Faculty Explorations

Have you ever wanted to take a class from one of your children's teachers? Have you ever wanted to get back into the classroom simply to learn (and not for a grade)? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for FACULTY EXPLORATIONS, a faculty speaker series featuring Upper School teachers who will explore different topics—based on their areas of expertise—with parents, alumni, and others in our community. All seminars are free and open to the public. See you back in the classroom...

For detailed descriptions of each seminar and the faculty presenter, please see below. TO REGISTER FOR A SEMINAR, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, January 18: Does the Earth Really Orbit the Sun? Thinking Scientifically vs. Believing What We See
7:00 - 8:30pm in Minis 1A (Physics Room)

For thousands of years, humans looked at the sky and observed the motion of the sun, moon, and stars.  It was pretty clear from their perspective that the Earth was the center of the universe. So what changed?  When and why did humans begin to question what they saw? This seminar will explore how we began to think scientifically.  We will begin with a discussion of early astronomers’ work; how they began to look differently at our world and its place in the universe.  We will then move to the study of light and how this seemingly simple thing, which is all around us, drives us deeper and deeper into no longer being able to believe what we see.  How humans needed to change the way we think if we were going to be able to study the very large or the very small. 

Instructor: Adam Weber is the former Science Department Chair and is in his 30th year of teaching Physics at SCDS. He grew up in Milwaukee, WI but lived in many places before moving to Savannah. Adam has a BS in Physics & Math from UW-Whitewater and an M.Ed. from UMass-Amherst. His teaching career began with the Peace Corps teaching Physics and Chemistry at a government boarding school in Thyolo, Malawi. Adam is passionate about student learning as he uses Physics as a means to teach students to think, analyze and problem-solve. Prominently displayed in the front of the classroom is the line, “I don’t know what I don’t know” which perfectly sums up his desire to teach students to question and analyze. Adam is married and has one son who is in his senior year of High School. He spends his summers working on a Little House he built in Western NY.


Tuesday, January 25: Sailing Solo Across an Ocean 
7:00 - 8:30pm in Andrews Assembly Room 
(Pape Middle School)

Ever thought about sailing across an ocean by yourself? Well, you can do it! The hardest part is the preparation. Once you throw off the dock lines, point the bow to the horizon, and hoist some sail, you are off! The San Francisco Singlehanded Sailing Society has held the Single-Handed TransPac race every two years since 1978. Since then, more people have made it into outer space than have completed this solo race from San Francisco to Hawaii. In this talk, I will share my preparation for the race, the training required, the qualifying race, and the many aspects of offshore solo sailing. Electrical systems, sail selection, repairs, rigging, medical and safety, provisioning, and weather tactics...the solo sailor must be prepared and ready to do everything on his or her own. Please join me, and let's take a trip together across the Pacific from San Francisco to Hawaii!

Instructor: AJ Goldman is the Chair of the Math Department at Country Day School, having been a math teacher for 28 years. His love of sailing began during high school in San Francisco in the 1980’s. After sailing competitively at Dartmouth College, he moved back to California and spent years sailing in races all along the coast of California, from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Following extensive training, in June of 2010, AJ sailed by himself from San Francisco to Hawaii in a race called The Single-Handed Transpac (short for trans-pacific). After 21 days, 9 hours, and 17 minutes at sea, AJ arrived in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, completing one of the longest solo races in the world. He is happy to share his adventure and the knowledge that he learned with all of you.


Tuesday, February 1: SketchUp for Interior Design & Renovation
7:00 - 8:30pm in Upper School Art Room
NOTE: Maximum of 15 participants
From a simple bathroom renovation to a larger scale interior design project, SketchUp is a useful tool for design visualization. If you’ve ever watched Fixer Upper and marveled at Joanna Gaines’s presentations of her potential design plans, you’ve seen the power of SketchUp as a 3D digital rendering program. Come with measurements and pictures of a room you’d like to redesign, or merely with an open mind for learning how to turn your interior design ideas into beautiful 3D renderings.

Instructor: Kristin Mulzer is in her 10th year at SCDS, teaching Upper School Visual Arts classes from ceramics to digital design. Prior to, she earned degrees from Miami University in Art Education and Math Education, an MA in Art Education, and an MFA in Graphic Design from SCAD. She taught part time in that department, while also working in the furniture design building. She has renovated two homes in the historic downtown district and builds furniture from reclaimed wood. She is mother to a dog and cat: Instagram influencers, Beans and Chicken, and spends her time camping, paddling, and participating in ultimate frisbee and flag football tournaments across the country.


Tuesday, February 8: The Power of Poetry in a Pandemic
7:00 - 8:30pm in Andrews Assembly Room(Pape Middle School)

How can poems enrich our everyday mindsets? Why does poetic verse matter now more than ever? Join us as we explore a brief introduction to poetry, from ancient to modern day, and how these texts help us cope with issues in our natural world. We’ll specifically explore the paradox of trouble and triumph as we study such poets as ancient writer, Basho, and contemporary artists including Claude McKay and Mary Oliver. We’ll uncover techniques and decode rhythm that poets use to both ease pain and heal conflicts. We’ll relax and renew our spirits as we dive into the powerful world of words. 

Instructor: Jackie Smith is the Chair of the English Department and is in her 9th year here at Country Day. She enjoys teaching both 10th grade literature and AP literature. She grew up in Atlanta, as a proud Lovett lion, before attending Davidson College. She studied ancient Eastern literature and modern American poetry. After college, she taught in Japan, then returned stateside to earn her masters in English education. She is passionate about incorporating diverse media, poetry, songs, and historical events to enhance her English lessons and to connect with her students. She has two young daughters who are avid readers and aspiring poets.


Tuesday, February 15: Remembrance or Amnesia? The Politics of Commemorating Historical Trauma
7:00 - 8:30pm in Livingston Hall (Room 7)

They say Germans have a word for everything, and they mean it! The mouthful of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, meaning “coming to terms with the past,” is a great illustration. But what does that phrase even mean? In this seminar, we will explore how European countries have commemorated dark moments in their history, especially surrounding dictatorship and war in the twentieth century. We will use the specific example of the Spanish treatment of the memory of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship and compare it to the German treatment of the Holocaust to understand how the way we remember (or forget) historical transgressions shapes the politics and culture of different societies.

Instructor: Julia López Fuentes teaches AP World History and the History of Human Rights and is the Cultural Competency and Inclusion Coordinator for the Upper School at SCDS. She grew up in Spain, then attended high school in the Washington, DC area before receiving her BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MA and PhD in history from Emory University. Along the way, she has completed fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (in DC) and the Auschwitz Jewish Center (in Poland). Julia is passionate about history education and about helping students understand why the way we talk about the past matters today. This seminar is based on her forthcoming article in the Journal of Modern History, “‘A Forgetting For Everyone, By Everyone’?: Spain’s Memory Laws and the Rise of the European Community of Memory, 1977-2007.”