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Miniterm at SOTA, SAMI, and IDEA

Miniterm at SOTA, SAMI, and IDEA

After the craziness of December finals, January at SAMi, SOTA, and now iDEA comes with a complete change of course for students and staff alike: Miniterm. This month-long extensive course takes place at any of the three Elements of Education campuses. Comparable to the week-long “Microterm” at the end of the school year in June, Miniterm offers both a break from the usual, and extensive concentration on a unique subject of the student’s choosing.

Traditionally, science-focused courses took place at SAMi, while art-focused courses took at SOTA. Now we have iDEA thrown into the mix. This new school serves to fill the gaps that its successor schools’ facilities could not. Its workshops provide an alternate location to the SOTABots team and several other shop-oriented classes. iDEA teachers have also teamed up with teachers from their sister schools to combine their expertise into a single course. (E.g. The Sports Science of Lacrosse and Golf, The LEGO Miniterm, and Who is Telling Your Story? among others.)

Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

One of the most unique classes I’ve taken at SAMi so far was Outdoor Education. Every Tuesday and Thursday of the fall semester my freshman year, I hiked the trails of Point Defiance Park with 20 other students, led by teacher Maria Jost. This course is one that only SAMi has to offer. It provided me, and many others who have taken it, with an enhanced respect for our park and its flora.

Beginning Guitar with Dustin Blatnik

For those who don’t know, SAMi is currently going through a transition of location and its portables are now hidden in the woods of Camp 6 at Point Defiance Park. To get there one must get on a big yellow school bus at the park entrance and bump along 5 Mile Drive to the hidden site. Here, in portable G, Dustin Blatnik’s Beginning Guitar class meets on a Thursday. It’s a small room, hot and crowded with students holding guitars, cases, papers, and chairs spread out over every square foot, and the cacophony can be heard from either end of the camp. There’s method to the madness, though; while Blatnik listens to students play individually, lessons of every kind are being learned simultaneously throughout the room. Some work solo, others in groups, all of them supporting each other. They share tuners, sheets of music, and advice. “Life’s too short to not have capo” one student is heard saying.