Fall 2019 Explore Week Focuses on Unique Student Experiences

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With the first five weeks of this, our 79th trimester (ER 79), under their belts, Eagle Rock School students are now in the midst of Explore Week — an opportunity to pivot from regular classes and explore personally chosen interests in structured courses taught, led, and facilitated by instructors with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields.

As with prior Explore Weeks, our instructors hail from all over Colorado and across the country, and include current staff and fellows, members of the local community, and other notables from the Eagle Rock family — including Eagle Rock School graduates who now have careers of their own.

Here’s a rundown of what’s on the schedule for this week’s courses, both on and off campus:

Producing and Audio Engineering: This course is taught on campus in our recording studios by Bradlie Jones, a University of Colorado-Denver graduate who majored in Music & Recording Arts and minored in Music Business. Known as Jelie, this artist has been writing and performing songs — as well as MC’ing — for close to 15 years. In addition to learning how to build beats, students in this course are focused on  song structure, music and mastering musical tracks, copyright laws, and how to use midi controllers and direct input devices.

Get Swole and Get in Control: Students enrolled in this course are participating in a number of individual and group fitness activities including CrossFit, yoga, strength training and weightlifting, meditation, high intensity interval training, sports, and games. John McKinnis, fitness coordinator at Estes Valley Recreation & Park District is leading this course, which takes place at a local rec center.

College Tour: Students participating in this Explore Week course are visiting Caltech, the University of Southern California, Santa Monica College, The Studio School, UCLA, California State University of Los Angeles, and Occidental College. They’ll also stop off at Santa Monica College, where they’ll meet with Frank Dawson, Interim Dean of Career Education at college’s Center for Media & Design. Dawson’s daughter is Nia Dawson, Eagle Rock’s student services program manager. In between on-campus visits, students hope to get the opportunity to visit one of Los Angeles’ famous beaches. But probably not long enough to get a sunburn.

Haircare, Hair Design and Extension Wear: Students enrolled in this Explore Week course are learning the ins and outs of haircare and extension wear, including braiding, styling, weaves, and wigs. With instruction from two Eagle Rock School graduates — Stephanie Sweets-Baldwin (ER 23) and Charmaine Mitchell-Persens (ER 27) — students in this course are using a variety of tools and techniques, including thermal irons, roller sets and flexi rods. They are also perfecting their skills in such tasks as wig making, sew-ins, twisting, braiding, and crochet.

In addition to the courses listed above, students are also participating a variety of evening activities, including an on-campus Halloween party, off-campus roller skating, a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, and one night devoted to papel picado. Not familiar with that last one? Papel picado is a traditional Mexican style of paper cutting that results in elaborate finished sheets of paper. For our papel picado experience, students will work together to craft colorful Mexican flags and marigold flowers that will be used to decorate the Dia de los Muertos alter they’ve created here on campus.

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