Course Catalog 2020-2021 - Digital asset management for ...

Course Catalog 2020-2021 - Digital asset management for ...
Course Catalog

Course Catalog 2020-2021 - Digital asset management for ...

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT......................................................................................... 3

MARIN ACADEMY REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION...................................... 4

COURSE PLANNING AT MARIN ACADEMY ............................................................ 5

BAY AREA BLENDED CONSORTIUM ....................................................................... 7

ENGLISH ....................................................................................................................... 13

HISTORY ....................................................................................................................... 18

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT & MB2 ................................................................................ 23

MATHEMATICS ............................................................................................................ 24

PERFORMING ARTS .................................................................................................... 28

SCIENCE ....................................................................................................................... 33

VISUAL ARTS ................................................................................................................ 38

WORLD LANGUAGES ................................................................................................. 41

ATHLETICS ................................................................................................................... 47

SPECIAL CURRICULAR AND CO-CURRICULARS ..................................................... 48

Course Catalog 2020-2021 - Digital asset management for ...
Marin Academy is a co-educational high school committed to scholarship and personal development. We
see the high school years as a critically important time when students are discovering who they are, what they
value, what they enjoy, and where they are headed. We want our students to develop the skills and knowledge
that will serve them well both now and in the future, and as such, an MA education is designed to prepare
them to lead and thrive in a world where everything is connected and challenges are rarely solved alone or
through a single discipline.

We provide a challenging academic program based on experiential education that focuses on the critical
and creative thinking our students need to chart their course in the world. We encourage students to explore
complex ideas and diverse perspectives, to test their values and judgments, to make their own discoveries,
and to make mistakes. We focus our curriculum on problems, projects, and questions that, by design, spur
students to think deeply about issues. And we empower students by putting them at the center of their
education, requiring them to lean into creative thinking and problem solving as they play an active role in their
quest for meaning and purpose.

We have developed a deeply researched understanding of the competencies that students will need to
lead and thrive in a rapidly evolving world, and every facet of an MA education is designed to help students
develop these five core competencies:

Demonstrated Empathy
Students utilize cross-cultural awareness and emotional intelligence to understand and appreciate difference,
privilege, and their connection to others in a global community with integrity and gratitude.

Imaginative Curiosity
Students use their imagination, content knowledge, inquiry skills, and passion to wonder, explore ideas, solve
problems, and create.

Intellectual Flexibility
Students work both collaboratively and individually to embrace academic and intellectual challenge, using
multiple perspectives and evidence to support, challenge, and refine their arguments. They can persuade—
using evidence based on sound research—and they can be persuaded to change their minds.

Compelling Expression
Students effectively articulate their ideas, feelings, and passions through arts and languages, and are proficient
in multiple modes of written, oral, artistic, and media communication and presentation.

Strategic Boldness
Students use a growth mindset and reflection to collaborate, courageously engage, and take healthy risks to
gain confidence, leadership, and resilience. They are biased toward action, and use their educational and other
gifts toward impacting their communities and the world.

 In keeping with these competencies, we believe students thrive in a supportive, compassionate environment
that promotes friendly, open dialogue based on respect and trust. We encourage students to explore complex
ideas and diverse perspectives, to test their values and judgments, to make their own discoveries, and to
make mistakes, often their greatest teachers. We ask each individual to recognize our shared responsibility to
inspire and foster a purposefully diverse, equitable and just community, where students and adults of varied
backgrounds, beliefs, attributes, and abilities relate to one another as individuals worthy of respect. Further,
we embrace our responsibility to promote, within and beyond the boundaries of Marin Academy, the values
inherent in a democratic society.

A total of 20.5 credits are required for graduation. 19 of these credits are required courses or courses elected
from among designated departmental offerings; the other two may be chosen from any area.

        ENGLISH                       HISTORY                       HUMAN                        MATHEMATICS
    Four years of English        Three years of history          DEVELOPMENT                        Three years of
   are required. English I      are required, including            Two semesters are           mathematics and the
    (required in the ninth      Modern World History I,         required; fall semester       completion of Algebra II
       grade), English II       Modern World History             in freshman year and         are required. Four years
    (required in the tenth       II, and United States             spring semester in           and the completion
    grade) and English III      History. Four years are             sophomore year.              of Precalculus are
   Honors (required in the           recommended.                                                  recommended.
     eleventh grade) are
 mandatory. During senior
                                                              MIND BODY BRAIN
  year, two semester-long
                                                                One semester, spring                WORLD
   courses must be taken
                                      SCIENCE                   semester of freshman              LANGUAGES
 from the various electives                                                                         Three years of the
                               Three years of laboratory          year, is required.
      offered as English                                                                         same world language
           300–650.              science are required.
                                                                                                 regardless of starting
                                 This includes Biology,
                                                                                                 point is required. (For
                                  Chemistry, and one               VISUAL &                     example, students who
                                year of physics (Physics
                                                               PERFORMING ARTS                    begin in Level I must
       PHYSICAL                 with Algebra and Trig,
                                                                 Two years of fine arts         complete at least Level
      EDUCATION                   Advanced Physics
                                                                are required. More are        III, students who begin in
        Students must             with Calc, EECS, or
                                                                     encouraged.              Level II must complete at
   accumulate a minimum          Astrophysics). Physics
                                                                                               least Level IV, etc.) Four
 of 3.5 physical education      may be taken in either
                                                                                                years of languages are
     “points” by the end       the junior or senior year.
     of their senior year.     Four years of science are
    Students may earn PE            recommended.
 points in a variety of ways
  including interscholastic
    team sports, outings,
     independent study,
 Minicourse, PE electives,
   or by a combination of
   such courses, activities,
   and MA athletic teams.
  Note: Mind, Body, Brain
     completion earns 2
    points toward the PE

                               Marin Academy reserves the right to modify the curriculum, as described in this catalog,
                               including the addition and deletion of courses and the modification of course materials.

