Creative Pulse (CP)
CP 582 - Arts Educ Seminar I. 1-2 Credits.
(R-4) Same as MUSE 582 . Offered summers. Topics vary. Level: Graduate
CP 583 - Arts Educ Seminar II. 1-2 Credits.
(R-4) Prereq., CP 582 . Same as MUSE 583 . Continuation of CP 582 . Level: Graduate
CP 584 - Grad/Res Studio Pr:Photo. 1-2 Credits.
(R-4) Offered summer. Prereq., CP 583 . Same as MUSE 584 . Continuation of CP 583 . Level: Graduate
CP 585 - Arts Educ Seminar IV. 1-2 Credits.
(R-4) Prereq., CP 584 . Same as MUSE 585 . Continuation of CP 584 . Level: Graduate
CP 587 - Arts Educ Practicum. 2 Credits.
(R-8) Continuation and synthesis of preceding seminars. Level: Graduate
CP 588 - Creative Pulse Apprenticeship. 1-3 Credits.
(R-24) Offered summer. Same as MUSE 588 . Exploration of art forms to develop new artistic and communicative perceptions and awareness. Level: Graduate
CP 589 - Arts Educ Field Project. 1 Credit.
(R-4) Offered summer. Creative/research activities. Level: Graduate
CP 596 - Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.
(R-24) Offered autumn and spring. Prereq., consent of instr. Level: Graduate
CP 597 - Research. 1-6 Credits.
CP 599 - Professional Paper. 1-4 Credits.
(R-4) Offered autumn and spring. Preparation of a professional paper appropriate to the needs and objectives of the individual student. Level: Graduate
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University of Montana Catalog (2018-2019)
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College of Visual and Performing Arts
This is an archived copy of the 2018-2019 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.umt.edu/ .
Stephen Kalm, Dean
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is comprised of four professionally accredited schools:
- Media Arts,
- Theatre & Dance.
CVPA is committed to leadership in pedagogy, creative scholarship and professional performances and exhibitions. The College prides itself on its high achieving faculty, successful alumni and talented students. CVPA:
- serves UM students by teaching performing and visual arts with rigor and devotion, and by offering preparation and experience that enable students to succeed in the world of art, to perform and create with grace and maturity, and to teach with expertise and perspective
- serves the University, the community, state, region and nation, by presenting concerts, productions, and exhibitions of high quality, and by offering educational and research opportunities in the arts for all disciplines
- serves as the cultural center of the state and region
- provides national leadership in the arts by enhancing the excellence of traditional arts curricula, instruction and research with innovative and imaginative programs that utilize new technologies, incorporate various media, and enhance cultural and intellectual environments
- inspires the pursuit of excellence by encouraging creativity and expression through the arts
In addition, the College of Visual and Performing Arts offers Creative Pulse: Master's Degree in Integrated Arts and Education program for educators and education administrators during summer sessions. Creative Pulse students embrace and explore critical thinking processes and habits of the mind, enabling participants to develop, refine and integrate these processes into their own thinking and learning abilities, as well as those of their students.
For more information visit the College of Visual and Performing Arts website .
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Home > Graduate School > Graduate ETDPs > 1223
Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers
Celebrating african drumming and dance in a rural montana classroom.
Lisa Bossert Nicholls , The University of Montana
Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)
Department or School/College
Creative Pulse Program
Dorothy Morrison, Randy Bolton
African art, community, Nelson Mandela, performance, traditional tales, trickster
- University of Montana
Nicholls, Lisa, M.A., Summer 2007 Fine Arts, Integrated Arts and Education Celebrating African Drumming and Dance in a Rural Montana Classroom Chairperson: Karen Kaufmann Community is the key word when describing Lone Rock School, a rural, K-8 school located in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, and my place of employment. Lone Rock takes pride in the fact that it is the oldest continuously operating school in the Northwest. The school and community have a symbiotic relationship, both maintaining strong identities, in part due to their close relationship. The challenge is to maintain and enrich this relationship, helping it to remain relevant in a global and ever-changing world. I include myself in this relationship, as I too, have been embedded here for the last thirty years. During the summer of 2006, I had the good fortune to take a class in West African Drumming and Dancing at The Creative Pulse, University of Montana. The experience was powerful and joyous, and when it was over, I knew I wanted more. I decided immediately that I would somehow bring this experience to my second grade students at Lone Rock. And so, my second graders and I spent the year "walking through Africa". We explored the cultures of its many and diverse countries by way of music, dance, art, storytelling, biography, history, and current events. On a Saturday afternoon, March 10th, 2007, we presented what we had learned in a performance designed for parents and the community. My students performed a play adapted from the book A Story, a Story, by Gale Haley, as well as two African dances. Afterwards, four members of LEDA, (a group of performers of West African drumming and dancing), engaged both students and audience in a wonderful African dance experience. This project became a vehicle that has helped me reflect on the many issues that are being faced in our local school community and the educational community at large. In addition, this particular group of students was one of my most challenging ever in terms of behavior and neediness. When considering a title for our performance, a colleague suggested "An African Miracle", because we thought it would take a miracle to get through the performance without some sort of meltdown. Miracle or not, on the day of the performance they were magnificent! That success came about as a result of great risk and rigor, especially from the students. The importance of this success to these children and their families has affirmed to me the importance of keeping the arts alive through celebration in one's community.
Nicholls, Lisa Bossert, "Celebrating African Drumming and Dance in a Rural Montana Classroom" (2007). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers . 1223. https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/1223
Since December 03, 2013
© Copyright 2007 Lisa Bossert Nicholls
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Charlene Brett , Jessie Novak , Sydney Holte “Creative Pulse - Out of My Shell Part 2”
Charlene Brett takes her 2 children and 2 golden retrievers into the backcountry for a backpacking weekend and survives a terrible overnight thunderstorm. Charlene calls her story “ A Backcountry Weekend Adventure”.
Charlene Brett is a K-5 teacher in the Bitterroot Valley and has been teaching music for 14 years. She is a fan of the great outdoors and enjoys escaping into various high-mountain lakes in both Montana and Idaho in the summer to fly fish. When not backpacking with her family (or her 3 “mom” friends – “Moms of the Traveling Backpacks”), you can find Charlene hiking on her property with her two female golden retrievers and her tortoise-shell cat …who thinks she is a dog. On those cold Montana evenings, she enjoys working on 1000-piece outdoor image-style puzzles.
Jessie Novak is an indoor person who goes on an outdoor adventure with her sister Stephie in Lewis and Clark Caverns. Jessie calls her story Finding Joy.
Jessie Novak is an art teacher, quadruplet, and enthusiastic dog mom. Growing up outside of Missoula with her 3 siblings and father, she realized that the only ways to control the chaos of life was living in a small town and teaching, so she decided to do both. She relocated to Billings, received her teaching credentials, and quickly moved to the other end of the state to a tiny town called Noxon. In a town where everyone knows everyone, she teaches K-12 Art, hikes, attempts to grow a large garden (when there isn’t 6 feet of snow), and spoils her fur-child Peggy Sue rotten.
Sydney Holte lands a student teaching gig in India and an unfamiliar green sauce causes her great gastrointestinal distress on her first day of student teaching. Sydney calls her story Green Sauce.
Sydney Holte was born and raised in Minnesota and now teaches elementary music in Billings, Montana. She enjoys camping and fly fishing whenever she can with her husband, Jacoby. Singing and musical theater have always been a large part of her life as well. She loves canned goods, peeing in lakes, and drinking coffee before the sun rises.
Transcript : Creative Pulse - Out of My Shell Part 2
[00:00:00] Marc Moss: Welcome to the tell us something podcast. I’m Marc Moss. We are currently looking for storytellers for the next tell us something storytelling event. The theme is lost in translation. If you’d like to pitch your story for consideration, please call 406 203 4683. You have three minutes to leave your pitch.
The pitch deadline is August 20th. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’ll call you as soon as I get your pitch. If you’re not the type to share a story and you want to attend the event, you can get limited edition printed tickets. At Rockin Rudy’s you can also get digital tickets at tellussomething.org
we acknowledge with deep respect and gratitude that we are on the ancestral lands of the Pendlay Salish and Kootenai peoples who have stewarded this land for countless generations, their profound connection to the earth and its resources. Has left an indelible mark on the landscape. We now call home in recognizing their enduring legacy.
