2009 Special Programs
Travel Programs
Bicycle Tour of Kyushu, Japan
Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Mexico
Surfing Hawaii
The Bi-Coastal Boogie: San Francisco, CA and New York, NY
Snow Sports

Local Programs
Journey to the Center of Yourself: Exploring Meditation
The Art of Mime and Body Movement
Cinco de Mayo
Maybeck: The Band
European Cinema

Bicycle Tour of Kyushu, Japan

Instructor: Sarah Kayler and Wendy Bailey
Cost: $3200, Passport Required

Kyushu is Japan's third largest island, located southwest of the main island Honshu. An early center of Japanese civilization, Kyushu offers many historic treasures, modern cities and natural beauty.

The group will fly into Kansai Osaka International Airport, and take a ferry to Miyazaki, a city on the western coast of Kyushu.  From there they will bike a 300-mile loop around the island, through the countryside.  The group will bike about 40 miles on most days, resting tired muscles in the Japanese hot springs called onsen, or on the hot sand beaches.

Outside of Miyazaki, we will visit the Saitobaru Burial Mounds, dating back to AD 300 to 600.  The Saitobaru Archaeological Museum displays ancient swords, armour, jewelry, and haniwa (earthenware figures found in tombs). Kyushu is home to several castles, such as the one at Kumamoto.  Other sites include Suizen-ji garden, one of Japan's finest.

In late March, the cherry blossoms will be in bloom.  The landscape is subtropical and mountainous, parted with fertile valleys.  The roads have essentially no traffic. Kyushu is home to many volcanoes, such as Mt. Aso, Japan's most active volcano.  Students will enjoy the panoramic view of the world’s largest caldera, as seen from Aso-Daikanbo, and experience the power and beauty of the earth, as demonstrated by the volcanic island Sakurajima, which still emits much smoke.

At the south of the island, we will explore lunar-like terrain at the Kirishima-Yaku National Park, along a volcanic lake circuit hike on the Ebino plateau.  This area is also known for Senriga-taki, a 75m waterfall.  Nearby Uenhora contains a pivotal archaeological site and a re-created Jomon-era village, demonstrations, tools, and artifacts.

No visit to Kyushu would be complete without seeing the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.  The displays show scenes from the atomic bomb attack, the reconstruction of Nagasaki, the history of nuclear weapons development, and a plea for peace.

Students must bring bicycles designed for road biking and touring, as well as panniers to carry their gear.  Mountain bikes will not be allowed. Students will receive physical education credit for this special program.  In order to defray the cost, Sarah and Wendy will help the students organize fundraisers.  However, the responsibility to raise the money rests with the families.

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Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Mexico

Instructors: Dave Kinstle and Peter Walsworth
Cost: $1800, passport required

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Flaco was to remember that distant afternoon when he first ventured into Barranca del Cobre.  He had brought home the stories, but no one would believe him. This was the Copper Canyon, as it was referred to by Norte Americanos.  Deeper, longer, grander than the Grand Canyon; no one would believe that. Home to the Tarahumara, a cave-dwelling, sun-worshiping culture predating Columbus—not possible in this day.  From the train, canyon walls, rich in agave and cactus mixed with pine and cedar, flashed in and out of view.  Embraced by the cool breezes of the pine forest, Flaco caught a glimpse of another waterfall, taller and grander than the last, as the train dipped into yet another tunnel.  This time people would believe the stories he brought back.  But he had to keep his facts straight.  Was it 40 tunnels and 80 waterfalls along the route?  This time he would bring a group of compadres to document the wonders.  Another adult would be good.  Peter has offered to join the group.  What about fourteen teenagers?  Who would not believe teenagers?

