Interim Term

Interim Term, held for two weeks at the beginning of each January, provides underclassmen at EHS a unique opportunity to add depth and value to their high school experience through the inquiry of diverse topics unavailable during the regular curriculum. These courses encourage students to explore personal interests or dive into new areas of study.

In addition to these courses, the Interim Term Grade Level Learning (GLL) classes educate students in areas that will lead them to greater success in high school and beyond. Freshmen take courses such as Communication and Online Etiquette; sophomores focus on the Choices program with courses on Stress Management and Decision Making; and juniors enjoy in-depth presentations from College Counseling on Essay Writing and Test Taking Strategies.

Each day during Interim Term, the students participate in Community Time, where they break off into advisory groups each day for team-building exercises and a little fun competition.

Each year, besides the abundant offerings on campus, we also offer travel experiences.

Interim Term 2019 Courses

1. A Different World…but is it?/Isaiah Coleman

A Different World was a late 80’s early 90’s television show centered around the lives of students at Hillman College, a fictional Historically Black College which often addressed issues like race and class relations, or equal rights. Looking through the lens of “A Different World”, students in this course will discuss these topics and compare student lives today with those of the late 1980s and early 1990s.Is it A Different World today? Are things better? Are they worse? How does social media play a role regarding these same issues in today’s world? Each day will be framed usinga specific episode from this revolutionary television sitcom.

2. Advanced Baseball Statistics: The Game within the Game/Matt Fox

We will take a non-traditional approach to evaluating a player’s overall worth as a baseball player.Using Major League Baseball, this class will discuss the development of modern theories, various data sets, publications, and research methods commonly used in the sabermetric industry.Topics include:game strategy, park factors, DIPS theory, MLB’s economic system, clutch hitting, and the MLB Draft.Students will draft their own team and learn to most accurately assess the most valuable players to ever play the game.

3. Ancient Myth, Modern Interpretation/Danielle Ranneft

Myths in ancient times were used to explain the origin of the world, the seasons, lessons of life, and even wars involving gods, goddesses and heroes. These myths have captured the minds and imaginations of generations of writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. Explore some of the most powerful myths and appreciate modern interpretations of them. Students will write a poem or short story, paint and/or sculpt a work inspired by a favorite myth.

4. “Battle of the Bands: Beatles vs. Stones/Alice Berry

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles—which band was the most original? The most influential? Which is the GOAT? We will delve into the roots, histories, and contributions of both of these great British bands, and explore some modern bands who owe their success to these two.Learn about the Blues, Country, Jazz, Beatniks, R n’ B, Doo-Wop, Boogie Woogie, Rockabilly, Soul, Motown, Surf, Protest, Greenwich Village Folk, Psychedelia, and Ravi Shankar’s sitar.Be prepared to share bands you love!

5. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Inside the Mind in Literature and Film/Kayla Rogers & Emma Tsai

How are mental disorders portrayed in literature and in film? How true is the depiction of insanity--from both sides of the spectrum--and how can it be treated? What can someone learn about human behavior and their culture by studying entertainment inspired by real mental illness? This course explores these questions by looking at the psychological forces that drive mental health, drawing connections between the production of off-kilter characters and the artistic creation of character and dramatic narrative. Along the way, we will watch clips from shows and films, read stories, and listen to music. By the end of the course, you will have thought deeply about why understanding mental illness brings us closer to understanding humanity.

6. Brazilian Percussion/Johnny Motley

The music of Brazil encompasses various regional musical styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles, with much of it giving a prominent role to drums and other forms of percussion. This course is an introduction to Brazilian percussion styles, techniques, and cultural connections.We will cover a general history of Brazilian music along with performance techniques of specific percussion instruments.Students will interact with local capoeira masters and learn to perform on various instruments.

7. Burn After the Reading: The Secrets of Codes/Stephanie Gloor

Cryptography is vital to communication today. In an ideal world, when you log into Facebook, only Facebook and you see that username and password: no eavesdroppers are allowed. This is accomplished via various cryptographic primitives. And that’s just one example: there are tons of uses of cryptography and related areas. This course will explore the different types of cryptology and how it has been used throughout history.Students will learn how to encrypt/decrypt messages using the Atbash cipher, the Cesar Shift, the Pigpen/Masonic cipher, the Polybuis Square, the Vigenere cipher, the Playfair cipher, the Columnar Transposition cipher, and book ciphers.

