We begin with our instructors.
We hire only the best: passionate, skilled teachers with a proven record who practice the art they teach.
Our students are eager to express themselves – to learn and grow in rigorous, playful, grade-free environment. Our camps are deliberately small, so each student gets personal attention and is a valued voice in our creative community.
In a positive, collaborative environment, rising seniors will learn the principles of an effective college essay, study successful models, generate original ideas, draft essays, and receive meaningful feedback. They will end the week will less fear, more inspiration, and a solid draft of their Common Application essay. They will leave the course with writing strategies they can use for the rest of their lives.
Poetry celebrates the power of language, its potential on the page and in the ear. Some of our earliest exposure to language is through rhythm and rhyme – many even learn the alphabet through song. Open to writers with all ranges of experience with poetry, this course is intended to immerse participants in the joys of language in a small, supportive community of growing or aspiring poets. Using the power of language to explore both memory and imagination, writers will conclude the course with knowledge about the art and craft of poetry, exposure to many classic and contemporary master poets, and many new poems of their own.
In this encouraging, supportive, and in-depth creative writing class, we’ll read and write a variety of short narrative pieces from microfiction to works of a thousand words, exploring the wonder and meaning possible in brief stories. We’ll try out both traditional and experimental forms and learn techniques and tools. Students will emerge with a portfolio of work and ideas of where to go next: how to revise and assess their own work and others’, leads for joining a writers’ community, where to publish and perform (if they so choose), and how to sustain themselves through the ups and downs of a writer’s apprenticeship.
Yoga gives us an opportunity to shift our minds and our moods simply by repositioning the body and changing the ways we breathe. Learning these skills early on and coupling them with other self-awareness activities like journaling and positive psychology allows a person a greater sense of calm. In this course, we will learn the basics of physical alignment in asana to ensure a safe practice. We will also go over the psychological effects of yoga and one’s well-being, as well as other mindfulness activities like journaling and meditation.
Our staff consists of highly qualified, practicing teachers and writers.
Tarn Wilson has been teaching creative writing to high school students and adults for over twenty-years. She earned an MA in education from Stanford and an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop, specializing in memoir and the personal essay. In 2014, she published her first book, the memoir The Slow Farm. Her essays have been published in numerous literary journals, including Brevity, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, River Teeth, and The Sun, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Chris Bell has been teaching math and computer science since 2006. He has taught courses intended for beginning students and advanced students alike, including Programming for Mobile Devices which he created. Recieving degrees from UC Davis and Notre Dame de Namur University, he has also dedicated a large part of his career to teaching teachers how to effectively integrate technology into their courses; Speaking at conferences, providing professional development and teaching at local colleges.
Paul Dunlap has been teaching English at Gunn since 1994. Courses taught have included Creative Writing and AP English course. In 2004 he received the Principal’s Cup Award for excellence in teaching and is a National Board Certified Teacher. He is also a practicing poet who earned an MFA in poetry from San Jose State University. His poetry has been published in English Journal, The Greensboro Review, Image magazine, and other journals and anthologies, and his work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Lita Kurth has taught at Santa Clara University and De Anza College as well as in private workshops for many years. A co-founder of San Jose’s Flash Fiction Forum, she holds three Master’s degrees, including an MFA. She is a recipient of the Diana Woods Memorial Award and a two-time Pushcart nominee (creative nonfiction and fiction). Sample publications include Lunchticket, Redux, Raven Chronicles, Main Street Rag, Tikkun, Chicago Literati, NewVerseNews, and ellipsis…literature and art, Compose, and more.
Diane is a registered yoga teacher and has been teaching yoga since 2006. She is certified through SCW and most recently through the Bindu Yoga Teacher Training School. She has also taught literature at Gunn High School in Palo Alto for nearly two decades and uses those experiences to help inform the narrative of her class. Each class she teaches aims to help students find a safe practice with appropriate sequencing that will help them find strength, joy, and novelty while unfurling the body to find steadiness in the mind.
An intensive one-week summer program designed to help high achieving incoming freshmen and sophomores become familiar with and master the components of analytical essay writing.