The plan is perfect.  The plan is simple.  Come with “Flaco” Kinstle and Peter Walsworth to witness the wonders of Barranca del Cobre, Mexico’s Copper Canyon.  We will enter through Chihuahua, the city and state, rich in the lore of the Mexican Revolution, then ride “El Chepe,” the longest, most spectacular train in all of the Americas, to Creel and Divisadero, the gateways into Barranca del Cobre.  Descending into the canyon on horseback, we will enter a timeless space that precedes recorded history and we will retrace the steps of those who entered before.  Pancho Villa and Geronimo had left traces of their trail into Barranca del Cobre.  Sergei Eisenstein, the Russian film director, entered the canyon to film his monumental film “¡Que Viva Mexico!”  Even the French playwright Antonin Artaud traveled to Mexico to lecture on the decadence of Western civilization and learn from the cave-dwelling Tarahumara people.  We too will visit the communities of the Tarahumara to learn of their traditions and beliefs.  Climbing out of the canyon, we will continue by train to the Pacific coast and end the experience with an exploration of the coastal communities along the mythical Sea of Cortez.

If you share this need to travel and explore, you might need to join this group.  I think they have room for a few more credible teenagers.

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Surfing Hawaii

Instructors: Trevor "Pukani" Cralle and Dave "Lesgo" Ramin
Cost: $1500 to $1600

spain2Get stoked to learn how to surf in what Mark Twain called, “The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” For the third time, Maybeck will be running an intensive surf camp in the tropics on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Students will get fully immersed in a wide array of surf culture and receive expert instruction on bodysurfing, boogie boarding, and beginning surfing techniques. Students will learn how to “read” a wave, how to choose the proper surfing equipment, and quickly master the fundamentals of surfing. We will also discuss proper surf and beach etiquette. In between waves, there will be opportunities for yoga and volleyball on the beach, kayaking, snorkeling over coral reefs with colorful humuhumunukunukuapua’a, enjoying wondrous waterfalls, and hiking magnificent Waimea Canyon and the spectacular Na Pali Coast trail.


Regular group meetings leading up to our departure will help us prepare for an awesome adventure. As we get into the “Spirit of Aloha,” each student will become a “resident expert” for the group on a specific subject, such as Hawaiian music (ukulele, slack key and steel guitar), hula dance, Hawaiian mythology, the movement for Hawaiian sovereignty, a particular plant or animal, etc. They will then share their research on the topic to the group in the form of a field report during our trip. We will increase our vocabulary of Hawaiian language (“Maui no ka oi!”) and the widely spoken English-based dialect known as Hawaiian Pidgin (“Eh, howzit? Shaka Brah? Small kine waves today.”). Our diet will incorporate a variety of local ‘ono grinds’ (delicious food), such as breadfruit, taro root, guava, papaya, and passion fruit as well as the quest for the ultimate shave ice. Students who plan to lounge around like a tourist sloth on a sunny beach and have a mellow vacation should not sign up for this activity-based program.spain2

No prior surfing experience is necessary to participate in this program, but be sure to check in with Trevor to assess your swimming skills before signing up. Ocean awareness and water safety will be heavily stressed. Trevor has surfed for over 30 years and has taught many individuals to enjoy the sport and art of surfing. The Honolulu Weekly once said, “If you read Cralle’s resume, you’d think he was King Neptune.” Still not convinced? We also have veteran traveler, hiker, kayaker, photographer, historian, anthropologist, and eco-philosopher Dave Ramin fully on board. Two words: warm ocean.

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The Bi-Coastal Boogie: San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

Instructors: Jane Shamaeva and Eric De Lora
Cost: $1200 to $1500

That’s right: Start spreading the news, we’re leaving… March 27, 2009! But before we spend a week exploring the Big Apple, we’ll get to know our own “City By The Bay.”

What makes any city great?? That’s a question we’ll try to answer as we explore some of the old and new, the natural and the man-made that combine to create an amazing place to live, work and play.

San Francisco, open your golden gate
You let no stranger wait outside your door.
San Francisco, here is your wanderin' one
Saying "I'll wander no more.”

--Gus Kahn, from “San Francisco” (1936)

Our Golden Gate adventure begins where the city started—at the Mission San Francisco de Asis—and we’ll wend our way through the Mission District seeking out historical markers, murals, art galleries, shops and eateries, ending with jazz or comedy or something equally outrageous. (Think “Amazing Race” and wear your most comfortable walking shoes!)  We’ll get “up close and personal” with the animals, plants, fish, dinosaurs and stars at the brand new Academy of Sciences and take time for a little meditation in the Japanese Garden.