8. Chinese Culture: How To Be A Dragon/Alice Davidson & Kate Liang

Chinese people refer to themselves as the descendants of Yandi and Huangdi, as well as the descendants of the Chinese dragon. The dragon has transformed from an imaginary prodigy to a mascot from ancient times to the present. It represents the Chinese people's unrelenting and pioneering spirit of keeping pace with the time, and has become the symbol of China and of Chinese culture.This class will introduce students to many aspects of Chinese culture including the dragon. Students will learn rudimentary speaking and writing skills, study traditional art and music, taste original Chinese cuisine, learn about Chinesegames, gain an understanding of the various ethnic groups in China, and get to know famous historical figures from China’s past.

9. Conspiracy Pseudoscience and Media Bias/David Framel & Pejman Milani

In the world of Cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and the Paranormal, photographic and video evidence of the existence of unknown creatures, “lights in the sky,” and ghostly images is compelling, and certain media outlets will take advantage of the conspiratorial nature of this “evidence,” but is it all a complete hoax? The class is designed to evaluate a history of stills and videos and discuss their credibility while examining the media’s use of them to generate revenue and interest, while students analyze methods of photofakery and ultimately create believable still and “Mockumentary” forgeries that rival what is out there, using computer graphics, Adobe Photoshop software, and iMovie.

10. Dream Odyssey/Eric Avera

Humans spend roughly a quarter of our lives dreaming. What do our dreams have to tell us? How have they inspired artists and inventors to create, and can they do the same for us? Learn the basics of dream interpretation, discover the possiblites of lucid dreaming, and understand how your brain works when it’s alert and when it’s resting. Students will also study how dreams are portrayed in film. “Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?”

11.Emerging Epidemics: A Public Health Perspective/Katherine Weigand

Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. The threat of emerging epidemics is gaining momentum due to a high human population density, human travel, and rapid urbanization. The way we handle these diseases is crucial to our survival as a society. As we study the biology of various infectious diseases, we will also discuss their impacts on civilization, from the development of germ theory to improvements in public health.

12. EmpowHERment/Jess Adams & Emily White

Strong is beautiful! According to the World Bank: Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. More simply put, it’s the “can do” factor, going from “I can’t” to “I can.” In this course, we will learn a variety of excerises, engage in discussions about body image and the representation of women in the media, study the leadership skills of prominent leaders, and build heathly, stress-reducing habits.No prior experience with weight training or exercise is necessary.

13.Glow-N-The Dark Bunnies and Other Mutants/Jackie McCray

Biotechnology is the use of biological processes, organisms, or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life. Through Biotechnology, humans can manipulate through genetic engineering living organisms or their components to produce useful usually commercial products (such as pest resistant crops, new bacterial strains, or novel pharmaceuticals). This course will focus on concepts in Biotechnology, where students will explore discoveries in Biotechnology through literature and film. Students are also responsible for creating their own organisms that will benefit society in some way.

14. Intro to Dance/Nicole Sublet

If you want to take a class where there’s no desks, you get a great workout, and you get to listen to cool music, then come and dance with us to kick off the new year! See how the dancers of Impact and the EHS Dance Department train by stepping into their shoes—literally! We will be introducing tap, jazz, and hip-hop styles of dance, along with learning how to properly warm up and condition for a dance class. We will also exercise our creativity by learning how to create dance routines, watch various dance videos, and even see a guest company perform in the studio, LIVE! You won’t want to miss this super fun class where movement and learning happen together!

15. Investigating the World, UNESCO Heritage Sites/Jennifer Succi

Come travel the world through Google Earth to visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites! Through the magic of Google Earth we will visit the terrace houses of Cinque Terre in Italy, climb Kilimanjaro in Africa, explore the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, visit the Kinkaku-ji Temple in Japan, take a tour of the ancient medieval city of Qalhat, among others, to discuss their importance as centers for cultural understanding. Students will discuss methods that are underway to preserve these rich heritage sites and will work on developing an iBook as part of this course.

16.Latin American Culture and Cooking/Amalia Pflaumer & Rebecca Alcala

Join us for an exciting time as we learn about Latin American culture in the “Old” and “New” worlds! In this course, students will spend two weeks exploring Argentina and Spain in order to take a closer look at the music, traditions, and (most importantly) food!Students will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the connections between the history, culture, and food in these countries through the creation of traditional Argentine and Spanish cuisine. Te esperamos. . .

