ExCo Course Catalog
Fall 2018 ExCo Fair
The Fall 2018 ExCo Fair will take place on Wednesday, September 5th in the Carnegie Root Room (2nd floor of Carnegie, at the top of the stairs) from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Due to the chaos that generally comes with the Fair, we will reserve the first half hour, from 6:30pm-7:00pm, as a Quiet Space for anyone who finds the Fair otherwise inaccessible.
The Experimental College
The Experimental College is both a student organization and a department of the college that sponsors for-credit courses taught by Oberlin students, administrators, townspeople, and faculty. Run by a small committee of students, “ExCo” exists to give students, faculty and community members the opportunity to learn to teach and to push the boundaries of teaching in innovative ways. It also allows students to learn underrepresented and nontraditional materials, giving them a chance to broaden their horizons past the typical college academic experience. Originally chartered in 1968, ExCo supplements the regular curriculum by offering classes not typically available in traditional courses of study. The number of classes offered through ExCo varies each semester, but there are usually between 50 and 80. Each semester we have a selection of classes that have been taught before, some of them dating back several decades, and a group of brand-new courses. These courses reflect the current academic, cultural, social, political, and intellectual trends of the Oberlin community.
Applying for an ExCo
Most courses use an online application system (such as Google Forms) to get a sense of which students are interested in taking their course and to choose whom they accept based on the community they are trying to create in their classroom. Please note that this application process can be highly “competitive,” with some instructors receiving well over ten times the number of applicants as they have room to accept. We’ve tried to compile links to all the application forms, but you can also directly email the instructor(s) of the course you are interested in and they will send you the application. If you email them and do not hear back, contact email@example.com and we will reach out on your behalf. For the application links on our website, please visit http://oberlinexco.org/exco-applications-students/. We ask that all prospective students apply for the course, including community members, high school students, and college faculty and staff. Each course has a capacity limit determined in joint by the instructors and the ExCo Committee. This limit applies to all students in the class, regardless of the number that are officially registered on Presto.
If you are a community member, high school students, or a member of the faculty or staff of Oberlin, you don’t have to worry about registering for the course, so feel free to skip over this next part. If you’re an Oberlin student, you have the option to register for your ExCo and have it show up on your transcript. To register for College credit for an ExCo course, students must be consented by the ExCo instructor and can then register using PRESTO. The deadline for ExCo add/drop is Thursday, September 13th, the same as the Registrar's deadline for other College courses. No exceptions can or will be made, and ExCo has no control over this deadline. Consult the Spring 2018 Schedule of Classes on the Registrar's webpage (https://new.oberlin.edu/office/registrar/class-schedules/) for ExCo Course CRNs. Please note that NAME is the ExCo Committee Presto Coordinator, and is therefore listed as an instructor for all ExCo courses, but is not the instructor you should contact if you have questions about a specific course. For more information about registering for your ExCo, we recommend you check our website, http://oberlinexco.org/take-an-exco/. If you have any difficulties registering for your course, please contact your instructor(s) to make sure they properly consented you into the class, or email Jessica Lear from the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the Conservatory of Music may receive academic credit for work in ExCo courses. Coursework requirements vary from course to course, as supervised by the Committee. Up to eight credits of co-curricular courses (ExCo, Athletics, LEAD, PAL, etc) can be counted toward graduation. Most ExCos are either 1 credit courses or 2 credit courses. A “1 credit” class is the equivalent of 0.25 courses; a “2 credits” class is the equivalent of 0.50 courses. A select few courses can be taken for either 1 or 2 credits. All students wishing to receive less than the standard amount of credit are still expected to complete all the work required for the course. Instructors may receive credit for up to one credit more than the number for which the course is being offered. Instructors who teach for no credit are still required to complete all ExCo duties and assignments. Those who fail to do so will be banned from teaching for a minimum of two semesters.
Many Oberlin students find that they do not have room in their schedules to add in any ExCo credits. For those who want to join an ExCo but not add it to your transcript, we ask that once you receive the email from your instructor(s) stating that you’ve been consented into the course, please respond letting them know that you will not be registering for credit but are still interested in taking the course. This way the instructor(s) can hold your place in the class list before contacting students on a waitlist. Please keep in mind that all students are held to the same standards, regardless of whether the course is listed on their transcript. That means students not taking the course for credit, often called “auditors,” are still expected to show up to class, participate, do the assignments, and be respectful of their classmates and instructor(s). We understand that the lack of a grade on your official transcript makes it harder for instructors to hold you accountable, but the integrity you demonstrate in your ExCo course is part of what has helped this program survive 50 years. We aren’t always taken seriously by other departments on campus or by various branches of the administration, and the continued participation and dedication of all ExCo students plays a significant role in establishing ourselves as a student organization and college program that is worth Oberlin’s time and money.
The ExCo Committee is made up of small number of Oberlin College students. Members of the Committee perform a variety of functions to maintain the ExCo Program, including reviewing course applications and interviewing potential instructors; planning and hosting the ExCo Fair; allocating SFC funds to instructors; working with administration to affect policy; and helping instructors brainstorm any problems that might arise throughout the semester. The ExCo Committee also makes itself available to all students and community members taking an ExCo course. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding their ExCo may always meet with a member of the Committee to address their course and brainstorm potential solutions. The Committee meets once a week on Sunday afternoons, and each member holds an additional two hours of “office hours” throughout the week. These are listed on our website, www.oberlinexco.org. If you have questions or comments about ExCo, email us at email@example.com.
Currently, the officers of the ExCo Committee are:
Zane Markosian (he/him/his)
Lars Dreith (he/him/his)
Marah Ajilat (she/her/hers)
Emily Spezia-Shwiff (she/her/hers)
This catalogue is organized by course number, which correspond to ExCo division.
