If you had a month to study anything you wanted to, what would you choose to learn? Would you lose yourself in literature from the mid-1800s? Could you learn how to build a telescope, fly a plane, or curate a museum exhibit? Maybe you’d stage an opera in 30 days, or investigate the biology behind life-saving cancer treatments. Your J-Term, your choice.
Carthage’s January Term offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in course topics not always available during the Spring and Fall terms. While many students choose to study abroad during J-Term, most students remain on campus, where they take a single course in a subject of their choosing.
J-Term courses meet for three hours every day, either from 9 a.m. to noon, or from 1 to 4 p.m. This format allows students to dive deep into their course material, and then spend the other half of the day studying, hanging out with friends, or enjoying the Wisconsin winter.
Here’s a look at some of the courses offered on campus during J-Term.
The economic downturn and recent corporate scandals have drawn renewed attention to financial fraud in public and private organizations, but financial sleight of hand has been part of the economy for centuries. In this course, students gain an appreciation of the magnitude and impact of financial fraud, study current fraud schedules, and learn how auditors prevent/detect fraud.
Julie Dawson, Business Administration
Catherine Lau, Economics and Business Administration
Introduction to Aviation
Are you fascinated with aviation? Are you considering obtaining a private pilot license? This J-Term course covers the aerodynamics of flight, function of flight instruments, airplane weight and balance, meteorology, airspace regulations, navigation, and physiology of flight. Professor Smith is a certificated FAA flight instructor. He will provide an endorsement to take the FAA Private Pilot written exam to any student who passes the course final exam with the FAA-designated minimum score.
Walter Smith, Chemistry
Religious and Aesthetic Responses to National Socialism
Spend J-Term studying one of the most intriguing (and sometimes contested) topics of modern history: the relationship between National Socialism and Japanese Imperialism, and their influence upon the respective cultures and religion of Germany and Japan before and during World War II. In this course, students study both religious and artistic responses by examining church constitutions, state policies, films, paintings, and propaganda posters.
Thomas Long, Religion
Bioenergetics & Strength
How does the human body create and use energy to build strength? How are nutrients metabolized to create energy? How do major organ systems contribute to physical movement and muscle anabolism? Do common sports supplements do anything to help build strength? In this J-Term course, students will study the above concepts, but also create, conduct, and participate in a hypothesis-driven strength-training investigation of the effects of creatine monohydrate, whey protein, or electrolyte/carbohydrate replacement drinks.
Paul Martino, Biology
Thirty years ago, cancer was a poorly understood and usually deadly disease. This is no longer the case. Today, we know that a cell becomes malignant as a result of changes to its genetic material, and that accompanying biological characteristics of the cell change over a progression of steps that can take years to develop into a tumor. The hope to cure cancer relies on a better knowledge of cancer biology and on developing targeted cancer therapies such as nanotechnology.
Amareshwar Singh, Biology
Beauty Will Save the World
Explore the historical, aesthetic, moral, and spiritual aspects of beauty. Students will read extensively from a variety of disciplines to assess Dostoyevsky’s assertion that beauty will save the world. While a good deal of reading and writing is required, part of the course is also experiential. Students will practice loving kindness meditation, create works of aesthetic beauty, and engage in a spiritual retreat at the Dekoven Center.
Stephanie Mitchell, History
History of the British Isles According to Hollywood
Use film to study the history of the British Isles and the identity of the people who inhabit them. This course focuses on both the value and hazards of history as presented in movies.
John Leazer, History
Heroes, Dreamers and Scoundrels of Spain
El Cid, Don Quijote and El burlador de Sevilla (Trickster of Seville) have earned their place as some of the most important works that have come out of Spain. Through critical readings of the translated works and careful observation through films related to the works, students will be introduced to the figures of the hero, the dreamer, and the scoundrel that appear in Spanish literature. Discover and construct these figures through a range of genre (poetry, fiction and theater), and investigate political and religious issues of the time in Spain that make their way into the works.
Sarah Cyganiak, Modern Languages
Introduction to Electronic Music
Examine the history of electro-acoustic music in the 20th and 21st centuries, and then emulate examples of various genres of electronic music composition through extensive lab activities.
Mark Petering, Music
Good Vibrations: Science of Music
Why do some people like to sing in the shower? Which rock group really has the loudest concerts? How does a stereo sound system work, and why are DVDs the best in high-fidelity audio? In this class, you will make and play many musical instruments (winds, strings, percussion); study the basic elements of music and explore their physical groundwork; record your voice and make use of microphones and speakers; look into the workings of the human ear and examine hearing loss; test and configure a stereo sound system and sound room; attend a live concert and determine decibel sound levels; and visit a professional radio studio.
Jean Quashnock, Physics
Goths, Vandals and the Origins of European Identity
Many modern European nations trace their origins back to the early medieval period and the various states that emerged following the dissolution of the Roman Empire. Yet the creation of these very same successor states is a major phase of the transition from ancient to medieval Europe, a transition traditionally associated with social, cultural, and political decline because of the triumph of barbarian tribes over the classical civilization of Rome. So who were these so-called barbarians? What happened when they gained control over the former western Roman Empire? To what extent did their succession constitute the “Fall of Rome,” and what do we mean by that term? What is the significance of this historical period for modern European identity?
Crime and the Media
Analyze images of crime and the criminal justice system that are presented through the major mass media in America. Students will study crime movies, television crime dramas, and TV and newspaper crime coverage to uncover how the media portrays the society’s struggle with the crime problem. Popular music, video games, the print media, and other sources of cultural messages regarding crime in America will also be explored.
Environmental Science at the Cinema
Explore the role of cinema in defining societal awareness and knowledge of environmental issues. Evaluate the underlying concepts and factual basis of environmental issues as depicted in mainstream movies and documentaries, exploring topics including global climate change, toxicology, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.
Tracy Gartner, Environmental Science
Social Context of Knitting
In this course, offered only during J-Term, students will learn the basic stitches and concepts of knitting, as they study knitting as an important social responsibility. The class will take several field trips to explore the process of producing (spinning and dyeing) and marketing yarn. Students will explore the links between knitting, spirituality and creativity.
Ruth Fangmeier, Social Work
Pursuit of Happiness
The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right. Most people say that they want to be happy. What exactly is happiness and how do we get it? How are suffering and sadness related to happiness? This course will examine various theories on what brings happiness and meaning to life. Students will read several books about attaining happiness, write their thoughts on the readings and class discussions, and try various activities described by others as leading to happiness. Possible activities include meditation, improvisational theater, and community service.
Ellen Hauser, Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies
Classical Ideas in Sports
Explore the distance between contemporary sports and sport’s ancient heritage. The necessity of virtue, the demands of ethics, the efficacy of role models, the places of spectators, and the emergence of women athletes will be among the main concerns. We will look at the relationship between Classical sport ideals and sport reality in our time through contemporary fiction and film.
Dexter Westrum, English and Western Heritage
Life After Carthage
This special J-Term course equips Carthage students with skills and behaviors necessary for professional and personal success upon entering the professional world. Topics include all aspects of a professional job search, skills and strategies necessary for success as an employee, and knowledge bases necessary to create a healthy lifestyle. Emphasis will be place upon designing individualized models of professional and personal success and creating plans to achieve them.
Jason Pruitt, Associate Director, Career Services