Month: July 2024

Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Five – Afternoon Classes and Dorm

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors. We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Afternoon Classes:

Choir (Colette Tanner, Instructor)

We are putting the “finishing touches” on our performance music…adding instruments, adding accompaniment, etc. It can be scary as the voice parts are no longer there for them, but I have every confidence that they will succeed! They are also finishing their CHOIR FINAL PROJECTS and THEORY PREVIEWS.

Critical Thinking (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week the students played more Axis and Allies.  They also played Pandemic: Contagion and Bloodborne (the board game).  We had a party on Friday to celebrate Mrs. Markstrom’s last day as an instructor at the Program.  Below is a picture from before the party started.

Debate (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week students debated the resolution that the GPGC has lost its status.  A student presented their persuasion speech on the recent 10 Commandments legislation in Louisiana.  We had a party on Friday to celebrate Mrs. Markstrom’s last day as an instructor at the Program.

Mixed Ensemble (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

This week in ensemble, we were able to do more musical work rather than technical. Working on style, dynamics, and balance. Additionally we worked on changing our tempi together. (Specifically in Tetris). Lastly, we have worked through the first several chunks of the more challenging Stardew Valley Overture to great success. Only one more section with technical challenges stand in our way!

Dorms (Kathy Barrios, Coordinator of Housing)

To be updated.


Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Five – Morning Classes

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors.  We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Freshman (First Year) and Sophomore (Second Year) Classes:

Flex Science (Ryan Patin, Instructor)

Chemistry: Lab Skills, Lab Safety, Endothermic/Exothermic Reactions

Flex Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Students continued to work on their poetry, and built their class anthology

Freshmen Humanities  (Chris Hebert, Instructor)

We finished “Julius Caesar” and discussed the idea of power. Students came together to come up with this: people who desire and strive for power are more likely not suited for it than those who don’t want it. We finished the week with students tearing into strawberry cake. (Red Velvet was the first choice, but it looked too…meaty.)  Below are pictures from the cake “stabbing.”

         

Sophomore Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week we finished Jennifer Government and discussed dystopian topics like climate change, globalization, nationalism, oppressive governments, the importance of kindness, the importance of feeling emotions, and determining equality.

Monday – We finished Jennifer Government.

Tuesday – We discussed The Era and All Summer in a Day.  The focus was on how it’s important to evaluate how dystopias can be created by disregarding how we treat others.  Special attention was made towards in-groups and out-groups as well as the importance of kindness.

Wednesday – We discussed The Secret Source and Ten with a Flag.  Today’s topics relate to oppressive government regimes.  Both governments wield power but in different ways.  Discussions ranged from government control of important public goods (water) to government ranking systems for their people.

Thursday – We reviewed Harrison Bergeron and the poems Questionnaire and The Second Coming.  Students were mixed on which poem they preferred but all students enjoyed Harrison Bergeron as it deals with hampering rather than celebrating a person’s gifts.

Senior (Third Year) Classes:

Senior Science (Josh Brown, Instructor)

To be updated.

Senior Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Worked on Tension Project and Senior Projects

Senior Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week students engaged with issues of governance around the world.  We evaluated oppressive communist regimes in Asia, oligarchies and dictatorships in the Middle East, and we discussed corruption in African regimes.

Monday – We discussed Lulu and City of Specters.  Both pieces are relatively modern (2019 and 1992) and deal with how communist regimes in China and North Korea have chilled freedom of expression and required party loyalty.

Tuesday – We discussed Cambodian Rock Band.  Students were able to learn about the Cambodian Genocide through the short musical.  I had the students listen to a few songs from the original production.  Parents interested in the music can listen for free on YouTube.

Wednesday – We discussed the investigative reporting piece The Fugitive Princesses of Dubai.  Parents interested in the piece can read it in The New Yorker.

Thursday – We discussed The Blues by Ladi Opaluwa (MFA and M.A. from McNeese State University and PhD Candidate for the University of Louisiana Lafayette).  It is a short fiction piece I was able to view as a student project for an English course at McNeese several years ago.  Ladi is from Nigeria and the piece relates to police corruption and bribery in Nigeria.  Students also read a poem on police corruption in Nigeria Harvest of Death.  We discussed the U.N. Ambassador to Zambia’s speech on governmental corruption in Zambia and ways to combat corruption.  We ended the class by discussing scenes from Persepolis, a graphic novel dealing with a young woman’s childhood in Iran after the Iranian Revolution.

Friday – Senior Project presentations.

Musically Gifted Studies  (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

During our final week of classes, we reviewed some of the more recent topics covered in class including 7th chords, non-chord tones and chromatic harmony including secondary dominants and modal mixture. We continued to analyze harmony in our Bach Chorale and sought to explain the cadences. (Points of harmonic resolution). On Wednesday we took our post-test and discussed several examples of popular music and film music that overtly references classical music or classical styles.


Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Four – Afternoon Classes and Dorm

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors. We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Afternoon Classes:

Choir (Colette Tanner, Instructor)

In Week 4, we focused our attention on the last “NEW SONG MATERIAL.” The following songs were handed out: CHASSON POUR LES PETES ENFANTS, TODAY’S HOPE, 3-Part Arrangement of QUIET SEA, LET THE RIVER RUN, and the Traditional songs.

Critical Thinking (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week the students played Axis and Allies.  The Allies regretted not sinking the Bismarck.

Debate (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week students continued researching and writing prepared speeches and debated the resolution that the U.S. would defeat Russia in a conventional war.

Mixed Ensemble (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

This week we began working on the Stardew Valley Overture, transcribed and arranged by one of our musically gifted students! The original and transcription are in a fairly difficult key, and requires some ‘woodshedding’. We worked through the first 16 bar chunk successfully and will continue with this next week. We have isolated a few higher level musical issues with some of the more comfortable pieces to continue working through as well. Overall great progress and the performance should be of very high quality.

P.E. (Ancil Delaney, Instructor)

The students played pool and racquetball.

Storytelling Through Documentary (Julian Quebedeaux, Instructor)

This week the students got a chance to actually get behind the camera and ask some questions! As well as combining all of the topics we discussed this summer to shoot an interview!

Dorms (Kathy Barrios, Coordinator of Housing)

To be updated.


Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Four – Morning Classes

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors.  We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Freshman (First Year) and Sophomore (Second Year) Classes:

Flex Science (Ryan Patin, Instructor)

To be updated.

Flex Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Students learned the basics of poetry, specifically persona poems.

Freshmen Humanities  (Chris Hebert, Instructor)

This is the week we started Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. Firstly, we spoke of the power of Shakespeare—that while his plays seem far removed from our way of life, the issues he explores are still very relevant today and to all time. This is why we see such a wealth of Shakespearean translations to other time periods and to different cultures: think “Throne of Blood” (a “Macbeth” that takes place in Feudal Japan) and “10 Things I Hate About You” (“The Taming of the Shrew” in an American high school). We also discussed the idea of power and its influence. I also have given students a mighty challenge: to memorize and give Antony’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears” speech without a script and without errors.

Sophomore Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week, we viewed how government, economics, consumerism, status, and power influence dystopian environments.  We read through pages 127-271 of Jennifer Government.

Monday – We discussed pages 127-184 of Jennifer Government.  In this section, the students got a glimpse into the only family unit explored in the novel, several characters mentioned major events that provided life-changing perspective, and the limitations of a weak government were also present.  We discussed the social contract with more depth than in previous classes, how the government in the novel was unable to meet the requirements of the social contract, family units (and the importance of family in our lives), perspective, priorities, and actions versus words.  I asked the students to think about how family would be implemented in their utopias and whether the social contract would be present in their utopias.

Tuesday – We discussed pages 185-214 of Jennifer Government.  I played the song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and had them relate the song to a character, group(s), or society in the novel.  Considering there were many people and entities vying for power in this section of the reading, the song had numerous potential applications.  Students discussed their distaste for the main antagonist’s misogyny and general lack of care for others.  I had them compare similar attributes between the main protagonist and the main antagonist.  They realized that both characters behaved similarly.  However, they were able to note that the main difference between the characters was that one had morality and the other did not.  I also showed some students World War II propaganda to demonstrate the concept of propaganda as the novel referenced it with the phrase, “Loose lips sink sponsorship.”

Wednesday – We discussed pages 216-242 of Jennifer Government.  I started the class by having the students look at Banksy’s mural “Very Little Helps” and apply it to a person or group in the reading.  While the mural could relate to the entire society, there were specific parts in the novel regarding replacing government with corporations, that people would continue to buy from corporations that lacked ethics, and there was a protest group against corporate overreach that the students could use to apply to the mural.

Thursday – July 4th Holiday.

Friday – We discussed pages 243-271 of Jennifer Government.   A common theme in the novel is responsibility (or lack of responsibility) and we discussed how that related to the specific events of the reading.  We also discussed business regulations and their purpose.  I explained legal versus illegal protests in the U.S. as the reading had several illegal protests occur.  I asked the students whether they would allow or try to prevent protests in their utopias and how they might achieve the desired result regarding protests in their utopias.

Senior (Third Year) Classes:

Senior Science (Josh Brown, Instructor)

To be updated.

Senior Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Students learned the art of crafting tension in their writing

Senior Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week students engaged with absurdism, realism and surrealism in review of government expressions of power, policing, and oppression.  Topics included:  revolution, immigration, borders, security, genocide, segregation, use of force, media, policing, and the justice system.