Students, in consultation with parents, advisors/academic counselors, teachers, class deans, and others at Marin Academy,
are very much in charge of planning their course of study at MA. While there are a number of graduation requirements
and required courses, as you become a junior or senior, you have the opportunity to think carefully and engage
thoughtfully in creating a program of study. We encourage you to challenge yourself by trying new things or going
into greater depth and at the same time to balance your curricular interests with co-curricular involvement. Below is an
explanation of the course planning process and some things to consider while choosing courses.

Course Sign-Ups
In the week before spring break, students meet in class meetings to hear about the course selection process for the
following year and the course catalog is published. Recommendations are made by existing teachers for certain classes,
such as math or world language, and students have individual meetings with their advisors/academic counselors. After
spring break, students and parents come with a preliminary schedule request form and meet together with advisors/
academic counselors. During this scheduling conference, additional guidance is given and, with adult support, students
complete a formal course selection worksheet complete with parental permission/signatures.

After the course selection process and forms are turned in to advisors/academic counselors, class deans, the academic
dean, and the dean of students review course selections and may turn forms back to students with questions or concerns.
In addition to the physical course form, students and advisors/academic counselors will complete an online course
selection form, which will ideally be completed prior to the parent/student conference in April after spring break.

Course Recommendations
Students’ current teachers—in consultation with department chairs—make course recommendations. In order to be
recommended for certain honors courses, a student needs to earn excellent grades (the exact grade needed varies by
department; please see specific course descriptions) and show a commitment to a challenging course of study. Students
may choose to apply to courses they are not recommended for, however, students best poised to do so are those looking
for challenge regardless of grade outcomes. The Academic Office and department chairs can give additional information
on this process.

Graduation Requirements and the University of California
Please see MA’s graduation requirements on the previous page. Note that a student who meets these requirements
also meets the minimum course requirements for the University of California and California State University systems as
long as the grades earned are C-minus or higher in every required course. Please remember that UC eligibility does not
guarantee admission.

Course Load
We encourage students to take the following load of courses each year:

      •   Freshmen: Seven courses all year. These courses are English I, Modern World History I, Biology, a math course, a
          world languages course, an arts course, Human Development (fall) and Mind, Body, Brain (spring).

      •   Sophomores: Six courses in the fall and seven in the spring. These courses are English II, Modern World History
          II, Chemistry, a math course, a world languages course, an arts course, and Human Development (spring).

      •   Juniors: Six courses (seven may be allowed with a course petition form). Juniors usually take American Literature,
          United States History, a science course, a math course, a world languages class, and often an arts course.

      •   Seniors: Six courses (seven may be allowed with a course petition form). In addition to taking a full load
          of courses, applying to college in the fall will take a significant amount of time. Seniors typically take two
          semester-long English electives, one or two semester-long history courses, a science course (must be a physics
          course if the requirement has not been fulfilled in the junior year), a math course, a world languages course,
          and an arts course.

Keep in Mind
There are many people who can offer advice and guidance, but in the long run the student should think of both the
immediate (what classes to take next year) and the long term (overall course of study at MA). What courses work together,
what courses challenge you, and what courses expose you to new ideas or new ways of looking at the world?

Course Selection and College Admissions
The high school transcript is a very important part of the college application process. Colleges and universities will look
to see both how you have challenged yourself in choosing courses and the grades earned. How your transcript will be
viewed will vary widely from school to school.

      •   The University of California will calculate your grade point average using UC approved courses taken in the
          sophomore and junior year. However, the application requires that you report your grades in the ninth grade as
          well as list the courses you plan to complete in the twelfth grade, and all of this information is considered in the
          admissions process. Please read the course catalog carefully in order to see which courses are UC approved as
          general electives (versus within a discipline).
      •   Private colleges and universities will look at your entire four-year program but may choose not to include certain
          courses when calculating your GPA. Some schools will weight your GPA and some will use an unweighted GPA.

Add/Drop Process for First and Second Semesters
Once school has started each semester, students may add, change and/or drop courses through the first full rotation of
classes (six days). During the second rotation of classes, students may no longer add or change courses, but they may
drop a course (without the possibility of adding a course to replace that dropped course). An add/drop form may be
picked up from the Registrar’s Office; it requires a series of conversations and signatures in order to complete it.

The Bay Area BlendEd Consortium was founded in 2013 by Marin Academy and The Athenian School, The College
Preparatory School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, and The Urban School in order to jointly offer a set of blended classes
combining face-to-face and online instruction. Our membership later expanded to include The Branson School and then
the San Francisco University High School. Together, we are committed to making the most of online learning, remarkable
teacher-student connections, and Bay Area resources.

Bay Area BlendEd Consortium courses are taught by experienced teachers from our Consortium schools who draw upon
teaching experience, resources of the Bay Area, and the best practices of highly effective digital and face-to-face learning
experiences. In support of rich student-teacher relationships, classes meet regularly via video conference as well as face-
to-face between three and five times per term. Courses are rigorous and challenging, requiring students to work actively,
creatively, independently, and collaboratively and to take responsibility for their progress and learning.

Before enrolling in a blended course through the Bay Area BlendEd Consortium, you should first assess your readiness for
learning in a blended/online format. Your level of agreement with the following statements will help you determine what
you need to do in order to succeed in a BlendEd course; the more you affirm these statements, the more prepared you
are for this kind of educational experience.

     Time & Task Management                     Tenacity & Resourcefulness               Engagement & Collaboration

✔✔    I am good at setting goals and       ✔✔    I am comfortable asking others for     ✔✔   I am able to find quiet, distraction-
      deadlines for myself, and sticking         help when I am challenged.                  free spaces for studying and doing
      to them!                                                                               homework.
                                           ✔✔    I am comfortable reaching out to
✔✔    I understand that BlendEd                  teachers and classmates via email.     ✔✔   I work well in groups and can
      courses will take up                                                                   provide constructive, concise, and
      approximately 5-7 hours per          ✔✔    I am technically competent and              proactive feedback as needed.
      week.                                      am able to troubleshoot computer
                                                 problems on my own when                ✔✔   I enjoy brainstorming and
✔✔    I do not generally struggle with           needed.                                     recognizing other’s good ideas.
      time management and stay on
      task without needing reminders.      ✔✔    I take risks and accept possible       ✔✔   I understand that 3-5 face-face
                                                 failure as a part of the learning           sessions are required for my
✔✔    I would describe myself as an              process.                                    BlendEd course and that these
      independent or self-directed                                                           in-person sessions often take place
      learner who regularly begins                                                           after school or on weekends.
      assignments before due dates.