We’ll tackle the modern with a peek at the provocative in the Museum of Modern Art, sprint through Yerba Buena Gardens, gawk at the crazy cube that is part of the new Jewish Contemporary Museum and wrestle with the delightful work of Mark Morris at the San Francisco Ballet. We’ll cozy up to some inspiring musicians at the Museum of Performance and Design, amble past the home of the San Francisco Symphony and strain to hear the next generation of great performers at the new SF Conservatory of Music before we sit down and give a listen to a seriously wicked musical that started right here.  We’ll end our week with a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and view the city from across the Bay, then return to explore the amazing art and the spectacular views at the Legion of Honor.

New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun'.
New York, New York, it's a helluva town!

--Leonard Bernstein, from “On The Town” (1949)

Our Big Apple expedition starts with a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to experience an immigrant’s view of the city, as both your instructors (and maybe some of you) are non-natives.  We’ll also get to see the city from afar before we seek out the best food and music of those same non-natives.  We’ll spend time with the fossils, fish and indigenous peoples at the American Museum of Natural History, wander through Central Park and soak up the natural vibe that is also New York, ending the day with a dance performance.  

We’ll grab the horns of Modernism, as we devour the new Museum of Modern Art and the stunning Guggenheim collections, discover current culinary trends and finish with a thought-provoking Off-Broadway event.  We’ll stretch our minds across the millennia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, take in the gems at the Frick, and sit-down to some serious music at Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall.  Of course, we will find time to explore the Villages, the Universities (for those so inclined) and wander down (or up) Fifth Avenue. Finally, no trip would be complete without taking in the sights and sounds of Times Square, Broadway, and the many worlds of the theater.

Photos from the SF/NYC Program:

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Snow Sports

Instructors: Jessie DeMaio Kael and Geoff Evans
Cost: $1000 to $1100

From the bunny hill to bumps, participants of all skill levels have the opportunity to practice and refine their downhill skiing or snowboarding abilities in this program. Lessons will be arranged for appropriate skill levels as needed, and students will have the choice of skiing or snowboarding. Whichever activity they choose, at whatever level, those who join the Maybeck posse on the slopes will also investigate cultural and ecological aspects of snow sports from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will have the opportunity to enjoy other winter sports as time permits and weather dictates. Possibilities include ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and, of course, bowling!

We will head up to Truckee on Sunday, March 22, to rent our equipment and get settled in the cabin prior to hitting the slopes for five days. After taking the weekend off to rest, recuperate and play while the slopes are crowded, we’ll then go strong for five more days on the mountains and return home on Saturday, April 4.

This is an active, physically intensive program for which students may earn one semester (5 units) of PE credit for full participation on all days.

Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads. 

–Author Unknown

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Journey to the Center of Yourself: Exploring Meditation

Instructor: Ana Labastida
Cost: $400-600

Rings and Jewels are not gifts but apologies for gifts.

The only true gift is a portion of yourself.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is an exploration of the single must important subject: YOU! Have you ever wondered where your thoughts and feelings come from? How can you calm and control your mind and emotions? What helps you feel relaxed and happy? How can you focus better in your studies and in your other passions and interests? We will become scientists of the mind and body, and we will learn how to calm, relax, replenish, and focus them!

Take this opportunity to learn from the best about how to learn about the best: YOU. Because each one of us is unique, the course will try to present a good sampler of techniques for you to choose from. We will explore the abundant meditation schools and retreat sites in the Bay Area, as well as yoga and kung fu studios. All of them are non-denominational and universally accepting.

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.0Do you have aches in your body that distract your mind and make you feel irritable? Or maybe you have always wondered about how Jackie Chan does those amazing kicks? We will follow in his footsteps and start each morning with yoga, tai chi, kung fu or kum nye (Tibetan form of exercise) to relax and strengthen our bodies and get to know our own body’s energy and power. 

