North Central College - Naperville, IL

2014 - 2015 D-Term Verandahs

How to Register

These one-credit hour courses are included in the  Winter 2015 listings under the course designation "Verandah"  within Merlin.  Be sure to change the credit option from "0" to "1" to register for credit.


VER EXP D1 Instructor: Neil Nicholson
Dec. 1 - 5, & Dec. 8 - 10, 2014
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Exploring Christmas Traditions

Santa ClauseFamilies and friends celebrate the Christmas season in a myriad of ways: music, reflection, volunteering, religiously, shopping, food, reminiscing, theater, discussion, film, and through other outlets. We will experience various forms of Christmas celebration and discuss their impacts to our lives and the greater community. Most transportation provided.   E-mail Neil Nicholson for more information.



VER EXP D2 Instructor: Nicole Rivera
Dec. 8 - 12, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Researching In Informal Learning Spaces  

student with kidsChildren’s museums and other cultural institutions provide important opportunities for informal learning related to a range of disciplines as well as important family experiences. This verandah course will focus on doing research and evaluation in informal learning spaces.  Students will travel to the DuPage Children’s Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Brookfield Zoo to learn how these institutions use research.  Additionally, students will have the opportunity to learn about specific research techniques and practice those techniques. Email Nicole Rivera for additional information.

VER EXP D3 Instructor: Patricia Bayona
Dec. 2 - 5, 2014 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 pm; 12/4: off campus (time TBD)
Language Cocktails: Mixing Languages with Taste  

“Lazy talk”, “ignorant talk”, “incomplete bilingual” are some of the names given to code switchers. This class is for all language lovers who are familiar with -producing or witnessing- the use of more than one language in a sentence. We will explore what is behind code switching and go hunting for some more. All language/cultural backgrounds welcome. Email Patricia Bayona for more information.


VER EXP D4 Instructor: Kelley Tatro
Dec. 1 - 5, 2014 Times to be determined
Musical Improvisation  

Musical improvisation often inspires wonder in listeners, who hear performers creating music on the spot, seemingly from nowhere.  Scholars who have studied improvisation, however, emphasize that it is a learned skill.  In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn about improvisation and to experiment with improvisatory music making through guided listening and performing activities. Participants need not have experience with improvisation or its most well-known genres, such as jazz.  Additionally, we will explore various world musical traditions that incorporate improvisation, gathering ideas and resources for students who may wish to dedicate themselves to further honing their improvisational abilities beyond our classroom experience and to applying these techniques to other forms of creative work, personal development, or career interests. E-mail Kelley Tatro for additional information.

VER EXP D5      Instructors: Sheryl Finkle & Jack Shindler
Dec. 1 - 5, 2014 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Face to Face: Connecting Cultures/Crossing Borders      

This verandah course gives students an opportunity to become personally acquainted with students of other cultures while learning how cross-cultural interactions can influence a person's personal and professional learning, decision-making, and actions. Verandah participants will be assigned to a reading pair with a person from another culture. Pairs will select, read, and discuss two short pieces of literature, each selected according to the work's appeal to the readers and its treatment of issues and values significant to the cultures of the readers. All participants in the verandah will join in opening and closing activities that prepare each member for the reading experience, probe insights across the reading pairs, and support each member in appropriately incorporating perspectives of "others" in their daily thinking and behavior. Email Sheryl Finkle or Jack Shindler for additional information.


      Instructor: David Schmitz
Dec. 1 -5 and Dec. 7-11, 2014 
              12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Mathematics of Square Dancing  

 Following a brief history of the development of square dancing as an American folk dance, participants will be shown several connections between square dancing and mathematics.  Students will be taught around 100 calls and 10 concepts (call modifiers) primarily from the first 3 levels of square dancing.  The "final exam" will be a dance called by one of the top square dance callers in the country. Neither dancing experience nor specialized knowledge of mathematics is required, but having a knack for spatial visualization will help. All majors welcome. Email David Schmitz for additional information.

