Summer Letter

August 15, 2012 (updated August 30th to add Sullivan screening; September 14 to note challenge course day cancelled, program aide position filled; September 21 to correct Tuesday pm calculus lecture location)

Dear students

Welcome again to the Evegreen academic program Trajectories in Animation, Mathematics and Physics. We are looking forward to meeting all of you in September and are very excited about the activities and learning we’ll pursue together in fall and winter quarters.

The program is full and we have a long wait list. If you have made other plans and do not intend to take Trajectories, please let Registration know as soon as possible so they can release your seat for the next person on the wait list.

On-time attendance the first day of class is mandatory for taking the program. Our first class meeting is Monday, September 24th at 9 am. If you are not present at the beginning of the first day of class, we will release your seat to someone on the wait list.

If you haven’t done so recently, we encourage you to re-read our program description, available through the on-line catalog and also linked at our program web-site Our collective work will cover and integrate Animation, Mathematics, Physics, Reading, and Writing in a supportive learning community. In addition, half of you have chosen to do more focused work in Drawing and the other half have chosen to learn Calculus.

In the rest of this letter we would like to provide you detailed information about:

  1. an on-line questionnaire we’d like you to complete by September 15;
  2. our updated weekly schedule with room assignments and information about special events;
  3. our reading list;
  4. themes;
  5. assignments and projects;
  6. supplies and fees;
  7. an employment opportunity as program aide (this position has been filled)

1.  On-line Questionnaire: We’re eager to start getting to know you. We ask that you complete an on-line questionnaire (you’ll find the link at the program web-site) as soon as you can and no later than September 15th. You’ll find instructions at the beginning of the questionnaire itself.

2.  Updated Weekly Schedule: Trajectories is a full time program. This means that we expect you will spend close to 50 hours a week in classes and completing assignments. Many of you are holding down jobs in order to help pay for your education or have important family or volunteer commitments. Now is a good time to initiate conversations with your supervisor and/or family about arranging your extra-academic schedule for fall and winter to allow you to focus adequate time on your academic work. If you have a job, we strongly encourage you to limit your hours to 15 hours per week; we also encourage you to schedule these hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as much as possible.  Finally, we strongly advise you not to enroll in any additional 2 or 4 credit classes as they will make other demands on your time and reduce your ability to do well in our program.

Here is our confirmed weekly schedule for fall quarter. Note that there are slightly different schedules for the separate tracks in drawing and calculus. Also please note this schedule has some significant modifications from the tentative schedule we provided in the spring. These changes are due both to the spaces that were available to us and to provide a manageable flow to the regular work of the week. Note: *Students will either be in Animation Workshop I or II (not both). Note: **Tuesday afternoon calculus lecture is in Lecture Hall 4, not Lecture Hall 5Class meetings are scheduled for Mondays-Thursdays. One exception to this is our field trip to Wild Waves Theme Park on Friday, October 12th, from about 4 pm – 11 pm. We will be taking the rides at the amusement park to generate physics data and creative ideas for later program work.  A second exception is our attendance at the Olympia Film Festival’s screening of animator Chris Sullivan’s new film Consuming Spirits  at 6 pm on Thursday, November 15th. Please make time in your schedules for these activities!

We have also scheduled a full day on the campus’ new Challenge Course on Thursday, October 4th. Stay tuned for more details about that.

3.  Reading List: The following required texts will be available from the campus bookstore when you arrive in September, though you are welcome to purchase them on your own.

All students are required to have:

  • Furniss, The Animation Bible, ISBN: 978-0810995451
  • Knight, Jones, and Field, College Physics: A Strategic Approach Technology Update, Volume 1 (2nd edition), with MasteringPhysics and Student Workbook, ISBN: 978-0321841537. This set includes the main textbook, an associated student workbook, and MasteringPhysics, which is an on-line tutorial and homework system that we will use extensively. While expensive, we will use this full set in fall and winter.

Students in the calculus track are required to have

  • Stewart, Calculus Concepts and Contexts, (4th edition), ISBN: 978-0495557425. This is also an expensive textbook, but will be the calculus text for fall and winter, and also the calculus text in the spring program Trajectories in Electromagnetism and Calculus.

Most of our seminar readings will be shorter essays and excerpts from longer texts. We will make these available on our web-site for you to download and print out.

4. Themes: Trajectories is one of many Evergreen programs this year participating in the launch of the Academic Statement Initiative ( This means that part of our work will be devoted to writing first drafts of students’ Academic Statements. To support this, we’ve chosen some essays written by artists and scientists that describe their own views on education and we’ll spend some time talking about and reflecting on different approaches to teaching the arts and sciences and individuals’ experiences in learning to draw, animate and do math and physics.

Inspired by Art Babbit’s comment that animation follows the laws of physics unless funnier otherwise, we will also explore themes of humor and physics (and physical) humor, including various different meanings of the word “funny”. In one sense, something funny provokes amusement or laughter. In another sense something funny might be interesting, different, or strange about the world. We’ll pay attention to observing when these and other meanings of “funny” come into play, and why. Good work in both animation and physics (in fact in all of the arts and sciences) depends on strong observation skills so we will spend additional time on assignments and activities designed to help you sharpen those skills.

5.  Assignments and Projects: You will have weekly reading assignments associated with all the major portions of the program: Animation, Physics, and Seminar (and Calculus where applicable). You will have weekly problem-solving homework assignments for Physics (which you will submit on-line using MasteringPhysics). Students in Drawing and Calculus will also have weekly homework assignments. You will have weekly writing assignments associated with Seminar; twice each quarter you will submit a revised and peer-reviewed paper for faculty review. You will have exams in Physics (and Calculus students will also have exams). In fall, you will complete two Animation assignments. The fall final project will involve applying what you’ve learned in physics to the analysis of animation. In the winter final project, you will choose some mathematical or physical law or phenomenon and creatively interpret it through animation, with the intention of teaching that math or physics concept to your audience.

6.  Supplies and Fees: There is a fee of $100 attached to this program in each quarter. That covers most of the art supplies you’ll need (including a sketch book and a variety of drawing tools), a physics kit, and field trip entrance fees. Other supplies that you need to provide for yourself (in addition to the program texts) are a day planner, comfortable writing tool(s), notebook(s), binder for handouts, and (simple) calculator. Students in the Calculus track will need a scientific calculator (a graphing calculator is preferable); there are many free programs and apps for laptops, tablets, and phones which you are welcome to use.

7.  Program Aide: We will be hiring a program aide to assist us with a variety of tasks. If you are work study eligible this year and would like to know more about this job, please contact Ruth by email as soon as possible. (You can find out your work study eligibility through the Financial Aid Office). this position has been filled.

If you have questions about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email.  We are really looking forward to meeting all of you and launching our explorations of the intersections of animation and physics!


Ruth Hayes,

Krishna Chowdary,