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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

ExCos exude excellence

excoGrinnell Experimental College classes, better known as ExCos, began last week, boasting a range of interesting topics, including classes on game theory, hair-braiding and juggling. ExCos are taught by students, to students and can involve anything students are interested in teaching. Below are three notable ExCos that cover a variety of fields:

The Creative Cook
Madeline Warnick ’16 offers a healthy baking ExCo that teaches students with a variety of diets how to bake delicious, healthy desserts.
“I find people are interested in learning more about baking healthier options,” Warnick said.
Each week, she teaches about a different type of diet that is followed by a baking segment, which pertains to that specific dietary need or preference. For instance, this past Saturday, in her first class, Warnick focused on the raw food diet. The class then made raw cashew-coconut chocolate tarts.
In the next few weeks, they will be baking both vegan and gluten-free foods using mouth-watering recipes to create baked goods, such as sweet potato cake with avocado chocolate frosting and vegan pumpkin whoopie pies with coconut buttercream frosting.
“I’m a really big nutrition geek,” Warnick said. “I’ve been really interested in cooking and nutrition in the past five or six years. I’ve read a lot of books, watched a lot of movies and read blogs online. This class is fun because I get to connect with people who love food as much as I do.”

The Juggling Guru
Wes Pollock ’16 has one simple goal for his juggling ExCo—for every student to be able to juggle three balls by the end of the class.
“The difficult part about teaching the class is that a lot of people get discouraged, because it can take a while for them to make progress,” he said. “But once they get it, it’s fun to see them juggle three balls when they thought they weren’t coordinated enough to do that.”
Although ExCo teachers are not required to have any formal training or experience, it also doesn’t hurt if they do. Pollock has been juggling since he was in fifth grade and took lessons while in high school. He also taught juggling at a summer camp, has performed at birthdays parties and malls and, most notably, juggled while walking on stilts at a festival. However, Pollock believes that the more he teaches juggling, the more he learns.
“A lot of times teaching something makes you really understand it better,” he said. “I’ve also learned more about the best way to teach juggling because there are a lot of different methods.”

The Hip-Hop Genius
“Grinnell is such a great cultured place on its own, what better way to enrich the culture more [than] with hip-hop,” said Jermaine Stewart-Webb ’16.
In this class, he is teaching various hip-hop dance forms, such as popping, locking and waacking. His class also involves a lot of freestyle that allows students to express individual strengths.
“Hip-hop is such a rapid changing and thriving culture and art form. It’s not a formal teaching method,” Stewart-Webb said. “I just want to show everyone the basics and then be inspired by what people create in the class and the energy they bring.”
Although he has been dancing for as long as he can remember, his first formal dance experience was with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) dance group in middle school. From there, he joined the adolescent dance team, Future Shock L.A., a dance troupe that performs all around the country.
“They believe that hip-hop can change communities by using [it] as a form of education, community uplift and social change,” Stewart-Webb explained.
Stewart-Webb’s own goal in his ExCo is to make his students feel welcomed and comfortable enough to express themselves.
The healthy baking, juggling and hip-hop ExCos are all open for more people to join. For more information, email [ExCo].

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