Course Number Division
100-199 Community and Society
200-299 Language, Culture, and Religion
300-399 Computers, Math, and Science
400-499 Media and Literature
500-599 Dance and Theater
700-799 Arts, Crafts, and DIY
800-899 Physical Activities, Mindfulness, and Games
Community and Society
Alternative Schools of Economic Thought 1 Credit
Joshua Ashkinaze, Emily Highkin EXCO-128
Climbing Your Family Tree: Intro to Genealogy Research 1 Credit
Sydney Murphy and Eli Kirshner EXCO-130
We love genealogy. We love it so much that we want to share our knowledge and passion with you, the student! This course is designed to inspire and equip participants with the tools to conduct their own genealogical and family history research. That will include, but will not be limited to, skills related to online databases, library resources, oral history, genetic genealogy, culinary genealogy, and historical newspaper research. An engaging series of lessons, guest speakers, and show-and-tell activities will help facilitate student learning. No experience necessary, just a demonstrated interest in our fun and informative class! Required materials: 3-ring binder, laptop, notebook + pencil, shoes and socks worn, and positive attitude with a desire to learn. Meets weekly in Fall 2018, specific day/time/location TBD. Accepting applications now.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/262zTOONEuuFCgdJ3
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Drugs, Harm Reduction, and Counterculture 2 Credits
Rachel Clark EXCO-160
"Drugs are a fundamental part of society, both visibly and invisibly. Everything ranging from caffeine to Adderall to MDMA to research chemicals has been, and continues to be, ingested by people around the globe – however, due to the controversial nature of the subject matter, conversations about drugs in K-12 schools are often limited or clouded with misinformation.
This course will consist of three distinct topics, often overlapping: Specific information about drugs, ways to implement harm reduction techniques, and the legal and societal roles that drugs currently play/have played throughout history. Upon completion of the course, students will have a solid understanding of the physiological mechanisms by which major drugs work, how to identify different general groups of drugs, principles of harm reduction, the legal underpinnings of the drug war, and background on some of the communities which have been molded substantially by substances.
Students do not need to have ANY background in biology to take this course, but science-based information will be available to those who are interested in a more quantitative understanding of the material. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the syllabus, which details the contents of each class."
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/lbp7lje8HZ7uS7nE2
SexCo I 2 Credits
Elana Rosenberg and Fi/Nadi Sherman; Dha'esha Hughes and Puma Guerrero EXCO-165
SexCo I is a comprehensive sexual health education course taught by the Sexual Information Center (SIC) where we discuss consent, safer sex, anatomy, STIs, pregnancy, contraception, abortion, birth, sexualized violence, and many other topics. We aim to cover basic factual information, as well as critically examine these topics through the lens of privilege, power, and oppression. Not your high school sex ed.
Note: this ExCo is required (along with taking Counseling Roleplays) for students who wish to apply to become SIC Staffers in the future.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/MMClyOwFPs0B3yAe2
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
A Window into Guatemalan Indigenous Resistance 1 Credit
Zoe Guiney and Bethany Gen EXCO-187
This class is primarily to learn about returned refugee indigenous communities in Guatemala and how they fit into the larger history of the Guatemalan Civil War, imperialism in Latin America, and challenges facing indigenous communities of the Americas, with a secondary purpose of preparing students to go on a Winter Term trip to Guatemala in January. This ExCo is a requirement for people who wish to come on the trip, unless they have substantial prior experience in Latin America. However, students who take this course are not required to participate in the delegation.
OSSGUA, Oberlin Students in Solidarity with Guatemala, is a student organization stemming from an organization in the community of Oberlin called SEPA, the Santa Elena Project of Accompaniment. For over ten years, Oberlin students have made up a delegation for SEPA, the Santa Elena Project of Accompaniment, and traveled to Guatemala for Winter Term. Today the student-led delegation is still exploring what it means to be in solidarity with the community we visit: Copal Aa.
To prepare students intending to participate in the WT trip, this course will investigate the historical context that brought communities like Copal Aa to seek refuge and eventually to return, and the issues they are still facing today. We will explore how we can learn from these communities and fight with them in the United States.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
MythCo 1 Credit
Emily Spezia-Shwiff EXCO-196
This course will examine the Greek myths that Rick Riordan incorporates into his series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (PJO). This course is designed to dig deeper into the myths and the main question we are going to be looking at is, “Does Rick Riordan effectively use old myths to tell a new story?” We will also be examining how close he stays to the original myth, and how he reuses quests completed by ancient heroes to further his new plot. Each class will begin with a lecture detailing the stories of the myths we are discussing that day. Through discussion, we will then compare how the original myth is different from how the myth is presented in PJO. This class is discussion intensive and this class is all about diving back into our childhood literature, so you are encouraged to bring up any memories you have of reading PJO as a child.
Prerequisites: Having read Percy Jackson and the Olympians (or special circumstances).
Requirements: Access to at least two PJO books and completing a mid-term and final assignment.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/J3ZilJxQn73dIQNm2
Language, Culture, and Religion
Debate and Public Speaking 2 Credits
Lindsay Mahowald, Eleanor Cannon EXCO-210
Intro to Deaf Culture 1 Credit
Maddie Hinkle and EmmaLia Mariner EXCO-219
This course will give students an introduction to Deaf culture with a strong emphasis on American Deaf culture. You will learn basic American Sign Language (ASL) and how to interact with and around d/Deaf people. Topics covered in this course will include Deaf media and how Deafness is depicted in mainstream media, introductory ASL, disability theory in regards to Deafness, audism, Deaf spaces, Deaf history and achievements, and other aspects of Deaf culture. We will also be integrating more language, with the first hour of class being a voice-off space for learning ASL and the second hour a voice-on space for Deaf culture elements.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/TAqFwiV9OFGZEVG82
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Introductory Wolof 1 Credit
Brandon County EXCO-221
This course focuses on the basic grammar, vocabulary, and culture of Wolof speakers as an introduction to West African linguistics and lifeways. Based in conversational learning and written assignments, the course emphasizes grammatical analysis, oral expression, and aural comprehension across multiple media. By the end of the course, students will have developed a basic (if limited) vocabulary, an understanding of the fundamental grammar, and insight into the cultural contexts in which the language is used.
