Summer Session

Summer@Mid-Pen is an opportunity for Dragons to take an academic course, improve their grades, or enroll in a class just for fun.

Courses range from Digital Photography and College Essay Writing, to Songwriting and Journalism. Courses run Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm for four week from mid-June to mid-July. Recent courses have included the following:

American Studies: Pro Wrestling

Pro wrestling is more than folding chairs and headlocks. Through the 20th century, pro wrestling has been a major piece of the American zeitgeist. Come learn about American culture and pro wrestling, and the dynamics of storytelling. This course is suitable for credit/grade repair or elective credit. For students pursuing credit/grade repair, please note that two weeks of summer school equals a semester’s worth of credit.

ASL Grammar and Basic Conversation

Focusing on grammatical differences between English and ASL, students learn topic/comment sentences, noun/adjective techniques, directional verb signs, and complex sentence structure. Basic conversational skills will also be used. This class is appropriate for students new to ASL.

Creative Expressions

An interdisciplinary course for students who are interested in different forms of expression. Explore and create art in different mediums, while writing and workshopping creative narratives in different genres. Projects will include poetry, photography, painting, drawing, and mixed media, among others. The goal is for students to look for new ways to express themselves artistically through the exploration and creation of art and prose. 

Creative Writing

Gustave Flaubert wrote that “the art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” In this course, we do just that! Students express themselves in a variety of genres, from poetry to prose to writing from life, and strengthen their own creative processes through writing exercises, workshops, and revision. 

College Essay Writing

This week-long course teaches students how to compose effective personal essays for post-high school applications. While this course focuses primarily on the standard personal essay for college admission, students can bring in specific prompts, such as requests for artist statements.

Cyanotypes

Spend the week learning how to see the world in blue! Using the alternative photography cyanotype process, students make sun prints on paper and fabric. Using found objects, plant matter, our own bodies and digital negatives we will develop a unique series of images that blur the lines between photography and painting. 

Digital Photography

Nowadays everyone is a photographer. Set yourself apart by building technical and conceptual skills. Using digital cameras, focus on making great exposures in-camera, then move onto digital editing to perfect and enhance your images. Students learn to make digital prints and build a portfolio-worthy cohesive body of work. 

English Grade Repair

For students in need of additional credit or wishing to improve their grade, this course addresses a central theme each week through contemporary novels, short stories, plays, poems, and films. Students focus on fundamental and advanced English skills while enhancing their abilities in reading comprehension, literary analysis, discussion, vocabulary, and composition. 

Filmmaking

Learn what it takes to make a movie, from writing a script to directing a scene with actors. In this course, students learn the basics of filmmaking, including screenplay writing, cinematography, directing, editing, and art directing. Students work both as a group and independently to create short films using a variety of do-it-yourself techniques. Activities include storyboarding, stop-motion animation, green screen, and costume design. 

Forensic Science

Use modern scientific techniques to solve a real crime committed in the 1800s. Learn and carry out basic forensic labs and procedures such as fingerprinting, blood typing, and DNA analysis. Use the results of these tests to help identify and narrow down a list of  suspects.

History of the 2000s

Have you ever wondered how we got here? Do you want to learn about the time when you were a kid? Check out the history of the 2000s! Take a deep dive into the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, look at the War on Terror, Hurricane Katrina, the rise of the Tea Party, and social media.

Improv: Zoom Comedy Hour

Even in the era of quarantine, we can still make theater together! After learning the basics of comedy, students craft an online variety show in the style of SNL. Friends and family are invited to view the final product. No previous experience required.

Intro to Art 

Express your creative side in this interactive arts course. Students create unique works of art using a variety of media, both 2-D and 3-D. From drawing and painting to screen printing and tie-dye, gain the skills to explore, create, and share your artistic creations. This course is perfect for all levels of experience, and students are given the freedom to work across a wide range of media. 

Intro to Journalism and Social Media

Learn the fundamentals of writing a news story, from generating ideas to interviewing sources, fact checking, crafting your story, finding photos, and publishing your work online as part of Mid-Pen's news site. Students learn how to use social media to extend their stories while also building community. 

Songwriting Workshop 

Students discover effective songwriting techniques by exploring song forms, melody, rhythm, harmony, and lyrics. Perform your original material and receive feedback from both the instructor and your peers. By the end of the course, students have at least one complete, original song of which they can be proud.