Night School — Spring 2019

Night School — Spring 2019

Night School at Park School is a wonderful opportunity for adults in the Park community, including parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni, prospective parents, and other friends of Park, to experience what it’s like to be a Park student.  Our extraordinary faculty offer courses in the spring and in the fall, and registration fills quickly!

Please note that classes may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum.

A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

Gregory Brandt — Upper School English

Thursday, March 28, 2019
7:30–9 p.m.

Room 348 in the Upper School

Still just a boy and he wrote that — Anton Chekhov

Famous for his poetry at 23, Lermontov published A Hero of Our Time when he was 24. At 26 he was dead. His prose would influence Turgenev’s, Tolstoy’s, and Chekhov’s, and he is credited with introducing the Byronic hero to Russian literature. This novel traces the life of Grigory Alexandrovich Perchorin, a dashing young officer serving in the Caucasus, a “superfluous man” of profound contradictions. Paul Foote, our translator, notes that A Hero of Our Time “has been highly rated by generations of readers worldwide” as a “serious socio-historico-psychological novel—and as a cracking good yarn.”

Participants should get the Penguin Classics edition of A Hero of Our Time, translated by Paul Foote. ISBN 978-0-140-44795-8.

Tuition for this one-evening seminar is $25.
Participants: minimum of 10 and maximum of 18.


Note: Class may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum.

Quakers in Costa Rica: Social and Ecological Dynamics Through the Lens of a Unique Community

Dave Lowther — Middle School Mathematics

Monday, April 1
7–9 p.m.
Room 159 in the Middle School

Dave grew up running barefoot through the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica in the ‘70s, where he spent time climbing strangler fig trees, eating wild ginger and heart of palm, and attending school in a one-room schoolhouse that was also the Quaker meetinghouse. For a number of years, he didn’t own a pair of shoes. 

During this seminar, Dave will share insights from his experience and lead the class through a discussion of memoirs written by Quaker settlers about the origins of their Costa Rican community. In 1950, a group of Quaker dairy farmers, who had recently been released from prison for refusing to register for the peacetime draft, moved with their families to the tropical mountain cloud forest of Costa Rica. They pooled their money and bought a large plot of land on top of a mountain and then started felling trees to make dairy farms. They also set aside 1,000 acres of forest at the headwaters of the Guacimal River for the purpose of protecting the forest, the river, and the animals. 

The class will also read about the fascinating ecological systems of the rainforest and discuss how these systems are foundational to the Costa Rican Quaker community. The original 1,000 acres set aside by the Quakers has expanded into a protected area that is currently more than 70,000 acres, supported by multiple organizations, environmental tourism, and worldwide fundraising.

Required texts include Readings from Tropical Nature by Adrian Forsythe ($11.99 on Kindle) and The Monteverde Jubilee by Early Settlers of Monteverde, Costa Rica (scanned copies of the relevant sections will be provided to registrants in advance).

Tuition for this class is $25.00.
Participants: minimum of 6 and maximum of 18.


Note: Class may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum. 

Welding Basics

Michael Guarraia — Upper School Science

Session I — Wednesday, April 3 (This session is now full)
Session II — Wednesday, April 10 (This session is now full)
Session III — Wednesday, April 17 (This session is now full)
Session IV — Wednesday, April 24 (This session is now full)
6–9 p.m.
Athletic Center (Main Lobby)

This class will teach the basics of something called Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, or Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). We’ll start with an explanation of the actual process, how it works, and safety considerations. We will then work on material selection, cutting, surface preparation, and subsequently run some practice welds.  Once proficient, we will end by actually fabricating a small project that students can take home. No materials fee. Wear clothing that can get dirty!!

Tuition for this one-evening seminar is $75.

Participants: Limited to 3 students.*
*All sessions are now full. If you are still interested in this class, please contact Adrienne Peres (


Note: Class may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum. 

Art History: Something Old, Something New

Susan Asdourian, Upper School Art History

Tuesdays, April 2, 9, 16
7–8:30 p.m.
Room 221 (3rd floor of the Arts building)

I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free. — Georgia O’Keeffe

Embracing Georgia O’Keeffe’s assertion of good sense and intellectual freedom, let’s agree that if you have eyes in your head, you have something to say about art. This course will encourage lively, free-flowing discussion about how art grapples with some of the most vital and enduring questions that humans confront. 

Each of our three evenings will be devoted to a different theme, such as The Body, or Power, Status & Taste. We’ll look at artworks and artists that tackle the theme from different angles, always comparing artists from the past with artists working today – thus “something old, something new.” We’ll look at an exciting array of examples, from various cultures and in many forms, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and performance. 

Class time will include very short lectures, short videos, and much back and forth as we examine works together. A short, stimulating reading will anchor each theme; readings will be sent to you before the course begins. No experience is needed and all are welcome! 

Tuition for this course is $75.

Participants: minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12.


Note: Class may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum. 

Our Ongoing Debate Over Immigration


Ileana Imhoff, Upper School Spanish

Thursdays, April 4, 11, 18
7–8:30 p.m.
Room 449 in the Upper School

All Americans,..., are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.” — Bill Clinton, 1995

“These are real problems, yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.” — George W. Bush, 2005

Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made -- putting more boots on the Southern border than at any time in our history and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.” — Barack Obama, 2013

I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in and I do think that you have to control your borders.’” — Hillary Clinton, 2015

I will build a great, great wall in our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” — Donald Trump, 2015

"Illegal Immigration is wrong, plain and simple.” — Sen. Chuck Schumer, 2005

In this class, we will discuss perennial topics such as the debate for the U.S.-Mexican border wall, the politics of immigration reform, and the impact of immigration on local communities. This class will not offer answers or solutions to this very complicated problem, but will simply provide an opportunity to have a conversation about undocumented immigration based on facts and through different points of view. Participants will be expected to watch two documentaries before Session II and Session III.

Tuition for this course is $75.

Participants: minimum of 8 and maximum of 12.