We will then head out to visit the different amazing spiritual sites in urban and natural areas, meet the local teachers and practice with them. This will include sitting meditation, talks, art, hikes, and work in nature!  Have you got the courage to be patient and relaxed? Do you want to learn how to be gentle and powerful at the same time? Dare to sit in meditation, dare to know your own mind.

Bay Area sites that we may visit (depending on availability) on our daylong trips include: East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, an urban center that serves as a refuge for many specializing in Vipassana Buddhism; Siddha Yoga Ashram In Oakland, an amazing home to Kashmir Shivaism and Vedanta, also in Oakland; San Francisco Zen Center, a great place to practice the elegant art of Zen Buddhism; Nyingma Institute in the Berkeley Hills, the most ancient path in Tibetan Buddhism; Native American Center, to be confirmed; Muir Woods in Marin; and Mazzarielo Meditation Labyrinth in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve.

And, for three days and two nights, we will stay at Green Gulch, also known as the Green Dragon Temple in Sausalito, the amazing retreat site for Zen Meditation! Green Dragon Temple is a pioneer in organic farming. It is surrounded by forests and is walking distance from the beach. We will sleep in their beautiful building, eat delicious, freshly picked organic food, learn some gardening, meditate, hike, and relax and journal by the ocean.

The goal of this course is to help you find skills to relate to yourself, to get to know your mind and emotions in a fun, creative, relaxed way. We will prepare for this inner exploration by meeting in advance three times, and by completing introductory readings about the places we are going to see. Also a section of your journal will be dedicated to the creation of your own personal list of activities and their possible applications to your daily life. We will share and discuss these together. This list will be reviewed at the end of the special program.

This course is for everyone. The only requirements are for you to be sincerely committed to exploring, to be open minded about yourself and other cultures, to bring a notebook to journal and some music that makes you happy and helps you relax...

Take this unique opportunity to do an essential study of the person you will be with all your life.

Yvonne Williams' short film about the Meditation Program:

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The Art of Mime and Body Movement

Instructor: Garret Mayer
Cost: $350

In this session, we will learn to fly, rope climb, walk through walls, create an alter ego and much more, all through the art of pantomime. You will get a taste of mastering the art of silent expression while developing the skills necessary to create a world beyond words. We will work together and individually to create a kaleidoscope of characters while having a lot of fun.

Each day, we will begin with a series of flexibility and strength exercises designed to build your skills and confidence at physical expression and body control. We will also incorporate group improvisational exercises to spark our imaginations and to build on our performance skills.

In order to stretch our creative imagination we will explore various Bay Area resources for insights and inspiration.

First, we will head over to the Oakland Zoo for a different type of zoo experience. With note pads in hand, we will study how animals move and interact.  We will examine their personalities, quirks and traits and incorporate what we find into human characters we create for the stage.

Another excursion will lead us to the silent film museum in historic Niles, where we will take a tour and watch masters of the art of mime such as Charlie Chaplin. Here we will have an opportunity to channel lessons learned for an afternoon of improvisational performance.

Our third excursion will take us to San Francisco to study how street performers spin their craft. How do they handle a crowd? How do they attract attention? How would you evaluate their performance and presentation? How do you translate what you saw into your own work? There’s a very good possibility we’ll take our lessons learned and put them to work as we “take it to the streets.”

We will have many opportunities to practice and hone our new skills as a group and through individual performances. While you exercise and practice to achieve utmost control of body movements and facial expressions, you will build confidence in performing and acting. Through the development of your own ideas and creativity, and exploration of the expressiveness of your body movements, you will be given the opportunity to develop your own stage character. We will also take some time to study make-up and costuming so you can bring your character to life.

Finally, you will have a chance to create a solo piece for taping, so you can have a record of your skills and talents.

