Eclipse's High School Courses

A credit was roughly 180 of study. Clonlara's default course report forms included a course title, a description, a list of resources used, and a self evaluation on a scale of 1 - 10.

Philosophy & Religion
Before I ever picked up a book and read someone else's philosophical ideas and methods, I spent between 30 and 40 hours playing with my own, largely through debate (most usually with my partner Lucas)...and many, many more hours more participating in a discussion on the not back to school camp mailing list, with people all over the country--particularly my outspoken Jewish friend Casey. The reading I did was mostly overviews--histories of philosophy and surveys of world religions--with a few "original sources" (Plato's writings, The Bible...) added in. These quickly became part of my mental toolbox, useful for, you guessed it, further matching of minds and wits in friendly but heated debate about "life, the universe, and everything."

Resources Actually Used:

The World's Great Religions, Editorial staff of Life magazine
My Friends' Beliefs, Hiley Ward
Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
A Short History of Philosophy, Robert C. Solomon & Kathleen M. Higgins
Love Analyzed, Roger E. Lamb
Crazy Wisdom; the saint, the zen master, the poet and the fool, Wes "Scoop" Nisker
Plato's Phaedrus, Symposium,&c (see: http://phd.evansville.edu/plato.htm )
The Holy Bible
On Women and Judaism, Blu Greenburg
A History of God, Karen Armstrong

Cooking (vegetarian) Whenever I have some extra time, I slip into the kitchen to prepare a little food--maybe bake pita bread for lunches, make crepes to freeze for future dinners, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, or banana bread just to have on hand. Besides this, I make dinner from scratch for the family about twice a week (it usually takes around two hours. I have made quiches, bean salads, various soups, spaghetti, biscuits, rolls, stuffed tomatoes, all manner of vegetables....the list goes on). Cookbooks are compellingly enjoyable to browse, and since we have a great many of them I do so at every opportunity. I am constantly finding new recipes or whole areas of cooking that I would like to try. With the coming of spring I've begun to research, identify, gather and prepare edible wild plants that grow in the forest and field around our house. A friend has very recently inspired me to learn about edible insects as well, and I hope to begin raising (aptly named!) meal worms to incorporate into some of my recipes (so far I have cooked almost exclusively vegetarian, but as I am not actually vegetarian, such unusual, inexpensive and environmentally sound protein as meal worms is too good to pass up!)

Resources Actually Used:
The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker
Laurel's Kitchen, Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal
Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites, The Moosewood Collective
The Way to Cook, Julia Child
Baking with Julia Child, Dorie Greenspan
The Complete Yogurt Cookbook, Karen Cross Whyte
Wild Edibles of Missouri, Jan Phillips
The Wild Foods Cookbook, Cathy Johnson
Entertaining with Insects
& many, many other cookbooks

Alternative Education As an unschooler/Clonlara student, I was naturally drawn to reading as much as possible about the homeschooling movement as well as other alternatives to traditional school education. Add to this the many inevitable discussions/debates with total strangers and close friends about the merits of homeschooling and self education (a favorite pastime of mine), local homeschool group meetings, keeping records for Clonlara, and attending Grace Llewellyn's Not Back to School Camp, and I've got pretty strong practical/theoretical knowledge of the subject. Outside of homeschooling, my reading has focused primarily on Summerhill, and to a lesser extent on the Montessori system and Sudbury Valley schools.

Resources Actually Used:
NBTSC, genius tribe catalogue
Growing Without Schooling magazine
The Learning Edge
Education And Ecstasy, George B. Leonard
Summerhill, A.S.Neill
How Children Fail, John Holt
How Your Child is Smart, Dawna Markova
Freedom - Not License, A.S. Neill
Real Lives, Grace Llewellyn (ed)
We've All Got Scars, Raphaela Best
Schooling At Home
Inside Summerhill, Joshua Popenoe
The Teenage Liberation Handbook, Grace Llewellyn
College Admissions - a guide for homeschoolers, Judy Gelner
Better Than School, Nancy Wallace
Child's Work, Nancy Wallace
The Three R's At Home, Howard & Susan Richman
Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto
I Learn Better By Teaching Myself, Agnes Leistico
Homeschooling For Excellence, David & Micki Colfax
Hard Times In Paradise, David & Micki Colfax
Family Matters - why homeschooling makes sense, David Guterson
A Sense of Self, Susannah Sheffer
Writing Because We Love To, Susannah Sheffer
Freedom Challenge, Grace Llewellyn
Neil of Summerhill

