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Interim Term

Interim Term, typically held for two weeks at the beginning of each January, provides underclassmen at EHS a unique opportunity to enrich their high school experience through the inquiry of diverse topics unavailable in the regular curricular program. Interim electives encourage students to explore personal interests or dive into new areas of study, through which they can discover and develop their individual talents. In addition to these electives, Interim Term Grade Level Learning (GLL) classes educate students in areas that will lead them to greater success in high school and prepare them for meaningful lives in service to others. The Freshman GLL program on Civil Discourse emphasizes personality psychology, empathy-building, and digital citizenship. Sophomores participate in Community, Care, and Character, a program centered on cultural appreciation, self-care, and healthy relationships. Juniors enjoy in-depth presentations from College Counseling on essay writing, test-taking strategies, and the college application process. Each day during Interim Term, EHS students also engage in Community Time, during which they break off into advisory groups for team-building exercises and exciting competitions. In addition to the abundant offerings on campus, EHS offers travel experiences every January. Explore these trips here. 


1. 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. 


2. Card Sharks! Card Games Classic and Contemporary/Art Callaham

Playing solitaire till dawn with a deck of 51? Join The Rev. Mr. Callaham to brush up on your card skills and learn some fun games that will make you the life of the party and the duchess (duke) of the dorm room. This year’s board game elective will focus on card games. We’ll learn card etiquette and advanced shuffling techniques, a few classic card games that will stay with you for a lifetime, and some examples of the “New Hotness” in card games. 


3. Combat for Stage: Knights Fight!/Paul Revaz

Dive into the world of unarmed and armed choreographed stage combat! Work on basic fitness, learn the moves, and choreograph your own battle for the stage. Your choreographed battle will be shared with any available spectators and even filmed for a wider audience! 


4. Congress in Action/Avis Yen

This course is for those who have looked at the news about laws being passed and asked themselves “” or “Why?” Together we’ll examine the legislative process of taking an idea, turning it into written legislation, challenging the legislation through debate, and taking a final vote. Students will learn about the different stages of legislation (from committee to White House) and simulate these processes themselves by becoming a representative or senator and writing their own legislation about the issue of their choice to convince their peers of its necessity. 


5. Connections that Count: Master the Art of Relationships and Leadership/Audrey Fragniere

Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a social powerhouse, a confident leader, and a true success story? Welcome to an electrifying 7-day adventure that promises to revolutionize the way you navigate through life. Each day will focus on a specific principle from Carnegie's book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, with engaging discussions, interactive activities, and practical exercises to apply these principles to real-life situations. If you're ready to unlock your potential and set your future on a course for success, this course is your ticket. Are you in? Join us on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. Your destiny is just a click away! 


6. Costuming for the Stage/Robin Bowman

Learn the basics of costume design (no sewing required!) and work on this year’s Spring Musical, Drowsy Chaperone! We will meet with the director, analyze the script, and research the fashions of the 1920's to develop a vision together as a class. You will get to choose a character and create your own design, and then take a trip to the costume rental warehouse and make your vision a reality! 


7. Creative Projects with AI in Art/Pejman Milani 

The world is changing. A.I. and no-code tools are going to be vital to leverage as you enter into college and the workforce. In this course, you'll explore using A.I. and other technologies as tools to amplify your creative potential as an artist. 


8. Cycling 101: Thrills on Two Wheels/Alex Bruton 

There is a whole world of discovery and entertainment as you self-propel yourself on two wheels. In this course, we will explore all things bikes: we will watch iconic road, mountain and track races, discuss cycling safety, take apart, fix and rebuild bikes, learn about touring and long-distance travel, and consider what is next in the world of cycling. 


9. Don't Believe Your Eyes (or Your Ears or Your Mouth or Your Nose)!/Toshla Guthrie 

Welcome to the mind-bending adventure known as the "Psychology of Sensation and Perception!" If you've ever wondered how your brain transforms ordinary sensory input into a mesmerizing symphony of colors, sounds, and feelings, then you're in for a treat. In this class, we'll dive headfirst into the captivating world of sensory illusions, optical tricks, and the incredible ways your mind interprets the world around you. Be prepared to challenge your senses, question your reality, and uncover the secrets of why you see, hear, taste, and feel the way you do! 