We are called to be steadfast stewards of this land, nurturing its diversity, [00:01:00] preserving its ecosystems and upholding the principles of environmental sustainability. May we honor the wisdom of our ancestors and theirs and embrace our responsibility to protect and preserve. This precious land for future generations.
This week on the podcast,
[00:01:17] Charlene Brett: the thunder starts rolling and it’s echoing off all of these walls back and forth. My dogs are getting terrified. They’re like, can we go in the tent? Please? We’re scared. Please let us in. So we all, we bail into the tent because the rains come in and the rain instantly starts pouring.
[00:01:33] Jessie Novak: And I know where this is going and I don’t like it one bit. My brain is saying they’re going to shut the oil lamp off too. And it’s gonna be really, really dark. And boy, was
[00:01:48] Sydney Holte: When I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, the feeling goes away. But this time, the feeling in my stomach did not go away.
I was still feeling
[00:01:59] Marc Moss: Three storytellers [00:02:00] shared their true personal story on the theme, Out of My Shell. Their stories were recorded in person in front of a live audience July 16th, 2023 at Bonner Park Band Show. The storytellers you’ll hear in this episode are all educators enrolled in the University of Montana’s Creative Pulse program, a graduate program of the University of Montana that Creative Pulse embraces critical thinking, processes, and habits of the mind, enabling the participants to develop Refine and integrate these processes into their own thinking and learning abilities as well as those of their students.
The Master of Arts in Integrated Arts and Education is completed over two consecutive summer sessions, plus independent studies and a final project. Our first story comes to us from Charlene Brett, who takes her two children and two Golden Retrievers into the backcountry for a backpacking weekend and survives a terrible overnight thunderstorm.
Charlene calls her story, A backcountry weekend adventure. Thanks for listening.[00:03:00]
[00:03:02] Charlene Brett: I’m a music teacher, and I love what I do. But… But as all teachers do, we live for summer. And I live for adventures in the summer. And this particular summer, I was talking with my oldest daughter Abby and my middle son Craig about going on a backpacking adventure. And we were going to leave my husband and my youngest son Tyler behind.
Now Abby is 15 and Craig is 12 and, and what you need to know about them is, is Abby is very independent, sort of headstrong daughter. of mine who’s like, yes, mom, let’s go. We can do this girl power and, and my son Craig is like, he likes to do that stuff, but he will always kind of step back and observe first and think about it and before he just jumps right in.
So I have two different personalities, but they’re both good. They’re like, yeah, mom, let’s plan this trip. So All week long, we’re [00:04:00] thinking about where we should go and we decide we’re going to go to Baker Lake, which is down in the southern end of Darby and sits in a circ at the base of Trapper Peak.
Trapper Peak sits at about 10, 100 feet in elevation and Baker Lake is about a thousand feet underneath that. And like I said, it sits in this cirque. So we’re like, hey, that looks cool. It’s only a mile and a half into it. And since we’re going to leave on a Friday late afternoon, that would be a good hike for us to get into and get into that lake and get set up.
I talked to my husband. He’s like, yeah, you can do this. You can do this. I’ll stay home with Tyler. All is good. You go for it. Well, all week long, on social media, and on the weather reports, they were calling for major thunderstorms that weekend. Ah, Montana weather. Montana’s bipolar. Look, it’s a blue sky, it’s beautiful right now, it’s going to be like that on this weekend too.
There’s not going to be a big thunderstorm. [00:05:00] All week long, social media. Better not do anything, there’s going to be a big storm. So we decide we’re going to wait until Friday and we’ll make that decision as to whether we should go or not. And Friday comes along, it’s the afternoon, the kids get off their job and we’re like, hey, what are we going to do?
I look outside, blue sky, not a cloud in the sky. Let’s go. So we throw our backpacks in, my little Toyota minivan, the mom van, and we hit Highway 93 and we head down to Darby and we hit the trailhead. And we start hoofing it up the switchback. It’s about a thousand foot elevation gain like in the first half mile.
And we’re huffin and puffin and we got two Golden Retriever dogs are with us, the ones that love going hiking, Bailey and Finley. And we get up to this beautiful overview and we’re looking at the valley below where we drove up the road and the sun is, you know, the sun is setting behind us and it’s casting this beautiful golden color over that valley and it’s [00:06:00] just gorgeous.
And we’re kind of looking at each other like, so glad we’re doing this, this is really cool. And for me, it was like a moment of. This weekend, this backpacking trip is a moment of, like, empowerment for myself that I can do this. I can take my kids on a backpacking trip on my own and it’s going to be okay.
Alright? So we’re providing some sort of, like, I don’t know, extra security or something that I’m proving to myself I can do this. Then we finish on the trailhead and we get to the lake. And we jump up to, or we climb up and there’s the head of the lake and it’s that first view of the lake when you finally get there.
It’s just gorgeous. It’s calm. The water is calm and the sun is setting behind all these ridges that um, circle around the lake and you can see Trapper Peak up off to the left and there’s a campsite right there that’s not taken. So we’re looking at this campsite and thinking, well, yeah, you know, it will be okay.
My dad. Always taught me to look around at the different options [00:07:00] before you choose one. It’s okay. There’s these rolling granite boulders, big boulders, because you’re up in the high country. And they’re colored, these beautiful colors coming down, it’s just gorgeous. These rolling boulders that go out to the lake that would make a perfect spot for the kids to jump off or dive off and swim in the water.
And I’m looking around and I see this one little patch of dirt. Where obviously other people have put a tent and right behind that is a really big tall dead tree a dead snake and I think Mom always said don’t put your tent under a dead tree in case a windstorm comes along We don’t have a choice if we’re going to take this campsite and those rolling boulders come right down to that and I’m thinking well if there is a thunderstorm then That rain might come down to our tent Let’s look for another spot.
Well, kind of look across the lake and you can tell that there’s this glorious campsite across the lake. It’s already [00:08:00] taken. Lucky ducks got the really cool spot. They’re set up over there and, and kind of look to the left and to the right of the lake and, and there really isn’t anything else. So this is our spot.
And it’s starting to get dark and we haven’t had dinner yet. So we set up our tent. I had a brand new tent from REI. I loved it. Little four person backpacking tent. Got the footprint to go with it. Smart. Set that baby up. It went up so easy. Made dinner, cooked some popcorn, I always pop popcorn on my backpacking trips.
Watched the fish jump in the lake, did a little swim to get all that sweat off from the hike. Watched the stars come out, it’s beautiful. When you’re up in the backcountry and you don’t have the light pollution, the stars just shine so much brighter. So we’re telling stories, pretty soon we are off to bed, it’s kind of a cold night.
No sound of rain or anything over the whole night. The morning we wake up, that sun is [00:09:00] coming into the tent. And if you sleep in a tent and you’ve ever had the sun coming in the morning, you know that feeling of warmth that comes. You’re just kind of snuggled in and just like, Oh, but I got to get up. So we finally get out of bed and we’re talking about different things that we’re going to do for the day.
Of course, I love to fly fish. I’m going to be fly fishing most of the day. My kids love to swim. And then they’re fishing a little bit too, but they’re spending more time swimming in the water and throwing sticks for the dogs and whatnot. And we’re walking around the entire lake, we’re checking out the stream at the back of the lake, we’re looking at the wildflowers.
And I’m looking at the sky again and I’m thinking, what an awesome weekend. There’s not a cloud up there. Bipolar weather in Montana, right? And during this time, this day, there had been some day backpackers that had come up to the lake. And spent some time, there were two different groups, and of course there’s this other campsite, and they’re doing fishing, and me, I’m thinking, I’m up here with my kids, but [00:10:00] there was a sense of security knowing I wasn’t the only adult up there.
So the day goes on, those day packers head out, and I’m kind of looking across the lake, and I notice that the other group of backpackers is packing up. And I’m thinking, hmm, starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable, you know, ah, we’re good. I got this. I can do this. There’s not a cloud in the sky.
