliff, or even, off of the moon. We will also perform some experiments, and chemical reactions, as well as build an erupting volcano. 

Fine Art
1:00pm - 3:00pm

Do you want to make art but think you can't?   Do you love to make art and want more time to practice? Would you just like someone to help you make better art?In this course students will learn all the tricks to making great art.  The tools and skills used in art, are the same tools that are used to improve art making skills, to make more interesting art, to be able to discuss art in a museum like a pro, and to see the world with fresh artist eyes.  Come join me in this all levels art class and we learn it all, and have some fun.  Students are asked to have a sketchbook, pencil and eraser: the instructor will give specifics the first class, students will not need to come to the first class with anything.  

Wednesday 

Morning Meditation
9:00am - 9:15 am

Morning Announcements
9:30am

A quick moment for all to get together and see what is on the schedule for the day.  And maybe learn a new word with the morning “word of the day”

History
10:00am - 11:00am
 
This year in history we are undertaking a study of the Roman Revolution. This period between the late 2nd Century and late 1st Century BCE is among the most important periods of Roman history, involving several civil wars and important political developments. This period als features some of the most noteworthy figures in Roman history. We’ll be using a diverse set of resources including a Roman history course by Garrett D. Fagan of University of Pennsylvania and Dan Carlin of  The Hardcore History Podcast. We will also engage some primary sources like Livy and Plutarch. 

Language Lab
10:00am - 11:00am

An open members run class where students can come and practice language learning together.  Many members have taken language in outside classes for years, others have been independently working using things like Duolingo, and several more have decided to work together to learn a brand  new languages.  So far this year teens are studying; Japanese, Spanish, American Sign Language, and Swedish. 

Biology
11:00am - 12:00pm

Mapping the World
11:00am - 12:00pm

Using Davis Smith's innovative curriculum, “mapping the world by heart”, students will learn to draw a map of the world from memory and enlarge their understanding of geography while also gaining global cultural knowledge.  Students will learn the general structure of the globe and how map projections work.  Then will slowly assemble a mental image of the world map, through a variety of hands on activities finishing with a large colored map labeled with climates and many topographical elements.  The class will then do an indepth study on the geography and individual political culture of one continent, culminating in a full color map with countries and capitals along with a rich key of physical elements.

Dance (Party!)
12:00pm - 1:00pm

A member requested and member run class where you can set your body, energies, and expressions free.  Come along and join the dance party, share music and moves with each other and have tons of fun. 

Film Making
1:00pm - 2:00pm

In this self-directed learning project members will be working together to write, shoot, edit and produce a short film. Members will work with staff to set up a production schedule, assign tasks, and find useful resources in this project. The project will involve writing, working with the art program and Makerspace to make props and sets. 

Stress Management
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Fundamentals of Coding
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Can computers take over the world? In this class find out what computers think, and how us humans do the awesome things that we do with them. We will learn together just what an algorithm is, how video games work, and what exactly 'variables' and 'types' are, to name a few of the subjects. We will do programming in Javascript, html, C, and maybe more.

Thursday

Morning Meditation
9:00am - 9:15 am

Morning Announcements
9:30am

A quick moment for all to get together and see what is on the schedule for the day.  And maybe learn a new word with the morning “word of the day”

Cooking
9:30am - 11:00am

This student driven class teens will gain practical cooking skills from adults who love to cook and bake and have been doing so since they were kids.  And they can eat the results! 

Psychology
10:00am - 11:00am

This will be a student driven Psychology course. Covering the beginning of the field, how it is used today, and learning and discussing how psychology can help us better understand ourselves. Topics included are human development, mental health disorders, how the scenes work, and how the brain functions.

Math Concepts
11:00am - 12:00pm

Do you know your PEMDAS? In this class, we will master the order of operations. There will be a wide range of concepts covered in topics like: geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and beyond. We will see there is nothing to fear about fractions, multiplication, or division, as we hone our math skills together and become math adepts. All math backgrounds are welcome.

Life Skillz
12:00pm - 1:00pm

An every other week lunch class that will cover a variety of actually useful practical skills for life including but not limited to; balancing your checkbook, making a resume and cover letter, physical and mental health,, applying and interviewing for a job, learning styles, and how to be professional, as well as drugs & alcohol safety information, and sex ed*.  NEW TOPICS Coming this year! Including; How media affects us, social issues and how to help other, and finding your passion*Parents and Members can feel free to contact Avery with questions, sex ed will be an opt out class so please inform us if you prefer your student does not participate. Avery@baystatelearning.org

Chess
1:00pm - 2:00pm

Learn to play chess or improve your skills! Explore new tactics, study new strategies, and learn about the heroes of chess as we play the Game of Kings. Students will solve puzzles, discuss openings, master mates and review some of the greatest games of all time with a professional chess instructor! All strengths welcome!

Fashion with Ren
1:00pm - 3:00pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Run by a BSLC member students will learn any and all things that they are interested to learn about sewing, hand and machine, cosplay, and fashion.  Potential projects could include making your own cosplay costume, sewing pillows, and making your own clothes with a pattern.

Makerspace workshop
1:00pm - 3:00pm

Join us in the makerspace of infinite possibilities! Brainstorm projects, engineer your projects, or get inspired. Together, we will craft our ideas using any means necessary and expand all of our engineering skills in the process! Small focus on arduino and raspberry pi's. 

Music
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Write a school song, learn the piano, or sing with a chorus.  Come join us in music class where students get to learn and express themselves musically

Friday 

One Friday will usually have an outing available for members to go on. Past examples of trips were; Canoeing, Boston's Mapparium, Hiking the Blue Hills, and museums including the MFA, ICA, Science Museum and Harvard Museum of Natural History

The center is closed on Fridays for advising or instruction, but may be open for meetings. Contact staff to schedule. 
 
 

 

ABOUT CLASSES

The course offerings at BSLC are always in development and change frequently based on member demand and need. Check back with our listings often to see what our members are learning. Also, members are encouraged to make suggestions and request courses they would like to have.

At BSLC, we do not have tests or grades, and we consider classes to be more of a jumping-off point than an end in themselves. A class is an opportunity for our members to work with others who share their interests and discover the subjects they are most interested in, the projects they would like to take on, and the skills they would like to build. Classes at BSLC place a strong emphasis on seminar-style discussions. They are intended to help members learn to be more self-directed and to carry on their learning outside the classroom. All members are advised to discuss their ideas and interests with their advisors, other members, and the staff and to explore ways to learn and develop skills independently.

INTERDISCIPLINARY FOCUS

All classes at BSLC are interdisciplinary. The goal of learning is to arrive at an ever-expanding and growing understanding of the world and how it works. This understanding should include art, science, politics, religion, technology, and history. The Humanities class, for example, is just as concerned with technological and political developments that have had an effect on human society as it is concerned with philosophy and literature. Likewise, mathematics has had a huge influence on music and art. We always look for ways to make these connections and encourage our students to do the same.

Add/Drop Week

Many classes and workshops in the first two months of the session meet once a week. During these early weeks, we encourage students to visit and try out as many classes as they would like. Add/drop week happens during the last week of September. At this time, we encourage students to choose the classes they are most interested in and to clarify their weekly schedule. After add/drop week, classes may decide to meet more often and cover more material. Our members are not required to take any classes and are free to work independently if they wish. However, if students do want to work in study groups or classes, the instructors and other members of the class will expect consistent participation. After add/drop week, we encourage members to only attend courses they are likely to stay with until the end of the session.

 

Here is last years schedule if you're curious   :D