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Interterm is a Bethel institution of some uniqueness.
Before it starts, Interterm is what makes me scowl at my non-Bethel collegiate friends because it makes my winter break dramatically shorter than theirs. The new year has barely begun and mere days later, I’m back at school. It’s such a quick turnaround that I still mess up the year in the dateline of my assignments.
But then I get back to Bethel, and Interterm instantly gets back in my good graces. Because students only take one (maybe two) class(es) for the month, it doesn’t seem like the holidays are completely gone.
The academically avid in me also appreciates the focus Interterm lends to the class you take. Though the three hour class periods can exhaust my concentration abilities and make me a little stir crazy, I recognize how valuable it is to have the same class on back-to-back days. I’m taking “Theory and Practice of Counseling” and because the 3-hr. credit class has to be condensed into one month, a lot of complicated terms and concepts get thrown at me every day, (there is oodles of reading each day–professors will tell you that each day in interterm is like a week in semester) It’s easier to keep track of new terms when we talk about them everyday. The lengthy class periods also let our discussions develop more completely, and we have time for practical exercises instead of just lecturing.
I think as a rule, Interterm classes tend to be structured more like seminars than classes driven by assignments, projects and tests. It’s very intellectual and I enjoy the chance to find “internal motivation rather than extrinsic motivation.”
Although I’m not participating in such a class this year, I can’t help but look forward to the European Choir Tour I’ll be participating in next year. It is one of several classes that allows short term foreign travel for Bethel students. I have a few friends who have gone to Jerusalem with a Bible and Religion Seminar this year. Those sorts of experiences are unforgettable.
Except for those classes that have extra travel expenses, interterm classes are built into payment for fall or spring semester so it’s like getting three hour class for free. Can’t beat that in this economy.
And leftover each day is some time to watch TV or exercise or cook, time that gets squished out by full-semester schedules. There was a group of girls who experimented with cooking homemade chocolate while they stayed on campus during interterm. I’m sure many people appreciated interterm that year.
All in all, I think I like interterm as a gentle segue into Spring semester, instead of starting 15 hour schedules cold turkey after break.
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