Elementary Korean I 2 Credits
Esther Song, Peter Lim EXCO-224
This course teaches basic Korean to beginners. Students will learn the Korean characters, how to read and write, and simple everyday phrases. They will also learn things like days of the week and numbers. There are no fees, but there will be documents required to print to use in class. The materials needed in this class are a notebook, a writing utensil, and a laptop or tablet to view the document if not printed. There will be two major tests, a midterm and final, and a few mini quizzes along the way. There will also be movie nights depending on the pace of the class!
Course Application: N/A
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Elementary Korean II 2 Credits
Jihong Son and Jae Yee Lee EXCO-225
ExCo Elementary Korean II is the continuation of the ExCo Elementary Korean I. Korean II is designed for those who have passed or have the equivalent knowledge of the previous course. This course provides students with further conversational and grammatical skills in order to further develop the students’ writing, reading comprehending, and speaking skills. All students who wish to skip the prerequisite course are required to take a placement test. The course instructors will place them into each level according to the test result.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The Tlatelolco Massacre and 1968 Student Movement 1 Credit
Emmanuel Navarro EXCO-250
Computers, Math, and Science
Introduction To Product Design 1 Credit
Enrico Milletti, Isabel Taylor EXCO-304
Introduction to Product Design is an opportunity for students to explore the possibilities of creating designed objects that may serve a technical purpose, look great, both, or neither. The course will be split into two parts--theory and practice: Half of the meetings and assignments will cover modern and contemporary design theory and history, and the other half of the class will allow students to pursue individual projects that relate to product design. By the end of the course, students will be equipped to consider and execute theoretical and practical tools of product design when creating products/objects. Though there is no course fee, students should be aware of the resources that they will need to execute their design projects with, and self-supply. The instructors will be able to assist students in guiding themselves across executing projects and becoming self-sufficient makers, yet will not be able to contribute any equipment beyond that in the 3D printing lab, which includes a 3D printer, select electrical equipment, and select robotics equipment.
Course Application: n/a
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Game Development 2 Credits
Adina Johnson and Julia H. Bodian EXCO-333
Learn the basics of game design and make your own! Students will use programming, art, or sound design skills to design and develop a video game as a class. Students should have some experience in at least one of those areas (programming, art, or sound design) and ideally have access to a computer that can run game engines and other programs they will need.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/BHRrz0ppximWORqv1
Get with the Program: Youth Enrichment 2 Credits
Jason Williams EXCO-350
Music Signal Processing 1 Credit
Matt Skarha EXCO-362
Music Signal Processing is a theoretical and practical overview of how computers synthesize and process sound. We will explore the essentials of audio signal processing and examine how they impact the way in which we listen to music on a daily basis. Other topics will include musical acoustics, psychoacoustics, data compression, and source separation. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain musical terms with mathematical and scientific language, analyze and demonstrate both acoustic principles and digital signal processing techniques, and understand the nature of the human hearing mechanism. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, however, some background in math, computer science, and/or music theory is preferred. If possible, students should bring a laptop and headphones to class. All other course materials will be provided.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdtHqMnLwQNQmXLSXCUYXl91Kr9cln-ufX2ciQCj6_shlOJMQ/viewform
ToadsCo: The Biology, Ecology, and Cultural Influence of Anurans through Spacetime 1 Credit
Matthew Sato EXCO-378
Media and Literature
Spongebobology 1 Credit
Nigel Law & Lindsay Mahowald EXCO-415
Spongebobology. So mysterious. So beautiful. So wet. This is the study of Spongebob Squarepants, one of Nickelodeon’s greatest gambles to date. Created in 1999, it remains one of the most iconic cartoons in the animated world today. Through this course, we will unravel its eleven-season, 241-episode history, focusing primarily on the era of the show during which creator Stephen Hillenburg served as executive producer, as many Oberlin students will know this as the era with which they grew up. With that said, no experience watching the show is necessary to take this class. All that is required is an ability to both buy into the silliness of Spongebob, as well as to look past it, in an attempt to understand the complexity and artistic depth that are the show’s foundation. What lessons does Spongebob Squarepants have to teach us? What are its merits as a scripted, animated comedy? And what role does Spongebob play in the present day? Through viewing and discussion, we will explore all of these questions and many more, striking a balance between nostalgia, academia, and pure comedy all the while. If nautical nonsense be something you wish, then this is the class for you!