Looking up at the peaks. It’s beautiful. Trapper Peaks. Amazing. I want to hike it someday. Don’t know if I can. Those backpackers head out and we have the lake to ourself. And there’s something about that, too. Like, it’s ours. We can be as loud as we want, we can do whatever we want up here. We’re not going to disturb anybody else.
So we head back over to our campsite, and we’re kind of settling in a little bit, getting ready for dinner. And the wind, just like right now, is picking up. Remember I said this lake sits in a circ at the base of Trapper Peak. [00:11:00] And that wind is coming in and it’s picking up really, really fast. And it’s starting to circle around the lake.
And I look up at the ridge tops. And the darkest, blackest clouds are just coming over the ridge in all different directions up there. And I thought, oh shit, here it comes. And it looks like it’s going to be a doozy. And when you’re up there at 9, 000 feet and you’re in a thunderstorm in the mountains and you’re all by yourself, you’re thinking, What the heck am I doing up here?
Maybe I shouldn’t have come. Maybe I should have like listened to my parents and stayed home. The thunder starts rolling and it’s echoing off all of these walls back and forth. My dogs are getting terrified. They’re like, can we go in the tent, please? We’re scared. Please let us in. So we all, we bail into the tent because the rains come in and the rain.
Instantly starts pouring. The dogs are snuggled up next to me and they’re whining, they’re looking at me like, Mom, what are we going to do? And my [00:12:00] kids are kind of terrified and we just break out in laughter because what do you do when you’re freaked out? You start laughing. And so we’re laughing at each other and I’m sitting there praying, Oh my god, I hope we make it through this storm.
I hope that dead tree behind us doesn’t fall on us. The wind is really bad. In fact, the wind becomes so bad that the tent poles are starting to cave in on us. And so the next thing you know, my brand new tent, right? I’m not going to let this windstorm mess it up. We’re playing Twister in the tent. And we’ve got arms and legs stretched out, and we’re pushing out on those tent poles, and we’re trying to hold it, and I’m trying to keep the dogs calm, and I’m looking at my kids going, it’s going to be okay, we’re going to make it.
In my head I’m thinking, what if something happens to me? Do they know how to get out of here? Are they going to know what to do? Do they know where I put the keys to the minivan? Can my daughter drive down that hill?
Plane twister, hole in the nose, and finally my daughter [00:13:00] looks down and she sees these major ripples and bubbles in the bottom of the tent. Flowing from one end to the other. And she goes, Mom, look. And I went, Oh, crap. We’re going to have wet sleeping pads. We’re going to have wet sleeping bags. We’re going to have wet clothes.
It’s going to be a cold night. What am I doing? What am I doing? And then we laugh, and we sing, we have this crazy song that we sing, it goes, Sunshine and happy days, blue skies are all around us. And it’s meant to be off pitch because it’s like supposed to break the tension, right? So we’re singing that in the tent.
My daughter zips open the tent door, and pulls it back open, and we look. And there’s a five foot wide by about two inch deep river of rainwater running underneath our tent. And out the other side. I was like, [00:14:00] crap. We’re going to be wet. We’re going to be soaked. And we laugh, I’m trying, and happy, you know, and it goes on.
The storm finally subsides, and I assess the situation. Things are dry. Close up the tent. In fact, it subsides a little bit. We get out and we’re kind of checking things out. The tree is still standing. I close up the door. We settle in for the night because we’re not going to pack out in the dark. And I just tell him, okay, if we make it to the morning, we’re going to throw everything in our backpacks.
I don’t care how it’s organized. It’s just. I always organize my backpack really well. I don’t care how it’s organized, and we’re going to get out of here. We sleep. Well, they sleep. I kind of wake up off and on. You can hear the pitter patter of the rain, and every now, thunder boomer, and rain, and thunder boomer, and then finally the morning comes, and I open up the tent door, and it’s just a drizzle, and I’m like, hey kids, let’s go, back it up, we’re getting out of here.
So we’re stuffing things in, and getting ready to hike out, and on the hike [00:15:00] out, I’m thinking, Maybe it would be wise to invest in some sort of like S. O. S. satellite telephone or Garmin device. But then I was thinking, everything was okay. We did it. We had a great adventure. I have a story to tell and I live to do it and I’m more powerful for it.
And we made it home and we told our story.
[00:15:31] Marc Moss: Thanks, Charlene. Charlene Brett is a K 5 teacher in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana and has been teaching music for 14 years. She’s a fan of the great outdoors and enjoys escaping into various high mountain lakes in both Montana and Idaho in the summer to fly fish. When not backpacking with her family or her three mom friends, moms of the traveling backpacks, You can find Charlene hiking on her property with two female golden retrievers and her tortoise shell cat, who thinks she is a dog.
On those [00:16:00] cold Montana evenings, she enjoys working thousand piece outdoor image style puzzles. Our next storyteller is Jessie Novak. Jessie is an indoor person who goes on an outdoor adventure with her sister, Stephanie, in Lewis and Clark Caverns. Jessie calls her story, Finding Joy. Thanks for listening.
[00:16:20] Jessie Novak: I’m a quadruplet. That means that my parents had Four babies, on the same day, at the same time. I know, they’re blessed. Lucky them. The first thing I get asked when people find out that I’m a quad, is your siblings must be your best friends in the world, right? They obviously don’t have siblings. I will say, my sister Steffi, who’s in front of me, is my favorite person in the world.
We are polar opposites. Two sides of the same coin. She’s taller. I’m short. She is very outdoorsy. [00:17:00] I’m an indoor girl. Step has every credential under the sun. She collects them like they’re candy. Again, I like to stay inside step and I decide that in the summer of 2022, we were going to go on the great Mid Eastern Montana Road trip.
We were going to create, or recreate, a trip that we went on when we were little. Lewis and Clark Caverns. Now, we hop in the car in August. It’s hot, it’s sunny, surprisingly not smoky. We got very lucky. But, it’s August in Montana. It’s construction season. This drive that normally takes three ish hours. I’m a passenger princess, I don’t drive.
Don’t correct me. Took [00:18:00] six hours. In the heat. Stop and go construction the whole way. For those of you who have never been to Lewis and Clark Caverns, you drive up a mountain. And you hit the lodge. That’s home base for all of the tours going through the caverns. You have to check in there. They give you a wonderful little ticket.
And they tell you, if you can’t make it up that trail in 30 minutes, you don’t get to go on your tour. Because you’re not in physical, enough physical shape to go up and down the stairs in the caverns. Well we figured, we did this when we were 6 years old. We’re 23, we’ve got this. We’re gonna go do this, and we’re gonna rock it.
Steffi is the most prepared person I’ve ever met in my life. To the extent where she’s a little bit of a hoarder. She has water, sunscreen, snacks, band aids, extra snacks. [00:19:00] I show up. With snacks. No water.
No hat. Just food.
So we’re starting to hike up this trail. You gain about a 150 feet or so in elevation in a very short time span.
It’s hot, there’s no trees, and there’s nowhere to sit down. I’m dying. This is not what I remember. This is not what I signed up for. And Steffi’s walking next to me, like this is the best day of her life. She’s having so much fun, she’s singing songs, and I’m getting passed by six year
olds. It was perfect.
We made it up to the entrance to the caverns in 29
got to go on our tour. That’s money saved. When they take you [00:20:00] into the caverns, it gets very cold very quickly. And when you’re like me and you’re sweating like crazy, you get freezing. I’m not prepared. I didn’t bring a jacket. I stole Steffi’s.
It was great. When you go into the caverns, the first thing you remember if you go as a child is there is a natural slide. It takes maybe 30 seconds to get down, but it is the coolest thing in the whole wide world. Especially when you’re six. When you’re 23, 24, It’s a little less exciting, unless you’re Steffi.
Then it is the coolest thing in the world, bar none. She looks at me, and she says, Jesse, we are going down this slide. I say, absolutely not. I’m an adult. I’m not prepared for this. She says, we’re going. No way in hell. [00:21:00] So Steffi goes down the slide, and I can hear her giggle the whole way down. And I can picture the look on her face of pure joy.
