STMA offers students a popular program of semester-long electives across all areas of the curriculum. Our unique faculty strength allows a diversity of engaging courses that often reflect expressed student interests. Students may also compete for spots in the annual seminar with the Dean of Studies.

STMA's spring 2020 electives reflect awareness of the Second World War on the 75th anniversary of its end. This is a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for students to consider as they make their choices.

First Elective Period 8:00 AM TR

Art+Design: Painting (Deacon Watkins). This elective is dedicated to painting. Students requesting enrollment should be docile, self-directed, and diligent, and should have some experience with art and design.

The Art of Fishing (Mr. Eaton). This elective offers real fishing opportunities alongside an overview of historical practice and its implications, natural resource management, lure design, boat fabrication, spinning and bait-casting skills, reel maintenance, rod building, and catch cleaning. It will enrich your fishing knowledge and sense of wonder!

Christian Philosophy with St. Augustine and St. Thomas: A Life Science (Mr. David Le, visiting instructor, Duke University). This introductory course considers two of the all-time greats among Christian thinkers. We’ll learn about St. Augustine’s view of philosophy as a way of life and St. Thomas’s view of philosophy as a science. Confessions and Summa Theologiae are the central texts.

Cooking on the Home Front (Mrs. Briceno). During the Second World War most Americans stayed home to fight different battles while others were deployed. Many survived on less in the kitchen during these years, relying on careful budgeting, clever variations to traditional recipes, and innovative cooking techniques to keep things nutritious and interesting. This “home front” effort is our concern in this hands-on course.

Dystopian and Apocalyptic Literature (Mr. Kirkendall). “Apocalyptic” and “dystopian” writings are popular in contemporary science fiction, but have historic, ancient roots. The first sort discloses a supernatural dimension behind civilization; the second ponders differences between “u-topia” (no-place), “eu-topia” (good-place), and “dys-topia” (bad place). This course studies examples from both sorts of literature, including both ancient and modern works, as a way of understanding what the historian and literary critic Russell Kirk calls the “roots of order:” the true sources of civilization, and the causes of decay and demise.

Literature of the Shoah (Ms. Bambury). This course engages several important writers who lived and suffered during the Holocaust of Europe’s Jews (1941-45). Through the works of Viktor Frankl, Etty Hillesum, Primo Levi, and others, we’ll consider how the creation of literature acted to combat dehumanization. Survival, friendship, suffering, and what it takes to protect our common humanity are among the course’s central themes.

1945: The Fall of Nazi Germany (Mrs. Kirkpatrick). This course considers the Allied forces’ herculean effort in 1945 to defeat Nazi Germany at sea, in the air, and on land. We’ll use a wide range of sources, including both historical and personal narratives. 

Second Elective Period 9:20 AM TR

Aerodynamic Forces of Flight (Mr. D’Andrea). This course analyzes the forces acting on aircraft in flight and considers how aircraft design affects controllability, speed, and maneuverability. Aircraft developments and aerial engagements from the Second World War will serve as case studies to illustrate the application of these fundamental principals.

Choir (Mrs. Horvath). This course nurtures vocal talents, expands singing repertoire, and supports school Masses and other special events.

Dean’s Seminar--War Without Mercy: The Pacific in 1945 (Dr. Kirkpatrick). This intensive seminar studies the final year of conflict between Allied forces and the Empire of Japan. Enrollment considers prior academic performance at STMA.

The Feminine Genius (Mrs. Chandler). Drawing from St. John Paul II’s lectures on the Theology of the Body and his On the Dignity and Vocation of Women and Letter to Women, this course covers, indeed, what it means to be a woman.  We’ll explore contrasting ideas of who women are expected to be, focusing especially on the evolution of feminism over the past century. Key topics include appearance, relationships, and the key components of “feminine genius” (receptivity, sensitivity, generosity, and maternity). Enrollment is limited to women.

Flowers of Remembrance: Agriculture and War (Mrs. Kirkpatrick). This course explores floriculture and horticulture through the lens of war remembrance. The focus is on flowers and herbs that carry symbolic meanings, such as red poppies, forget-me-nots, and rosemary. Students will grow victory gardens, which were an important part of the war effort on the home front. Be prepared for outdoor work and indoor study!

Introduction to Coding (Mr. Rolando). Fluency in the language of computer code is becoming a basic requirement for jobs across all industries. This course considers the basics of how computers think and talk to one another and how we talk to them. We'll study programming structures and a few coding languages, including Java, C, and Python. We'll also reflect on the role and impact of computers and technology in society, including the effects of programming during the Second World War. This course is aimed at beginners and does not require prior coding knowledge.

Principles of Fitness and Nutrition (Dr. Noland). This course explores ways in which diet and exercise contribute to our physical and mental well-being. Some physical activity will be required.