17. Lego Robotics/Michael Hunt

Interested in robotics or think you might be? Why not take this course to explore the possibilities? You’ll have fun unlocking your imagination, practicing creative problem-solving, and exploring the world of building and programming robots. You’ll construct robots out of LEGOs and teach them to meet a variety of physical challenges.

18.Mobile Phone Application Development/Alan Duncan

This course is an introduction to mobile phone application development.It is meant to introduce students to Open Source programming, help students understand how mobile device applications are created, governed by Google and Apple, and developed by individuals. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to install the development tools needed to create mobile applications, build a simple mobile application, and distribute an application as a test application.

19.Model UN/Julius Michael

Students who are registered members of the EHS Model United Nations Club will use this course to prepare for the upcoming Houston-Area Model UN conference in February. Students will use class time to prepare position papers for their assigned country/committee. Students will also conduct a “model United Nations General Assembly” session. This activity is designed to aquaint students with the issues in international relations, along with the structure, aims and procedures used by the United Nations to resolve disputes between nations.

20. Money, Money, Money!/Mike Hodgson

Finance can be fun! Learn how to invest, save and manage your money, and put it to work for you.Through this course, you will gain an understsanding of the history of US currency, cryptocurrencies, the stock market, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, investments, various types of saving accounts, etc.In a casual, relaxed environment, you’ll learn everything you need to know to handle your financial business, save for the future, and make your money work for you!

21. Not Your Mother’s Book Club/Jenny Cantrell & Krista Holter & Krystal Irven

Growing up, you might have seen your mother meet with her ladies’ group once a month for ‘Book Club’ and wondered why such a club even exists? After taking this class, you will change your mind about reading and may even want to start your own book club! In this class, we will journey through the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We will discuss the book and make connections with characters and themes in the novel and discuss those ideas as they relate to literature, ourselves, and the world. Not Your Mother’s Book Club will ignite your passion for reading, and if you don’t already love books, you will by the time this class is over! Come prepared to read!

22. Passion for Fashion/Beverly Rutledge & Hillary Houle

Do you have a passion for fashion? Join us and learn about the history of fashion and how current designers are reinterpreting design. We’ll discuss basic sewing and construction terms, and then develop a collection based on your story. Finally, you’ll create one of your designs to wear on the EHS Runway.

23. Poetry Writing Workshop/Biz Kechejian

Do you love writing song lyrics? Is poetry a secret passion? Then this is a course for you! This course will focus on two areas of poety--reading/analyzing poetry and writing your own poems for the class to read and constructively critique. Plenty of class time is devoted to imitating four poetic forms—Ekphrasis, Erasure, Homeric Simile, and the beloved “Nonsense Poem”. After workshopping each other’s first drafts, students will choose three of these poems to revise. On the last day, we will have a reading where the students will get to share how their work has evolved during the revision process.

24. SEW much Fun: Basic Skills for Crafting and Gifting/ Katheryn Ray

Have you ever spotted your mother’s sewing machine in the back of a closet and wondered how it worked? Do you think you’d like to make fun and easy gifts for friends and family for special occasions? Is redecorating your bedroom on a budget all you can dream about? If SEW, we have the IT course for you. Learn the basics or put in some practice time if you’re beyond novice. Come ready to think conceptually and spatially as we explore the art of sewing. By the end of this course, you will have quite a few finished projects to show off to friends and family and some new skills for life.

25. Strategy Gaming/Courtney Arnold

You’re invited to game night! Strategy games are a great way to offer students the opportunity to develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills in a stimulating environment. We will learn several different strategy games, understand the rules and the various strategies to win, talk about possible probabilities involved, and play games such as Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, and Monopoly. Students will collect data on strategies for winning the game and draw conclusions on advantages and disadvantages of that strategy. Let the games begin!

26. Stretch and Shine/Leigh Anne Raymond

This relaxing and restorative class will introduce students to different exercises to help keep your bodies flexible and strong. We will engage in a variety of exercises including pilates, yoga-like stretching, core work and breath work to relax your body and mind.