I’m a party pooper, I took the stairs. Yay! More stairs! When you get to the very bottom of the caverns, they tell you a story about a man who was stuck down there for three days. Without electricity, and with a teeny tiny oil lamp. Oil lamps, if you don’t know, don’t put out much light. That’s okay. It’s the 21st century.
We have electricity. So we thought, We’re getting told this story. Our tour guide’s super into it. Very dramatic. He’s acting it out. And he says, we’re gonna reenact this. I’m gonna turn out the electric lights. And use this oil lamp to light up this huge[00:22:00]
Cavern. So you know exactly what it was like to be stuck down there for three days. I’m terrified. I don’t do heights. I don’t do the dark. In the caverns, if you fall, you fall for a thousand feet. And it is dark. There is no natural light. Steffi thinks this is the best. She is nerding out. She’s doing a little happy dance over in the corner.
I’m frozen. I don’t want to move. I don’t know where I’m
Power goes out. And the oil lamp lights. Puts out more light than you think it does. Which isn’t saying much. As they’re finishing the story, they’re saying three days this man was stuck down there. Three. And I know where this is going, and I don’t like it one bit.
My brain is saying, they’re going to shut the oil lamp off too, and it’s [00:23:00] going to be really, really dark. And boy was I right. He blows the oil lamp out, and I am frozen. Not
breathing, not blinking.
And in the dark, I feel Steffi’s hand grab mine. And stay there for the longest two minutes of
Our tour guide turns the electric lights back on and tells us have a wonderful day after that traumatizing experience, you’re on your own.
Be free. Go up this flight of stairs and enter the real world again. So we do. There’s nowhere to go. You can’t turn around. Steffi is doing her little happy dance. This is so cool. This is so much fun. I’m terrified still. Absolutely traumatized. Walking up these stairs trying not to touch anything, trying not to look over the edge.[00:24:00]
Steffi almost bonks her head because she’s too busy looking at me and laughing rather than watching the stairs. When you exit the caverns, there’s an airlock system so you don’t let the bats out. One door opens, you go inside a hallway, and the other door shuts. And then another door opens, And you go outside.
Steffi held my hand all the way through that door. She knew that I was terrified and shaking like a leaf the entire time. Stepping out into the sunlight was probably the most freeing moment of my life. It’s bright, it’s warm again, which I complained about earlier. Never again. And Steffi’s right there beside me.
We snap our obligatory selfie, cause I went outside and I need to prove it. And we [00:25:00] continue walking back towards our car. Steffi is not ready to go home. I’m over it. This is already not what I signed up for. And she decides, we’re going to keep going on our adventure. We’re going to go hike to the Ringing Rocks.
And now every single summer, we go on a trip. She hasn’t picked this summer yet, but she’s going to. And I know that no matter where we go, she is going to be with me, holding my hand, and it is going to be amazing. The best.
[00:25:35] Marc Moss: Thanks, Jesse. Jesse’s an art teacher, quadruplet and enthusiastic dog mom growing up outside Missoula with her three siblings and father. She realized that the only ways to control the chaos of life was living in a small town, and teaching. So, she decided to do both. She relocated to Billings, Montana, received her teaching credentials, and quickly moved to the other end of the state, to a tiny town called Noxon.[00:26:00]
In a town where everyone knows everyone, she teaches K 12 art, hikes, attempts to grow a large garden when there isn’t six feet of snow, and spoils her fur child Peggy Sue rotten. Coming up after the break.
[00:26:13] Sydney Holte: When I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, the feeling goes away. But this time, the feeling in my stomach did not go away.
I was still feeling really queasy.
[00:26:24] Marc Moss: Stay with us. Do you have your tickets for the next Tell Us Something live storytelling event? You can get your tickets online at tellusomething. org. Better yet though, why not pick up some limited edition printed tickets? These tickets are the same price as the online tickets and feature the beautiful artwork used on the posters.
Artwork for the Lost in Translation event was created by Bear River Studios. These special tickets are available exclusively at Rockin Rooties. Get your tickets now at Rockin Rooties or get the digital version at tellussomething. org. Alright, back to the stories. [00:27:00] Closing out this episode of the Tell Us Something podcast is Sidney Holt.
Sidney lands a student teaching gig in India and an unfamiliar green sauce causes her great gastrointestinal distress on her first day of student teaching. Sydney calls her story, green sauce. Thanks for listening.
[00:27:21] Sydney Holte: I’ve always loved to travel. I love being in uncomfortable moments when I’m traveling out of my element. And a big part of loving traveling is I love to try new foods. I love to try foods that I’ve had before, maybe with a different spice or cooked in a different way. But I also just love trying new foods in general.
That’s a big part of why I love to travel. I was 21 and I was trying to decide where I was going to do my student teaching. And I was presented with an amazing opportunity to do my student teaching in India. And of course, being the person [00:28:00] that I am, I said yes, and I got on a plane in February to fly to India for four months, and I land in New Delhi.
It’s in the middle of the night, midnight 1:00 AM somewhere in there. And. I’m overwhelmed in the best of ways. I step out of the airport and instantly I smell incense. But I can also smell a lot of garbage. And I can also smell street food with spices that aren’t my normal spices, like turmeric. And I can also smell a lot of urine.
So, it was an overwhelming amount of smells in the best of ways. I could… Here, in the middle of the night, the mosques and bells going off, I could hear people chanting prayers over what seemed like a giant megaphone. And they did not tell me how the traffic would be in India. There are these roundabouts in [00:29:00] New Delhi that have like six or seven lanes, and there’s lines on the ground like there are here.
They’re just suggestions for where to drive.
So, people would go in these roundabouts and hit each other like real life bumper cars. And, uh, they would just continue on. Uh, so, it was overwhelming in the best of ways. I was in New Delhi for about three days, and then I traveled to where I was going to be doing my student teaching.
I had to travel about seven hours
on a train north of New Delhi, and then it was like a switchback up this mountain in a taxi. And… I’m, I’ve always been a little prone to getting car sick, so this, I, I had to tell the taxi driver several times to slow down, please. Um, so we get there, and it’s this, on top of this gorgeous mountain, it’s in the Himalayas, it’s these beautiful, [00:30:00] huge trees like this, and I met by my mentor that’s going to show me around campus.
And she shows me around campus and shows me where I’ll be living for the next four months. And the houses that the employees stayed in were anywhere from really close to campus to Three quarters of a mile away. My house that I was going to be staying in was about a half mile from campus. So half mile walk in and half mile walk after school.
And I had been at Woodstock International Boarding School for about two or three weeks and I was starting to get to know people a little bit, and I was invited to a party. I was like, great, I’m starting to get to know people, I’m feeling pretty good about it. And so I go to this party, and there’s food, and drinks, and there’s a new food that I have not tried before.
It’s fried, but it’s not pakora, I had tried pakora, [00:31:00] and there was… This green sauce next to it. So I try one, and I don’t know how I like it yet. It’s not, it doesn’t taste like cilantro. It doesn’t really taste like parsley. It has some different flair to it. So I try another one, and I try another one. I’m still not convinced if I like it or not.
So about four or five I tried, and then I finally decide that I don’t like it. And my stomach is feeling a little upset from eating it. And I don’t, I don’t really think much about it. I carry on. The next morning was a big day for me because I was going to be teaching my first lesson without any help from my cooperating teacher.
So I wake up and I’m feeling really queasy. I’m feeling really nauseous, really anxious about. Teaching this lesson, but I think, okay, I’m feeling queasy. It must just be because I’m anxious. So I continue getting ready. I start my half mile [00:32:00] walk into campus and I’m gradually feeling more and more. Yucky. My stomach really doesn’t feel good.
And I get up to the classroom and I’m doing a lesson with 7th and 8th graders on xylophones, and I start teaching, and you, normally, for me at least, when I’m doing the thing that I’m nervous about, I, The feeling goes away, but this time the feeling in my stomach did not go away. I was still feeling really queasy, and I get this urge to sneeze.
Oh shit, I just shit my pants.
