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Scholarly summer camp

High school’s best and brightest get a taste of college life at Mizzou

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  • Photos and story by Shane Epping
  • Published: July 5, 2007

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Complete transcript of Scholarly summer camp slide show:

Slides: 1-8 (2:37 - 2:06 seconds remaining) "Alright, the last folks coming on to the quad, you guys look terrific now. Perfect TAISO morning, here at nerd camp. Nerds rule."

Music plays and students perform TAISO, yoga-like stretching and breathing exercises, along with instructor, Ake Takahashi, on the north side of Jesse Hall. At the end of the performance, students yell and clap.

TAISO instructor Ake Takahashi: "Wonderful. Wonderful."

Slides: 9-26 (2:05 - 1:05 seconds remaining) "My name is Ted Tarkow and I'm Co-Director of the Missouri Scholars Academy. The academy is a three week, residential program for academically talented high school students from across the state of Missouri. They have completed their sophomore year in high school. Fundamentally, the purpose of MSA is to open doors. One consequence of our attempting to open doors is that we will have on a typical day 10, 15, 20 programs. The activities range from formal class work, five hours a day Monday through Saturday, to late afternoon, early evening optional activities to required evening programs. On this particular day, for example, Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith, from the St. Louis area, is coming to talk about the documentary, Senator Smith Goes to Washington. We show people that what they can do with each other, with real people can really make a profound difference in how they live a meaningful life.

Slides: 27-47 (1:04 - 0:00 seconds remaining) "My name is Cassie Dishman and I'm from Warrenton High School. We're very busy here at MSA and you do get extremely tired, but it's a lot of fun. A good reason to come to Scholars Academy is, well, there's the whole college experience because you're on a college campus and it's a lot different than high school. You get to be with people who accept you for who you are and not for what they think a teenager should be. The best part is being with other kids my age that are extremely gifted and smart and go through the same struggles that I go through with almost sometimes being ashamed that they are smart as they are because society doesn't, most of society does not, accept that necessarily as a good thing. I do know that if I ever got the opportunity to come back to MSA to teach or to be an RA, I would jump on it as soon as I got the chance."

This slide show contains audio, and a transcript is available.

Rock singer Alice Cooper, writer of the 1972 song “School's Out,” would not believe his eyes. School’s not out for summer (see audio slide show at right). For the last three weeks of June at Mizzou, more than 300 upcoming high school juniors from across the state rose slightly after daybreak, attended at least five hours of classes and stayed awake until almost midnight after participating in learning opportunities ranging from “Shakespeare in the Pool” to “Stargazing on the Quad.” Attendees of the Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA), these students embody the top 0.5 percent of the Show-Me-State's most academically talented teenagers, and in most cases, solely represent their high schools.

Once on Mizzou's campus, scholars live in a residence hall, pursue both an academic major and minor and develop friendships with peers they may not have met otherwise. An intentional community of young people who practice a concentrated pursuit of intellectual curiosities for three weeks, they strive to know more than when they entered. In the words of co-director Ted Tarkow, “The fundamental mission of MSA is to open doors.”

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Last updated: Feb. 22, 2012