Ethan Mitchell's Home Page

Teacup Classes on Zoom

All classes are free, start at 11 AM and are loosely geared towards older teens (15-18), unless otherwise mentioned. The invitation data will be pasted below and updated. I am very open to class-topic requests. Please feel free to share this link. Classes will be recorded for possible use later; if you're attending I am going to assume you give consent to being recorded (although I think it only records my side of the video? Not sure.) If you are having technical problems logging in, please contact

  • 4/2 -- Prices, wages, and interest rates in the Middle Ages. (For those of you who are not already huge cliometry nerds, let's just say that this is gonna be more interesting than it sounds.)
  • 4/3 -- The Harmonic Series. (We'll dive into one of the world's oldest and weirdest infinite-series problems.)
  • 4/6 -- The Tank Problem and Drake Equation (A math problem and a blank formula which help illustrate some concepts in the search for life on other planets. Along the way, we'll discuss Fermi estimation (and why it got banned in my house (not by me)).)
  • 4/7 -- The Rise of Dinosaurs. (Millions of toddlers who cannot identify the birds on their lawn can name dozens of kinds of dinosaurs. Weird, right? And we've only known about dinosaurs for about two centuries. We'll look at the early days of paleontology, including the Bone Wars, Champ, and the Loch Ness Monster.)
  • 4/8 -- Hydrogen and the Alkali Metals. (The left-hand column of the periodic table, from Hydrogen down to Francium. We'll look at some of the quantum physics that determine chemical reactions: this is very reactive group of elements.)
  • Later -- Angels in America In a few weeks, we'll take a look at Tony Kushner's two-part play, which is (among other things) about the AIDS epidemic. You can purchase a copy online, or download it from various sites, apparently. If you're having trouble finding a copy, you might contact me or Ilsley Library ( There is an HBO miniseries of the play which is great, but we will be looking at the script itself. Please let me know when and if you've read it, so I can schedule classes accordingly.

Already Happened

I'm maintaining this list so people can get sense of what topics I cover; some of them may later be available as videos.

  • 3/23 -- The Boston Molasses Flood (Using a disaster as a window into all kinds of wider historical topics.)
  • 3/24 -- Universal Basic Income / Direct Grants / Etc. (History of and ideas about a long-standing group of economic policy proposals, now in the spotlight due to coronavirus.)
  • 3/25 -- Intrinsic motivation and planning. (This class is particularly geared towards homeschoolers and unschoolers, and I will strongly suggest that you first read Anton Chekhov's short story The Bet.)
  • 3/26 -- Into to Euclid. (We'll go over basic concepts in classical geometry, and work through the beginning of Euclid's Elements).
  • 3/27 -- The Ely War. A look at a little-known piece of Vermont's labor history.
  • 3/30 -- Crop circles. Also, alien abductions. The truth is out there; probably not very far out there.
  • 3/31 -- The Great Depression. Prior to right now, the most famous economic downturn in US history. (We'll also specifically be discussing the dustbowl).
  • 4/1 -- The discovery of atomic theory. (We'll discuss the origins of atomic theory, its relationship to a wide range of other philosophical concepts, and the line of evidence that ultimately led to it being accepted. We'll go over the basics of the periodic table. This will be an introduction for a section-by-section walk-through the of the periodic table.).

Invitation Data

Ethan Mitchell is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Daily at 11:00 AM EST

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Meeting ID: 533 778 920

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