And I shit them big. Poop is
running down my legs. And I was wearing tight pants that day, thankfully, and they were black, but I am…
Clenching my butt cheeks so that my poop doesn’t run onto the floor as [00:33:00] I’m teaching 7th and 8th graders. And I
don’t want to excuse myself
to go to the bathroom because I don’t want my cooperating teacher to think that I don’t care about teaching this lesson.
So as I’m going around helping these kids on xylophones, I’m just squeezing my butt tighter and tighter so that my poop doesn’t… End up on the floor.
I finished the lesson, and waddled my way back to my house,
and changed my pants, and all is well. But thinking back to this experience, I can’t help but think, if I can teach my very first lesson with poop running down my legs, then I can probably teach in most situations.
[00:33:56] Marc Moss: Thanks, Sydney. Sidney Holt was born and raised in [00:34:00] Minnesota and now teaches elementary music in Billings, Montana. She enjoys camping and fly fishing whenever she can with her husband, Jacoby. Singing and musical theater have always been a large part of her life, too. She loves canned goods, peeing in lakes, and drinking coffee before the sun rises.
Pretty great stories, right? I’ll bet you have a story to share and I’ll bet that you have a story to share on the theme lost in translation. The next tell us something live event is scheduled for September 28th. The theme is lost in translation pitch your story for consideration by calling 4 0 6 2 0 3 4 6 8 3.
You have three minutes to leave your pitch. The pitch deadline is August 20th. I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’ll call you as soon as I get your pitch. Tickets for Lost in Translation are on sale now. Limited edition printed tickets featuring the artwork of Bear River Studio are available at Rockin Rudy’s or you can get your tickets online [00:35:00] at tellussomething. org. The Tell Us Something podcast is made possible in part because of support from Missoula Broadcasting Company, including the family of ESPN radio, the trail one Oh three, three Jack FM and Missoula source for modern hits. You want to 4. 5 learn more at Missoula broadcasting. com. Thanks to Float Missoula for their support of the telesumming podcast.
Learn more at float msla. com and thanks to the team at Missoula events. net. Learn about all of the goings on in Missoula at Missoula events. net. Next week in the podcast, I catch up with local author, Rick White. Just way back there
[00:35:39] Rick White: in the heart of the subway, Bitterroot National Forest. So, yeah, we were at the end of the road and, um, off grid
for, for three weeks.
And it looked like me scribbling furiously and, uh, on a yellow legal pad and then transcribing onto a, uh, a hundred dollar typewriter that I’ve sent at the [00:36:00] antique mall beforehand so that I could… Translated into print.
[00:36:04] Marc Moss: Rick and I chat about the story that he told live on stage at the Wilma in Missoula, Montana in December, 2019.
[00:36:11] Rick White: So I had a few letters behind my name. Those letters and what they signify to
what I had earned or what I thought I had earned
mattered less to my students than did the name preceding them, which was not so shield.
[00:36:25] Marc Moss: The theme that night was tipping point. We also talk about podcasting, writing his artist residency. And storytelling. Tune in for his interview and listen to his story. On the next, tell us something. Podcast. Thanks to Cash For Junkers who provided the music for the podcast, find them at cash for junkers band.com. To learn more about, tell us something, please visit tell us something.org.
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Student charged with killing 2 at Colorado campus had previously threatened one of the victims
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DENVER (AP) — A college student accused of killing his roommate and another person at a Colorado dorm room last week told his roommate a month earlier he would “kill him” if he was asked to take out the trash again, according to a court document released Friday.
The dispute in early January was reported to campus police and housing officials but there is no indication in court documents that university officials made any attempt to remove the suspect from the room despite multiple reports of conflicts, including the threat.
Chris Valentine, a spokesperson for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, said due to the ongoing investigation and federal student privacy laws, the university couldn’t “provide any additional information about the people involved in this incident.”
The new details about the shooting and the threat were included in an arrest affidavit that was unsealed by a judge after charges against the suspect, Nicholas Jordan of Detroit, were announced during a court hearing Friday.
Jordan, 25, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, felony menacing and committing a crime of violence in the Feb. 16 killing of his roommate, Samuel Knopp, 24, of Parker, Colorado, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26, of Pueblo, Colorado, in a dorm room at the university.
Jordan’s lawyer, Nick Rogers, objected to the document’s release, in part because he said his client — a junior studying accounting — would continue to be “prosecuted in the media.” He did not address the allegations against Jordan during the hearing and tried unsuccessfully to have Jordan released from jail without paying any bail.
Besides the trash incident, another roommate who also lived with Knopp and Jordan told investigators that he and Knopp made multiple complaints about Jordan’s “living area cleanliness,” and his marijuana and cigarette smoking, the document said. Jordan filed a request to withdraw from the university about 14 hours before the fatal shootings. His dorm room was empty when police arrived, court records said.
An electronic access number assigned to Jordan was used twice to enter the dorm building on Feb. 16, once just before 4 a.m. and a second time at 5:42 a.m. A few minutes before 6 a.m., a surveillance camera captured somebody running out of the dorm building, the arrest affidavit said.
The warrant for Jordan’s arrest was issued on the first day of the investigation, but he was not publicly identified as a suspect until his arrest Monday in a residential area of Colorado Springs, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from campus.
In addition to a gun that prosecutors said was found in Jordan’s car, authorities recently learned that he also had a fully loaded AK-47, Robert Willett of the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told Judge David Shakes. Jordan had a temporary job and appeared to have all his belongings in his car when he was arrested, Willett said, arguing Jordan was a flight risk.
According to police, the other roommate reported the shots early on Feb. 16, leading to the discovery of the bodies of Knopp and Montgomery in Crestone House, a dorm in a complex that offers apartment-style living for students.
Knopp “was a senior studying music and a beloved member of the Visual and Performing Arts department. He was an accomplished guitar player and an extremely talented musician,” University Chancellor Jennifer Sobanet said in a statement on Sunday. Montgomery was not a student at the university.
Hanson reported from Helena, Montana.
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University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024
ARTZ 105A - Visual Language - Drawing. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to basic drawing skills and concept integration. Studio practice with research in historical and contemporary approaches.
Gen Ed Attributes: Expressive Arts
ARTZ 108A - Visual Language - 3-D Foundations. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to the formal elements and principles of design in 3-D.
ARTZ 131A - Ceramics for Non-majors. 3 Credits.
Offered Offered autumn and spring. A general introduction to ceramics for non-art majors. Learn a variety of techniques working with clay and glazes. No Art experience required. Not for B.A, B.F.A majors or art minors.
ARTZ 191 - Special Topics. 1-6 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings by visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, and/or one-time offerings of current topics.
ARTZ 194 - Seminar. 1-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Prereq., consent of instr. Some restrictions might be applied to specific sections of this course.
ARTZ 211A - Drawing I. 3 Credits.
Offered intermittently. Prereq., ARTZ 105A . Study of human anatomy through drawing, in-class skills development, homework portfolio, and research in historical and contemporary figuration required.
ARTZ 214 - Illustration. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn. This course is an introduction to drawing techniques as they pertain to the commercial illustration industry; emphasis on creative interpretation and disciplined draftsmanship for the visual communication of ideas.
ARTZ 221A - Painting I. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to acrylic and oil painting. Emphasis on color theory, composition, concept development, and research in historical and contemporary strategies.
ARTZ 231A - Ceramics I. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to ceramic techniques. Introduction to clay as a historical and contemporary medium to explore art making. Emphasis on handbuilding and wheel throwing, and concept development including large scale sculpture and functional pottery.
ARTZ 251A - Sculpture I. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to fundamental technical skills and processes used to make sculptural objects. Emphasis on formal concerns, concept development, and new technologies in art.
ARTZ 271A - Printmaking I. 3 Credits.
(R-9) Offered autumn and spring. Emphasis on multiples, layering color, and collaboration. Topics may include: relief, intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, artist books, mixed media, or photo-processes. Consideration of historical and contemporary approaches.
ARTZ 284A - Photo I-Technologies and Processes. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Introduction to photography. Emphasis on exposure, digital camera basics, composition, digital photography processing, and print finishing techniques. Consideration of historical and contemporary approaches.
ARTZ 291 - Special Topics. 1-9 Credits.
