Each and every trimester here at Eagle Rock, you can count on things slowing way down at the conclusion of the first five weeks of classes, We call this period of time Explore Week, and it gives our students the opportunity to check out careers, hobbies, colleges, art, music, physical fitness, the outdoors, and other offerings that may not necessarily fit into the daily academic curriculum.
As an added bonus, our instructional staff gains a precious week to catch up on future coursework, because often it’s folks outside of Eagle Rock who teach the classes conducted during Explore Week. Of course, some of our staff and teaching fellows are in a position to forego some planning chores, instead bringing their personality and interests to the community in the form of their own Explore Week class.
At first, Explore Week was seen as a way to offer music and art to Eagle Rock students. However, since the school now boasts a strong musical and artistic program, class offerings have become more creative. Much more creative.
Past classes have included mock trials, barista training, Reiki certifications, Tablas, sewing, rock climbing, iPhone video production and stone masonry.
For this trimester’s Explore Week, there were a variety of on-campus and off-campus activities underway:
- On-campus, Tobee and Derik worked hard wrapping up their graduation requirements since their big day is fast approaching.
- Three other students — Jeremy, Nija’ah, and Jessy — studied and finished up projects in preparation for their graduation next trimester.
- Peer Mentor Student Leader Jaliza co-led the 2014 Orientation Class for our newest students.
- Five students traveled with Denise Lord and Rebecca Fen to a college tour around the Midwest.
- As part of John Guffey and Jennifer Pearsall’s class, “Wisdom of the Elders,” eight students traveled to an Indian reservation in Nebraska.
- Instructional Specialists Jesse Beightol, Matt Bynum and Holly Takashima skied from yurt to yurt with a group of eight students. From the pictures they’ve provided, it looks like a great time was had by all!
- If you were to pop your head in the Art room, you’d see Estes Park’s favorite artist Vickie Mastron teaching students the art of creating beautiful works of glass art.
- Head of School Jeff Liddle returned (temporarily) to the realm of teaching as he assisted Tim Toliver with “The Fennix Project.” Eagle Rock student Garrison said this about Jeff’s Explore Week class: “This class is exactly what I need at this point in my career. Personal growth. Cross-fit. Leadership. This is the best class I’ve ever taken!
- Six students were tested for their lifeguard certification. Pool parties might become a regular event at Eagle Rock if everyone is successful.
And, last but not least, I have shared with students my love for films, culture and conversation in “Around the World … On the Silver Screen.” We traveled back to Paris in the 1920s, to Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Italy, India, Germany, Turkey and Virginia. Each night the students hosted a film night for the community in the Learning Resource Center. Our conversations about time, place, culture and philosophical ideas have been rich, and I must be doing something right for Eagle Rock student Star to make the declaration. “This is the single best Explore Week class I have ever taken.”
Did I mention that she originally didn’t want to be in the class, claiming to “hate subtitles?” There’s some irony behind the fact that her two favorite movies from class are “Soul Kitchen” and “Head On” — both containing 100 percent subtitles.