Psychology (Dreams)
While I have never set up any official study of psychology, paging through an intro. college text on the subject assured me that from my studies of education, non-human cognition, primatology, biology, psychoactive drugs, human sexuality, philosophy, &c, I have the basics well in hand. This half-credit touched on several general psychology areas (particularly Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and the psychology of love/sexuality), but was primarily focused (~50 hours) on dreaming. I have kept a dream journal for several years, the contents of which I regularly discuss with interested individuals. The Internet has many worthwhile resources on dream research, dream interpretation, and dream control (shades of creative and lucid dreaming), and I browsed these with interest. With some time and effort I was able to minimally influence the content of my own dreams, and improve my recall of them drastically.

Resources Actually Used:
Personal dream journal, Internet
The Art of Dreaming, Veronica Tonay
Creative Dreaming, Patricia Garfield
Our Dreaming Minds, Robert L. Van deCastle
Emergence: labled autistic, Temple Grandin
Thinking In Pictures, Temple Grandin
When Elephants Weep, Jeffrey Masson, Susan McCarthy
Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner
What's Love Got to Do With It?, Meredith F. Small
Sex on the Brain, Jo Durden-Smith & Diane Desimone
Gender Vertigo, Barbara J. Risman
Lucid Dreams in 30 Days, Keith Harary and Pamela Weintraub

Linguistics (Conlangs)
My primary introduction to this field was via the wonderful text An Introduction to Language, by V Fromkin and R Rodman. This I read the whole way through, even working many problems. My readings ranged from there through developmental linguistics and sociolinguistics, meeting up with my studies in animal language research, foreign languages, and psychology. I spent a good while (~42 hours) researching conlangs, that is, constructed languages. These are languages that individuals create, sometimes from scratch, either purely for fun/aesthetics/fantasy (like Klingon) or with the hopes that it will be adopted as an international language (like Esperanto). I dabbled with my own creation of the former variety (Kikan) and explored the creations of others via webpages and the e-mail list CONLANG-L, but one conlang in particular caught my interest. This was the "universal musical language" Solresol, creation of Jean Francois Sudre over a century and a half ago. Solresol uses the 7 notes of the harmonic scale as the basic components for words. After a great deal of research time I located a copy of the book describing the language, and have been browsing it with interest (though unfortunately it is written in French, which I don't yet speak).

Resources Actually Used:
The Internet (CONLANG-L; various)
An Introduction to Language (4th edition), V Fromkin & R Rodman
Sociolinguistics; an introduction, Peter Trudgill
A First Language,
The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
Gavagai!, David Premack
Speaking the Language of Sign, Jerome D Schein
Langue Musicale Universelle, Jean Francois Sudre
essay: A Secret Vice, J. R. R. Tolkein

Intro. to World Languages
I seem to have some natural skill at picking up the basics of foreign languages. This is a great deal of fun for me, and as I have excellent recall even several months later, may potentially be useful. I've searched the Internet for useful websites and dictionaries, looked up the words in on-line Indonesian newspapers, collected and browsed phrase books in Japanese, French, Arabic and a great number of other languages. I check materials out of the library, especially video and audio cassettes, and mimic the speakers while I clean my room. I've learned the Hebrew alphabet, and can read all of the Cyrillic alphabet (at one point I knew the signed version as well, but have since forgotten pieces of it). I taught myself the American manual alphabet over a year ago and sign words to myself constantly (out of sheer habit, these days). The languages listed below are roughly in order of my knowledge of them, from greatest to least. I can read short children’s stories written in Hebrew, and know the basic conversational phrases in Russian. I must know several dozens of ASL signs, although my grammatical knowledge is slight. Indonesian/Malay I am more than passingly familiar with; Maori, Samoan, German and Japanese are, at the present, mere acquaintances. Also included here are the hours I spent studying Spanish after my first credit.

