Students Delve into Unique Courses during J-term

January 18 marked the opening of Blair’s J-term, a two-week period of online learning during which teachers and students came together virtually from their homes around the world to explore a wide variety of topics and issues in 37 custom-designed mini courses. 

Blair’s faculty members created the courses over several weeks last fall, with teachers—often in collaboration with a colleague—choosing subject matter that sparks their own intellectual curiosity. The result is a J-term course catalogue that includes intriguing titles like “The Carlisle Indian School: The Past and Future of Boarding Schools,” “Voice of the Image” and “Down the Rabbit Hole: Big Questions from Big Movies.” Students perused the catalogue before Thanksgiving break and listed up to 20 preferences for their course assignment.

With about a dozen students from every grade enrolled in each mini-course, new connections among members of the Blair community were certainly be forged over the two weeks. That was just one of the goals for J-term, according to Dean of Academics Nathan Molteni. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to dive into unique subject areas not normally covered by Blair’s core curriculum and to work with their peers on topics of shared interest,” he said. “After two weeks, we hope realized that there is much more to learn on their particular topic, and, hopefully, this inspired a curiosity for even deeper understanding.”

Students completed an individual or group project in every mini-course and presented these projects to their classmates. In doing so, they practiced their public speaking skills and developed greater capacity for communicating on important issues. Finally, Mr. Molteni shared one additional goal for J-term: “We hope students experienced the pure enjoyment of learning!” 

J-term 2021 Courses:
The Carlisle Indian School: The Past and Future of Boarding Schools
Social Justice Sampler
Grit: What Is it?
Creating a Vision Board to Reach Your Goals in 2021
Juneteenth in Mexico: Border Stories—Past, Present and Future
Diplomacy and Human Nature
Law Creation and Enforcement
Exploring the Black Experience through the Arts
How to Build a Business Plan
Anti-Semitism in America
Development: Mirror and Mentors
Food, Culture and Community
Where Have You Come From, Where are You Now? Profiles of Blair Alumni in the World
Indigenous People and the Health of the Oceans
Music in the Modern World
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Down the Rabbit Hole: Big Questions from Big Movies
Self Defense, Women in Leadership and Empowering Women
Theatre for Social Change
Rights for Women—What Took so Long?
Modeling Global Changes Through Coding
Voice of the Image
Society and the Environment
“History Has Its Eyes on You”
Exploring Personal Identity Through Creative Writing
Gender, Race and Power: Sophocles’ Antigone from Thebes to Ferguson
Yoga and Mindfulness: Change Your Mindset, Change Your World
Historical Personalities Who Altered the Course of Mathematics
Majority Rules? A Choose-Your-Own Civic Adventure
Design for the Other 90%
Genocide & Justice
Poverty in America
Race & the Law: Constitutionality of Affirmative Action
You Are Where You Eat
Learn and Lead: Black History Month Seminar Preparation

News Headlines

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Blair Academy is proud to recognize two of the School’s most iconic former coaches and two undefeated, untied teams in the Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2021. This year’s inductees include former field hockey, girls’ basketball and softball coach Jan Hutchinson and former wrestling coach Tom Hutchinson, as well as the 1954-1955 football team and the 1987-1988 softball team.

Read More about Blair Honors Former Coaches & Undefeated Teams in Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2021