ARTZ 302A - Foundations of Visual Art Education. 2-3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Prereq., restricted to majors in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. Art Education students may register for the variable credit section at three credits in the autumn with consent of the instructor. This is a general teaching methods course in visual art education. This course is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the roles, values, classroom pedagogy, and current issues in P-12 visual art education; to investigate child development; to offer an introduction to content standards; and to examine a broad array of art education theories and practices. Students are introduced to available curriculum resources and will engage in academic service learning.
ARTZ 311 - Drawing II. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereq., ARTZ 211A . Focus on integrating content and form in drawings and research in historical and contemporary ideas.
ARTZ 314A - Environmental Drawing. 1-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Open to students in the Wilderness and Civilization program (Wilderness Studies minor) during fall semesters. Open to all students during spring semester. Exploration and production of drawings, with an emphasis on an environmental context; studio practicum, lectures, critiques, reading and writing required. Some restrictions might be applied to specific sections of this course.
ARTZ 321 - Painting II. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. Continued development of painting skills and concepts with an emphasis on contemporary ideas and approaches. Topics may include: figuration, place, process, abstraction, and other contemporary themes.
ARTZ 331 - Ceramics II. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. More advanced development of ceramic process with emphasis on idea development and individual skill building. Depending on the section handbuilding, wheel throwing and other technique will be taught. Focus on integrating content and form through study of historical and contemporary approaches.
ARTZ 335 - Clay and Glaze. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn. In-depth study of the physical and chemical properties of clays and glazes. Hands-on testing of clay and glaze formulas and introduction to kiln ﬁring.
ARTZ 351 - Sculpture II. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. Continued development of sculptural processes. Emphasis on clear sculptural responses to material-based and topic-based assignments. Consideration of both analog and digital means.
ARTZ 371 - Printmaking II. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. Continued development of printmaking processes. Emphasis on integration of content. Focus on layering of color, increased scale, styles of format and presentation, and research in historical and contemporary approach topics may include: relief, screenprinting, monotypes, book arts, and outsourced digital fabrication methods.
ARTZ 380 - Data Arts. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn or spring. Data Arts teaches the essential and practical skills necessary to communicate information about data clearly and effectively through graphic and visual design.
ARTZ 383 - Analog Photography. 3 Credits.
Prereq., ARTZ 284A or JRNL 257A . This is an exploration of analog photographic techniques and methods employing light-sensitive film and paper as well as using a variety of different camera systems and film formats. The course emphasizes advancement of technical control and darkroom experimentation resulting in students establishing individual portfolios. A 35 mm film camera is required for this class.
ARTZ 384 - Photo II-Theory, Criticism, Practice. 3 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. Prereqs. ARTZ 284A or JRNL 257A . Further exploration of digital photography. Emphasis on effective use of color, advanced camera operation and image editing techniques with software and image output, studio and strobe lighting. Emphasis on content development, technical knowledge, presentation, and research in historical and contemporary approaches.
ARTZ 388 - Alternative Process Photography. 3 Credits.
Offered intermittently. Prereq. or coreq., ARTH 250L and ARTZ 284A . Exploration of historic and alternative photography techniques such as cyanotype, pinhole, and wet-plate. Focus on digital negative, historic optics, and varied approaches to format, presentation, and research in historical and contemporary approaches.
ARTZ 389 - Synthesis. 3 Credits.
Offered spring. Prereq., or correq., ARTZ 341, ARTZ 370, and ARTZ 380 . The course allows students to draw together their learning and their critical thinking into a defining experience, through the development of a synthesis project and a written presentation.
ARTZ 391 - Special Topics. 1-9 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereq., ARTH 250L . Experimental offerings by visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, and/or one-time offerings of current topics.
ARTZ 394 - Seminar. 1-6 Credits.
ARTZ 395 - Art Field Experience. 1-12 Credits.
ARTZ 398 - Internship. 1-12 Credits.
(R-12) Offered autumn and spring. Prereqs., ARTH 250L and/or consent of instructor. Special internships under instructor supervision offering practical experience.
ARTZ 403 - Teaching Art II-- K-12. 3 Credits.
Offered spring. Prereq., ARTZ 302A . Continuation and practical application of ARTZ 302A . Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 410 - Advanced Research- Drawing. 3 Credits.
(R-9) Offered intermittently. Advanced Research Drawing, Further exploration of time-based studio practice including assignments and student proposals. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 420 - Advanced Research- Painting. 3 Credits.
(R-9) Offered intermittently. Prereq., ARTZ 351 or consent of instructor. Further exploration and establishment of a functional studio art practice including technical skills, concept development, and understanding of contemporary themes and theory. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 430 - Advanced Research- Ceramics. 3 Credits.
(R-9) Offered intermittently. Prereq., ARTZ 231A . An advanced critique-based studio class where students design their own project proposals and work one-on-one with the faculty. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 490 - Senior Research. 1 Credit.
(R-2) Offered spring. Prereq., ARTZ 393. Self-directed research culminating in a short paper. This research provides narrative, perspective, and context for the studio project. Level: undergraduate.
ARTZ 491 - Special Topics. 1-6 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings by visiting professors, new courses, and/or one-time offerings of current topics.
ARTZ 492 - Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereqs., ARTH 250L or consent of instructor. Further exploration of studio practice including technical and conceptual student proposals. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 494 - Seminar- Professional Practices. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn. Prereqs., senior status and prereq. or coreq., ARTH 250L . Required of all graduating B.F.A. students. Introduction to professional practices and standards in the visual arts, including: presentation, portfolio development, career and exhibition opportunities, arts advocacy, and graduate school application. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 495 - Senior Studio Project. 3 Credits.
Offered spring. Capstone studio class of a self-determined ambitious thesis project. Specific projects formats are determined individually and include thematic integration. Examples of possible formats include a series of artworks, website videos, books, illustrations, collaborative multi-disciplinary events, multi-media presentations in other professions, data visualizations, etc. Level: undergraduate.
ARTZ 497 - Presentation to the Community. 1 Credit.
(R-2) Offered spring. This course examines the practical aspects of bringing a creative project forward to the public. Students will develop all aspects associated with staging a presentation of their final portfolio, including: writing proposals, press releases, CV and artist statements; developing budgets, seeking funding, installing artwork, and documenting presentation. Level: undergraduate.
ARTZ 498 - Internship. 1-12 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereqs., ARTH 250L and consent of instructor. Special internship under instructor supervision offering practical experience. Level: undergraduate and graduate.
ARTZ 499 - Senior Thesis/Capstone. 3 Credits.
Offered spring. Prereqs., senior status, ARTZ 494 , and successful passage of B.F.A. review. Required of B.F.A. students. Focus on completion of artwork and preparation for required spring B.F.A. exhibition. Further exploration of professional practices topics and career opportunities. Level: undergraduate.
ARTZ 501 - Graduate Critique Seminar. 2 Credits.
(R-16) Offered autumn and spring. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Weekly meetings to critique graduate student work. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 504 - Pre-Candidacy. 1 Credit.
(R-2) Offered autumn and spring. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Taken concurrently with 500-level Graduate Research/Studio Processes. Emphasis on one-on-one instruction with faculty in preparation for review prior to thesis work. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 505 - Graduate Studio Research: Art. 1-6 Credits.
(R-24) Offered spring. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Regular meetings with faculty to discuss development of individual work. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 506 - Graduate Pedagogy. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn. Prereqs., first semester graduate student status and consent of instructor. Focus on current pedagogical practices in college-level art education. Emphasis on: syllabus, teaching philosophy, assignments preparation, public-speaking skills development, TA application and course shadowing. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 507 - Beyond Art School. 3 Credits.
Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Introduction to professional practices and standards in the visual arts. Emphasis on: portfolio, resume, and web development, exhibition opportunities, grant writing, and artist residencies. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 508 - Expanded Studio Practice. 3-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered autumn and spring. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Studio-based course with emphasis on collaborative practices across media. May include: topic-based studio assignments, thematic inquiry, responses to readings, and/or specific studio processes. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 580 - Data Arts. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn and spring. Offered on the Mountain Campus, online delivery method. Data Arts teaches the essential and practical skills necessary to communicate information about data clearly and effectively through graphic and visual design. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 594 - Seminar. 1-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 595 - Special Topics. 1-9 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Experimental offerings by visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, and/or one-time offerings of current topics. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 596 - Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.