Instructor: Joanne Quimby
Dec. 3 -5 and Dec. 8-10, 2014       1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Food, Culture, & Society in East Asia

wontons and egg rollsFood is an essential part of our daily lives, and is an integral element of cultures all over the world, but how often do we stop to think about the role of food in our culture, or in others? In this verandah experience we will consider the idea recently put forth by culinary historians that “food is culture,” focusing on the cultural significance food in the East Asian cultures of China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. Our primary texts will be films that highlight the cultural significance of food; by watching and discussing these films together we will consider the different “food cultures” of East Asia and will reflect on our own cultural traditions as well. A visit to a large Japanese grocery store will provide first-hand experience of just how different food cultures are around the world, and we will shop for, prepare, and eat a feast together. Guest speakers, family visits, and additional outings to local Asian restaurants may also be arranged. Email Joanne Quimby for additional information.

VER EXP D8  Instructor: Daniel R. VanHorn
Dec. 1 -5, 2014  Times Will Vary
Exploring the Intersection of Visual Art and Visual Science  

 This course explores 1) what the visual arts can teach us about the organization of the human mind and 2) how we can use what we know about the human mind to better understand the visual arts. The course will include selected programs and films, presentations, exploring the Art Institute of Chicago, outdoor photography, dissecting a cow eye, and completing your own visual work of art in an art studio. The course will meet every day from December 1 to December 5. Contact Dr. VanHorn  for more information.


VER EXP D9 Instructor: Jonathon Kirk
Dec. 1-5, 2014  Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Keeping Score: Exploring Film Music  

This verandah experience will explore the various roles of music throughout film history. We will survey several influential as well as controversial film scores, and primarily use our time together for film screenings, listening and discussion. Through lively conversation we will be able to better understand how composers create a musical narrative, and how they manipulate your sense of mood and place. Films screened and discussed include King Kong, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Seven, Samurai, and Contagion. All majors, film enthusiasts, and music lovers welcome! Two lunches provided. E-mail Jonathon Kirk for more information.


VER EXP D10  Instructor: Shereen Ilahi
Dec. 3-5, 2014  Times to be determinded
Remembering WWI in Chicago  

We Don't Know Where We're Going But We're On Our Way100 years ago, the First World War began. Let’s see how two Chicago exhibits choose to remember this centenary. We will meet on Dec 3 for some background on WWI and spend one day (Dec 4) at the Newberry Library’s exhibition, grab dinner, and hear a historian from Ohio State talk about the war and the origins of humanitarianism.   The next day we’ll go to University of Chicago to see their exhibit on French illustrators and WWI. Metra and CTA passes will be provided. E-mail Shereen Ilahi for more information.


Instructor: Paul Bloom
Dec. 1 -5, 2014       Times vary
A Guided tour of (the) Cosmos

The Universe: A Walk Through Space and TimeView selections from the recent series “Cosmos:  A Spacetime Odyssey” with an expert – Dr. Paul Bloom of the Physics department.  This series, which aired on network television last spring, explores crucial ideas in our fundamental understanding of nature as well as how science works through a storytelling format that is accessible to all.  We’ll conclude our exploration with a day trip to the Adler planetarium and an afternoon trip to Fermilab where we will see many of the things we have learned about in action.  Weather permitting, there will also be opportunities to use NCC’s 16” telescope to do some in-person exploration of the cosmos. For more information, contact Paul Bloom.



Instructor: Mary Beth Ressler
Dec. 1, 2, 4,-5, 2014       9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Learning Through Dramatic Inquiry

Have you ever wanted to be inside a text and to read it from the inside out? Have you ever wanted to have the ability to question authors and characters from inside thbooke world of the text? Have you ever wanted move through a story from a character’s perspective? Have you ever wanted a more active way to relate to students? The specific sort of drama used in this class is not focused on performance, but on process. After an intensive seminar with Dorothy Heathcote, the founder of process drama, and studying under Dr. Brian Edmiston, the creator of dramatic inquiry, Dr. Ressler has developed tools and strategies for teachers and learners to engage with texts in innovative and meaningful ways. For more information, contact Mary Beth Ressler.