SHS Offers New Courses

By Tarini Venkat (Correspondent).

It’s that time of the year again! The seniors get ready to graduate, and the rest of us…We have to pick our classes for next year.

Lots of brand new classes are being offered in the coursebook, including Arabic; Ancient Greek Language and Culture; AP Art History; AP Economics; Gender, Class and Race; Confronting Injustice: A Road for Hope; and Did the Butler Really Do It: A Study of Detective Fiction.

For incoming freshmen, “We’ve also increased the unified art requirement from 2.5 credits to 5.0 credits, which means you might have to take at least 2 unified arts courses over 4 years” guidance director Dr. Pomer said.

“We’re also thinking of changing the music ensemble (orchestra, chorus, band) and how it’s run, splitting orchestra into regular and honors orchestra,” Pomer added.

Pomer says that the music electives would meet three days a week like they do know, but orchestra would be split into standard and honors orchestra, which would practice separately except for one day a week, in which they would practice together.

“The process to register [for classes] is going to be the same. The teachers will make recommendations, and as of next Friday the 10th, you’ll be able to log in and make your requests,” Pomer said.

From Friday the 10th to Sunday the 19th, students will be able to log in and make requests, and then the guidance department will meet with all the students to go over the course selections.

Mr. Pomer also highlights the importance and usefulness of time management calculator available on the website, in which you can plug in how much time you spend on daily activities as well as the expected amount of homework for each class, which is written in the program of studies, so you can plan the amount of free time you have.

English coordinator Mrs. Smoler says that the Philosophy of Science fiction is a course about “Exploring the philosophy of shows like ‘Star Trek’ as well as movies like ‘Star Wars’ and how it connects to shows like ‘Seinfeld.’ It’s looking at science fiction through a philosophical lens.”

She adds that the detective fiction class ‘Did the Butler really do it? A survey of detective fiction’ is “a genre study of different detective and mystery novels and analyzing what they have in common and what makes them great fiction.”

Mr. Fazzio, head of the Social Studies Department, describes AP Economics as “an intense economics class that looks at macro and micro economics.”

He adds that the Hidden Histories class is going to change- it’s going to be a sociological class exploring identity, and specifically how race, gender and class affects individuals life experiences.

“The genocide class is being changed to ‘Confronting Injustice: a road to hope.’ It’s going to be taking a broader perspective looking at the Cambodian, Rwandan, and former Yugoslavian genocide, as well as the warning signs of injustice and how we can learn from history to recognize the signs so we can prevent futrue genocides,” he added.

Another class he said was being offered newly is ‘The World Today’, which is looking at the world ‘beyond just economics and injustice’ and includes issues such as “Sustainability, women’s rights, and global rights worldwide.”

He adds that this class is meant to be connected to ‘Environmental Studies’, and this course is designed to complement that course by providing some of the politics and action pieces the students can do to make the world a better place.

Dr. Dahlen, the foreign language coordinator, says about Arabic: “We’ve been talking about having it for several years. Every year Mrs. Dennis’s public speaking course presents speeches about issues and subjects that they’re interested in. Every single year, invariably, somebody does a speech on wanting more language options so we are aware they have a desire among students to have more options. This fall, Dr. Libano sent out a survey asking people what language options they might be interested in having as a class and the top three were Hindi, Russian, and Arabic. He and I spoke and I’ve been very excited about Arabic for years.”

She added that it’s been identified as a ‘critical need’ language by the Department of State which means that we as a country need more Arabic speakers- there are scholarship offers and jobs that they can fill. For example, BU had a program when they can get speakers or people interested in learning it a scholarship.

“We decided to offer it as an elective, like ASL, to get it started because we don’t currently have a curriculum or someone to teach it. If there is a lot of interest, then maybe we’ll offer it as a full language after a few years.”

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