The Languages of the World, Kenneth Katzner
My friend Casey
Mah Tov, Asot Mishpat
Hebrew for Travellers, Berlitz
The First Hebrew Primer for Adults, Simon Stahl & Motzkin Anderson
Hebrew in 10 Minutes a Day
the Language/30 and Berlitz Hebrew audio casettes
Essentials of Russian, A. v. Gronicka & H. Bates-Yakobson
Routledge Russian Dictionary, compiled by William Harrison & Svetlana le Fleming
American Sign Language:
A Show of Hands, Mary Beth Sullivan and Linda Bourke
Sesame Street's Sign Language ABC with Linda Bove
A Dictionary of American Sign Language, William Stokoe, Dorothy Casterline, Carl Croneberg
The American Sign Language Phrase Book, Lou Fant
American Sign Language Concise Dictionary, Martin Sternberg
The Pocket Dictionary of Signing, Rod R. Butterworth and Mickey Flodin
My key-pal Felix
The Indonesian Dictionary On-Line: http://hafni.aia.bppt.go.id/kebi/
Kamus: http://www.iit.edu/~syafsya/searchword.cgi
Kompas On-Line: http://www.kompas.com
see also: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/2082/indonesian.html
Everyday Indonesian, Thomas Oey
Colloquial Malay: a complete language course, Zaharah Othoman and Sutanto Atmosumarto
Periplus Editions's Pocket Dictionary
Learn Maori Language: http://lc.byuh.edu/Maori/lml.html
The H.M.Ngata English-Maori Dictionary online: http://www.learningmedia.co.nz/nz/nd/ndindex.htm
Te Wahapu Web Public Access: http://www.dia.govt.nz/dia/general/dictionary/maori/public/wordsearch.html
Beginner's Maori, K. T. Harawira
Gagana Samoa: a Samoan language coursebook, Galumalemana Afeleti L Hunkin (w/ casette)
Samoan Dictionary, G. B. Milner
My friend Lucas, children's books
Living Language traveltalk - Japanese 90 minute casette
Syllabary charts

World Cultures
This half credit was comprised of a combination of readings in world history and anthropology. I discovered a special love of the latter with William Haviland's text, Cultural Anthropology, which I read cover-to-cover. There was a slight focus (~20 hours) on Pacific Island cultures, stemming from my interest in the Hawaiian Language, but this course was more balanced than the resource list might suggest, with other readings particularly on Native American and African cultures as well.

Resources Actually Used:
On-line discussions
Reading re: Kiribati islands, Hawaiian sovereignty, &c. on-line
TV shows on Alexander the Great, Ancient Greece and Rome, Hawai'i's last Queen, &c.
the Science Center's Africa exhibit
Various Nat'l Geographics; Anthropology journal articles
500 Nations, Alfred M. Josephy
Cultural Anthropology, William A. Haviland
The Voices of Eden, Albert J. Schutz
Shoal of Time, Gavin Daws
The Legends and Myths of Hawai'i, David Kalakaua
Civilization Before Greece and Rome

Art/Mixed Media
Close to half this half-credit was spent learning the basics of airbrushing; the rest consisted of introductory work in other media, including photography, computer graphics/image editing, miniatures/sculpture, and ever more drawing and sketching. It was great fun. What more can I say? To view my actual work, please see my portfolio and/or http://www2.cybercities.com/t/thecove/entrance.html

Resources Actually Used:
The Big Book of Airbrush José M Parramón & Miquel Ferrón
The Complete Guide to Airbrushing,
Airbrush Action, Airbrush Action Magazine

What a fantastic medium! And what a pity that I didn't discover it years ago. From the haunting, surreal beauty of Jim Woodring's dream worlds to the soul numbing bleakness of Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan and Quimby Mouse, ideas conveyed through this art-form of sequential images have a unique ability to worm their ways into my consciousness and stick. Scott McCloud's classic Understanding Comics was my guide to the theory behind and potentials of the medium; I went from there. Naturally this has included drawing my own comics, usually time consuming but informal projects--often letters and journal entries.

