The Johns Hopkins Gazette: December 13, 1999
December 13, 1999
VOL. 29, NO. 15


Intersession 2000 Offers Real World 101

In the lineup: Zen, wine appreciation and President Brody's 'Uncommon Sense'

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A field trip to Wall Street and lessons in Korean cooking are just a sampling of what is on the menu for Intersession 2000. The offices of the deans of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, in tandem with the offices of Student Activities and Career Planning and Development, have enlisted the likes of alumni, students and university President William R. Brody to join faculty in instructing a diverse array of applied courses come this January along with weightier academic subjects like neuroscience research and computer-aided surgery.

Deborah Cebula, special assistant to the dean of Arts and Sciences, said each of these offices made a concerted effort this year "to make Hopkins a more vibrant place for everybody who chooses to be on campus during intersession."

Cebula, who assisted in the development of the intersession programming, said this year's lineup is focused on offering more practical and applied courses than ever before. She cited examples such as alumni being brought in to teach an economics course on the practical side of the finance world and APL staff who will instruct a course on military planning and war room practices, offering an analysis of the recent conflict in Kosovo. The economics course includes a two-day trip to Wall Street, where alumni financial experts will take students on a tour of a trading floor and to a variety of financial firms.

"The students have been asking for these types of courses for quite a while," Cebula said. "[Intersession] is a perfect time for our students, who are very conscientious, to be able to branch out and learn some skills that will be useful to them after they graduate. We wanted these courses to be a different type of learning experience than they get the rest of the academic year."

During intersession, which runs from Jan. 3 to 21, 2000, the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering offer one- to three-credit courses that are open to undergraduate students in both schools.

The course that President Brody will be teaching is called Uncommon Sense: A Practical Approach to Problem-Solving for Your Personal and Professional Life and is offered by the School of Engineering. The course--which will attempt to answer such questions as, "What should you do if you arrive at a final examination at Hopkins and find that the questions had nothing to do with the course material?"--will focus on uncovering the fundamentals of clear thinking and how they can be employed in business, academics and personal life.

A list of all the credit courses for undergraduates is available in the Registrar's Office or at

For Hopkins students, staff, faculty and their families, the Office of Student Activities will offer informal noncredit courses on subjects that range from language (Korean, Practical Chinese for Business and Pleasure) to personal enhancement (Zen and the Art of Listening, How Assertive Behavior Can Change Your Life) to the performing arts (Theater Workshop, piano lessons). Other classes include yoga, swing dancing, the art of the interview, corporate computing and wine appreciation.

One new offering, titled Hopkins A to Z, will be taught by members of the senior class. Designed for freshmen and sophomores, the course will cover the history and traditions of Hopkins and offer helpful hints for surviving and getting the most out of life on the Homewood campus.

A complete list of the noncredit courses, which range in price from free to $80, is available at the Office of Student Activities in the basement of Shriver Hall or at

Individuals are to register for credit courses at the Registrar's Office and for noncredit courses at the Office of Student Activities. Jan. 3, 2000, is the final date for registration for all courses. Due to limited class size, spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Classes requiring a minimum number of participants will be canceled if that minimum is not met; however, Cebula said that probably won't be a problem as the demand for enrollment for many of the subjects already has far exceeded the number of spaces available.

"For one course that had 25 slots we had more than 90 applicants," Cebula said. "Given the response, we will certainly be looking to add more courses next year."