                                                                                      The BlendEd courses can be found both
                                                                                      in this section and throughout the course
                                                                                      catalog in their respective departments.
                                                                                      For additional information about
                                                                                      BlendED or any of the BlendEd courses,
                                                                                      please email MA’s BlendEd coordinator,
                                                                                      Liz Gottlieb, at

Summer/Fall                                                   from their own personal lens, the field experiences from this
                                                              course, and their understandings of the cultural, political,
Wilderness Studies: Conservation and Management               ethical, historical, and economic perspectives addressed
of Public Lands in the Western United States – A              in the course. Assessments in this course will require that
Wilderness Critique                                           students research and evaluate wilderness areas and
The West has always spanned a range of wild spaces and        public lands and, applying their learnings from the class,
landscapes. For thousands of years, humans have lived         make recommendations (based on sound research and
in this wilderness. For the last 200 years, humans have       the understanding of multiple perspectives) regarding the
ravaged many of these wildernesses. And yet, in 2020          future of the land. Students will create a podcast related to
large tracts of wilderness still exist within the Western     the theme of wilderness as their final project for this course.
United States.
     This course will examine the value of wilderness and     Important Dates:
public land (commons land) in the year 2020. What is the           • March 16: Applications due.
value of these lands (and waters) to the people who use,           • June 7: Pre-course Introductions + Q&A, Meet
manage, conserve, appreciate, or have traditionally lived              @ Old Mill Park, Mill Valley, CA, Hike Dipsea →
on them? We will use a week-long field experience to the               Stinson Beach, 12 - 5pm
Great Burn Recommended Wilderness of Montana and                   • July 7: Virtual course kick off & connection/pre-
a weekend expedition to Point Reyes National Seashore                  trip work via Canvas/Zoom
to probe both the historical and current relationships             • July 29 – August 6: Montana expedition; Depart
between humans and these wild, largely untamed                         from and return to the San Francisco Airport
landscapes. Guiding questions for this course are:                 • September 5 – 7: Pt. Reyes expedition (meet
                                                                       at MA @ 12pm on 9/5 | return to MA @ 1 pm on
•   What is the role of humans in managing nature,                     9/7)
    wildlife, & wilderness?                                        • October 4: San Francisco, Location TBD (Urban,
•   Who is wilderness for? What groups have been                       Cal Academy?) + expedition, Final F2F (share
    historically underrepresented in conversations related             podcasts, celebrate, debrief) (12 - 3pm)
    to wilderness? What effects may these exclusions have          • Zooms: 7/7, 7/12, 8/16, 8/23, 9/13, 9/20 (~7:30
    on society and the environment? How do we begin to                 to 8:30pm)
    change this story?
•   How do we balance the preservation of public land         For additional information, including FAQs and
    with the need for local people to make a livelihood off   application, please visit:
    the land?                                                 wilderness-studies/
•   What, if any, models can we use to balance the            This course is UC approved as “G: General Elective”
    preservation of wildland ecosystems and the current
    and future use of public land by humans for tourism,
    recreation, and utilitarian purposes? Can there be any    Yearlong
    land that humans are not managing or influencing?
•   How important is collaboration between governments,       Multivariable Calculus
    non-profits, businesses, user groups, and cities in the   Multivariable Calculus will begin by exploring vector
    process of public land conservation?                      geometry and functions in more than one variable. Then,
                                                              after expanding the concepts of limits and continuity
To answer these questions, students will participate in       to include multivariate functions, students will develop
backpacking and camping trips to immerse themselves in        a rich understanding of concepts and methods relating
the lands we’re studying while engaging with local experts    to the main topics of Partial Differentiation and Multiple
who approach these landscapes from different ethical and      Integration. After generalizing a number of tools from
practical approaches. Readings will provide additional        single-variable to multivariate calculus, we will explore
knowledge in both the history of these spaces as well         topics of optimization and geometric applications in areas
as current information and debates surrounding the use        including physics, economics, probability, and technology.
and management of the Great Burn and the Point Reyes          We will expand our fluency with topics to address vector
National Seashore.                                            fields and parametric functions, and we will understand
     This trimester intensive course will include Zoom        applications of Green’s and Stokes’ Theorems. We will
group discussions as well as four face-to-face trips          employ multidimensional graphing programs to aid
including the two intensive field experiences. Field          in developing a more thorough understanding of the
experiences will involve rigorous academic work and           myriad ways for describing and analyzing properties of
will be physically demanding. Students will maintain          multivariate functions. At the conclusion of the course,
a cultural and natural history journal throughout the         students will have the opportunity to further explore
course and engage in weekly readings, discussions, and        applications of and/or concepts relating to topics covered
reflections. Students will be asked to weigh in on current    by the course.
events, science, and legislation throughout the course            Emphasis will be placed on students expressing
by considering the significance of wilderness and nature      fluency with numerical, algebraic, visual, and             8
verbal interpretations of concepts. Students can expect            to promote health and wellness practices in our own
to collaborate weekly on homework, problem-sets, and               lives. Students will keep a journal and regularly reflect on
projects in small groups and in tutorial with their instructor     observations of their environment and how it affects them.
online via Zoom; face-to-face sessions may include visits               This class will hold virtual meetings on a weekly or
with experts analyzing functions in multiple variables as          every other week basis to discuss, debate, and present
well as group problem-solving activities and assessments.          new ideas. Students’ preparation for and participation
