The Circle Voice

Students Explore Passions in Winter Tutorials

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Lynch '19

Lynch '19

Lynch '19

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This winter, five tutorials are underway in subjects from poetry to quantum theory.  A tutorial is a small (generally one- or two-student) class through which subjects outside of Groton’s traditional course offering can be explored. Students who wish to take tutorials work closely with the academic dean and a teacher in the desired subject to outline a curriculum and assessments. The Circle Voice has talked with the five students taking tutorials about what they’re learning and why they chose to learn it.

 

Quantum Theory (Catherine Qiao ‘18 and Charlie Sun ‘18)

Quantum theory is a subset of physics seeking to explain the world on the atomic scale. Catherine and Charlie will pursue their interest in this subject by taking Quantum Physics 1, using the online curriculum made available by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both Catherine and Charlie have taken physics through the Advanced Placement level at Groton, and while certain aspects of quantum theory are taught in other science courses at Groton, Catherine and Charlie wanted to learn more. Charlie says that quantum mechanics “seems very intriguing since it explains the physics of the world on the atomic scale.” Sponsored by physics teacher David Prockop, Catherine and Charlie will be tackling the full-year college course during the winter term.

 

Directing for the Stage (James Hovet ‘18)

James has directed two one-act plays in his Groton career, and his experience inspired him to further explore the art of directing and casting for the stage. “To direct a show, you need to know something about every aspect of theater, so for me this is the culmination of everything I’ve done so far here in theater.” Working with Director of Theater Laurie Sales, James plans to start theoretically by reading several plays with an eye toward directing. He will then shift his focus to the process of directing a show  – coaching actors; blocking scenes and thinking critically about lights, costume and sound.

 

Spanish Poetry and Songwriting (Macy Lipkin ‘18)

Macy has always enjoyed writing, singing and songwriting. This year, though, she decided to add a twist to her work: a new language. After taking Spanish at Groton for several years, she is planning to explore Spanish songs and poems from the past century. She will then spend the term drafting an original work that synthesizes new and traditional elements. She says of writing in this tutorial, “I’m hyped to turn this passion of mine into a class, and even more hyped to do it in my second language.” She is excited to further explore these interests in a class with Spanish teacher Stephen Fernandez. At the end of the term, Macy will hold a recital in which she will share her work.

 

Three Poets (Alexa Beckstein ‘18)

This winter, Alexa is studying the works of three American poets: Mary Oliver, Anne Sexton and William Stafford. She decided to pursue this tutorial with English teacher John Capen because she “took his poetry class last year and absolutely loved it.” English is one of Alexa’s favorite subjects at Groton, and she is thrilled to be working again with Mr. Capen. At the end of the term, Alexa will give a presentation about these famous poets and their works.

 

Reading Ovid and Horace (Claudia Oei ‘18)

Claudia has taken four years of Latin at Groton, and in her final year she wanted to focus on two specific writers: Ovid and Horace. Although she had previously translated Vergil and Caesar in Latin classes, Claudia wanted to further explore these two specific authors through a tutorial “because they’re central authors and you don’t get to read them in our Latin curriculum.” Under the tutelage of Latin teachers Preston Bannard and David Ross, Claudia will be reading and translating Ovid’s Heroides and Horace’s Odes over the course of the winter term.

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