Resources Actually Used:
The Internet
Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
Cages, Dave McKean
Maus: a survivor's tale I, Art Spiegelman
Maus: a survivor's tale II, Art Spiegelman
Stuck Rubber Baby, Howard Cruse
Eye of the Beholder, Peter Kuper
Mind Riot
The Book of Jim, Jim Woodring
all issues of Tantalizing Stories, Jim Woodring and Mark Martin
all issues of JIM v2, Jim Woodring (see www.jimwoodring.com)
most issues of Acme Novelty Library, Chris Ware
various Tin-Tin, Hergé
The Comics Journal
various newspaper comic strips and collections/histories thereof (including: Walt Kelly's Pogo, Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury, Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes, and Pat Brady's Rose is Rose)

Computer Hardware/Repair
Largely a hands-on course, this included extensive work troubleshooting/repairing and upgrading my own main computer (a PC clone with specs that have varied widely over the past few years) and various other computers old and new, including XT, 386, and 486 PCs, Dauphin DTR-1 laptop, Apple IIe, Exidy Sorcerer, and others. Taught my brother about computers. Patched wiring, tested voltages with a multimeter, learned to use a soldering iron, &c. I found that the best way to learn was by tagging along after local computer-geeks, carefully watching them work and asking constant questions. The hours I spent at our local used-computer store, examining merchandise and listening to my geek friends bargaining while buying/selling/trading old parts were also instructive. My friend Lucas is both a gifted technician and skilled teacher, who put a lot of energy into passing some of his technique and encyclopeadic knowledge on to me. This hands-on approach was supplemented by reading and discussion (mostly on-line).

Resources actually used:
Dad, Lucas, Jake, Nick, et al.
A-Z Used Computers (www.a-zuc.com) Obsolete Computer Museum
Getting Acquainted With Microcomputers, Louis E Frenzel, Jr
How to Repair and Maintain Your Apple Computer, Gene B. Williams
Apple Machine Language, Don Inman & Kurt Inman

English Literature
Fiction, especially fiction so well written as the classics, seems like such an indulgence that I never manage to allow myself enough time for it. A little over half of this credit was Shakespeare--I read the plays listed below, but also had the opportunity to see performances of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and HenryV, as well as the movies of Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet. I never did quite manage to get through the histories, but I am looking forward to reading the rest of the comedies and tragedies.

I must admit that the other books listed below seem rather random. How I decide what to read is a mystery even to me, but I can say that those books were often picked at the recommendation/encouragement of friends (an English teacher and the owner of a used book store I frequent, as well as my 'peers') and discussed with them. All were read for pleasure and with that sort of concentration reserved for good books, outside in the hammock, or perhaps nestled up under the covers with a cat--no wonder it felt like shameless indulgence!

Resources Actually Used:
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Portrait of Jennie, Robert Nathan
Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
Brave New World; Aldous Huxley
The Catcher In the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Bonjour Tristesse, Fracois...
1984, George Orwell
Animal Farm, George Orwell
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
--- William Shakespeare; the extraordinary life of.., Andrew Gurr
The Tempest
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Romeo and Juliet
Much Ado About Nothing
The Taming of the Shrew
The Merry Wives of Windsor

Hawaiian Language - II I had to be even more creative this time around, without a text to base my studies on. I continued correspondence with Hawaiian-speaking key-pals, and made use of audio recording myself, sporadically keeping a sort of audio-journal in Hawaiian. Keali'i Reichel's songs in Hawaiian have been invaluable for learning to recognize words aurally as well as for becoming familiar with poetic expressions. I've listened to Kahealani Wight's audio cassettes repeatedly as well--from simple vocabulary and pronunciation exercises to more advanced dialogues, stories, and songs, these are without a doubt the best foreign language cassettes I have ever come across. All that listening and babbling to myself in Hawaiian paid off when I at last had the chance to converse with a Hawaiian speaker (a sister of a friend) over the phone. While a short, long-distance phone call with someone I didn't know even a little (and who habitually kept switching to English on me) wasn't ideal, I was amazed to discover that not only could I speak Hawaiian conversationally, I could do so rather well! The individual I talked with said that my pronunciation was excellent, even, and I was exhilarated by the time I hung up the phone. Less exciting, but still enjoyable, have been further book studies and readings of poetry, listening to Hawaiian music radio broadcast over the Internet, reading Hawaiian newspaper articles on-line, and continuing to teach bits of the language to anyone who's interested. I'm currently reading Huaka'i Maka'ika'i a Kaupo, Maui, a travel-journal of sorts from Maui in the 1920s. I have every intention of continuing my studies of this language as long as I am able, and look forward to the day when I can at last visit the islands, to make use of and expand what knowledge of ka 'olelo Hawai'i I have.

