Interterm interesting at BU
The month of January offers many Baker University students a chance to step out of the ordinary classroom and into a whole new world of learning.
Every year, Baker offers its Interterm program between the fall and spring semesters. Interterm gives students an opportunity to learn a more fun subject or even travel to a foreign country.
The 2005 Interterm is allowing students to learn why the Nazi party was so successful, scuba dive or surf near Puerto Rico, work with Habitat for Humanity and even sing in England and Italy.
Hitler & Nazi Germany
Bruce Anderson, associate professor of political science, is teaching a class titled "Hitler & Nazi Germany." This course will look at how the German people became so involved in the Nazi party and the Holocaust.
"I think that generation after generation have had good sources trying to figure out why it happened, and still we have question," Anderson said. "There are still many students interested in this topic, so we need to serve their needs."
The class will be primarily research oriented, but students will also watch movies and take part in discussions. They will be required to complete three projects, one of which as an individual and two in a group.
Anderson said the class was capped off at 30 students, despite more students trying to enroll in it.
Puerto Rico trip
Rand Ziegler, associate dean for faculty and administration services , and Ron Pulvers, mens soccer coach, are taking a group of 19 students to Puerto Rico. Ziegler and Pulvers combined their scuba and surfing classes into one trip this year.
"The more people you have the better, but you also have to responsible," Pulvers said. "It will be fun."
Ziegler will be teaching the students to scuba dive, while Pulvers teaches his group surfing. The group will be gone from Jan. 11-20 to Isabela, Puerto Rico.
Ziegler said Pulvers got the idea for the surfing Interterm, because he had been teaching the scuba diving class for many years. He said Pulvers sort of modeled his class after his own.
"We talked about going together before, but never serious," Ziegler said. "He sold me on the facilities they stay at, so I just had to find a dive spot."
Ziegler said he usually chooses a location based on the diving spot and what it offers, but decided on traveling as a group this year. He said he usually tries to choose a location because it has something different to offer, such as diving with hundreds of sharks, some dolphins or even whale sharks.
There are seven scuba students that will have a lot of work to complete before being able to dive in Puerto Rico. They will have five days of instruction, which will include two hours of class time and two hours of pool time.
The students will also be required to take three tests to become certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. They have to pass a written test and pool test before leaving. Then they have to pass an open water test in Puerto Rico.
"I think it's a unique aspect of Baker, because there aren't many schools with this January term," Ziegler said. "We are able to do things at Baker that most schools can't. It's not only a unique education component, it's a nice selling point. I get to experience the student's oohs and ahh's."
The surfing class will be taking its fourth trip to Isabela. The class has 12 students that will learn various aspects of surfing and Puerto Rico before leaving.
They will learn surfing safety, history, lifestyle, culture and etiquette. They will also learn how weather patterns affect the waves and ocean, waves and types, the lifestyle and culture of Puerto Rico and to practice in the pool.
"It's unique for students," Pulvers said. "I think it's very much an unbelievable opportunity for students to experience a traveling class like this. Many students have never been out of the country or the 48 states."
Ziegler said that both classes will get to experience the other activity while in Puerto Rico.
Choir touring Europe
The Baker University choir will be traveling to England and Italy for a two-week performance tour during Interterm.
The group of 42 students and three directors leave today for their trip. They will fly to England first, where they will perform in the cities of London, Cambridge, Ely and Grantham. Then they will fly into Italy, where they will perform in Camigliano, Spoleto and Norcia.
Director of Fine and Performance Arts John Buehler said two of the reasons for going is Baker's Methodist connection and its connection to Harlaxton, which is very close to the city of Grantham.
"It's both a concert tour and an educational tour," Buehler said. "We will be seeing some historic places."
Buehler also said it's great for the students to be able to take a trip like this, and experience a new culture.
"It's very enjoyable to watch students experience new things," Buehler said. "We will perform in some magnificent places. For that, I am grateful."
The choir will have a homecoming concert of the tour at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the First United Methodist Church.
Habitat for Humanity
A group of 11 students and the Rev. Ira DeSpain, university minister, will be working on two Habitat for Humanity houses in Kansas City, Kan.
The houses are finished on the outside, so the group will be finishing the inside of the houses. They will be performing such tasks as putting up sheetrock, painting and even electrical work.
"I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for the students," DeSpain said. "I usually do this during spring break, but I thought this would be a good time for it."