10. Elevate Your Game: Leadership and Game Planning in Sports/Jimmy Moynahan

In a rapidly changing world, effective leadership and strategic game planning are essential skills for success in any field. This two-week experimental learning course is designed to immerse participants in the dynamic world of leadership and strategic thinking. Through a combination of experiential activities, case studies, and hands-on projects, participants will develop and refine their leadership abilities and strategic planning skills in sports. 


11. Exploring Interior Design/Alexis Blake 

In this course you will have the incredible opportunity to explore the art of crafting captivating spaces. You'll delve into the principles of color theory, furniture selection, and creating harmonious layouts/mood boards. Through using "floor planning" websites and artistic appreciation, you will develop the skills to transform ordinary rooms into extraordinary havens that reflect your unique style and personality. Get ready to unleash your creativity and bring your dream space to life! 


12. Exploring Music in Movies - The Things You Don't Always Hear/Joe Beam 

Dun, Dun, Dun!!!! Have you ever paid attention to the music played in movies? There are some soundtracks that go unnoticed but can deeply impact the movie-watching experience. In this class, we will explore the significance of music in movies and shed light on some of the unnoticed yet impactful soundtracks. We will explore some of Hollywood's greatest movies and their soundtrack composers. We will listen to soundtracks and watch clips from movies focusing on composers such as John Williams (Star Wars), Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight), James Horner (Titantic), and many more! 


13. FM: No Static At All/George Brock 

In this highly interactive course, students will create, staff and do a broadcast from an FM radio station as they existed before the internet and music sharing. From managing to sales to programming to music scheduling to actual disc jockeying, students will learn how music, personality and commerce came together to create a form of entertainment that was foundational in the development of the music industry and advertising. 


14. Foodways: Food Meets Culture and History/Tom Bove 

Though we all come from different backgrounds and cultures, we share a common love of a great meal with family and friends. "Foodways" refers to the intersection of food in culture, traditions, and history. In this course we will examine how food impacts our culture, society, and history and discover the way that one tasty meal can tell an expansive story about who we are, where we are from, and where we are going. We will watch docuseries, have class discussions, write, explore local and international cuisine, produce our own foodways publications project, and most importantly, eat delicious food! 


15. From Studio to Screen: Dance on Film/Karen Pfeifer

Students will explore the history of dance on film, from the earliest footage by Thomas Edison, the musicals of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and finally to viral modern dance films. Students will also have an opportunity to choreograph, film and edit their own dance film. 


16. Graphic Novels: Unveiling the World of Visual Storytelling/Johnny Kwok

Graphic novels remain a somewhat underappreciated medium within the United States. While they have gained mainstream recognition partly due to Hollywood adaptations, it's important to acknowledge that stories like "I Am Legend," "The Road to Perdition," and "The Addams Family" all originated in the world of illustrated narratives. In contrast to the U.S., many other countries have normalized this medium and even leveraged it as a tool to enhance youth literacy. Notably, numerous modern authors, be it in books, television, or film, kindled their love for reading within the colorful panels and word bubbles of graphic novels. In this class, readers of all proficiency levels will be introduced to this unique medium, providing an opportunity to explore and enjoy the art of storytelling through a different lens. 


17. How to Be a Chinese Dragon/Kate Liang

This class will dive into Chinese culture using traditional language, art, music, food, drink, games, and films. You will learn about some famous people and ethnic groups and have the opportunity to write Chinese characters, speak a little Chinese, make your own Chinese lantern, try to play Chinese instruments, taste-test Chinese snacks and tea, and more. Come learn how to be a dragon this January! 


18. How to Build Your Own Computer/Alan Duncan

Do you want to build a computer? Do you ever wonder: how does my computer actually work? What is inside of the metal box? How much does it cost to build my own custom computer? If you have asked yourself any of these questions or if you just enjoy working with technology, then you will enjoy this adventure in assembly and problem solving. 