This course is UC approved “C: Mathematics (honors).”              in virtual meetings is essential to creating a sense of
                                                                   community and enriching the learning experience of
                                                                   all. Students will be responsible for leading discussions
Fall Semester                                                      around articles assigned, or debating controversial
                                                                   theories or findings either solo or in groups.
American Politics                                                       There will be 4 to 5 face-to-face (F2F) meetings over
American Politics will examine the development of the              the course of the semester. Dates and locations are subject
American Republic and its institutions, and will investigate       to guest and host availability and will be announced as
the various groups, constituencies, beliefs, and ideas that        available. The first F2F will occur sometime in the opening
characterize current U.S. politics. Constitutional questions,      2 weeks and the final F2F will likely fall on the last Saturday
political values, political beliefs, political parties, interest   of the term. This course is UC approved “G: College Prep
groups, the influence of mass media, and the effects of            Elective.”
government and public policy both upon the states and
individuals will be studied throughout the course. Because         Medical Problem Solving
2020 is an election year, a great deal of emphasis will            Prerequisites: Successful completion of two years of high
be placed upon studying party politics, the presidential           school science.
campaigns, and the fall’s most significant or trenchant            This course uses medical case studies as vehicles for
congressional elections.                                           students to learn collaboratively about the anatomy and
     We will hold a virtual class meeting via Zoom video           physiology of the human body. Each student has the
conferencing every week. Students will be expected to              responsibility of researching aspects of the case study
come prepared having done all assignments and ready to             in question in order to create informative presentations
share and ask relevant questions. We will also use Zoom            that educate the entire class. Then, as a group, the class
for regular small group collaborations. Students will have         evaluates the information, much as detectives evaluate
the chance to present their own research, and to lead              clues, in order to arrive at potential diagnoses which they
discussions concerning the ongoing election.                       must then defend. Throughout the term, we will hold
     There will be four face-to-face (F2F) meetings over           weekly virtual class meetings to discuss the case studies,
the course of the term. Participation in F2F meetings              review progress on research topics and discuss diagnoses
is a course requirement, and students must attend all              and treatment plans. Students will occasionally connect
four meetings. Dates and locations are pending, but                with the teacher and other classmates through online
will include attending a local government session, a               discussions and virtual meetings to share presentations,
conversation with journalists, and a “watch party” on              receive and provide feedback and ask questions. Our 3
Election night. The first F2F will occur during the opening        face-to-face meetings will be reserved for presentations
two weeks of the course, and the final face to face will           from local medical professionals and hands-on activities
likely happen on the last Saturday of the term at The              relating to the case study material. This course is UC
Branson School, and will give students a chance to present         approved “G: College Prep Elective.”
their final work to one another. This course is pending UC
approval for “A: History/Social Science.”                          Laid to Rest: Burial Grounds of the Bay
                                                                   All cultures have specific rituals for laying their dead to
Introduction to Psychology                                         rest. Cemeteries, shellmounds, and mausoleums are
This class will survey the evolution of psychology from            intended to be places for eternal peace, but the history of
psychodynamic theory to contemporary socio-cultural                cemeteries is lively and often controversial. In this course,
psychology. We will examine how the study of human                 students will learn about the history of burial practices and
development has progressed through time as well as                 explore Bay Area cemeteries. By examining headstones,
reflect on how human development might be culturally               architecture, land use, and symbols, we can glean history,
defined: from Freud’s psychoanalysis theory to today’s             culture, and social priorities throughout time. From the
rising interest in multicultural psychology. Course topics         rich and storied past of the Mountain View Cemetery in
include the history of psychology, biological bases of             Oakland to the development of housing, parking lots,
behavior, learning and memory, life-span development,              and shopping malls on sacred Ohlone burial grounds, the
psychological disorders and treatments, and social/                Bay Area provides insight into cemeteries that represent a
multicultural psychology.                                          variety of cultures, religions, histories, and controversies.
     Together, we will conduct basic experiments to                Students will visit multiple local sites and design a research
illustrate our theories, engage in simple fieldwork, and           project of their own to contribute to a class website.
connect with professionals who will share their experiences        Topics may be historical, cultural, scientific or
with us. We will also apply psychological understanding            other in discussion with the instructor. Research              9
time and check-ins will be built into the structure of           stations can mean an 11-year difference in life expectancy.
the course. Students will also be expected to do an              Folks getting off the train and living in neighborhoods near
independent field research trip in relation to their project.    BART’s Walnut Creek station live on average 84 years, while
                                                                 folks that exit at and live near the Oakland City Center
Meeting requirements:                                            station live on average only 73 years. In other words, living
  • We will have three face to face meetings throughout          just 16 miles apart can mean the difference between living
     the semester.                                               more than a decade longer. Why does such a health disparity
  • Two mandatory all-class field trips will take place on       exist? This course will dissect the factors that influence this
     September 12th and December 5th.                            social gradient of health.
  • Students must attend at least one additional field trip          There will be three whole-class face-to-face sessions
     with the instructor from a set of optional dates to be      and at least one off-campus face-to-face meeting with a
     determined at the start of the semester.                    teammate. During our first face-to-face trip on Saturday,
