Ballet to blockchain: Wintersession courses entertain and educate

Feb. 8, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Fall-term finals are over, the spring term hasn't started, and you're spending an unstructured week on campus — what do you do? How about taking workshops on identifying trees, financial literacy or breakdancing?

Organized by Princeton's Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the weeklong Wintersession program offered 62 courses, most taught by undergraduates, for 1,300 enrollees from Jan. 29-Feb. 2. 

"Wintersession is all about getting students and staff to share their knowledge of everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to ballet dancing skills to law school admissions in a low-pressure, fun way," said sophomore Ben Press, a USG U-Councilor and this year's Wintersession Project Leader. "USG allows our instructors the freedom to choose what they will teach, and we embrace the range of topics that interest our students, whether that's how to correctly peel an orange or how to fix the problems in today's American democracy. ... We strive to highlight new areas of inquiry and new skills in the spirit of Princeton's emphasis on academic growth."

The slideshow below provides a glimpse into the Wintersession experience, with photos from the following classes: "How to Peel an Orange (Correctly)," taught by first-year student Matthew Fastow; "Introductory Wheel-Throwing," taught by sophomore Katie Schneer; "Learn a Musical Instrument," taught by sophomore Alexander Cox and other members of the Princeton University Band; "Learn to Juggle with the Princeton Juggling Club," taught by graduate students Logan Stafman and Jonathan Zung; and "Basic Personal Safety," taught by Sgt. Sean Ryder, a community relations sergeant in the Department of Public Safety.

  • Students laughing in class on how to peel an orange

    1 of 17 “How to Peel an Orange (Correctly)”

  • Students talking in class on how to peel an orange

    2 of 17 “How to Peel an Orange (Correctly)”

  • Student smashing orange

    3 of 17 “How to Peel an Orange (Correctly)”

  • Students eating and peeling oranges

    4 of 17 “How to Peel an Orange (Correctly)”

  • Student demonstrating wheel throwing with clay

    5 of 17 “Introductory Wheel-Throwing”

  • Student making clay bowl on wheel

    6 of 17 “Introductory Wheel-Throwing”

  • hands shaping clay bowl on wheel

    7 of 17 “Introductory Wheel-Throwing”

  • Students with trumpets

    8 of 17 “Learn a Musical Instrument”

  • Students looking at saxophone mouth pieces

    9 of 17 “Learn a Musical Instrument”

  • Student demonstrating drums to another student

    10 of 17 “Learn a Musical Instrument”

  • Students with trombones

    11 of 17 “Learn a Musical Instrument”

  • Students juggling in classroom

    12 of 17 “Learn to Juggle with the Princeton Juggling Club”

  • Student juggling

    13 of 17 “Learn to Juggle with the Princeton Juggling Club”

  • Students juggling in classroom

    14 of 17 “Learn to Juggle with the Princeton Juggling Club”

  • Public Safety officer Sean Ryder teaching safety course; Text on Slide: Personal Safety; Police Sergeant Sean Ryder

    15 of 17 “Basic Personal Safety”

  • Public Safety officer Sean Ryder teaching safety course; Text on Slide: Four Risks of Personal Safety; Risk Awareness; Risk Reduction; Risk Recognition; Risk Avoidance

    16 of 17 “Basic Personal Safety”

  • Students in basic safety class

    17 of 17 “Basic Personal Safety”