19. Independent Study (SEPARATE APPLICATION ONLY)/Alan Bradshaw

The EHS Department of Independent Study would love to welcome 20 motivated students to complete a Mini-Independent Study project during this year’s Interim Term. Candidates should be interested in exploring a topic and creating a fantastic project during their two-week experience. There are many benefits to completing this course including getting to design your own course of study and completing a resume-worthy project. If you are planning on pursuing a full semester or full-year Independent Study Project at EHS this can also be an excellent springboard into that endeavor. 


20. Learning to Laugh at Yourself: Storytelling Through Stand-Up Comedy/Tabish Virani

Life doesn't always go as planned. We make mistakes and find ways to embarrass ourselves, leaving us with haunting memories that creep into our minds as we lay awake at night, trying to imagine how things could have gone differently. But what if instead of focusing on how we could have changed things, we instead took a step back and looked for the humor in our misfortune? In this course, our goal will be to tell our stories through a different lens: by finding a way to laugh at our lives and use our misadventures to bring joy to others. 


21. LEGO and Sphero Robotics/Eric Avera

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 pilot a Sphero and construct robots out of LEGO, teaching them to meet a variety of physical challenges. 


22. Love is Hilarious: Studying the Romantic Comedy/Bob Matthews

Ice cream? A blanket? Tears at a predictable ending? If this setting feels familiar, come examine the Romantic Comedy through an intelligent and critical lens. We will identify the traditional structure of the modern romantic comedy, look back at some of Hollywood’s most memorable offerings in the genre, identify the modern classics, and find out exactly how Greek and Elizabethan Theater birthed the movies that people love to cuddle up to today. Using all of this new knowledge, each student will write an outline and do a fantasy casting of their very own romantic comedy. 


23. Magic Mayhem/Christopher Potter 

Magic: The Gathering is a complex and dynamic card game that offers endless strategic possibilities, storytelling, and a thriving community of players and collectors. It continues to evolve and expand, maintaining its status as one of the most enduring and beloved trading card games in the world. In this class we will explore the history of the game and how to play. Students will learn how to create casual decks with the goal of competing against each other. If you are looking for a trading card game that provides social interaction, strategic depth, and creative deck building, this is the class for you! 


24. Make Your Own Electric Guitar/Garmon Ashby

In this class, we will each make an electric guitar capable of playing real music. Using high quality kits, we will prepare the bodies for our own personalized look, assemble the guitars, install the hardware, and fine-tune them. We will also explore the electric guitar’s evolution and some of its legendary players. 


25. 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. Learn about the history of US currency, cryptocurrencies, the stock market, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, investments, various types of savings accounts, and more. 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! 


26. Moot Court/Richard May

Students will learn about how a courtroom works and participate in courtroom roleplay activities including criminal and civil cases, the appellate process and the Supreme Court process. 


27. Mosaic Madness/Lauren Cunningham 

In this hands-on, studio art course, you’ll create a mosaic from first draft to final design. “What’s a mosaic?” A mosaic is a two-dimensional image or design made out of small pieces of stone, glass, or ceramic, held in place by plaster or mortar. In addition to making your own, personalized mosaic, you’ll learn about the history of mosaics as well as contemporary mosaic artists. We’ll also take a field trip to see some local mosaics in-person!


28. Multi-Media MasterClass: Let’s Hype Up Interim!/Peter Hutcheson 

This exciting course will focus on capturing photo and video in order to document and promote interim term on EHS social media and the EHS website. Students will also collaborate to create a multi-media capstone presentation for the entire school at the end of interim. Throughout the two-week term, students will develop strategies and skills for taking the best photographs, creating the most hype videos, and building the most engaging social media content possible. The source material? Interim Term. Class participants will actively follow all of the happenings of interim —its electives, its grade level learning sessions, and everything in between — in order to show our community what all the hype is about. No previous media arts experience required, and auxiliary equipment will be provided to all students. We hope you’ll join us for this fun adventure! 


29. Playwriting/Tennessee Sipe 

Students will read and watch classic and contemporary plays with an end goal of writing their very own one-act play. In this course, we will discuss elements of playwriting and do lots of writing exercises to contribute to your own original play. We will study dialogue, setting, character, dramatic irony, and more. 


