Tag Archives: Hs-only

American Lit: Octavia’s Brood: Sci-Fi Stories From Social Justice Movements (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Read 25 short stories written by 20 different authors inspired by Octavia Butler, including one written by the South Seattle musician, writer, and hip hop artist Gabriel Teodros. (I’m going to work on having him come as a guest speaker.)

Celebrate diverse voices and stories.

Dive into the blended world of sci-fi and social justice. 

Engage in rich discussion about how to envision and build the world you want to see.

This will be a read-aloud and discussion class. There will also be short writing assignments along the way to practice diving deeper into content and themes.

Octavia’s Brood, exists in part to redress a historical bias toward white male writers. In the 1960s, a poll to find the greatest science fiction novel of all time featured not a single female author… Science fiction “has responded to minority writers as society has responded- slowly.” This is thanks in no small part to the female African-American science fiction pioneer Octavia E. Butler who is commemorated in the title of the anthology. Specifically, the editors name-check the “Octavia Butler scholarship, an Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, and all the work the Carl Brandon Society has been doing since 1997” as examples of science fiction’s slow progress toward equality across barriers of gender, race, and sexuality, of which Octavia’s Brood forms a part.

“[Questions of social justice] have deep roots in history and they are our responsibility to figure out with more focused attention than a sensationalized 24 hour news cycle allows. We chose to collect short stories that could be read quickly but ask important questions that stick with our readers. Where is home? What is justice? What makes life worth living and fighting for?” Speculative fiction interrogates current societal values through its portrayal of alternative paradigms and social structures, and the editors feel that traditional narratives allow for these complex parallels to be developed to their fullest.”

–Excerpts from an interview with the editors, Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown

 

 

Required texts/materials:

Sapiens (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Human history is shaped by three major revolutions: the Cognitive Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution, and the Scientific Revolution. These revolutions have empowered humans to do something no other form of life has done – create and connect ideas that do not physically exist (religion, capitalism, politics, etc). These shared “myths” enabled humans to take over the globe and are now putting humankind on the verge of overcoming the forces of natural selection.

This is the theory of humanity put forth by Yuval Noah Harari in his excellent and illuminating book, Sapiens. In this class, we will explore and analyze the newly released graphic novel version of this book. If you are interested in discussing ideas about where we came from, where we’re at, and where we’re going – this class is for you!

Continuing Sex and Health Education (year long) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Here is the description from the beginning of the year to reground you in what is to come.

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Sexual health and healthy relationships are things all people, especially young people, deserve. In this class I will do my best to be inclusive of a wide variety of genders, sexualities, experiences, and perspectives and focus on the real world and real life experiences.

Relationships and sexuality is a life long journey of learning about ourselves. Here in this class, I want to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can also be enlightening, informative and exciting!

I will be utilizing two different curriculum sources. One will be Be Real. Be Ready. is SFUSD’s (San Francisco Unified School District) comprehensive relationship and sexuality curriculum for high school students. And S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna as well as various educational media pieces and articles as they relate to the topics.

Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights , Part 2 (Larry Metzger)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class is a continuation of the winter term course, Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights, Part 1. Students who did not take Part 1 can still enroll in this class. In Part 2 of the course we will pick up the story of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s with the struggle for school integration in the South. Our exploration of the Civil Rights Movement will culminate with its great victories – the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We will also look at the history of housing segregation in Seattle. From there we will turn to the ongoing fight for racial justice in contemporary America, focusing on the struggles against police violence and efforts to suppress voting in Black communities.

We will organize our exploration around the following big questions:

  1. What were the goals of the Civil Rights Movement?
  2. What strategies did Civil Rights activists use?
  3. Why did certain strategies succeed?
  4. Why did so many whites oppose equal rights for African Americans?
  5. What choices did both supporters and opponents of the Civil Rights Movement make and how did their choices affect events?
  6. How successful was the Civil Rights Movement?

About the instructor: I was a full-time history teacher a several independent schools for many years until my retirement in 2015. Since then I have been volunteering at PSCS, where I have taught a version of this course, as well as classes on the Vietnam War and Nazi Germany. What I enjoy most about teaching PSCS students is their love of learning, enthusiasm, and willingness to engage with tough issues. During my first four years as a volunteer at PSCS, I was living in Seattle. This summer, however, my wife, Elizabeth Alexander; our dog, Dr. Norman; and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the high Southwest desert.

Required texts/materials: Pdfs of photocopied materials that I will provide. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Physical Science – HS (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Waves! Electricity & Magnets! Motion & Force! Matter! Energy!

What do all these weird sciency things have in common? They are non-living systems we will study in this class. 

Here are ways you already do science: throwing a frisbee! Listening to music! Heating up soup in the microwave! In this class, we will hypothesize about and experiment with the ways in which these forces shape life and stuff in the universe. 

Here’s an example of something YOU could learn about in this class: momentum

Power to the People (Anya)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class is going to be a mix of protest history, and learning about what’s going on right now both locally and on a larger scale in terms of demonstrations and protests. We will cover some BLM, LGBTQ+, Women’s rights, and Indigenous celebration/rights focused protests through things like YouTube vids, podcasts, guests, etc… I (Anya) acknowledge that I am a white/able-bodied/cisgendered person who cannot speak to the experiences of people in communities I do not fit into in the US. That’s why it’s really important to me to have POC, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, female identified, etc.. guest speakers who can speak to those perspectives. Our hope is that this will be a chill space where people feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn through mistakes. If you’re open to come and join us, we’d love to have you!

Anthropology – HS (Sam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This class studies the various branches of anthropology that deal with the study of culture. The discipline uses the methods, concepts, and data of archaeology, ethnography, folklore, linguistics, and related fields in its descriptions and analyses of the diverse peoples of the world. Called social anthropology in Britain, its field of research was, until the mid-20th century, largely restricted to the small-scale (or “primitive”), non-Western societies that first began to be identified during the age of discovery. Today the field extends to all forms of human association, from village communities to corporate cultures to urban gangs. Two key perspectives used are those of holism (understanding society as a complex, interactive whole) and cultural relativism (the appreciation of cultural phenomena within their own context). Areas of study traditionally include social structure, law, politics, religion, magic, art, and technology.

Constitutional Law (continued) (Nic)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Open only to participants from the winter term course.