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/dRSl9TOVMAWgTDVG2
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Cryptozoology 1 Credit
Adrienne Rozells and Will Axelrod EXCO-420
Since the field of zoology has existed, so too has its odd cousin Cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is the study of cryptids: creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and other so-called “hidden animals.” Often the lines between the fields have blurred. Creatures known to be myth have later been found to be real and creatures accepted as fact turn out to be fiction. This class will survey a wide range of cryptids as we explore how stories are spread, what constitutes realness, skepticism vs belief, and how cryptids connect cultures around the world. Students will find their own voice to add research into this cryptic field, but remember… SOME THINGS DON’T WANT TO BE FOUND.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fYHt59l52rt67MO-TYRMbThzHmOrXVrq_BauGm1ttbs/edit
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Poetry, Reading and Writing 2 Credits
Isabelle Kenet EXCO-425
In this course, we will read contemporary and archaic poetry, discuss it, and then write and workshop poems of our own. This course is for anyone who felt they wanted more out of the creative writing department here at Oberlin, people who were denied entry into it, and anyone else who loves to read and write poems.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Fn76JjefWeeXSfGPAs4cjH7l1zBv9p4I5PQa9htQI34/edit
Horror ExCo 1 Credit
Jacob Butcher EXCO-427
This course is intended to expose horror newcomers to a wide variety of horror films and subgenres, and to challenge newcomers and longtime horror fans alike to define horror for themselves and to ask questions about its cultural significance in America and beyond. Students will question the long-standing link between horror and female sexuality, explore distinctly international horror subgenres such as Giallo and J-horror, and study the relationship between horror and the current political climate, among other things. In doing so, they will develop a broad horror vocabulary centered around ten different subgenres.
No experience or materials required; all films will be either screened in class or made available online/through Mudd.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdKz-7vzsF33MKayfX2iEp3kkoZjUorefdyJEjj_dMm5Ay3Ag/viewform?usp=sf_link
SurvivorCo 2 Credits
Charlie Rinehart-Jones EXCO-429
SurvivorCo is a course that outlines and analyzes the television show Survivor. Students will learn about the format of the show and the various elements that have made it so important. Students will learn about the strategies used on the show, the logic of television editors to create compelling reality television, and the psychology of contestants. This course will focus heavily on the strategies used by contestants on Survivor and evaluating them. The first hour of the class will be lecture/presentation from me on the topics and readings for the week, with a couple of thought experiments intermittent throughout. Following that there will be another hour of open discussion and problem-solving. The class will include a simulation of the class actually playing the game of Survivor. Requirements for the class are four written assignments, attendance at 10/12 classes, and participation in the two-week Survivor simulation.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/jtHlijalEBWRwPQ23
ExCo Patronum 1 Credit
Mimi Silverstein, Maya Small, and Daphne Shigiel EXCO-432
Make sure to bring your owl, robes, and wand, because this class is all about Harry Potter! We will be analyzing the books English class style, with a different theme every week. Topics will range from race, class, and gender to family and death. Readings will primarily be excerpts from the books, although secondary sources will supplement them. In class, the excerpts will function as the jumping off point for discussion. This is a one credit course, and we will meet for an hour and a half weekly. The course will include a 1-2 page paper midterm on whatever area of our discussion you feel most passionate about, and for our final we will hold a debate on a topic chosen by the class. Most importantly, we want this to be a fun (and educational) space for everyone who loves Harry Potter as much as we do!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tolkien ExCo 2 Credits
Madison Donnelly and Mac Atkinson EXCO-435
This class focuses on granting an in-depth exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastic world, delving into both the expanded lore of the Silaramillion as well as several essays and excerpts from other works. If you love the Lord of the Rings series, and want to adventure into the world behind and beyond the trilogy (while also getting to meet with like-minded fans of the books) this class is for you! Attendance is, of course, mandatory, and students who do not come to class for more than two weeks will have to, unfortunately, be dropped. Discussion is a top priority for this course (it makes everything more fun if we get to share our thoughts about the readings) so having a full class each session is a must. Students should own a copy of the Silmarillion for class, which can average around $10 depending on the copy, and be ready to do some readings every week (which I will make sure are reasonable for all our busy schedules). Readings are mandatory, because we can't discuss things we haven't read, so please keep that in mind when considering this course. Ultimately, if snacks and chats about the messy history of elves sound good to you, this is your class!
Queer Women on Screen 1 Credit
Emily Jacobson EXCO-466
This course examines the ways that queer women are represented on screen. We will discuss a wide range of media, including TV shows, movies, and independent web series. The setting of the course is in a book club-style discussion group, and the only requirement is willingness to engage with the material. Each week is broken down into themes and tropes that exist from outside, and within, communities of queer women. We will review the ways that these shows are successful and unsuccessful in their representations. We will also analyze the stereotypes and norms that the piece of media makes visible, and look at intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, age, and other identities. In addition to interpreting what these shows are saying about queer women, we will discuss what these shows are saying to queer women and how they influence young queer viewership. The purpose of this ExCo is to generate conversation about the queer women we see on screen in a safer, thoughtful, and fun space.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/M0UlonowhhNNZp5X2
How to be David Sedaris Himself 2 Credits
Ella Causer EXCO-480
This is a creative writing and literature centered class where we will study David Sedaris’ writing style and learn how to apply the techniques to our own writing in unique ways. There will be about an hour of assigned reading per week and daily journaling (which can be as short or long as you want) expected for coursework, as well as longer pieces (1-4 pages each) which students will complete over the course of the semester and will develop in class.
This class won’t be overwhelming or pretentious! My goal is to share with everyone my love for this author and provide an academic setting for students to self reflect. This is an all level class. Experience in writing and literature is of course preferred but is not required.
Readings will be scanned and shared. Students will need a notebook dedicated to the class for journaling.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnSDr3VNUJW8uEVs7WHY5PkQaPQAJU146SPGCHJI_MYnGIJA/viewform
Introduction to Comic Books and Superheroes 1 Credit
Jason Arévalo EXCO-485
The purpose of this course is to seize the cultural opportunity in which comic books have taken prominence, continue developing an appreciation for the medium, and observe comic books critically.
In this course, students will learn the uniqueness of the art form, expanding their awareness of how it functions in ways that maybe other mediums can’t. Students will broaden their awareness of and understanding for comic book literature, while also expanding their level of engagement with it and related topics. Students will deepen their understanding of how different, prominent characters function with a concentration on four units: Batman, X-Men, Watchmen, and Spider-Man.
