Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

February 2024April 2024

March 2024 Modules

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Prose
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for two 90-minute sessions on March 4 and 7 and five one-hour sessions 11, 14, 18, (skip 21), 25, 28
Welcome to the Readings in Prose page for the Advanced Old English Series in which students explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.
Precepted by Dr. Larry Swain

Beginning Japanese 1
First in the Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
Come join us as we begin to learn basic Japanese, focusing on the four areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Over the course of this module series we will start by learning: the characteristics of the three scripts (hiragana, katakana, and kanji); how to read and write hiragana; to be able to say and understand set phrases (social interaction-related); how to formulate a simple declarative sentence (AはBです structure); how to formulate a simple interrogative sentence; how to read orally; and vocabulary relevant to dialogues in the textbook. 一緒に日本語を勉強しましょうか! (Shall we study Japanese together?!)
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed

Crash Course on Norse Myths

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
The literature containing Norse mythology remains one of the most fascinating bodies of medieval storytelling anywhere. Participants will make sense of Norse myths by examining the structures of the tales and investigating the background in which they were written down in manuscripts. Explore Norse mythology with Old Norse expert Dr. Paul Peterson!
Precepted by Dr. Paul Peterson

Creative Writing: Setting & Worldbuilding (Novel in a Year)
(Section 1)
Continuing Series Spotlight 

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 29, March 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25
In this module, you will discover how to make your story's setting a vivid and fully-realized character in its own right! Through fun and engaging writing exercises, you will learn techniques to create immersive environments that grow and change along with your characters. Find out how to use sensory details to create a feeling of place in your story. In workshops, you will have the opportunity to share your novel-in-progress and receive feedback in a kindness-first, supportive environment. In your journal, you will continue to document the process of writing your novel as your story unfolds.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video here.
Precepted by Dr. Julian Barr (Section 1) and Dr. Carol Oliver (Section 1)

Creative Writing: Setting & Worldbuilding (Novel in a Year)
(Section 2)
Continuing Series Spotlight 

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 29, March 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25
In this module, you will discover how to make your story's setting a vivid and fully-realized character in its own right! Through fun and engaging writing exercises, you will learn techniques to create immersive environments that grow and change along with your characters. Find out how to use sensory details to create a feeling of place in your story. In workshops, you will have the opportunity to share your novel-in-progress and receive feedback in a kindness-first, supportive environment. In your journal, you will continue to document the process of writing your novel as your story unfolds.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video here.
Precepted by Will Estes (Section 2) and Dr. Carol Oliver (Section 2)

Creative Writing: Weekend Retreat

We will meet: Friday, March 15, 8:00 PM Eastern until 10:00 PM; Saturday, March 16, 9:00 AM Eastern until 1:00 PM, then break for a nap, then continue 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM; Sunday, March 17, 1:00 PM Eastern until 5:00 PM.
Write Our Hearts

Come for gentle writing. Introspection. Self expression in a circle of caring and community. Come gather virtually in the Cottage in the Woods with Sparrow: she literally wants us to prep food ahead and get away from the family and the dishes for forty eight hours to write our stories. It's so hard to find time for ourselves, so let's intentionally make that time. From Friday evening through Sunday afternoon there will be writing to prompts, conversation, ideas, blocks of free writing time. Does your heart ache to express a private grief on the page? Is your subconscious telling you to rewrite a story? Do you need to rewrite your story?

This iteration of Writing Retreat uses the Lilac prompts; we hope this helps you decide on signing up based on whether you would like to repeat those prompts.

Here's the plan:
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Friday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern
6p - First session: establishing community
7p - WriterSpace: time for Evening Pages
8p - Group session: what seedlings do we have?
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Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Eastern
9a - Morning session: affirmations and choices
10a - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch (that's "quiet space and talking space")
11a - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch
12noon - Noon session: Shedding Light & Writing Metaphors
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Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern:
Nap time.
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Saturday from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern:
3p - Group session: The Shape of our Saplings
4p - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch
5p - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch
6p - Group session: Encouragement and Deeper Dives
7p - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch
8p - Group session: Leaning In to the Circle of Our Community
9p - Sweet dreams until tomorrow
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Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
1p - Group session: Our Story, Our Song
2p - WriterSpace & Bandersnatch (envisioning our stories' growth)
3p - Group session & wrap up at 4p.
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Our goal is to write our hearts. Is that memoir? Is that a new story just for yourself? Is that a long, long prayer in the form of a poem? Writers might write between sessions as well as during.

You are going to end this amazing experience with something that is uniquely yours. Whether this turns out to be a narrative, creative nonfiction, or a huge list of Be-Happy-Attitudes, this deserves to be on your page, just for you.


Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.
Precepted by Sparrow F. Alden

Discovering the Discworld: The Existential Angst of Death

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 11:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
Like most literary Grim Reapers, Discworld’s Death is a black-robed skeleton (usually - he wears the Dean's "Born to Rune" leather jacket in Soul Music, and overalls in Reaper Man), carrying a scythe or, for royalty, a sword. He is an anthropomorphised personification of a natural process who sometimes has his duties carried out by his apprentice Mort, or his granddaughter Susan, and is occasionally accompanied by the Death of Rats. The Death of Pratchett’s Discworld is a parody of several other personifications of death; unlike many of them, though, he has a personality beyond this. As an immortal outside observer, Death is fascinated by humans, puzzled both by their stupidity and their fortitude despite it. Often out of concern for their well-being, or sometimes simply curiosity, he tries to understand the ways of humans – why and how they do the things they do. Needless to say, this leads to all sorts of disasters (including taking time off from his job reaping souls to become a farmer) but, in the process, Death learns ever more about humans and begins to sympathise with them. Death has many purposes in the narratives; however, in this compelling character, Pratchett has created a figure that makes us laugh but more importantly, he makes us think. In some ways, the Death series is ironically the most human of all.

Access to the listed required texts is desirable and prior knowledge of at least the majority of those texts will be assumed.

We will also be talking about Death’s appearances in other Discworld books, as well as in the short story "Death and What Comes Next" (provided as a pdf).
Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown

Haunting Tales: A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand
Continuing Series  Hybrid

Meeting on Tuesdays & Fridays at 8:00 PM Eastern for four 1-hour lectures (Tuesdays) and four 1-hour discussion groups (Fridays) on March 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, and 29
For the very first time, Shirley Jackson’s estate has authorized a book inspired by Shirley Jackson’s work. The 2023 novel A Haunting on the Hill by author Elizabeth Hand (a three-time Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, and Nebula Award winner) is a direct response to Shirley Jackson’s 1959 classic story The Haunting of Hill House. How does Elizabeth Hand challenge, update, and/or expand on the ideas of Shirley Jackson? How well does A Haunting on the Hill continue the tale of The Haunting of Hill House and/or stand on its own as a work of Gothic horror?

In this module, we will consider the challenges of the sequel or “inspired-by” work, discuss A Haunting on the Hill both in its context and on its own merits, note how the novel fits into Elizabeth Hand’s larger body of writings, and explore the ongoing relevance of the Gothic to 21st-century readers.

Note: This module's companion module The Haunting of Hill House is running in January 2024. The January module is not a pre-requisite for the March module but taking both will allow students to see the books in conversation with each other.
Precepted by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 7
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
The seventh in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera

Japanese: From Zero - 8
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:00 AM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29
This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, and covering grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 2
(Section 1)
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:00 AM Eastern with Dr. Sara Brown for eight 1-hour sessions on March 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, and 28.
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown (Section 1)

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 2
(Section 2)
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!
Precepted by Patrick Lyon (Section 2)

Shakespeare's Epic Fairy Tales: "The Winter's Tale" and "The Two Noble Kinsmen"

Meeting Mondays & Fridays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25
This module continues the examination of Shakespeare’s late work with two baffling and beautiful plays. "The Winter’s Tale" begs the question: where does art end and magic begin? Containing the bard’s most famous stage direction—“Exit, pursued by a bear”—this tale of jealousy and forgiveness transforms from domestic tragedy into pastoral comedy, before finally arriving Shakespeare’s strangest endings. "The Two Noble Kinsmen", Shakespeare’s final work, gives Chaucer’s Middle English "The Knight’s Tale" a Renaissance rewrite. Co-authored with rising start of the Jacobean stage, John Fletcher, this tragicomedy expands the scope of Chaucer’s female characters while hinting at range of suppressed, taboo romantic desires. Blending the poignant and the absurd, the playwrights claim they only hope their “modern” adaptation won’t raise Chaucer’s angry ghost!
Precepted by Dr. Liam Daley

She Watered It With her Tears: Grief, Mourning, and Death in Tolkien's Legendarium
Spotlight 

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on March 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
Among the many themes Tolkien contemplates through his legendarium, that of grief and mourning is prominent. In this class, we will unfold the implications of expressions of grief and mourning in his work. For example, why do lamentations matter, and how might they offer healing? Why does Nienna weep? Are there cases of “inappropriate” grief? What roles do grief and mourning play in the creation of wisdom and beauty? Does Elven grief have special characteristics? What about that of Dwarves and Humans? We will explore these topics and more.
Precepted by Dr. Robert Steed
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].