  • Weekly virtual classes will alternate between full class     September 9th we will be doing a neighborhood health
     discussions and time for individual research check-ins.     assessment in the Bayview-Hunters Point Neighborhood of
                                                                 San Francisco. On Saturday, October 17th we will volunteer
This course is pending UC approval for “G: General               in the native plant nursery at the Literacy for Environmental
Elective.”                                                       Justice in the Candlestick Point State Park Recreational Area
                                                                 from 9:45am–1:30pm. Our final whole-class face-to-face
                                                                 trip will be to the Social Emergency Medicine Department
Oaktown: A Multifaceted Deep Dive in an Era of                   at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The exact day of this trip
Gentrification                                                   has yet to be determined, but it will likely be from 3:45pm
In this experiential BlendEd course, students will study the     - 6:30pm on a weekday between the dates of Tuesday,
legacy of political organizing, sports, and cultural/musical     December 2nd through Wednesday, December 9th.
expressions of Oakland, CA. Given the vast and rich history      Additionally, students will be expected to collaborate with a
that the city of Oakland has, this will be an enlightening       team on the Just Video Project outside of school hours at a
experience for students who will meet and work with a            time and location that is convenient for the team between
range of significant contributors to Oakland’s legacy while      Tuesday, October 27th through Monday, November 16th.
studying different aspects. Having lived and worked in           Students will also be expected to attend one virtual meeting
“The Town” for 20 years, the instructor will be utilizing        roughly every other week on either Tuesday or Wednesday
personal connections and resources to create a dynamic           for one hour. This course is UC approved “G: College Prep
course. Additionally, we will examine the current dynamics       Elective.”
of gentrification which has impacted Oakland. Students will
learn about the politics, economics, sociology and urban         Spring Semester
planning that have played a role in changing the culture of
“The Town.” We will also do a community service project          Bay Area Cinema & Filmaking
engaging the homeless population in a respectful and             Beats, Rhymes & Life: An Exploration of Hip-Hop, its
productive manner.                                               Film, animation and alternative film and video has been
                                                                 a stalwart of Bay Area culture from Muybridge to Silent
F2F Meetings:                                                    Film and from Pixar to the Prelinger Archive. In this course
   • Interactive visits to the Oakland Museum of California      we will explore the history of the moving image and it’s
     & the African American Museum and Library at                cultural impact in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as
     Oakland                                                     create our own imaginative responses to the ideas and
   • A day of service with the homeless population of            concepts in the course. Students will get a chance to study
     Oakland; working with The Village Collective                films, technologies, philosophies and ideas related to the
   • An interactive exploration of Jack London Square &          manipulation of time as well as create their own art, videos
     Lake Merritt                                                and visual journal entries. Topics will include a wide variety
   • Visiting a historically significant music recording         of cinematic genres and motion picture technologies.
     studio (Hieroglyphics Emporium)                             Students will learn interdisciplinary skills related to their
                                                                 own independent filmmaking in tandem with film and
This course is pending UC approval for “G: General               cultural studies. Students will be expected to make
Elective.”                                                       connections with larger social, political and cultural forces
                                                                 and be interested in independently creating artworks,
Public Health & Vulnerable Populations                           visual journal entries and film and animation.
The San Francisco Bay Area is rapidly becoming one of the            Online meetings with the whole class will take
                                                                 place every other week to discuss projects and share
most inequitable places to live in the nation. Taking a casual
                                                                 presentations. Students will sometimes be paired together
BART ride can reveal the environmental disparities that exist
                                                                 or in small groups during our online meeting time or
between places like the affluent suburb of Pleasanton and
                                                                 may occasionally arrange their own meeting times for
an industrialized community like West Oakland. The lack          collaborative activities and projects.
of income and environmental equality is obvious, but the
disparities run much deeper. A short ride between BART                                                                        10
During our 4-5 face-to-face sessions we may be             #Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking
meeting filmmakers, exploring museums, cinemas,                Living in the Bay Area, we are in close proximity to the
archives, film festivals and places of cinematic industry in   most important and innovative companies in the world.
the prolific bay area arts culture. Tea and discussion will    This course will leverage the unique accessibility we have
follow. Students will need access to a digital still camera    to cutting edge fields and empower students to create
and be able to upload images to the web. Students will         a unique product, service or program that is original,
need to have some knowledge of video editing and have          viable and socially beneficial. In addition to employing the
access to basic video editing software, a digital video        design thinking process, students will be equipped with
camera/tripod combination and will need access to basic        marketing skills and techniques that allow them to engage
art supplies. (Some supplies will be provided.) This course    a fast emerging industry and strategize on ways to create
is UC approved “G: College Prep Elective.”                     their own business entities. Students will learn different
                                                               methods of utilizing social media outlets such as YouTube,
                                                               Facebook, and Twitter in order to promote the products,
Case Studies in Medicine
                                                               programs or services that they create. We will begin with
This semester-long course uses medical case studies
as vehicles for studying the anatomy and physiology of         our first meeting in a BlendEd school classroom and then
the human body. For each unit of study, students will be       the subsequent meetings will involve field trips to some