Students will be required to purchase or otherwise bring their own copy of Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. All other required texts can either be purchased (on Amazon or local retailers) and/or will be provided in digital format by the instructor.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/AxH3TRsr1l6Z9wlz1
Star Trek and Utopia 1 Credit
Evan Corey EXCO-490
In this course, we will be exploring the Star Trek canon in the context of Utopian literature. Our main focus will be on the Original Series and The Next Generation, but all parts of canon will be open for discussion, and we will be watching episodes or clips of episodes from almost every series. Along with analyzing Star Trek episodes themselves, we will read excerpts from several academic books that either directly analyze the Star Trek canon or discuss science fiction and Utopian literature on a broader scale.
Course Application: n/a
Dance and Theater
SketchCo: The Sketch Comedy ExCo 1 Credit
Maddie Henke and Keifer Ludwig EXCO-520
Hey you! Yeah, you! No not you! You! Do you like sketch comedy? Of course you do. But do you have a hankering to learn more about it and maybe try it on for yourself? Well that’s perfect because that’s exactly what we’re here for. You’re welcome. Drawing on Monty Python, SNL, Key and Peele, Mr. Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Tim and Eric, and many others, this course will meet weekly to watch, discuss, create, and perform sketches. Each week, we will cover a completely new comedy concept---like alliteration (that won’t actually be a theme), culminating in one great big show written and performed by all of you genius comedy kids. And then all of your friends can come and realize how funny you are and damn, they’re lucky to be your friend in the first place. There will be laughs! And kooky ideas being shared! Like what if humans went to a beaver party pretending to be beavers only to find out that it was actually a human party filled with beavers pretending to be humans? Pretty silly, we know. Anyway, if you want a fully non-judgemental space where you can goof and generally grow your comedy, look no further.
AKA Doobie Ingenuity (a sketch group Keifer and Maddie are in)
AKAKA Keifer and Maddie
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1UkcKaU7knFA33_R23wrH4osU0i-yvx_6E3hPCO_PfPc/edit
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
K-Pop Koreography ExCo 1 Credit
Keyi Feng EXCO-525
With an emphasis on style and movement, this course delves into the dance craze of Korean Pop (K-Pop). Choreography of popular K-Pop groups will be taught while learning the history and origin of this cultural art form. Students are expected to learn and be able to perform the dances in front of certain audiences. Other requirements include weekly class attendance and an in-class presentation. No prior dance experience is necessary. One credit may be earned for taking this course.
Beginning Morris Dancing 1 Credit
Rowyn Peel EXCO-530
This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn morris dances from England in the style of the Rock Creek Morris Women from DC. No dance experience is necessary, but be prepared to jump, move your arms, dance in sync with others, and most importantly, have fun! I will also informally share information about morris dancing culture in America, but don’t worry; there won’t be a quiz. :) The final will be a performance of one or two dances. Curious what morris dancing looks like? Check out this video (start at 0:45): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2e5WG_6qM. We won’t be learning the dance in the video in this class (sorry!), but the class will enable you to join the Oberlin Morris and Sword team in the spring if you wish; then you might get to learn it! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the dances or the class.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/RmGNjNML1NKyaj0k1
Rapper Sword Dance ExCo 1 Credit
Lauren Blaudeau EXCO-534
This course is an introduction to rapper sword dancing, a type of English folk dancing. Students will learn stepping patterns and common figures and the basics of rapper choreography. There will be a performance during the last half of the semester. No previous dancing experience is required. Hard-soled shoes that do not stick (no sneakers) are preferred. Physical requirement: Full mobility of all limbs.
Beginning Swing Dance 1 Credit
Shira Cohen and Daniel Katz EXCO-541
Learn to swing dance in a fun, friendly environment! No experience needed to learn three basic steps and a bunch of cool variations! Requirements include attending Oberlin swing 4 dances (held weekly) and a DJ assignment.
Course Application: N/A
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning Blues Dance 1 Credit
Aidan Kidder-Wolff, Madi Goetzke EXCO-543
This class will introduce students to the form of partner dancing known as blues dancing, encompassing its history as well as fundamental blues moves and their modifications. As such, the course does not require any prior experience. Students will learn how to lead and follow specific moves such as turns, dips, walks, and combinations, and develop skills related to form, frame, musicality, style, and momentum. We will also learn the essentials to navigating a social dance scene at Oberlin and beyond. Each class includes a social dance for students to practice what they’ve learned as well as become more comfortable with a more expressive and collaborative dance space.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc5Y5mR-HdCTQ5bvhpR3WH8GoqX0SMurn3eAgyiWYi17pEBrA/viewform?c=0&w=1
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning Tap Dance ExCo 1 Credit
Rosemary Shin EXCO-545
The Beginning Tap ExCo is a 1-credit practicum in tap dance at the introductory level. Tap dance is a unique art form in that it provides the opportunity to move in an expressive or theatrical manner, as any other form of dance might allow, while simultaneously producing music through this movement. This course will expose students to basic tap steps in both the rhythm tap and Broadway tap styles. Students will build up a vocabulary of steps that will enable them to work on developing their own choreography in addition to performing a combination with the rest of the class. Students who have completed this course are encouraged to take the Continuing Tap ExCo in the following semester. This course requires that students be able to be active and on their feet for 30 minutes at a time over 2 hours. Students are also required to perform in the Student Dance Showcase.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/04aNKUG7k1pFuBky1
Continuing Tap Dance ExCo 1 Credit
Michelle Ravitsky EXCO-546
In this course, we will build on the basic tap dance vocabulary that was taught in the Beginning Tap Dance ExCo and/or from previous experience. We will go over important advanced building blocks and classic moves. The end goal of the class is a group performance in the Student Dance Showcase. We will learn choreography for the final piece throughout the semester. A typical class will consist of warm ups, learning new steps, review, learning choreography, improvisation, and a question-and-answer help session.