(R-18) Prereq., consent of instructor. Offered intermittently. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 598 - Internship. 2-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Prereqs., graduate student status and Fine Arts Major and consent of instructor. Special internship under instructor supervision offering practical experience. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 697 - Thesis Paper. 1-3 Credits.
Offered intermittently. Prereqs., ARTZ 699 and consent of instructor. One-on-one instruction with thesis committee chair. Level: Graduate
ARTZ 699 - Thesis Exhibition. 1-12 Credits.
(R-12) Offered intermittently. Prereqs., graduate student status and consent of instructor. Thesis exhibition preparation. Level: Graduate
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2023-24 University of Montana Academic Catalog
A PDF of the entire 2023-2024 Catalog.
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- Student Life
‘It Just Happens Here:’ In a Perfect Storm of Risk Factors, Montanans Grapple with Barriers to Mental Health Care
- 15 February 2024
By Christine Compton, UM Byline Magazine
Editor’s Note : University of Montana School of Journalism students produce a magazine every other year as part of their capstone experience. Byline Magazine was written, photographed and edited by UM students under the mentorship of faculty advisers Chris Johns, former National Geographic editor-in-chief, and Denise Dowling, UM professor of journalism. This year, Byline Magazine tackled the crisis around mental health in Montana with a series of articles and photo essays.
UM News will release a selection of stories to showcase student work. This story was written by Christine Compton of Billings and photographed by Ava Rosvold of Wenatchee , Washington. Read more stories at bylinemagazine.com .
Several stories contain potentially triggering material. Don’t be reluctant to seek help if you or someone you know is in danger. Call or text the mental health crisis line at 988 or reach out to local resources to get the help you need.
MONTANA – The day Josie Libby’s guidance counselor killed himself is seared into her memory.
It was Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, shortly after classes had ended at Glacier High School. Libby was driving home to pick something up for jazz band class and got a text from her mom. Traffic was going to be bad around the overpass. Libby didn’t think anything of it.
She didn’t anticipate how bad it was. There were cars everywhere, backed up so far she couldn’t see the problem. As she was redirected, she saw ambulances.
It was the talk of class when she finally got back to school. The tension rose as the students waited for their teacher, abnormally late.
“My mom’s friend is a first responder,” one kid said. In a small town like Kalispell, Libby believed them. “She said it was a suicide.”
A long pause, some speculation. A quiet student spoke up.
“I heard it was Mr. Avery,” he said. Every band kid’s head snapped towards him.
“Dude, that’s not funny. You don’t joke about that,” Libby remembers saying.
Jerad Avery was the head guidance counselor and a basketball coach at the school. Students remembered him as an overwhelming force of support and care.
The student stood his ground, and the band collectively denied it. They looked at the clock as they talked. Where was their band teacher?
Then, the door opened. The teacher stepped in, and he didn’t need to say a word. He had a look Libby had never seen on him before, like the blood had drained from his face.
At that moment, everyone knew, Libby said. Mr. Avery had died. It would be the start of a hard season of life that she didn’t know how to fix.
She hadn’t been the closest with Mr. Avery, but she knew he was important. She had friends he had helped. She couldn’t stop any of the emotion, but she could walk with her friends around the school. She took them to Target and wandered the aisles, driven by an instinct to distract and escape from where it had happened.
And if she was helping her friends, then she wouldn’t be alone either.
Avery’s death was far from the first suicide death in Kalispell, but it rocked the town. He was an important symbol for students and families. Libby began to realize that if she mourned every death like she had Avery’s, she would never be happy.
“If you fall apart because of one suicide, you won’t be able to live in Montana,” she said. “It just happens here.”
It shouldn’t be, but in Montana, suicide is almost normal.
For the past 40 years, Montana has been one of the most at-risk states for suicide, with the second highest suicide death rate in the nation in 2022 at 32 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s consistently twice the national average of 13 deaths per 100,000 people.
However, action on the mental health crisis itself has been lacking, most experts agree. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, there hadn’t been a strong central conversation about mental health driven by political and cultural action. Libby never remembered any talk of suicide or mental health until she became a student at the University of Montana in fall 2020.
It’s in part due to lack of awareness and an undercurrent of stigma around mental health in Montana. Combined with several overlapping risk factors that minimize access to resources and maximize isolation, the Treasure State becomes a death trap for mental health crises.
The question is, with causes baked into the geography and culture of Montana, what can be done to stop the epidemic?
The perfect storm
Jerad Keith Avery was 50 when he died. He was born Feb. 2, 1969 in Nebraska, moving often as a child before settling near Joliet, Montana. When he attended Joliet High School, he found a deep passion for basketball. He thanked his coach for that. Weldon Amundsen was an important person in his life, Jerad’s wife Leila remembered, and he inspired Jerad to become a coach himself.
Jerad later enlisted in the Navy and served during the first Gulf War on the USS Midway. Six years of service later, he attended Oklahoma State University and earned a bachelor of arts in history-secondary education, before returning to Montana to teach and coach at Geraldine High School. That’s where he met Leila Brown, and they had two kids together.
Leila was accepted at the University of Montana’s pharmacy school, and she moved to Missoula, Jerad joining her two years later. Jerad pursued his master’s degree while assistant coaching men’s and women’s basketball, and they both graduated in 2003. He accepted a position at Flathead High School in Kalispell as a guidance counselor and transferred to Glacier High School when it opened in 2007.
He was loved as a guidance counselor and a basketball coach, his daughter Teigan Avery remembers. She was 21 years old when he died. She sees the irony.
“He wasn’t himself when he died,” Teigan said. “That day, that hour, he wasn’t my dad.”
Jerad didn’t talk much about mental health when he was home, but since his death, Teigan has become something of an advocate.
She came to the University of Montana as an economics and political science major, and when she signed on as a golf student athlete, the theme of the athletics advisory committee was mental health. A year after her dad’s death, she gave a speech at Glacier High School to raise awareness about mental health.
She began to see cracks in the perception of mental health support.
“I think people don’t want to be seen as weak,” Teigan said. “Like, I want to help my neighbor. I’ll build their fence for them, but I couldn’t ask them to help build mine.”
The mental health risk factors for Montana, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, almost seem countless: social isolation, lack of access to mental health care, substance misuse, racial trauma, access to means, high altitude, vitamin D deficiency, long winters, homelessness, high veteran population, high rural population, high mental illness rates, high poverty rates, high alcohol consumption, and so on – a mix of physical and cultural factors.
Physically, there are geographical features and trends that make getting to mental health services challenging. Stretching 147,040 square miles, and with a population of just over 1.1 million, Montanans are spread far apart.
The distance makes it hard to find, access and support mental health care. Some have to drive hours to find the first medical health care provider, let alone a mental health care provider. Without a state medical school and limited training opportunities, psychiatrists, therapists and other professionals are not coming to Montana at the rate it needs. Of the state’s 56 counties, 39 of them had no psychiatrists in 2015, according to Centers for Disease Control data.
Veterans and Indigenous people see strikingly low appropriate mental health care support for a long list of reasons, one of the most notable being incompatibility with standard western health care practices.
Veterans often need help breaking through self-isolation, and face overwhelming financial barriers such as confusing insurance requirements. Many Indigenous tribes have their own care practices that have been shunned by colonizers or racial trauma associated with western health care systems.
Even in places where professionals are available, there’s a deep-seated stigma against seeking treatment. Some have described it as a remnant of the rancher lifestyle where being resilient was the only choice. Others have described it as being proud and not wanting to use mental health issues as an excuse.
“Everyone knows everyone,” Libby said, thinking of Kalispell. “I had no issue with it, but if someone got therapy, people would know.”
Combined with substance abuse, income struggles and other risk factors, the few existing mental health support resources looks less than ideal. There are lots of reasons someone might be struggling, Teigan said, but reaching out seems to be the hardest part. She could see some people thinking it’s just not worth the risk.
