Minicourse Week

World Culture through Martial Arts

It’s now day two of Minicourse, a week of special courses that challenge students through environmental stewardship, community service, academic and/or artistic enrichment, wilderness skills, and living experiences.

“Minicourse is a time when students and faculty can immerse themselves in an activity of broad educational value to a degree that is not possible during the school year. The experience should enable students, as far as possible, to learn through first-hand experience and thus arrive at the end of the course with new insights, sympathies, skills and knowledge. A major part of the experience is the social awareness fostered by working closely with a small group of like-minded people within the atmosphere of a project…The course should challenge the students physically, intellectually, and spiritually, in varying combinations, and should not be open to the charge that it is a ‘vacation,’ no different from something that a student might enjoy as part of an ordinary family holiday.” (1992 faculty-approved definition).

Minicourse has been an MA tradition since the beginning: founder Bill McCluskey was an early adopter of experiential education. Being out in the world—whether in nature, in the community, or even in another country (one of our groups is in Mexico) teaches kids responsibility and teamwork, and reinforces what is learned in the classroom. Several of the courses have been designed specifically for freshmen (see list below) to further build the cohesiveness of the class.

It’s a lot quieter on campus this week, yet there are several Minicourses on campus or using campus as a base:

Freshmen girls in the Get Crafty minicourse (lead by Sanjai Moses and Jenny Rosenberg) work on projects. Special guest Courtney Cerruti has more photos on her blog,

Freshmen in Carinne Lemaire-George's Let the Feast Begin! work with Epicurean staff Seann Prudhomme and Lise Eisenberg to learn the art of tasty, healthy, and sustainable foods.

The Bay Area is home to more diverse martial art schools than most places in the world, and students are learning these arts at Marin Academy in Trevor Calvert's World Culture through Martial Arts minicourse.

Complete list of 2012 Minicourses:

  • Asian Treasures in the Bay Area (Freshmen)
  • Bay Area Biodiversity (Freshmen)
  • Catalina SCUBA Expedition
  • Exploring Marin: Getting to Know Marin’s Environmental Diversity (Freshmen)
  • Get Crafty (Freshmen)
  • From Farm to Fork (Freshmen)
  • Let the Feast Begin! (Freshmen)
  • Marin Head Start and More (Freshmen)
  • Restoring Our Bodies, Restoring Our Communities (Freshmen)
  • Sierra Winter Wonderland: Collie Coalition (Sophomores)
  • A Space for Peace
  • Adventures in Restoration
  • Angles of Vision: Great Filmmakers on Film
  • Art Activism in the Bay
  • BAAM!!! Bay Area Art Museums
  • Bay Area History 2012
  • Body, Mind, and Soul (music)
  • Breaking Away (Cycling)
  • Classical Music Concert Tour
  • Corazon: Good food, hard work, and deep talks in rural Mexico
  • Dance in the Bay Area
  • Fab Five (Snowboarding, Downhill Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Skating, and International Cooking and Culture)
  • High Sierra Backcountry Ski and Winter Skills
  • MA Stories (Filmmaking)
  • Multi-Track Recording
  • Open the Golden Gate: An Exploration of Neighborhoods in San Francisco
  • Planet Walkers
  • Ranch Hootenanny
  • Songwriting by the Sea
  • Sustainable Hedonism: Natural Building and Ecological Design for the Seriously Laid-Back
  • Theater for the Body and Soul
  • Wanna Tri?
  • World Culture through Martial Arts
  • Yoga Marathon: Detox, Destress, Defrost
  • Zion Outdoor Leadership



About Travis

Head of School, Marin Academy.
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