Spicy Steppers: Intro to 80s Aerobics 1 Credit
Sage Vousé, Gabby Greene EXCO-555
Girls in Motion 1 Credit
Ruth Bieber-Stanley and Zoe Guiney EXCO-566
Girls in Motion is a unique after-school program for girls at Langston Middle School and Prospect Elementary School that uses dance to build trust, collaboration, and body positivity. In after-school classes taught by Oberlin College student mentors, we introduce young girls to fun and integrative movement forms, including dance, improvisation, and theater games, as well as creative activities such as journal writing and arts and crafts. This ExCo course will prepare college students to be mentors in the program by helping to teach facilitation, lesson planning, and to consider the role of race, gender, class, and body diversity in an after school dance program. This course will give you a practical and theoretical approach that can support you in future education opportunities, but no dance, theater, or education experience is required. The course requires just over 3 hours/week (1.5 hours in a weekly meeting of college students and 1.5 in the school itself). Mentors of all genders can apply. Regular and serious attendance is required.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18F1kiU0HEFoBI6xjNdGAEkDNOjz_lsN3I2sGSy42ZKw/edit
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Intro to Taiko Drumming 1 Credit
Will FK Tokunaga EXCO-602
Steel Pan Exco 1 Credit
Alex Jensen and Steven Mentzer EXCO-623
In this ExCo, you will learn how to play steel pan. Previous musical experience is not required. The ExCo consists of around 20 people in a rotating system of 15 on pan and 5 in the engine room (auxiliary percussion). Everyone will play around three songs on the pans and one on percussion, culminating in a performance with Oberlin Steel at the end of the semester at the Cat in the Cream. There will also be an academic component of the course involving listening to music and learning more about Trinidadian history and the world of steel pan!
This ExCo has a two-hour rehearsal once a week on Monday from 8-10 PM. You must be at every rehearsal! We have only one rehearsal each week and a mandatory performance at the end of the semester. More than two absences will result in a loss of credit for the course.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Studio B Workgroup ExCo 1 Credit
Jane Rissover-Plotke, Leah Treidler EXCO-649
This workgroup focuses on the work that goes into producing Live From Studio B, a live performance program featuring local and touring artists that is filmed, recorded, and broadcasted on WOBC 91.5 FM and wobc.org. Every semester, the Studio B staff offers a small group of students and community members a series of short, introductory workshops in a highly collaborative learning environment through the Studio B Workgroup ExCo. You’ll help us run our program by assisting at live sessions and completing a final project of your own design that promotes, benefits, and/or uses the resources of Studio B. We can’t promise that you'll all be professional videographers and engineers after taking our course, but you’ll gain plenty of hands-on experience and insight into one of Oberlin's most unique student-run programs! NO EXPERIENCE OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY!
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_QJJZ8cBGu2TvvggU-24_Z-HEaBl984tOYhrylq6jHo/edit
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Tunes ExCo 1 Credit
Daphne Pickens and Adam Littlewood Work EXCO-660
Do you play an instrument? Do you want to learn to think about music in a new way? Do you want to learn a whole bunch of great tunes and play them with other people? In Tunes ExCo, you’ll learn to play music that gets toes tapping and dancers moving. For the first half of the semester we’ll be diving into learning tunes from a variety of traditions around the North Atlantic region, including the British Isles, French Canada, Appalachia and New England, as well as developing the rhythm and style that gives the music drive and lilt. After building up a healthy stock of reels, jigs and more, in the second half of the course we will focus on playing with an ensemble, coming up with new accompaniment ideas, making arrangements and building cohesion. If you’re interested in learning a new style of music, developing your sense of rhythm and improvisation skills, and playing fun music with other people, Tunes ExCo is the place to be!
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/CpkiXLtj3M33o5mM2
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Beatbox Basics Workshop 2 Credits
Sam Mader EXCO-690
Students will learn the basic techniques of beatboxing as well as the impact that beatboxing has on today’s musical world. Participants will also learn the history of beatboxing from its roots to its conception up until modern day. Students should be prepared to practice in and out of class. No previous experience necessary. No extra fees or materials!
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/uis6Y1WpdjzBzRKP2
Arts, Crafts, and DIY
Paper Cutting 1 Credit
Sophie Drukman-Feldstein EXCO-705
Learn to make beautiful, intricate art by cutting designs into paper with a scalpel or x-acto knife! In this class, we will explore the art of paper cutting by looking at examples from around the world and by making our own portfolios of cutouts. Most of class time will be spent making paper cutouts by working from photographs, from life, and from our imaginations. There will also be a short unit on pop-ups.
Students must be able to use a small knife safely and responsibly, and must accept that this medium entails a slight risk of injury. Depending on whether we get a budget, there could be a cost of about $20 per person for materials, which will be charged on an anonymous, pay-what-you-can basis. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. All experience levels welcome.
Children's Book Writing and Illustrating 2 Credits
Rosie Rudavsky, Miche McCall EXCO-724
Sock Monkey Making 1 Credit
Emily Highkin EXCO-730
Sock Monkey ExCo teaches the craft of sock monkey making in a workshop-style class. Students will begin with the basic monkey pattern, as an introduction to the process of transforming socks into creatures. Then, the class will progress to constructing other animals out of socks and gloves - past projects have included elephants, cats, octopi, penguins, pigs, horses, zebras, and seahorses.
