Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tasty twists, Broadway top Baker Interterm classes

January 19, 2006

On Friday, another session of sometimes exciting and interesting classes will come to a close at Baker University, as the three-week period known as Interterm will finish up.

Baker students are required to take an Interterm class three years. The classes that are available each year differ and also offer students a chance to travel or learn something much different than in a normal classroom.

This year Tanya Sieber, Baker University catering coordinator, decided to teach her Interterm class, "You eat what you are," again.

"It's really more of an anthropology class than a cooking class," Sieber said. "We do talk a lot about food and we eat virtually everyday, but I don't spend a whole lot of time doing culinary instruction."

The class of 28 students has been going for nearly three weeks now, learning about various cultures and they eating habits.

"We are really here to learn about different cultures, how they eat, what they eat and why they eat what they do," Sieber said. "Hopefully we are enriching our understanding of world cultures and expanding our appreciation for different foods from different parts of the world."

Each class period a group of four students and Sieber prepare a meal for the entire class. On Tuesday, the students ate food native to the Philippines.

The food is always sampled, but not often liked by the students.

"There is something funky from every culture that nobody ends up liking or eating, but they try everything," Sieber said. "They are adventurous."

Sieber believes the students enjoy the class, but she has trouble deciphering if they do until after Interterm is over.

"I always get feedback at the end of class," Sieber said. "I always have students come back and tell me they sent their friends to my class, because they had such a good time. I don't teach for a living, so it's difficult for me to gauge interest level from that perspective."

The idea for the class came from Myra Glover, Baker University student development coordinator. Glover told Sieber she should teach a foods class for Interterm a few years ago, so she combined her college degree with eating to make a class.

"I kind of looked into the idea," Sieber said. "I was an anthropology major in college and so this is sort of a blend of my interests and background. I put together this crazy idea for a course, proposed it and they bought it."

Traveling classes

As with every year, Baker University students traveled across the world during Interterm. Classes took students to New York City, Spain and Belize.

Baker Athletic Director Dan Harris and Education Director Chair Peggy Harris traveled with a group of 25 students to New York for six days. The class was is "Give my regards to Broadway."

"The key to the class is the history of Broadway," Dan Harris said.

During the trip, the group saw three Broadway plays, "Wicked," "Lion King" and "Rent."

The Harrises take a trip to NYC every year.

"We love it. We go every year," Dan Harris said. "It's a big city and I am a city boy. We love the musicals and all of the sites."

While in New York, the group also got some airtime on television. The 'Today Show' on NBC interviewed several Baker students on the morning of Jan. 11.

"We got all kinds of coverage on the Today Show," Dan Harris said. "We had our big Baker banner on the fence. Al Roker came over and shook my hand. Katie (Couric) and Matt (Lauer) came over and talked to a lot of the Tri-Delt girls, because she was a Tri Delt. It was really a neat experience."

Several Baker students accompanied the men's basketball team and some family members on their trip to Spain. The group of approximately 45 people left Dec. 27 and returned Jan. 4.

They stayed in Madrid and visited many tourist sites, including museums.

The group that traveled to Belize is made up of students enrolled in the annual scuba diving class. The group left Saturday morning and is scheduled to return early next week.

Rand Ziegler, dean of the college of arts and sciences, is once again leading the group to Belize.

Bringing them back

Every year, Baker University offers a wide variety of classes during Interterm. But many professors enjoy teaching the same class year after year.

This year is no different than years past with some of the same classes being offered again. One of those is "Game Strategies and Design," being taught by Dennis Popel, assistant professor of computer science.

"There were quite a few students who didn't take the class last year that were interested in the class," Popel said. "It was quite a successful class. It was a lot of fun."

A couple other classes that were repeated this year were "Techniques of Officiating Basketball" and the "History of World Cup Soccer."

All Interterm classes finish Friday, with second semester classes beginning Wednesday at Baker.

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