Pictures from the Mime Program:

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Cinco de Mayo

Instructor: Ariceli Hernández
Cost: $300

Californians have celebrated Cinco de Mayo for more than 100 years.  In this class we will explore the legacy of the 1862 Batalla de Puebla on both sides of the Mexican-American border.  We will learn the history of Cinco de Mayo and discover who Benito Juárez was, why France sought to colonize Mexico, and study French influences on the Mexican form of governance.  We will also explore this rich legacy through literature (we will read a classic Mexican novel and some chicana short stories), film, art (we will visit the Mexican Museum in San Francisco), language (Nahúatl lessons), food exploration in the Mission, cooking classes (mole, enchiladas, and French crêpes), music (live Mariachi serenade), and dance classes around the Bay (folklórico, cumbia, polkas norteñas, and salsa).

Nahúatl, Spanish, and French are not required, but highly encouraged!

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Maybeck: The Band

Instructor: Vladimir Durán
Cost: $200

Students are invited to explore their creative and musical sides by writing and recording songs. While rehearsing in a proper space, they will be free to explore the song writing art form without the burden of turning down the volume. However, during both rehearsals and recoding sessions, they will be required to wear earplugs to preserve the health of their ears.

Students with a musical background are encouraged to join, but those who do not consider themselves “musicians” are not excluded. The Maybeck Band will need musicians, lyricists, and vocalists. These roles are not mutually exclusive.

Musicians will create the music. If students are already part of a band, they will be invited to share songs they have already written. However, the Maybeck Band should reflect the student body: a fusion of styles, sounds and colors coming together to be creative. Students who do not have experience playing conventional instruments are not excluded from being musicians. I will share all my music-making devices for students to explore their functionality. These include my amplification speakers, guitars, basses, a synthesizer and a beat machine. The synthesizer and beat machine require no previous experience to operate them, simply the patience to learn how to use them.

Lyricists and vocalists will create and deliver the lyrical content. Students with a love for reading and writing poetry are invited to share their own writing or favorite poems and to coordinate with musicians in order to turn their poems/stories into songs.

The ultimate goals are record an album and perform students’ songs for the Maybeck community. The number of songs that make it to the album is up to the students. They will need to build a consensus to determine which songs are on the album.  Rehearsals will be carried out at Sound Wavez Studio in West Oakland, and the recording will be carried out either by Expressions Studios/School in Emeryville by students of sound engineering, or by my good friend, Ph.D. of Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, former band mate, sound engineer for KPFA radio, and producer of local music artists, Fabian Martinez. My role will be one of musical director/band manager/ executive producer and musician/music teacher. Students will go through an interview/audition process in order for me to assess their seriousness and dedication to this project.  The cost of this special program will go to the renting of proper space and equipment. Making music is fun and creative, but it also teaches cooperation and hard work. Come with an open mind, lucidity and a strong desire to be creative.

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European Cinema

Instructor: Anne Marszalek
Cost: $150

Cinema was born in Europe over a century ago and despite the predominance of Hollywood, European cinema is alive and well. But because few movies in this vast production make it across the Atlantic for regular runs, the average American filmgoer is unaware of its richness. This program will offer a survey of European cinema from its origins to some of its more interesting contemporary manifestations. We will start with a few of the early, black and white, silent films, and will proceed to watch some of the classics as well as lesser-known films.  We will examine the works of several seminal directors who have expressed a very personal vision in movie form. Our analysis will focus primarily on the story itself and on how it conveys the director’s vision, but will not directly address technical aspects of movie making such as lighting, editing, etc.

We will watch an average of two films a day. Students will do some background reading, write down responses, and participate in discussions. We will take a field trip to the Pacific Film Archive on the Cal campus for a presentation on experimental movies.  The list of films is still being developed, but the following directors will definitely figure in our study: Ingmar Bergman, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and other directors of the French New Wave of the 50’s and 60’s, and closer to us, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Emir Kusturica, and many others.

We are bombarded with images, and movies are often seen as mere entertainment. Yet some great artists have chosen to express themselves in this medium. The aim of this program is to make you discover a few of those while expanding your knowledge and appreciation of cinema. There will be refreshments, although not during projections, maybe even the occasional popcorn!

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