30. Professional Sports Management/Kerry Hofmeister 

This course will take you behind the scenes of the sports that you love. We will learn the history, economics, and strategy of two of the most popular sports around the globe: soccer and baseball. You will then apply that knowledge by starting your own journey using a computer simulation. Expand your knowledge, build a dynasty, and beat your rivals! Sign up for Professional Sports Management. 


31. Pseudoscience, Conspiracy, and Media/David Framel 

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? Students will discuss the characteristics of pseudoscientific claims and how to critically examine them. Through critical thinking and cultural contextualizing, students will recreate famous scientific and historical happenings through film to ultimately create believable still and “Mockumentary” forgeries that rival what is out there, using props, computer graphics, Adobe Photoshop software, and Final Cut Pro. 


32. Racquet and Paddle Sports/Thatcher Cribbs

In this class we will learn the history and rules of various racquet and paddle sports from around the world. Some of these sports include pickleball, table tennis, badminton, racquetball and tennis. We will also have an opportunity to test your skills in some of these sports. 


33. Rise and Shine/Leigh Anne Raymond

Our class will focus on how to start your day off relaxed and focused through guided Christian meditation, stretching, walking, and foam rolling. We discuss strategies to find balance in life between work, exercise, spiritual life, and social life. 


34. 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 are 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.


35. So You Think You Can Doctor?/Karen Foster 

Students will go through “mini medical school,” learning the basics of medical terminology, medical testing, and surgical skills. Students will practice giving injections to oranges, taking blood pressure, taping an ankle, and casting a doll leg, along with other skills used in the health field. 


36. 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! 


37. Tell Me a Story.../Kate Philbrick

What’s the most interesting story you’ve ever heard? Seen? Read? I bet you have a different answer for each category. In this workshop you will produce an engaging, intimate, and true multimedia story that combines the techniques from all three methods. With audio, video and still images gathered from our field trip, combined with text and graphics, you will create your own compelling, mind-blowing masterpiece! Don’t miss out on being the most interesting storyteller in the Freshman, Sophomore or Junior class! 


38. That Puzzle is Really a Math Problem – The Art of Mathematics and Problem Solving/Joanna Papakonstantinou

Come investigate some of the classic mathematics problems, explore their solutions, and 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. The resulting discoveries have had subsequent applications. 


39. The End of the World!: Creative Writing Workshop/Raquel Abend

In this workshop, we will explore the fascinating world of dystopian realities by delving into the human imagination and crafting vivid futures where societies crumble, technology rises, and characters wrestle with the impacts of climate change. Through a combination of prompts, discussions, and constructive feedback, participants will create their own dystopian worlds, developing complex characters, settings, and gripping narratives. As we navigate these landscapes, we'll explore classic and contemporary pieces of sci-fi, speculative fiction, and climate fiction. This literary adventure will inspire you to envision alternate realities that mirror our own in unexpected and thought-provoking ways. 


40. The Key to Happiness/Samiha Rahman

What is happiness? Am I happy? How can I become happier? Positive psychology is a relatively new emerging field, where researchers are looking at the science behind happiness and how one can achieve it within their own lives. In this class, we will look at the findings of such research and practice activities that have been proven to increase one's happiness. 


41. The Third Annual EHS Academic Olympics/Scotty Johnson

This interim course will host four fun and high-energy activities every day: Quiz Bowl, Number Sense, Current Events, and Vocabulary. These four areas will form a quadriplex of knowledge and skills to be assessed throughout the term. Students will research and explore various subjects and engage in competitive, academic challenges each day to show off what they have learned. On the final day, we will have an event called the Voc-a-Quiz-a-News-a-Math-a-Thon, combining our four academic activities with a special physical challenge. 


42. VEX Robotics/Robert Barham

In this course, we will learn how to make Vex robots that can compete in Vex Robotics competitions, spanning from a 10-foot race to being able to turn a doorknob. We will put our STEM skills to the test as we explore the growing world of robotics! 


43. Visions of the Future/John Flanagan

Visions of the Future explores humanity’s attempt to predict the future. In class, we will examine science fiction portrayals of the future in addition to the hard science and facts on technology, medicine, and possible cataclysms. The primary goal will be for student groups to develop their own vision of the near future. Daily programs will include discussions, movies/shows, future vision project work, and futuristic activities including a Virtual Reality field trip.