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Summer of Learning (SoL)

flowers bloom in scott ampitheatre

The TLC is thrilled to launch the “Summer of Learning" (SoL), a workshop series designed to build professional knowledge, practical skills, as well as community and creativity at Swarthmore. As an expansion of the Learning for Life program, these events are open to all staff, faculty and students. Read about our 2024 SoL lineup and register for a mini- course or workshop below!

SoL 2024 Workshops & Mini-Courses

blue text reads "A.I." with a dark grayish-purple background

A.I. & Higher Ed

Label: Mini-course led by Professor Lisa Meeden (Computer Science)

AI’s impact on society is at an all time high. It is essential that we gain a better understanding of how AI works, what it does well, what its limitations are, and what ethical issues we are likely to face in its use. In this course we will experiment with machine learning models, and explore the mechanisms underlying large language models like ChatGPT.

Classes will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1:30pm starting June 4 and ending June 27 in Singer 222. 

Sign up for the A.I. & Higher Ed mini-course here
cans of vegetables and fruit on a white table

Canning & Fermenting

Label: Mini-course led by Chef Thomas Ramsey (DCC)

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, canned vegetables or jams? Come on a food journey with Swarthmore Dining’s Executive Chef Tom Ramsey. Have fun creating your own food story with canning, and fermenting a process that has been around since 10,000 B.C. During our time together We will Work on the science of bacteria and microbes and how they contribute to the food that we have today. We will learn the history of these food preservation methods and how we can give them a modern twist.

Classes will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 20 until July 25 at the DCC Teaching Kitchen. There will not be session the week of July 16-18 due to Nacufs.

Sign up for the Canning & Fermenting mini-course here
a newspaper that says "breaking news"

Writing OpEds

Label: Workshop led by Roseann Liu (Asian American & Ed Studies)

Do you want to get your ideas out there? Engage with the public around a particular issue? In this summer writing workshop, you’ll learn the basics of writing an op-ed and finding the right publication for your audience. Prof. Liu has published OpEds in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hechinger Report, and Colorlines, among other venues. 

Meet at Kohlberg 116 on June 5 from 1-4pm. 

Sign up for the Writing for OpEds workshop here
notebook paper, pencil and fruit and food on a table

Writing for Foodies

Label: Workshop led by Abigail Weil (Libraries)

Food writing is an expansive art, with applications ranging from science journalism to memoir and literary fiction. Join us to consider how and why diverse authors write about food by viewing a selection of materials from Swarthmore Libraries. Then, we'll try our hand at creative writing exercises, inspired by a mindful tasting of local and seasonal snacks. All are welcome, from absolute beginner to consummate professional. The workshop will be led by Abigail Weil, Research & Instruction Outreach Librarian. Before joining the staff at Swarthmore Libraries, she was an instructional librarian in the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center. Her food writing has appeared in Serious Eats, Electric Lit, and Eater Philly, and in the academic journal Gastronomica.

Meet at the Dan West House (550 Elm Ave) on June 12, 11am-12:30pm. 

Sign up for the Writing for Foodies workshop here
pink and purple image of a cell with a black background

Pathways in STEM after Graduation: Tips for Finding Jobs, Applying to PhD Programs, & Pursuing Teaching Opportunities

Label: Panel with Catherine Crouch, Lisa Smulyan, & Sara Sohail

Interested in guidance for applying for PhD programs, seeking a post-Swarthmore job that uses your field of study, or making a difference through teaching post-Swarthmore? This hour-long workshop (lunch provided) welcomes all students studying in the STEM disciplines. Faculty in the NSE Division and Educational Studies including Catherine Crouch (Physics), Lisa Smulyan (Ed Studies), Sara Sohail (Chemistry), & Emad Masroor (Engineering) will share briefly on each of these three topics and there will be time for Q&A afterward.

Sign up for the Pathways in Stem panel here
open books on a table with hands taking notes

Disability Justice Reading Group

Label: Book club led by Liz Derickson & Jessical Brangiel

Join Associate Dean of Academic Success, Liz Derickson, and Head of Electronic Resources & Media, Jessica Brangiel, for an informal summer reading group! Together, we will pick a book about disability and identity. Participants will be provided with a copy of the selected book, which we will read independently during the summer. Then, we will offer both an in-person and a remote-option to gather to discuss the book in late summer or early fall. If you are interested in joining the group, let us know by completing the non-committal form below - where you can also vote for books.

