Cascade Fall 2014
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A1382: Building Language
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Leah Chapman

People have been creating their own languages for a long time, from Lord of the Rings and Star Trek to Esperanto and Game of Thrones. In this class, we will look at what it takes to create a language from scratch, all the while making our own conlang, or constructed language. This will include an introduction to linguistics looking at a variety of natural languages, from English to Turkish and Arabic, as well as created languages, from Elvish to Dothraki, incorporating what we learn into our own language.

A1384: Worth a Thousand Words: An Introduction to Comics
Difficulty: **

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when the two are combined, something magical happens. Join us as we break the panels on a page down into their various components to discover what makes comics such an effective storytelling medium. During the lecture component of the course, we will explore how the medium of comics has developed over time and examine how comic creators from different genres blend words and images for maximum effect. We will consider both the artistic and the literary side of the creative process, discussing topics such as character design and composition in addition to pacing and scripting. Students will then have the opportunity to put their knowledge to use as we walk them through the process creating a page-long comic of their own. Even if you've only ever read comics and never penned or drawn your own work, whether you're a pro at figure drawing or more comfortable drawing stick figures, any level of experience with the medium is welcome. Materials will be provided.

A1386: Flying and Finesse
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Mao

Circus is a performance art. Finding inner flexibility, strength, and ease of movement are serendipitous side effects, but performance is the end creation. Flying and Finesse is tailored to find your inner style of dance, acrobatics, and martial arts so that movement across stage becomes second nature. Even with the limited amount of time we have, you as a team will choreograph a performance tailored to your own talents. Feel control over your bodies, confidence in your movements, and accomplishment in your performance. Circus is a performance art. Be ready to perform.

A1385: On Violence: A Philosophical and Psychological Introduction
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jonathon Catlin

Violence has always been a major problem in human society. But what exactly is violence, and why is it so common all over the world today? In this class, we will compare our own experiences of violence in Chicago with those of earlier periods in human history as they were written about by great philosophers (Socrates, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke) and social activists (Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X). In our discussions, we will focus on the following questions: Is violence part of human nature, or is it preventable? Is violence ever justified? Is there more or less violence today than in earlier times? In answering these and other questions, we will also frequently consider evidence from famous psychological experiments about violent behavior and individuals. Scenarios for discussion will be drawn from cases of violence in Chicago, wars in history, as well as extreme examples such as terrorism and the Holocaust. We will conclude by discussing solutions to violence today and how we might work toward them.

A1389: Impromptu: Speaking under Pressure
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mariana Villenueva

Public speaking, whether you love it or hate it, whether you're giving dazzling speeches or just talking to your friends, we've all done it. But what if you are asked to come up with a speech on the go? Learn the tips, tricks and techniques used by students in Academic Decathlon to become a great orator in 2 minutes, or at least convince people that you are! Join us in Impromptu and boost your confidence in front of crowds, learn the traits of a great orator or just come laugh with us at all the bullsh*t we can come up with on the fly.

A1380: The Past and Future of Democracy in the Islamic World
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kann Ulgen

Currently, as you might have heard the Middle East is a mess. The so-called Arab spring has only seemed to add more confusion to this. If you want make a sense out of all of this, are curios about why democracy has not flourished as much in the region and want to have a discussion about whether it has to be this way then this is the right course for you.

A1383: Beyond Hummus, Dictators, and Aladdin: Unraveling Misconceptions of the Arab World
Difficulty: **

All you know about the Middle East is that you like their food, that you've seen the movie Aladdin and know the lyrics to "A Whole New World," and that every time you see footage of the Middle East on the news it involves explosions, bearded men calling for the downfall of the U.S. and crazy dictators. This class will break down your perceptions of the Arab World by looking at the language, culture, religion and traditions of Arabs and the Arab World and by examining the skewed depiction of Arabs you can see in Western pop culture and mainstream media. So if you like movies, TV, learning about different cultures, or most importantly, if you love hummus - we'd love to have you in our class!

A1381: How is History "Made"?
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jennifer Standish

History textbooks are great, but where in the world do they get their information? In this class, we'll take a look at the less thought of historical "documents" such as Civil Rights songs, World War II novels, mafia movies, and more in order to compare and contrast the historical perspective they provide with what we already know. Through this exploration, we'll discuss issues of the perspective, credibility, and accuracy of the various types of historical sources, analyze and critique that history that we have been taught, and consider what part of our 'present' may one day be considered historical documents.

A1387: One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Carina Baker

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That's all most Americans know about the Space Race. But how did a newly-formed NASA get 240,000 miles to the moon with less computing power than is available in the average smartphone? The answer involves 530,100 gallons of rocket fuel, secretly recruited Nazis, and an immense patriotic panic. This class will examine Space Age science, politics, and the tangled links between the two that enabled humanity to walk on extraterrestrial soil. Take a nuanced look at the journey to the moon, the improbable achievement of a haphazard program born from the intersection of the post-atomic technological arms race and the political paranoia of the Cold War.

A1388: An Informal Introduction to Philosophical Thought
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Eduardo Zulueta

In debating the merits of attending a philosophy class, I ask you to consider the following: Socrates, the symbolic forefather of (Western) philosophical thought, claimed to know nothing. If you think about it, that's pretty messed up. If he's right, we're all kind of screwed. The entire class would be me reinforcing the idea that I know nothing, you know nothing, and Plato knows nothing until we reach a point of such utter despair about our collective state and uncertainty in the world that we end up becoming soulless investment bankers wearing sunglasses indoors... BUT maybe he's wrong! Or maybe that's not exactly what he meant! Maybe there is still a chance that we can produce some certain piece of knowledge about the universe that we can grasp on to as we strive to find meaning in our lives.

If you'd like to include your own unique perspective as part of these types of discussions, please, please do so if only to interrupt my incoherent rambling.