Last week I gave some slight hints as to what J-term is, and what class I am taking over this one month long mini-semester. J-term is essentially a semester worth of one class material compressed into eighteen class periods. The classes are three hours long compared to normal semester periods of one hour, so every class during J-term is equivalent to a week of fall or spring class meets. You might think just three hours of class leaves the rest of us with a lot of free time, but since each day is like a week, there is usually a week worth of reading to do in just one day. Students are working as hard as they would in any semester, the only difference being they are focused on just one course.
That brings me to the course I am taking over J-term. It is an English course focusing on the different forms of film media and how they are used to raise awareness about ecological issues. We watch one film in class every single day, using half the class period and spend the other half discussing the film. Our first week was watching documentary films on issues ranging from Arctic ice melts, conflict minerals, to man’s relationship with nature. We have since moved onto fictional movies. We have seen the blockbuster apocalyptic movie The Day After Tomorrow and next week we will be watching Interstellar. Despite it sounding like a chill class of movies, we still do a fair amount of work. We have to keep a screening journal of 2 to 3 papers per movie, give a 7 minute presentation, read a 150 pages a week, write a journal on the reading and on top of everything, make our own movie of 6 to 12 minutes. Phew.
I have also started attending the mock trial club and will be going to my first actual tournament next weekend. I am very nervous about it, since I feel like I have so much to catch up on the legal terms and rules compared to everyone else in the club who has done it for at least a semester. Nevertheless, my next blog post will be coming from Central College, Iowa and I will be telling you all about my first mock trial experience.