With the start of a new semester comes the start of the beloved minimesters! Inspired by “Jan-mesters,” a month long special course taken by college students in January, Pace introduced “minimesters.” Although only a week long, minimesters follow the same concept as Jan-mesters by exposing students to out of the box experiences and topics.
Starting on Jan. 5, students began attending their assigned minimester in place of their typical history or science class. With an abundance of classes offered on a diverse variety of topics, this year’s minimesters were engaging and entertaining. The history department offered 19 different courses to choose from, while the Science department offered nine. On a “first come, first serve” basis, students selected their top three desired courses in each subject and were placed accordingly.
Happening at the same time as spirit week, minimesters serve as a break from typical class, helping students to balance the chaos and stress of a new semester, along with daily spirit week rehearsals. Since minimesters do not involve homework or testing, students are able to fully engage in the topic for the entire week. This year’s minimesters delivered fun and excitement.
Although many courses presented this year were new, many also returned. A fan favorite every year is Mr. Kevin Ballard’s Swamp Ecology class. A fully immersive experience, students suit up in waterproof gaiters and drive to the Pace Swamp in order to get up-close and personal with the organisms inside! Junior Camille Caton said, “Swamp Ecology was the highlight of my week! My favorite memory was catching a minnow by dragnet fishing.” This minimester is sure to return again next year to continue educating students on the local wildlife.
Another favorite in the Science department is Mr. Ben Ewing’s Science of Cooking class. Not only do students get to be hands-on and connect science to everyday tasks, but they get to eat the final product as well! The class covers the basics of cooking, ensuring that students of all levels of expertise can enjoy. Junior Maddie Swartz said, “I loved Mr. Ewing’s minimester because I got to learn even more about biology as I cooked.”
A recent addition to the Science minimesters is Dr. Tasheen Kazi’s “Take Flight! Model Glider Planes” course. The name says it all, as this course teaches students all the steps in building their own model glider plane. And of course, the planes are flown from the balcony of Inman at the end of the week to display and test their efforts. Sophomore Rebecca Thompson said, “Taking flight with Dr. Kazi was a very interesting and informative experience.”
On top of the thrilling selection of Science minimesters, students also took a wide array of history courses. Covering topics from LatinX History to the Brooklyn Dodgers, these history minimesters included a class for everyone’s interests.
Explaining the history of our own city, Mr. Ted Ward led a minimester on “The Atlanta Way.” This class not only went in depth about the history of Atlanta but went even deeper, connecting race, money and politics to its growth. The course begins with the 1906 Atlanta Massacre and takes the students on the journey, ending with the present day. Junior Ronak Lalaji said, “Mr. Ward’s Atlanta History minimester was a great class because I was able to learn so much that I did not know much about the city I live in, and I get to see the history in-person whenever I’m driving around.”
The head of the history department, Mr. Tim Hornor taught multiple minimesters. One of these included the fascinating topic of “An Introduction to the Art of Africa, The African Diaspora and the United States.” Throughout the week, he took the class on a tour of the most popular African and African American painters and their work, revealing the inspiration behind every piece as he went. Freshman Avery Berman said, “The minimester I took taught me so much about types of art which I don’t usually learn about, and it was very interesting to learn about the biography of the painters and the history.”
Ending on Jan. 12, minimesters did not disappoint. With courses on every possible topic in both History and Science, the week was full of creativity and curiosity. Every teacher led amazing discussions mixed in with experiences and activities. Despite finishing recently, students and faculty are already anticipating next year’s minimesters, hopeful of both the returning and new courses to come!