“I’m not sure people think their issues are hard enough for therapy,” Teigan said. “Or, they think their issues are too deep.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimated 163,000 Montana adults had a mental health condition in 2021.
Each completed suicide yields around six severely affected people, according to studies from the Department of Health, each of which are three times as likely to attempt suicide themselves. At around 300 completed suicide deaths every year in Montana, around 1,800 more people become at risk.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, around half of the 47,000 Montana adults who needed, but didn’t receive, mental health care in 2020 weren’t able to access it because of costs.
In 2020, 573,811 people in Montana lived in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals, and 51.3% of Montana teenagers who had depression did not receive any care. According to NAMI, 42,000 adults had thoughts of suicide.
At least 265 people completed suicide.
$300 million pledge
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unique public attention to mental health conversations. This, combined with a lucky budget surplus at the state level, laid the groundwork for change.
Now, it’s a matter of what to do.
On May 22, 2023, Gov. Greg Gianforte pledged $300 million to mental health support through House Bill 872, $225 million to be put in a new, separate account for behavioral health networks and the remaining $75 million going to a long-term facilities fund.
“After decades of previous administrations applying Band-Aids and kicking the can down the road, we’re making a generational investment in our behavioral health and developmental disabilities service delivery systems,” Gianforte said in a July 2023 press release. “With it, we’ll expand intensive and community-based services so Montanans have access to the care they deserve.”
It was named the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations commission. Everything is still in the planning phase, and will likely remain so until July 2024. Of the $225 in a separate account, the commission needs to decide where the first $70 million will be spent in the next two years, leaving $155 million for 2025 legislators to work with.
A commission was created of four Republican and two Democrat legislators, plus Charlie Brereton, director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services; Patrick Maddison, CEO of Flathead Industries, a company aiming to provide opportunity for Montanans with disabilities; and Janet Lindow, executive director and co-founder of the Rural Behavioral Health Institute, all appointed under Gianforte.
Over the next several months, they met with experts and took comments at public meetings to determine how the money would be distributed.
At the monthly meetings, some commenters simply started with a tearful thank you to the commission for recognizing the crisis Montana was facing. Others told stories of a lost loved one and implored the commission to use the money wisely.
However, there was a theme in some of the commenters’ statements: This money came partially through luck and circumstances. The chance to make substantial change can’t be wasted.
When it was first passed, nay-sayers wondered if a commission would be the wisest way to think about the money. Joel Peden, a public commenter representing Disability Rights Montana at the session when HB 872 was voted on, worried that people with disabilites and behavioral health diagnoses didn’t have a seat on the commission.
For the people arguably most impacted by the delicate funding decisions, it seems strange they would not make up a large portion of leadership, he argued.
Others pointed out additional voices missing from the commission — namely Indigenous people, who make up the highest at-risk group for suicidality.
However, juvenile psychiatrist Lisa Ponfick explained money is one of the biggest things holding mental health care back in Montana.
While obviously not the first monetary gift to mental and behavioral health, HB 872 stood out to Ponfick for its size and ambiguity. She’s far from a legislator, she prefaces, but she’s seen firsthand how a lack of funding has kept Montanans from critical mental health care.
Ponfick remembers working with actively suicidal children and being unable to send them to a psychiatric hospital.
“Hey, sorry, we don’t have a bed,” Ponfick would dread telling the parents.
Additionally, every time a referral happens, there’s a risk of information loss between providers, Ponfick explained. Combined with a patient’s already delicate state, it creates a gamble that risks not only patient health but a patient’s trust in the health care system.
It’s both a lack of beds and a lack of service workers that create the scarcity, Ponfick said. When the money doesn’t support education or resources, the service dries up. Then, Ponfick explained, the families go home and they learn not to reach out for help again. She remembers a waitlist of 30 to 50 children who needed psychiatric help last year
It’s an example of how the stigma reinforces itself, she said. People are taught not to reach out because “their crisis isn’t bad enough,” she said. Even if it’s not true, that’s the message patients sometimes receive.
That’s one of the parts Teigan, Jerad Avery’s daughter, is most afraid of.
Jerad defined his life by helping others, Teigan remembered. When she was nine, he introduced her and her brother to golf, and when he saw them swing, it was like he dropped everything to focus on them.
“You’ve got something special,” she remembered him saying. Golfing wasn’t about him anymore. It was about her and her brother.
He spent summers working with students’ schedules and futures, determined to make sure the band kids could also be in Advanced Placement classes, determined to help the slipping students apply for college and determined to help the weaker basketball player feel proud.
She knows he had a hard childhood and served in the Gulf War. She also knows he talked students down from suicide.
Looking back, she wonders if that was how her dad felt — the idea that one crisis couldn’t outweigh another.
“I think he was worried that if he couldn’t help himself, he wouldn’t be able to help others,” Teigan said. “I don’t know if he knew he could ask for help.”
Hesitation in practice
In the days, weeks and years after Jerad died, Teigan almost wished her dad’s death looked more like an accident.
It floats behind her. It comes up on dates and with new friendships.
She doesn’t want to be the girl with a dead dad — she wants to be her own person, Teigan Avery, a smart woman living in her college town who’s good at golf and is considering a doctoral degree in economics.
It flares anytime there’s a suicide death.
After her dad’s death, a cluster of teen suicides struck Flathead County in 2021 and 2022. She hopes it’s not connected.
The clusters scare Leila, Jerad’s wife, too.
“Until Jerad died, suicide didn’t feel like it was on the table,” she said. “I’m worried we can’t take it back.”
Leila wants to emphasize that he made the wrong decision and wasn’t a perfect person.
He could be stubborn. Jerad and Leila weren’t on the best terms in their marriage. He was kind, but they were different people when he proposed. After his death, Leila discovered there were problems at work he never told her about.
But she didn’t see any warning signs. He wasn’t giving away his possessions or speaking in extremes. It was as if nothing was wrong.
“He made an impulsive decision, and he made the wrong one,” Leila said. “He can’t take that back.”
And for Libby, a student who knew him, the days after Jerad’s death felt like they were in monochrome.
She spent her time following her friends around the school, watching for a moment she could dive in and fix the problem.
There were small moments of breakthrough. At Target, she found a ridiculous doll: a FunkoPop of SpongeBob, sitting with bulging eyes and a bizarre grin.
She and her friends gathered around the doll, and there was something about it. Through the tears, one friend burst into laughter. It was infectious and absurd. They felt something other than empty grief.
Libby said she saw color again and knew that as long as her friends were laughing, she’d be okay.
Now, she’s a senior fine arts student at the University of Montana, and she’s taken on jobs like being a resident assistant or student leader in the marching band. She describes herself as being “an emotional support human.”
Officially, she can’t talk about it, but the themes she sees in her peers are consistent: scared students who recently experienced something sad or dark or just need to talk to someone before they boil over.
“I want to keep people happy, healthy and sane,” Libby said. “Sometimes that’s making them food, and it’s also 4 a.m. chats.”
That’s what she does for herself, too, after all. When grades fall, friendships waver and life becomes overwhelming, she makes herself hot chocolate and watches a movie. She watches comfort shows like “The Muppets.” She draws or paints and is surprised when the images take a darker form than she expects.
She thinks in comfort and ignores the looming crisis until it goes away. Sometimes, her thumb will hover over a friend’s contact, and she’ll think about calling for help, opening up about what’s happening in her head.
Then, the sour guilt returns.
“Everyone has their stuff,” Libby said. “My friends need to work on theirs before I can give them mine.”
So if she does call, she invites them to watch a movie or get hot chocolate. That’s all.
“Everyone deserves a friend, and it shouldn’t always be me,” Libby said. “I’m trying to accept that not everyone will be okay.”
Libby never regrets her jobs, but she sees why it’d be hard to do forever. She can’t afford to see a therapist or be diagnosed for some of the things she knows she has. Sometimes she grieves for the people she helps long after they’ve shut her door. That’s when she thinks about her guidance counselor the most.
“I wonder who his therapist was,” Libby asked.
Contact : Lee Banville, UM School of Journalism director and professor, 406-243-5250, [email protected] .
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