This class has three goals: The first is to teach and practice basic sewing skills. All experience levels are appropriate for this class. The class will focus on hand sewing and embroidery, but students will have the opportunity to try machine sewing as well. The second aim is to welcome and celebrate creativity. A wide array of colorful socks and gloves are provided for students to choose from and take inspiration. Any idea for a project will be supported - we can find a way to make anything out of a sock! The third objective of Sock Monkey ExCo is to create a fun and thriving class community. This is two hours a week to relax and sew with a group of people who all want to be there, sewing together. Collaboration on projects and helping each other is highly encouraged.
Once a semester, the class will be held later in the evening at The Sco, opened up to the entire campus. This class will be held for 1 credit from 7-9pm on Mondays at 121 South Professor Street. All materials provided at a $30 fee, but if this fee is a barrier to participation, please let me know.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/61V9PatBApbTAFAq1
Introductory Pottery 1 Credit
Lulu Scherman EXCO-743
Introductory Pottery will teach beginners with little to no experience how to make wheel-thrown ceramic pots. We'll cover centering, throwing, trimming, glazing, and firing. As members of the Oberlin Pottery Co-op, students will also pitch in for such tasks as clay- and glaze-making, studio cleaning, and kiln prep. $30 Oberlin Pottery Coop membership fee.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeLuM8Gun7_A75xXr6CqqPhSKFT7KPPhwpeA2QsHmnUBwXL2g/viewform?usp=sf_link
Intermediate Pottery 1 Credit
Emma Dreyfuss EXCO-744
This class will build on the fundamental skills learned in the Beginners Pottery Exco. We will increase our proficiency in functional forms as well as experiment with decorative forms and focus on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of all our pieces. Students will gain confidence in their existing skills and have the opportunity to learn new ones. The class will in include demonstrations as well as individual instruction. At the end of the class, students will create their own final project in order to showcase their best skills and to further explore the area of ceramics that they are most passionate about.
Course Application: n/a
Physical Activities, Mindfulness, and Games
Aikido ExCo 1 Credit
Izzy Moore and Kevin Greenwood EXCO-806
"The Aikido Exco is designed to provide students with a gentle but engaging introduction to the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Beginning students will gain and develop abilities leading to the rank of 6th Kyu, learning to focus on movement, balance, coordination, timing, and technique. The Exco course is designed for complete novices and experienced martial artists alike. Our course centers on basic techniques so that those with no experience can learn the basic movements and footwork while those with more experience can work on more advanced and subtle concepts necessary to mastering the simplest techniques.
We will introduce you to safe rolling and falling (ukemi), fundamental movements like entering (irimi), turning (tenkan), and learning to move in response to an attack. Classes will begin with warm-ups and stretching, and will focus around various open-hand techniques of Aikido, mostly in paired practice."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Badminton Training 1 Credit
Felipe Ferreira and Justin LiXie EXCO-809
Badminton is fun and interactive sport that is commonly played in many countries. The focus of this course is to train students’ athleticism through badminton by drilling footwork, shots, and tactics. Badminton trains hand-eye coordination, physical stamina, quick thinking, and teamwork. Students are expected to have basic skills, including knowledge of basic footwork and the ability to rally, clear and serve. This is a more advanced badminton course compared to the beginner course in the college, and will cover more challenging topics in badminton. While having rackets are recommended, it is not required as we have spare rackets to provide.
Email: Felipe.Ferreira@oberlin.edu, Justin.LiXie@oberlin.edu
FenceCo 1 Credit
Michelle Liu and Silas Pelkey EXCO-810
FenceCo is a course that will teach the fundamentals of fencing. In this class, we will teach you footwork as well as give you a general understanding of the three weapons: foil, epee, and sabre. We ask that participants be relatively fit and no prior fencing experience is needed.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Rock Climbing ExCo 1 Credit
Sarah Edwards, Henry (Buster) Coe EXCO-815
The goal of this class to introduce new climbers to a challenging and incredibly rewarding sport. Students will begin by learning basic technical skills, and eventually will work their way up to more advanced styles of climbing. This is a place for people completely new to climbing who wish to learn a new and rewarding sport.
No experience is necessary for the course, we just look for enthusiasm and a commitment to advance the climbing community at Oberlin College. This class aims to improve the climbing skills and knowledge of its students of all climbing backgrounds. No personal equipment is required, however if you’d like to climb in your own shoes and harness, feel free to bring your own gear.
Each class consists of a lesson followed by time to practice climbing skills. These lessons are on topics such as technique, climbing outdoors, climbing skills, and skills associated with working at the Oberlin Rock Climbing Wall.
You are encouraged to attend screenings of climbing movies to improve your understanding of outdoor climbing, climbing culture, climbing locations, and the current frontiers of the sport. We also encourage you to visit the climbing wall outside of the class once a week, since the less than two hours of climbing we have each week in the class is not enough to radically advance your climbing ability, if that is your goal.
Course Application: N/A
Beginner Partner Acrobatics 1 Credit
Peri Levin and Sarah Brainard EXCO-835
Partner acrobatics is a great way to make friends and stand on them. In this beginner level course we will take students through the basics of learning partner acrobatics also known as AcroYoga. Using primarily L basing set ups we will teach basic moves, sequences, and spotting techniques. We will also explore standing acrobatics, counterbalances, and other circus arts! No movement experience necessary at all! Whether you want to expand your yoga practice, join OCircus, or just do some cool stuff with your body...come play with us!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
TumbleCo 1 Credit
Teague Harvey, Marika Mortimer-Lotke, and Solomon LaPiana EXCO-837
The goal of TumbleCo is to nurture an appreciation of the joys of acrobatic movement (mainly tumbling and tricking). The class will introduce the principles of gymnastics and tricking to people who have had little to no experience with it in the past, as well as foster and continue the learning of more advanced students, those who have already begun dabbling in the wonderful world of tumbling. Students will—depending on skill level—learn the fundamentals of physical movement in this genre, hone groundwork moves (e.g. rolls, cartwheels, round-offs, and handstands), branch out into more advanced, attainable challenging techniques (e.g. front and back handsprings, aerials, and tucks), and have the opportunity to self-select a particular advanced skill and sequence of skills to master.