Sign up for the disability justice reading group here
a pen and pencil drawing of an apple

Drawing Foundations

Label: Workshop led by Mariel Capanna (Art)

This workshop provides a playful and exploratory introduction to the foundational elements of drawing through the practice of direct observation. Using a range of drawing tools, we’ll explore mark-making, line, value, shape, space, and gesture. Subjects of study will include the still life, the figure, and the landscape. No prior drawing experience is necessary. 

There will be two workshops on July 9 and July 23 both from 2-4pm. Participants are welcome to attend both sessions or one.

Sign up for the Drawing Foundations workshop here
numerous containers with soil and plants growing inside them


Label: Workshops led by Sue MacQueen (Scott Arboretum)

Workshop #1 Outdoor Container Gardening:
Join Sue MacQueen to make your own summer garden in a container.  Learn about plant palettes and pleasing color schemes.  All plants, soil, and the container will be provided. Must let us know if your container will be placed in sun or shade by July 1 so we can have the correct plant material on hand.  Limited to 18 attendees on Thursday, July 11 - 2-4pm at the Dan West House (550 Elm Ave). 

Workshop #2 Plant Fun in the Classroom:
Teaching school kids about plants and growth. Do you work with school children? Would you like to learn what seeds grow in indoor pots?  Would you like a refresher on plant parts and what they do?  Join Sue MacQueen for a hands-on workshop to learn some simple lessons and techniques to share with your students.  All materials provided. Limited to 20 participants on Thursday, July 25 - 2-4pm at the Dan West House. 

Sign up for the Gardening workshops here
two brown birds sitting on a branch with leaves surrounding them

Birding for a Better World

Label: Workshop led by Katrina Clark & Nicole Seahorn Hameen

Katrina Clark and Nicole Seahorn Hameen will discuss how to lead accessible and inclusive nature walks in an ever-changing world and why it benefits everyone. As founding members of In Color Birding Club they will share small tricks and larger cultural shifts that can increase the number of people who keep showing up for green spaces and the natural world.

The workshop will be on Wednesday, July 17 from 8-10am, meeting in the DuPont Parking Lot across from Singer. Rain date is July 24 at the same time.

Sign up for the Birding workshop here
book of music

Group Singing for Community

Label: Workshop led by Nathan Reiff (Music & Choirs)

Love to sing or interested in trying it out for the first time? Join us for a welcoming and fun group singing experience! This session is designed to be accessible to all lovers of music, regardless of experience level or ability. We'll explore the ways that singing with one another can help to bring us closer together, further the pursuit of social justice, and foster joy. We'll sing a variety of traditional and popular songs, including some from the Justice Choir Songbook. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the broader community (high school age or older) welcome—bring a singing friend or meet one here!

Thus workshop will be on Wednesday, July 24 from 4-5:30pm.

Sign up for the singing workshop here
an open laptop with a loading screen of gmail

Computing Skills to Save Time

Label: Workshops led by Ella Foster-Molina (Social Science Lab)

Optimizing your use of your keyboard, computer file structure, and documents saves a lot of time, possibly as much as 64 hours per year. That’s 2.5 working days that you could spend doing something else. Ella Foster-Molina will be hosting an introductory and intermediate workshop on computer hacks to save time. You are welcome to attend both workshops in sequence. Each workshop is hands-on and interactive. Bring your laptop if you can; lab computers are available if you can't. You'll learn concepts while you practice manipulating files, use keyboard shortcuts, and manage windows/your taskbar!

Introductory Workshop, Wed. August 28, 3-4:15pm @ McCabe 306
The introductory workshop is for you if any of the following apply:
1. You could improve your mouse skills.*
2. You don't regularly use Ctrl+a or Cmd+a, Shift+arrow keys, or other keyboard shortcuts.
3. You need to organize your computer files.
4. You want to be more efficient in creating and organizing documents. This includes
navigating your documents, formatting your documents, and creating and viewing
document outlines.
*We’ll discuss why minesweeper and solitaire are more than just mindless games.

Intermediate Workshop, Thurs. August 29, 3-4:15pm @ McCabe 306
The intermediate workshop is for you if you:
1. Use some keyboard shortcuts, but want to know more.
2. Want to improve your file management. This includes naming conventions, efficient folder creation, file paths, and more.
3. Want to improve your window management skills.
4. Would like to know more about file types and how to navigate them.
5. You want to be more efficient in creating and organizing documents. This includes
navigating your documents, formatting your documents, and creating and viewing
document outlines.

Sign up for the Computing Skills to Save Time workshops here