responsible for researching an aspect of the body system       of the major local social media companies in order to give
in question and for putting together a video presentation      students a hands-on experience of seeing entrepreneurship
to educate the other members of the class. These               in action. There are no prerequisites for the course. There
presentations, along with some additional research, will       will be 4 face-to-face (F2F) meetings over the course of the
be used by students to make a diagnosis and treatment          semester with exact dates and details to be announced
plan relative to the case study in question. Through this      as available. We usually participate in The Diamond
process, students will apply the general knowledge they        Challenge (the world’s top entrepreneurship competition
have gained to a specific medical problem. Students will       for high school students), as well as take an April field trip to
be expected to conduct independent research to produce         Facebook and visit Google HQ in May for our culminating
their presentations in addition to working collaboratively     F2F.This course is UC approved “G: College Prep Elective.”
on case study diagnosis. Weekly zoom sessions will be for
short presentations, Q&A and case study discussions. At
the end of the course, students will have a basic working      Financial Literacy
knowledge of the major systems of the human body and           What financial skills do you need for life? How can
how they work together to keep us healthy.                     you make financial decisions while understanding the
    Online Meetings: The entire class will meet via Zoom       impact on yourself and others? What financial decisions
once per week in the evening. Generally, this is scheduled     are made for us by the institutions and structures that,
on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at around 7:30               for better or for worse, exist today? What is our role in
or 8:00 p.m. These meetings will run for 1 hour during
                                                               creating a more equitable financial world in the future?
which the instructor will answer student questions,
                                                               This interdisciplinary mathematics, economics, and
students will make short presentations and the case
                                                               social science course will be organized around case
study will be discussed. As these meetings are critical for
keeping the class connected and updated, any interested        studies chosen from all walks of life, circumstances,
student should be able to commit to this requirement.          and backgrounds. We will consider the mathematics of
On occasion, a virtual meeting may be scheduled to             budgeting, personal banking, credit & borrowing, renting
accommodate a guest speaker in the medical field. Zoom         or owning a home, taxes and insurance while discussing
sessions may also be scheduled directly with the instructor    the tough decisions people make along the way. We will
by an individual student or small student group for            keep an eye on the ways in which these discussions are
purposes of tutorial assistance or general Q&A.                shaped by the particular economic distortions we see in
    F2F Meetings: There will be 5 face-to-face (F2F)           the Bay Area. Students will do weekly readings, engage in
meetings scheduled during the course. The dates of             regular course discussions, attend field trips to gain real-
these meetings depend on the availability of medical           life experience, and complete collaborative projects and/
professionals in the Bay Area and so will be firmed up         or presentations for each unit.
as the start of the course nears. All F2F events will take          We will virtually meet as a class one evening per week
place on Saturday mornings between the hours of 9 - 12,        via Zoom video conferencing for student discussions,
not including travel time to and from the destination.         presentations and meetings with guest experts.
Of the 5 scheduled events, students will be required to        Proposed field trip/in-person meetings:
attend a minimum of 3, though students will definitely             • Welcome meeting + team building and group
benefit from attending them all. This allows for illness and          formation
other scheduling conflicts that may arise. Students are            • Visit to local financial institution(s), both traditional
responsible for their own transportation. As these events             and Internet-based
are central to the course, any interested student should           • Guided Q&A with a financial advisor
be able to keep Saturday mornings relatively open from
January to May. This course is pending UC approval for
                                                               Students must attend the welcome meeting and 2
“G: General Elective.”
                                                               out of the 3 other in-person meetings.                          11
Introduction to Organic Chemistry                                  community and enriching the learning experience of
Prerequisites: Successful completion of a high school              all. Students will be responsible for leading discussions
chemistry course.                                                  around articles assigned, or debating controversial
This introductory survey course will cover organic                 theories or findings either solo or in groups.
chemistry and relevant biochemistry. The cast of organic                There will be 4 to 5 face-to-face (F2F) meetings over
compounds is a virtual who’s who of chemicals, including           the course of the semester. Dates and locations are subject
foods, medicines, drugs, and cellular components. Their            to guest and host availability and will be announced as
compositions and structures determine how they perform             available. The first F2F will occur sometime in the opening
their functions. The course will cover the chemistry of            2 weeks and the final F2F will likely fall on the last Saturday
carbon, functional groups, hydrocarbons, determining               of the term. This course is UC approved “G: College Prep
molecular structure via a variety of lab techniques, reaction      Elective.”
mechanisms, and biochemicals. Organic chemistry is
considered to be one of the most challenging and difficult
college science courses, and certainly one aim of this
BlendEd class is to at least partially allay student fears prior
to encountering organic chem in college!
    Students will work both individually and collaboratively
on homework, problem sets, assessments, and projects.
Molecular modeling will be emphasized. We will get
together at College Prep for four 2-3 hour sessions evenly
distributed throughout the semester. Three of these
meetings will take place on Saturday mornings and the
last meeting will be a culminating event during the last
week of the course, with exact dates to be determined
in consultation with the students. During these sessions,
we will work collaboratively answering your questions,
solving problems, doing experimentation, planning
projects, and educating one another via presentations at
the culminating event. Students must attend a minimum
of 3 of the 4 in-person events to pass this class. Weekly
online virtual classes (typically 30-60 minutes long) offer
opportunities to develop course community, answer
questions about the material, introduce new concepts,
and to reinforce present material through group problem-
solving. This course is UC approved “G: College Prep