Resources Actually Used:
haw-l mailing list (haw-l@hawaii.edu)
Felix Pramono, 'Ohu, Liana; various other key-pals
Kawaipunahele, Lei Hali'a, & E O Mai albums by Keali'i Reichel
The Pahinui Bros., The Pahinui Bros.
Hawaiian Drum Dance Chants - Sounds of Power in Time, Smithsonian/Folkways Records
see http://www2.cybercities.com/t/thecove/hawaiian.html
Huaka'i Maka'ika'i a Kaupo, Maui, Thomas K. Maunupau
Ka Lei Ha'aheo - Beginning Hawaiian, Alberta Pualani Hopkins
Hawaiian Dictionary - revised & enlarged edition, Mary Kawena Pukui & Samuel H. Elbert
Spoken Hawaiian, Samuel H. Elbert
Learn Hawaiian at Home, Kahikahealani Wight (book & casettes)
Na Mele o Hawai'i Nei - 101 Hawaiian Songs, Samuel H. Elbert and Noelani Mahoe
The Echo of Our Song - Chants & Poems of the Hawaiians, Mary K. Pukui & Alfons L. Korn
Hawaiian Phrase Book
'Olelo 'Oiwi, Hokulani Cleeland
Mamaka Kaiao: he puke hua'olelo Hawai'i hou, Hale Kuamo'o - 'Aha Punana Leo
Hawaiian Grammar, Samuel H. Elbert, Mary Kawena Pukui
The Voices of Eden, Albert J. Schütz

I attempted to become especially strong in the basics--Newtonian Mechanics particularly--and went so far as to spend a great deal of time learning to understand the calculus used in solving the relevant problems. My dad (a physical chemist who does research and also teaches part-time at a local university) taught me all of that, using parts of college physics and calculus texts. It was slow going (but what we did cover, we covered in depth and I feel I understand well), so I also tried to acquaint myself with the field on broader terms--optics, magnetism, thermodynamics, basic quantum theory and some of the ideas behind relativity. Ties with my practical experience with electronics/computers, my readings in popular cosmology, and the college chemistry course I've been taking are readily apparent.

Resources Actually Used:
Physics, H. Edward Gettys, Frederick J. Keller, and Malcolm J. Skove
How to Solve Physics Problems, Robert & Daniel Oman
The Story of Physics, Lloyd Motz & Jefferson Weaver
The Cartoon Guide to Physics, Larry Gonick
The Visual Dictionary of Physics, Eyewitness Visual Dictionaries
Atoms, Electrons, and Change, P. W. Atkins
The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence M. Krauss
The Whole Shebang, Timothy Ferris

During this credit, I spent a while working (as a volunteer) at City Museum, explaining weaving to visitors (individuals and groups). I conducted 2 newspaper interviews (as interviewee) and read books about public speaking from a few different angles. With the knowledge from that, I listened to four tapes of historical speeches, with an ear to presentation/style/composition. I've told stories, and was a panelist at a homeschool information session. I've also given short workshops on various subjects, and read my poetry aloud when given the opportunity. Despite having relatively limited access to speaking opportunities, I feel that I have learned a good amount about communicating vocally in a number of public settings.

Resources Actually Used:
How to Speak, How to Listen, Mortimer J. Adler
The Power of Eloquence, Thomas Montalbo
How to Make a Speech, Steve Allen

American Government
As well as more traditional readings about the presidency, constitution, etc, this half-credit included beginning studies in economics, and early research on the legal aspects of starting a business (something I plan to do in the near future) and environmental law. There was naturally some reading of American history and current events included as well. Most enjoyable has been following the intense discussions of government and society that my homeschooled peers on nbtsc-l (the Not Back To School Camp e-mail list) often engage in (there are a few very vocal libertarians...)

Resources Actually Used:
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States of America
Common Cents, Timothy Penny & Major Garrett
Understanding the Constitution
Econ 101.5, Elaine Schwartz

English IV Besides the letters and e-mails that are ubiquitous in my life, I wrote my first research paper and several essays for college admissions requirements. I strove to do my best with these, referencing books on writing papers and formal rules of grammar, and I am pleased with the results (apparently the colleges were too!) . A few more poems trickled in as well…

Resources Actually Used:
How to Write Research Papers
The Elements of Style, Strunk and White