M-Term offers Manitou students a chance to expand their horizons

Tyler Jungbauer, Writer

M-Term is coming up soon, and though this is its second year, few actually know what it is. Returning because of its success, M-Term is an opportunity for students and teachers alike to explore their passions.

“[M-Term] was created to really represent R₂O [Rigor, Relationships and Opportunities],” said Mr. Jones, M-Term’s head organizers. “We did not just want to teach the subjects as academic curriculum, we wanted to teach them as real-world initiatives.  For example, [using] math to calculate water flow in the west, or looking at culture not just through cultural aspects, but at a sport more in-depth.”

Jones went on to say that he believes M-Term is also a way of “rounding off” the student, ensuring that they do not just graduate with the skills of the classroom, but also the skills of life.

Because M-Term is devised for both the student and teacher, Jones explained that not only are teachers allowed to choose their own course (so long as they abide by Colorado standards and provide something useful), they are also to include their own “favorite disciplines,” as he put it. In other terms, M-Term is a way for teachers and students to explore and reveal their passions.

“History can be kind of boring and lame sometimes,” Jones continued, “but through M-Term, I get a chance to show you what I like about history.”

The survival course, taught by Señorita Gery, and the US National Security Policy, taught by Mr. Talbott, are two prime and unique examples of how M-Term binds peer and pedagogue.

Señorita Gery, when asked, said that she deems M-Term as not just “filler space,” but “some really substantial stuff.”

“Sometimes I think you guys look at us and don’t really think we’re even real people,  like we’re just teachers,” Gery said. “No, we have lives, we do other things.”

Because Gery is the proctor for the survival course, she explained why she will be leading it. “I have done outdoor stuff pretty much my entire life,” she said.  Camping, Girl Scouts, Outward Bound, and having moved to Bolivia after graduate school, Gery believes that she’s been in more than enough situations where knowing how to survive in the wild has helped her endure.

Understanding that survival is the need of cramming everything into a single backpack, Gery considers that understanding how to survive is necessary—even for day-to-day life. “You never know what’s going to happen in the wilderness,” she added.

Mr. Talbott, who was previously a 30-year Army officer, intelligence officer, and 15-year special operations and counter terrorist professional, is teaching the National Security Policy course.

“I thought the idea offered by the Foreign Policy team was a unique opportunity for our students to get a glimpse at how the U.S. makes foreign policy and national security decisions,” said Talbott. “I view M-Term as an opportunity to be exploited.  It offers students and even teachers a chance to do something different, and to scratch interests different than what is offered with our current curriculum. […] It would allow me to revisit a long personal and professional interest of mine.”

All in all, M-Term will allow teachers and students to visit their passions with others—whether it be writing a novella, studying culture and teenage rebellion, or doing yoga.