Introduction to Psychology
This class will survey the evolution of psychology from
psychodynamic theory to contemporary socio-cultural
psychology. We will examine how the study of human
development has progressed through time as well as
reflect on how human development might be culturally
defined: from Freud’s psychoanalysis theory to today’s
rising interest in multicultural psychology. Course topics
include the history of psychology, biological bases of
behavior, learning and memory, life-span development,
psychological disorders and treatments, and social/
multicultural psychology.
     Together, we will conduct basic experiments to
illustrate our theories, engage in simple fieldwork, and
connect with professionals who will share their experiences
with us. We will also apply psychological understanding
to promote health and wellness practices in our own
lives. Students will keep a journal and regularly reflect on
observations of their environment and how it affects them.
     This class will hold virtual meetings on a weekly or
every other week basis to discuss, debate, and present
new ideas. Students’ preparation for and participation
in virtual meetings is essential to creating a sense of                                                                         12
ENGLISH                                                           Junior and Senior Electives

                                                                  Students are required to take two senior electives, which
The first two years of English at Marin Academy operate in        are designed to enable students to explore areas of
tandem as intensive writing and reading courses, centered         specialty in the field of English. While individual course
on effective critical thinking and writing—primarily              requirements may vary, all courses will demand consistent
analytical writing. Fundamentals of the paragraph and             practice of advanced writing and will sustain a rigorous
essay, vocabulary, and punctuation are covered as students        reading load. Specifically, all electives—regardless of
study the conventional and evolving uses of language.             content—will require students to produce analytical,
                                                                  personal, and/or creative writing and engage in scholarly
English I (ENG 100)                                               reading. Student-led discussions, research using
The first-year course provides a foundation of skills,            secondary sources, and student-designed projects are also
while fostering the spirit of inquiry and the practice of         components of our elective courses. In addition, with a
independent literary analysis that are the core of Marin          focus on interdisciplinary studies, some electives are
Academy’s English curriculum. Thematically, the course            marked “Humanities.” These courses may be taken for
addresses essential questions about identity and conflict:        either English or history credit, and you must note on
among them, what factors inform our identity, what it             your scheduling form which credit you need. Please
means to be an “insider” or an “outsider,” and what it            note: All English electives are semester-long courses that
means to belong or to experience alienation. In addition,         may be offered either or both semester(s)—and will only be
writing skills will focus on the process of analytical analyses   offered if there is sufficient enrollment.
and personal reflections.
                                                                  African American Literature – Honors (ENG 446)
English II (ENG 200)                                              As African Americans’ place in American society has
Why is it challenging to empathize with people who                changed over time, so too have the key themes of African
have different perspectives from ours? Building on the            American literature. In this course, we will look at African
analytical, language, and writing skills developed in the         American literature both as a constantly evolving literary
first year, English II moves from classic literature to more      tradition and as a lens through which we can better see
contemporary works from around the globe. Over the                American culture as a whole. The essential questions of
course of the year, students will examine identity and            this course include: What about African American literature
choices in the context of social constructs, oppressive           is distinctly “African” American? How have black artists
systems, and globalization. Through our texts, students           been influenced by, and also helped to shape, the larger
will examine the importance of their relationships to             American literary tradition? What should be the role of
each other, their communities, and their broader world.           the African American artist in the struggle for social and
Students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding         political equality? In what ways have black male and
of these concepts through a variety of writing modes:             female writers expressed the challenges faced by African
the analytical essay, the personal essay, and journal             Americans? We will tackle these questions through a
writing. Ultimately, this course will prepare students for a      study of authors that will include Langston Hughes,
collaborative interdisciplinary project, in which they are        Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston,
asked to adopt a position or perspective on a complex             and Edwidge Danticat. In addition to the three novels
global issue.                                                     we will study, we will also read some important essays,
                                                                  poems, and short stories, and watch Ethnic Notions, a
English III: “American Dreams & Realities” – Honors               documentary film by Marlon Riggs. Strengthening student
(ENG 301)                                                         analytical writing skills is a key goal of this course, so
Building on the foundation of skills and content provided         students will short writing assignments as well as full length
in the freshman and sophomore years, this course studies          essays, and they will be asked to lead a class discussion.
American Literature from the mid-19th century through the
20th century and into the 21st century. Students will use the     Dream Songs: The Art of Poetry – Honors (ENG 510)
core texts to address questions about the American Identity       “Poetry is a vocal, bodily, art...[it is] physical, intimate, and
through various lenses: gender, race, religion, class, and the    individual,” writes Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Focusing
American Dream; and will explore the American experience          on the musical possibilities of language, we will experience
by way of various themes: rebellion, independence,                how sound, rhythm, and line activate the deepest parts of
and freedom. Writing will include a series of analytical          our imaginations. This course is equal parts analysis and
paragraphs and essays, personal essays and reflections, as        creative writing, but its overarching goal is to enhance the
well as some creative writing.                                    pleasure you find in reading or hearing poems. Using the
                                                                  works of masters both ancient and contemporary, you will
                                                                  discover what sound and word combinations you love,
                                                                  build your technique and eventually fashion your own
                                                                  style. You will write multiple analytical essays as a part of
                                                                  this process, reading closely and applying
                                                                  new terminology and literary lenses. The course                   13
employs a writing workshop approach to composition and            Perhaps it’s not as simple as it appears. This course is an
you will keep an active portfolio, which will be assessed         introduction to Western ethical philosophy, the study of
periodically. You will also keep an anthology of the poems,       moral choices. While analyzing the writings of Western
lines, and song lyrics that speak to your felt experience.        ethical writers and thinkers, such as Plato, Kant, and
Finally, you will commit to memory at least two complete          Hume, you will be asked to develop your own answers to
poems, which you will “perform” for the class.                    essential human questions: How should we live? To whom
                                                                  are we beholden? Who deserves what? You will apply
Frames, Metaphors, and Media: Creating Narratives to              philosophical ideas you encounter to personal dilemmas
Change the World – Honors (ENG 401 or VA 401)                     regarding happiness, loyalty, or self-preservation, as
This is an interdisciplinary course that blends visual arts and   well as political and judicial decisions, such as what
English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive an       behaviors should be illegal. This course may challenge
English credit (B: English in the UC system) or a Visual Arts     long-held beliefs and will encourage you to clarify your
credit (F: Visual and Performing Arts in the UC system).          values. Writing assignments will include textual analysis,
“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”                  personal response journals, argumentation, and creative
				                                  – poet Muriel Rukeyser      hypotheticals.
Every aspect of our understanding of the pressing issues
of the day—and all discussion of causes, solutions, and           The Golden Gate – Honors (Humanities offering: ENG
complexities; personal, political, social, and scientific—are     613 or HIST 613)
communicated through stories. Our ability to define and           This is an interdisciplinary course that blends history and
debate these issues and work towards solutions requires           English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive an
the ability to craft compelling narratives about them, which      English or history credit.
means mastering the myriad competencies of storytelling           Do you know that a small bookstore located at 261
in a digital age. Stories, whether fictional or documentary,      Columbus Street in San Francisco was the site of a poetic
comprise the sum and total way in which humans attempt            and political revolution? Did you know that free speech
to understand, define, and shape their world. As cognitive        was denied and then demanded in a civil rights movement