27. Tags to Murals: Photographing Graffiti/Japheth Storlie

Have you ever wanted to create your own graffiti art (without getting arrested)? In Tags to Murals: Photographing Graffiti, we will take a field trip to photograph several AWESOME street art scenes and see some of Houston’s hottest graffiti.With that inspiration, we will then create our own graffiti wall as a group and use it as a backdrop for creative photos.

28. That Puzzle is really a Math Problem-Classic Math Problems and Their Current Real-World Applications/Robin Bowman & Joanna Papakonstantinou

Come investigate some of the classic mathematics problems and explore their solutions. Learn how resulting discoveries are the foundations that underlie current research and still have a profound impact on current real-world applications in a variety of industries. You will learn how these seminal problems, some centuries old, were easy to state but hard to solve.

29. The House the Mouse Built: The Wonderful World of Disney/Eric Lerch

Few institutions have had as large an impact on America over the last hundred years as The Walt Disney Corporation. A worldwide leader in the entertainment industry, its characters and theme parks are among the most recognizable icons across the globe. This course will explore the Disney phenomenon through a variety of perspectives. You will experience the rise of Disney as a historical force through the films and music that have been the foundation of its success. You will investigate the corporate strategies employed by Disney to maximize its economic power. Finally, you will evaluate the impact of Disney on relevant social and cultural issues of our time. Whether you are a Disney fanatic or simply curious about one of the world’s most successful businesses, this is a class where dreams really do come true!

30. Untangling Knots: a beginner’s guide/Neil Fullarton

From the DNA inside your cells to the earbuds at the bottom of your backpack, tangled up knots are an everyday part of life. In this course, we’ll see how to understand knots mathematically and learn tools to help answer the question: when can a knot be unknotted and when can a knot not be unknotted? Along the way, we’ll have hands-on opportunites to experiment with different knots, with a culminating final project of producing a knotted rope sculpture that you will have analyzed mathematically. We’ll also learn some new, fun math that is not covered in a traditional algebra or geometery course but has reall world applications!

31. Victorian Foodies/Anna Saikin

Do you long for a time when everybody displayed proper dining etiquette? Do you have a fondness for afternoon teas with scones and clotted cream? Have you ever wondered whether people really ate boiled calf’s head? If so, you won’t want to miss this literary feast. We will consume lavishly arrayed meals through a selection of Victorian books that take food very, very seriously. Your taste buds will be titillated as we discuss Alice’s compulsion to drink and eat whatever she’s told in Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; spicy delicacies from the British Empire in William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair; Miss Havisham’s failed wedding feasts in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; as well as original recipes for mulligatawny soup and plum pudding in Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

32.Visions of the Future/John Flanagan

Visions of the Future focuses on science fiction and facts in man's attempt to predict the future.The primary goal will be for student groups to present their own vision of the future, in words, art and possibly performance.Daily programs will include discussions, movies, short stories, project work, futuristic games and activities.

33. Wading into the Cosmic Ocean/Justin Hickey

In this course, students will develop an appreciation, understanding, and ongoing curiosity about the mysterious, intense, and magnificent Universe and humankind’s place in it.Students will learn about astronomy in a historical context, understanding its relevance in ancient and modern times alike, and hypothesize about what impact astronomy will have on the future of the human race.

34. You Do You: Empathy, Identity, & Culture in Contemporary Houston/Brad Telford

You Do You: Empathy, Identity, & Culture in Contemporary Houston provides an open, inclusive, interactive, and lively space for students to discover themselves, each other, and the world around them. Students will spend class time engaged in games, exercises, thought experiments, roleplaying, and philosophical debates about who they are, the communities they belong to, and the world(s) they live in and…would like to create!

35. Babel No More: The Science of Linguistics/Andre Espree

What is language? How does it work? If you were dropped in the jungle, how would you learn to communicate? Students will explore a mystery language while discovering the mysteries of language. Students come to understand that language is more than words and grammar, but a fluid and flexible symbolic system, used to communicate with others. Students will examine ideas such as, “Do animals have language?” and study how language has impacted culture and history.


35. Close Up/Kary Kemble, Shelly Edmonds

36. Florida Keys/Alan Bradshaw, Erin Russe

37. London/Garmon Ashby, Jay Berckley, George Brock, Kristina Burgess, Paul Revaz

38. Spain/Amira Kamal, Alex Bruton, Kate Philbrick