Interim Week – A Change of Pace

This week at school is a special week that I really enjoy. It is Interim Week, a week where all “normal classes” are suspended and not homework, except for AP courses is allowed. Students pick from a wide variety of week-long activities which are suggested. Some are community service experiences, tutoring in ESL classrooms or working cleaning up a forest preserve, some are trips, such as the groups who have headed to England and Oaxaca, Mexico. Others are meant for learning that can be just plain fun, such as cake decorating or vegan cooking.

My project this year, as it has been for the last few years, is to offer a film-making course. In the course of the week, students working in groups of three or four,  to create films. Most of the films are for entertainment. This year, students are doing a day-dreaming project, a updated parody of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and a seems like a boxing/Rocky sequel. Students are required to do some story development and story-boarding before setting off to shoot. They will typically spend two and a half days filming, a day and a half editing, and then the remainder of Friday sharing our films with the others. They are doing both a trailer for the film and the film itself.

I really enjoy this week because it allows all of us, faculty and students, to enjoy a change of pace.  This is especially refreshing, since it occurs after the switch back to Central Time and we are faced with darkness by 5:15 p.m. now. This year, I am especially welcoming this week with everything else which is going on in my life over these past three weeks. Over the past 15 years, I also use this time to step away from the technology and read a few books for pleasure. Imagine that, reading for the sake of reading. This year, I have picked up both Rozelle: Czar of the NFL and What is the What by Dave Eggers.

I am creating a wiki which I will share both vintage movies and this year’s selections which I will share at a later date.

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