Monday – We discussed a selection of poems by Langston Hughes.  Students viewed Judgment Day! a comic initially published in 1953 and censored for having a black astronaut in it.  For parents interested in the comic, you can view it here for free.

Tuesday – We discussed The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil.  This novella uses absurdism to discuss important issues like immigration and borders, democracy, criminal justice, and the media.

Wednesday – Students started watching Ubu and the Truth Commission. This surrealist play depicts Ubu Roi in South Africa during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions hearings.

Thursday – July 4th Holiday.

Friday – Students finished watching Ubu and the Truth Commission.  For parents interested in watching the play yourself, you can do so for free on YouTube.

Musically Gifted Studies  (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

We discussed the scale degree names and how they are oriented around the tonic pitch rather than the scale order. This led to the default behavior of these pitches in a tonal context which leads to harmonic function. Later in the week, we discussed the neurological condition known as synesthesia, implications for composition, and discovered some aspects of the subfield music-cognition. Since synesthesia is an academic interest of mine, I presented an academic paper of mine to the students about two fugues (An imitative genre of musical composition) by the Lithuanian composer and painter M.K. Ciurlionis. One of these fugues is for the piano and the other is a painting.


Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Three – Morning Classes

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors.  We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Freshman (First Year) and Sophomore (Second Year) Classes:

Flex Science (Ryan Patin, Instructor)

Ecology with a catch. Over the course of this week students learned about Ecology and the cause/effect implications of human interaction.

Flex Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Students studied different forms of flash fiction and defined their writing styles.

Freshmen Humanities  (Chris Hebert, Instructor)

This was Philosophy week in Humanities I. We spent time discussing Plato’s ideal government and students explored the idea of “The Noble Lie”. With this in mind, students were to craft bills with Plato’s ideas to go before The Program’s Government. We then discussed Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and how we see it today in anti-intellectualism and language shaming (especially with students picking up modern slang). We talked about the film “The Matrix” and how it tackles that concept. To get ready for Shakespeare, we discussed the ancient idea of Stoicism. And to end the week, we discussed the history of Rome.

Sophomore Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week, we viewed how government, economics, consumerism, status, and power influence dystopian environments.  We read through pages 1-126 of Jennifer Government.

Monday – We discussed pages 2-34 of Jennifer Government.  This covered part 1 of the book.  In this section, we learned about the environment of the novel.  In this society, there are no government regulations of business, a person’s last name is determined by their employer (example:  Hack Nike works at Nike), there are no taxes, and consumerism is the ultimate value (both for those seeking profits and for those consuming a product).  We discussed the social contract, anarchy, supply and demand economics, the stock market, property, consumerism, public goods, taxation, valuation of life, and freedom.

Tuesday – We discussed pages 36-60 of Jennifer Government.  This reading covered the first half of part 2.  I explained satire and we discussed different types of satire, so the students understood that this is an exaggerated satire.  This helped provide perspective to some students who were taking the information at face value.  In this section, the students had to ponder issues like criminal justice and responsibility.  In this society, the government must receive private funding for retributive justice as they do not receive funding from taxes.  Additionally, many of the characters in this novel do not take responsibility for their actions and attempt to displace that responsibility onto others.  We discussed taxation, public goods, criminal justice, responsibility, death, the valuation of life, and had a side discussion on art as one student was fixated on visualizing a product from the novel rather than understanding how the product fits into the narrative of the novel.

Wednesday – We discussed pages 61-92 of Jennifer Government.  This covered the second half of part 2 of the book.  The society in the novel is obsessed with consumerism, money, status, and power.  I started the class by playing the song “Material Girl” by Madonna.  The students then had to explain, which, if any, of the characters of the novel did not align with the values in the song.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many students knew this song.  The students discussed the 2nd Amendment and gun violence in response to a slogan related to the NRA in the novel (the slogan was:  Freedom is an assault rifle).  We discussed materialism, the criminal justice system concerning representation and self-defense claims, transactional societies, computer viruses, entrepreneurship, customer loyalty programs, work/personal burnout, and trauma.

Thursday – We discussed pages 94-126 of Jennifer Government.  This covered the first third of part 3 of the book.  At the beginning of class, I showed the students two of Barbara Kruger’s collages regarding consumerism, money, identity, and happiness.  Barbara Kruger was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2021.  The students were asked to relate the ideas of the collages to the novel and then asked to think about how they would implement those ideas or how they might avoid implementing those ideas in their utopia projects.  We discussed what are the “true” “important” things in their life, how do we find a balance between making sure everyday necessities are taken care of while recognizing the important things in our lives, understanding that compatibility plays a role in relationships, how status and power can define relationships and a person’s standing in society, how fanaticism is unhealthy even if the intent of the fanaticism is good, correlations between both novels regarding dystopian societies (lack of care for the environment, lack of time to think, fast-paced societies, lack of interest in life, lack of respect for death, etc.), loyalty programs, computer viruses (including a brief explanation of the Stuxnet virus), business regulations (including a brief discussion on the recent tragedy of the Titanic submarine and the safety precautions on the vessel), and whether it’s important for consumers to have choices.

