Every January since 1968, students have participated in Winter Study as part of their academic requirements for graduation. Students can opt for independent study or choose this year from more than 100 courses across every academic discipline—from the perennial “Making Pottery on the Potter’s Wheel” (a top-10 favorite class in January ’09 taught by Pownal, Vt., ceramic artist Ray Bub) to the brand-new “Art and Science of Baking” (led by math professor Allison Pacelli). Among January 2009’s favorite courses (based on students’ first choices):

  • Meditation-Based Stress Reduction: Adopting a Mindfulness Practice, with Peter Bohnert, ordained lay Zen Buddhist priest
  • Boxing, with Keith McPartland, philosophy professor
  • Musical Performance: Cultural Exchange in Argentina, with the music department’s Steven Bodner, Ronald Feldman, Andy Jaffe and Brad Wells
  • The Taxonomy of the Undead, with Christian Thorne, English professor
  • Changing the World 101, with Steve Case ’80, AOL founder
  • Medical Apprenticeship, coordinated by Jane Cary, health professions advisor
  • Introduction to the Craft and Art of Blacksmithing, with Brian Hall, blacksmith, and Gary Lohnes, a trained mechanic and machinist and Williams sculpture technician
  • Landscape Photography, with Nicholas Whitman, Williamstown photographer
  • Ballroom Dancing: History, Practice and Performance, with Barbara Roan, dancer and local instructor