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BENNINGTON — The Bennington Early College Program for high school, gap year, and college students has announced its November class. Earn college credit and feed your intellectual curiosity with this suite of one-credit online courses covering Literature and Writing, Social and Environmental Justice, and Politics, Power, and Society.

It’s called Nonfiction: Serious Noticing: How to Turn What We See into What We Write and is taught by Bennington faculty member Marie Mockett. The class will have four meetings — Nov. 9, 16, 30, and Dec. 7 — and registration is due by Oct. 26.

In this class, we will investigate what it means to seriously notice the world, and try to learn how to notice it better. We will ask: when we are looking at a person, place or thing, what are we even seeing in the first place? The heart of nonfiction involves the translation of our personal vision into a story rooted in fact. The depth of our writing depends on many things, including a facility with language and metaphor; but it also depends on how deeply we can see into the world around us, and perceive layers.

We will look at essays which examine the nature of seeing, and study how other writers use their personal lens to keenly examine a range of issues. The ability to pay attention can be brought to bear on writing involving travel, race, gender, religion, class, pain and joy. We will challenge ourselves to get rid of received opinions and the pre-existing tropes we have been taught as part of an effort to liberate our imaginations and voices, so we can produce the most original and accurate writing possible.

Through Vermont’s dual enrollment program, eligible Vermont high school juniors and seniors may be able to receive a voucher to cover the cost of Bennington Early College courses.

All Bennington Early College Program course fees are reimbursable for students who later apply to attend Bennington as an undergraduate.


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