No prior experience is necessary. We welcome participants of all skill backgrounds and will teach to each individual participant’s level. We aim to provide a safe, collaborative environment where you have the support you need to succeed. It is our goal to enable your learning by giving you access to equipment and guidance that you might not otherwise have, so that you can grow and experiment in new ways.
This class will also introduce you to the larger OCircus! community at Oberlin and provide you the optional opportunity to showcase your newly learned skills at the end of the semester in the annual Fall Show.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/0gjnzJ1UFV1mOEJq2
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Quidditch Exco 1 Credit
Janine Chouinard (she/her/hers), Haley Gee (she/her/hers), Isaac Hoffman (he/him/his)
A beginner’s level introduction to the strategies, rules, and lore behind Quidditch, the famous sport from Harry Potter. Quidditch is an all-gender, full contact sport which includes aspects of basketball, rugby, and dodgeball. In addition to learning rules and strategies, students will learn the athletic techniques necessary to play, including how to make safe and effective contact during games. Classes will involve a mixture of hands-on practices and some in-class discussion of official rules. Students are encouraged to join the club sport Quidditch team during or after completion of this exco.
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdkGbRsQQDZ931-fQ51IPofPeXmlkOsWFTP8a37wTkOTeSdMA/viewform
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga ExCo 1 Credit
Lucy Kaminsky EXCO-850
Yoga ExCo will be a chance to both practice yoga in the physical sense and also to learn about its historical and philosophical roots. We will do yoga and talk and journal. 1 hour to 1.5 hour commitment per week.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/GPkShiBIl8Re1ekx2
ChessCo 1 Credit
Sam Waranch EXCO-860
The goal of this ExCo is to teach students how to play, or play better, the game of chess. After briefly introducing the basic rules of the game, the course will focus on some more intermediate concepts of the opening, middle, and endgame. More specifically, students will become familiar with chess notation, various opening principles, middlegame attacking and defensive concepts, tactical motifs, typical mating patterns, and various endgame ideas. By the end of the course, students should be approaching the ability to play chess at tournament-level, or at the very least be able to beat most amateurs.
Course Application: N/A
SmashCo 1 Credit
Davis "Lucky" Lai EXCO-876
"The Super Smash Bros. series has come a long way. Originally released in 1999, the games have found a place in the hearts of many, as well as earning their fair share of criticisms. To many, Super Smash Bros. is just a fond memory or a party game played sparingly among friends or family, similar to Mario Party or Rock Band. However, in the nearly 16 years that the series has been around it has also transformed into being one of the most praised competitive games in eSports. To those willing to invest the time and creativity into learning the culture and complexity behind the games, Smash can be more than just a party game. It is a thorough, fulfilling, and (arguably unintentionally) competitive fighting game with an involved backstory that has been largely influential in modern eSports. This section will focus primarily on advanced techniques and upper-level meta-game in the second installment in the series, Super Smash Bros. Melee.
We have two main goals. First is to expose each player to the technical complexities involved in the game in order to improve their overall playing ability while having as much fun as possible. Second, our goal is to foster a Super Smash Bros. community centered around teaching and learning from one another as well as general merrymaking. "
Course Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSchvGj55Ztlz1Jv5Mc0vJBggMoSr2Po13fFxAKNya8_zFYQNQ/viewform
Go: the Oldest Board Game 1 Credit
Seraphina Nix, Gabe Strasburger EXCO-881
The oldest board game still played today is the game of Go, which was invented in China at least 2500 years ago. Go is a two player strategy game of perfect information, a la chess, and astoundingly simple rules lead to incredible depth that has fascinated generations. We will teach Go starting from the rules and progressing to an understanding of basic strategy and tactics. Classes will consist of short lectures on foundational Go concepts with the majority of class time spent playing.
Course Application: https://goo.gl/forms/GTsjyBSuwMe8vMt92
Email: Seraphina.email@example.com, Gabe.firstname.lastname@example.org
CatanCo 1 Credit
Rob Klock and Gideon Leek EXCO-882
Have you ever dreamed of piles of ore, long roads, or a game designed specifically to ruin friendships? If so, CatanCo is for you. CatanCo seeks to, over the course of a semester, give students a chance to develop a sophisticated understanding of Klaus Teuber’s Settlers of Catan.
While the primary component of the course is gameplay, each class will begin with a short lecture on topics ranging from strategies to house-rules.There is no prior experience of playing Catan required for this course! Within the first few weeks all students will understand the basic aspects of the game and be able to play in competitive or noncompetitive groups. The instructors will provide everything needed for gameplay including boards and pieces, all you need to bring is yourself!
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning Dungeons And Dragons 1 Credit
Noah Freeman, Adina Zeth EXCO-885
In this course we teach the basics of D&D, including a 10-week premade campaign. By the end you will have a full understanding of how to play fifth edition dungeons and dragons, as well as a framework for understanding other systems. This course requires regular attendance and occasional out of class reading.
Course Application: n/a
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
You have reached the end of the Fall 2018 ExCo Course Catalog. We hope to see you at the ExCo Fair (Wednesday, September 5th from 6:30-8:30pm, in the Root Room). Please feel free to email the instructors of any courses you are interested in for more information on how to sign up for the class. If you have general questions about the ExCo Fair or how the ExCo program works, email the ExCo Committee at email@example.com.
~ The ExCo Committee