linguist and philosopher George Lakoff posits: “...the mind       on the steps of Sproul Plaza on Cal’s Berkeley campus?
works by frames and metaphors, the challenge is to use such       Do you know the ways in which the writers, activists,
a mind to accurately characterize how the world works.”           environmentalists, and inhabitants of the Bay Area have
    While studies show we average seven to eight hours a          served as catalysts for change across America? How
day consuming visual media, this course provides tools and        well do you know the place you call home? What does
training to harness and activate this potentially revolutionary   it mean to be a Northern Californian? This 16 English
technology. Smartphones and laptops offer us immensely            elective will explore the answers to these questions
powerful and ubiquitous visual storytelling tools - how           through literature of the greater Bay Area. We will begin
can we use them to effectively communicate the crucial            by defining our Bay Area—what do we call home and how
information necessary to spur understanding, empathy,             do we experience it? We will consider ways in which the
organization, and action?                                         authors and literature of the area created and defined a
    Beginning with an immersion into stories in the form of       counter-culture that continues to thrive now. Have you
narrative and documentary film, podcasts, graphic novels,         walked down Haight Street lately? Telegraph Ave? Have
and more, the class will build a foundation in narrative          you circumambulated Mt. Tam? And what are you thinking
theory and storytelling techniques. Next, partnering              about those socio-economic clashes that have been all
with organizations like the California Film Institute and         over the news? Have you considered whether all progress
the Community Media Center of Marin, we will develop              is good? Speakers from other departments and disciplines
proficiency with the technical tools necessary for creating       may join us from time to time as we consider these
and producing our own stories. In the final phase of the          questions and their answers. Our texts will include novels,
course, students will develop a polished story in a medium        short stories, poems, and essays. We will write regularly
of their choice to advocate for progress on issues relevant to    with both shorter, one page assessments and longer
their (and our) immediate world.                                  process essays (and we’ll include personal writing too).
                                                                  People travel from all over the world to experience the Bay
Freedom, Choice, and Obligation – Honors (Humanities              Area—you only need to come to this class.
offering: ENG 443 or HIST 443)
This is an interdisciplinary course that blends history and       History, Culture, and Identity – Honors (Humanities
English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive an       offering: ENG 380 or HIST 380)
English or history credit.                                        This is an interdisciplinary course that blends history and
Imagine you are a BART conductor and the computer                 English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive an
malfunctions, leaving the train careening down the track.         English or history credit.
Ahead of you are two maintenance workers oblivious to             How do you know what you know? How do you know who
impending danger. There is a button that redirects you            you are? What is culture—and how does it inform your
down a sidetrack where there is only one worker who               answer to the first two questions? This course will explore
will be harmed. You have only two choices and both                how different sources of information—from ancient
will spell the doom of railroad workers. Easy choice?             myths and stories to legal codes and social mores           14
to the dazzling variety of images and ideas presented            in the local San Rafael neighborhoods. We will spend class
by modern media— shape identity on the individual                time reading contemporary articles, learning the art of the
and cultural level. Students will explore the way in which       interview, and practicing journalistic writing that shines a
psychological ideas by thinkers like Sigmund Freud               light on the story and the subject. Your work will be public
influenced the development of society at the dawn of             and published on a class blog; you will learn how to edit
the 20th century and found their way into popular culture        both audio and video clips; and you will learn how to
and thought. Discussions and projects will explore the           create cohesive stories across multiple platforms.
increasingly central role mass media— especially film,
television, advertising and consumer culture, and the
complex universe of online social media—play in shaping          Next: The Limits of Scientific Imagination – Honors
cultural identity in the 21st century. Because the course        (ENG 496 or SCI 496)
is modeled after a humanities seminar, we will focus             This is an interdisciplinary course that blends science and
intensively on the development of the skills and “habits of      English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive an
mind” you will need to develop as you prepare for college        English credit (B: English in the UC system) or a science credit
and life outside the walls of MA. Note: Students completing      (G: General Elective - Science in the UC system).
this course are welcome to take its companion course, also       In 1816, Mary Shelley, then 19, was challenged by her
in the spring semester, but that is NOT required.                friends to write a horror story. She imagined a tale about
                                                                 the dangers of emerging science and the power humans
Magical Realism: Postcolonial Theory and Your World              could have through innovation. Frankenstein; or the Modern
(Humanities offering: ENG 491or HIST 491)                        Prometheus is an enduring example of how technology with
This is an interdisciplinary course that blends history and      all its promise can lead to unforeseen disaster. In this course,
English. Enrolled students can choose whether to receive         students will choose a current technological or scientific
an English or history credit.                                    dilemma (gene editing? driverless cars?) and a case study
Magical realism, or literature that presents the fantastic as    of past innovations and advances. In addition to learning
normal and reality as otherworldly, holds a central role in      the science behind these innovations, students will be given
contemporary Latin American and South Asian literature.          philosophical tools to examine what happens if humans
Numerous authors have used magical realism as an                 “play God” and go forward with the current new technology
effective tool of political subversion to challenge corrupt      or innovation. From a personal analysis of the dilemma,
and dictatorial governments. We will use literature by two       students will move into teams to produce a creative
of the greatest authors of magical realism, Isabel Allende       response, engaging in authentic scientific ethics. Readings
and Salman Rushdie, to explore and challenge the recent          will include a special edition of Frankenstein, excerpts of
histories of Chile, India, and Iran. In this interdisciplinary   ethical philosophers, scientific case studies such as excerpts
course, we will use both literature and history to develop       from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, or American
a foundation for understanding postcolonial theory. Any          Prometheus—The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert
student that plans to study the humanities in college will       Oppenheimer, and commentary. Writing will be reflective,
come into contact with postcolonial theory, a powerful           analytical, creative, and practical.
method used to examine the cultural legacy of colonization
in our world. This course is an excellent introduction to
important theorists and the ideas they contributed to the        Sci Fi and the Politics of Imagination – Honors (ENG 495)
development of postcolonial theory, forever changing the         What cyber enhancement might better society? When
way we study and talk about literature, philosophy, history,     will artificial intelligence become smart enough to exist
religion, music, and art. After a deep dive into Allende         solely without human intervention? How might the
and Rushdie’s work in class, students will apply their           advancements of today turn dystopic for our future? For
understanding to a local topic of their choice. Through          decades, science fiction authors have explored both
site visits and personal research, students will explore the     humanity’s wildest dreams and greatest fears surrounding
impact of postcolonial theory on the Bay Area today. This        technology and where it might lead. This class focuses
course is designed for any student that would like to re-        on the analysis of classic and modern science fiction
envision the world they live in and more deeply understand       texts to examine how the often overlooked genre helps
how power impacts the way they live.                             readers re-imagine their present lives, their relationship
                                                                 to the past, and the possibilities available in the future.
                                                                 We’ll examine movements and themes within the genre
Narrative Nonfiction — Honors (ENG 476)                          through its canonical and newest authors as well as
Everyone has a story. And everyone has witnessed or              through movies and television, all while exploring the
lived something worth sharing. Our job as writers and            genre’s consistency in delving into issues of human
humans is to find those stories, listen to them, document        rights and inequities. As we study topics such as virtual/
them, and share them with others. That will be our central       augmented reality, artificial intelligence, time travel,
focus: telling the stories of others. From a single source       and city surveillance, we’ll explore how sci fi represents
profile piece to a multi-source video production, you will       societal hopes and fears while developing
interview, listen to, write, engage with, and tell the stories   an understanding of the relationship between
of those not only in the MA community but also of those          science and science fiction. Be prepared to                 15
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