Friday –Students worked on their Utopia Project.

Senior (Third Year) Classes:

Senior Science (Josh Brown, Instructor)

To be updated.

Senior Composition (Meilyn Woods, Instructor)

Our craft element of the week was character. Students learned the art of creating characters and brushed up on their dialogue and ending skills.

Senior Humanities  (Jessica Markstrom, Instructor)

This week served as a continuation of power and government through allegories. Students read Animal Farm by Orwell and Rhinoceros by Ionesco.  We then moved our focus to the U.S. during the 20th Century with lectures on Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, the Red Scare, and the House of Representatives Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC).  The students watched the play Are You Now or Have You Ever Been regarding HUAC’s treatment of the motion picture industry during the Red Scare.  I also briefly explained Apartheid in South Africa and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Monday – We discussed Animal Farm.  Students compared The International to Beasts of England regarding how well Orwell satirized the Soviet Union.  Students were particularly interested in the use of propaganda, the death of Boxer, and the phrase “some animals are more equal than others.”

Tuesday – We discussed Rhinoceros.  Students asked to see pictures of rhinoceroses and pictures from productions of the play.  They enjoyed the absurdity of logic and setting utilized in the script.  They admitted they would not have recognized it as an allegory for fascism in 20th Century Europe if I had not mentioned it. Still, they thought the play successfully illustrated why it is important to think for yourself.

Wednesday – The students received a lecture on the history of slavery in the U.S. Constitution and Jim Crow.  We discussed Plessy v. Ferguson, the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  They also received a lecture on the Red Scare, Lavender Scare, and the House of Unamerican Activities Committee.  I finished the lecture by focusing on Apartheid in South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Thursday – Students started watching Are You Now or Have You Ever Been.  Eric Bently, the play’s author, was a famous theater critic.  Most of the play’s script is taken directly from HUAC hearings.

Friday – Students finished watching Are You Now or Have You Ever Been.  For parents interested in watching the play yourself, you can do so for free on YouTube.

Musically Gifted Studies  (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

This week we explored musical intervals combining into larger harmonic structures, chords. This led to a discussion of the intervallic construction various triads and 7th chords, and an exploration of their functional tendencies. We then used our newfound skills to analyze a section of a Bach chorale, and discovered that some musical situations have multiple satisfactory answers. This is ultimately why we refer to it as music theory.


Weekly Reports – 2024 Week Three – Afternoon Classes and Dorm

Please let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to see or if you have any questions for specific instructors. We are also posting regularly on Facebook. You don’t have to join Facebook to see our posts. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/gpgcla/

Afternoon Classes:

Choir (Colette Tanner, Instructor)

The students are progressing nicely. The are solid on 3 of their performance pieces and are working hard on 4 more. A few pieces are still forthcoming, but will be handed out soon. Due to the shortened schedule, students will be using their music to perform this year.

Critical Thinking (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week the students mostly played games, but we did bring back a favorite activity from LEGO week.

Monday – Students started a game of Ticket to Ride.
Tuesday – Students finished their game of Ticket to Ride.  Students also played Zombie Dice.
Wednesday – Students played Machi Koro
Thursday – Students were put into 2 groups and given the task of building LEGO structures around a theme.  They will present their structures and theme as a group speech to the instructors next week.
Friday – Continued working on their LEGO theme.

Debate (Robert and Jessica Markstrom, Instructors)

This week we focused on basic debate concepts.  Two students worked on their debates for next week on the topic, Resolved:  The U.S. would defeat Russia in a conventional war.  Another student is working on a persuasion speech regarding the recent legislation on the 10 Commandments in Louisiana public schools.

Mixed Ensemble (Brandon LaFleur, Instructor)

The ensemble continued to work through the syncopated rhythms of The Pokemon theme and polished aspects of Pigstep and Great Fairy’s Fountain. Thursday we began working on the Tetris theme. We also began to explore the fundamentals of improvisation in the key of A minor (Pigstep and Tetris). The students generally find this daunting, but they’re getting more comfortable with it each day. Practice makes progress!

P.E. (Ancil Delaney, Instructor)

The students played pickleball.

Storytelling Through Documentary (Julian Quebedeaux, Instructor)

Sound on! This week we dug into some science about how sound works and how we use it to tell stories in film!  We also met our interview subjects. Exciting stuff!

Dorms (Kathy Barrios, Coordinator of Housing)

To be updated.