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VSA Session II – Halfway Through!

Posted by on Friday, June 21, 2013 in news, VSA Blog.

The week has gone by quickly for our second session of Vanderbilt Summer Academy. In the class room, our students have been busy immersing themselves in the world of advanced scholarship.

  • History students got to get into Vanderbilt’s Civil War archives, to learn what it means to research primary texts.
  • Medicine, Health, and Society students have been discussing the hidden meanings of terms (such as “health”) that we take for granted, and tomorrow they will explore “disability” by trying to get around campus in wheelchairs.
  • Students in our Lyric class have been learning that there is more to good poems than finding words that rhyme.
  • Our software engineering students learned two different programming languages in two days, and they are about to start building their own apps.
  • Math and Music students have been learning what scales and quadratic equations have in common.
  • Meanwhile, Modular Arithmetic students have come to realize that you can do math without a base-ten system, with some interesting results.
  • In Star Wars and mythology, students have learned that myths have many layers and appear in all kinds of cultural constructs (even the buildings of nearby Hillsboro Village).
  • American Utopia students spent Friday touring the Shaker Village in Kentucky and researched the origins and practices other intentional communities.
  • Students in Writing Short Stories learned that there is more than one way to arrange a plot, and that the Lion King is basically Hamlet. (Minds blown!)
  • Astronomy students spent hosted the annual VSA star party, in which they took their fellow students on a tour of the galaxy atop our 24th avenue parking garage/observatory.
  • In Microbiology and Immunology, students have been learning that we could not survive with the microbes that are all around and inside our bodies (admittedly, some students are a bit grossed out).
  • Our nanotechnology students have spent the week in the Stevenson Center, exploring the challenges and potential applications of nano-engineering to new technologies.

Students have been busy outside of the classroom, too, learning knew skills in Areté and forming new friendships in their proctor groups. We try to offer our students a variety of activities as well as some bigger events. For instance, on Monday night our students got to know the campus (and some of the “Dores” favorite haunts, like Ben & Jerry’s) by taking a photo scavenger hunt. Some students put together original performances for MTV night. Others participated in Trivia, which also included spontaneous, completely unexpected break-dancing from our Proctor, Will Chessor. (We know somebody out there has video, and we want it!)

And we are not finished yet! This weekend involves dancing, ice-skating, trips to the zoo, Frist Center, and Country Music Hall of Fame, and even a couple of hours of class tomorrow morning! Then it is back to class on Monday to get the most out of the time they have left. By checkout time Friday morning, expect students who are exhausted from the fun the had, energized by what they have learned, enriched by the friendships they have made, and excited to come back next year.

Just six days left! Let’s make the most of it!

P.s. You can see photos and keep up with what is happening at VSA every day by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter #VSA2013.

Responses

  • Kelli Buttrey Nelson

    June 21st, 2013

    "Checkout time Thursday"?? Isn't it on Friday?

  • Jennifer Axelberd VandeVate

    June 21st, 2013

    i have the same question…isn't checkout Friday? Don't want to arrive in town a day late!

  • David J Dunn

    June 22nd, 2013

    Mea culpa! Yes! Checkout time is on Friday! I corrected the mistake. Thanks for making us aware of it.

  • David J Dunn

    June 22nd, 2013

    Thanks for pointing out the error. Checkout is on Friday.

  • David J Dunn

    June 22nd, 2013

    Thanks for pointing out the error. Checkout is on Friday.

  • Kelli Buttrey Nelson

    June 26th, 2013

    Thanks David! Sydney is having a great time:)