Winter Term Kicks Off

As soon as students returned from their holiday break, they got right back into class at Brooks on January 3 with our annual Winter Term.

The one-topic course of study from January 3 through January 20 offers an intense exploration of a topic that students and teachers normally don't get the chance to delve into deeply. And there are many topics from which students got to choose this year: 32 in all, covering everything from growing food to finding balance in life.

Students in Introduction to Sculpture Fabrication course last year designed and created their own metal works under the guidance of a professional artist.

By offering depth over breadth, teachers have the opportunity to let students work independently, allowing collaboration with peers, and take group trips. Roughly 12 different classes leave campus daily on excursions to experience and explore things related to their study.

Visit Winter Term for more details about the unique program and photos from past courses, such as Sculpture Fabrication (shown above).

"I'm glad to be back in school with my friends but I'm most excited to go to Washington, D.C. with my Complexity of War class," said Alex Parisi '18. "I want to interview Vietnam War veterans and learn about their different experiences and perspectives."

There are "so many activities and trips during Winter Term," added Brian Delgado '21. "And everything seems really fun. I'm looking forward to visiting farms with my From Seeds to Food course. It seems really interesting to learn where our food comes from."

Caroline Fritz '21 said she is looking forward to tackling something new in her course, Balance, about the mental and physical ways in which people can find – you guessed it – balance in their daily life. In past years, students in the course have learned to ride a unicycle, juggle and build hammock stands and hangs from which to relax. "I want to learn all of thing things that you can do!" said Fritz.

The Making and Looking at Art in New England class in 2017 visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Janelle Umana-Limon '20, on the other hand, can't wait to do more of what she already loves in her Still Waters Creative Writing Workshop. "I'm so glad that I'll have some free time to do what I like to do," she said. "Creative writing is something that I don't get to do during the regular school year and I really want to."

Visit Academics Overview to learn more about the curriculum at Brooks, sneak a peek inside of our classrooms and see the course catalog.

Her friend Audrey Chung '20, also in Still Waters, is as interested in writing as having some precious down time to explore other creative interests. "I like to write and I like to watch movies and read books," she said. "I'm just really glad to have a bit more time to do those things during Winter Term. My sister gave me some poetry books for my birthday in October and I'm finally going to have time to read them."


Architectural Design students got hands-on experience last winter term.

With such a wide range of subjects being explored, skills being learned and projects completed during Winter Term, students' experiences are myriad – which is why Brooks School holds a Winter Term Symposium each year at the conclusion of the term.

The event – held this year on January 19 – offers classmates, family and friends a chance to see what students have learned during the term. (After the event in Brooks' Classroom Building at 7 p.m., parents are invited to a reception in the Luce Library and Lehman Art Center.)

"One definition of a symposium is a 'convivial discussion,' which conjures up great imagery and is exactly what we want to achieve by having students showcase their work to our larger school community," said Academic Dean Susanna Waters.

"Students, impassioned by their research and educational experiences of the past three weeks, share their discoveries with engaged audiences," she explained. "Peers, teachers, friends and family members, typically move in and out of classroom spaces, watch films, read through posters, presentations, observe demonstrations, taste food and listen to music."

In past symposiums Waters has "seen salsa lessons, origami masterpieces, old car restorations on display, you name it," she said. "The Winter Term Symposium is lively and exciting, showcasing learning in real time. It is, without a doubt, one of the most fun nights of the year at Brooks School!"

Until then, follow Brooks School on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see the projects, trips and happenings each day.

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