Too Many Classes, Not Enough Time


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Sophie Furlow From sculpture to politics, from astronomy to great novellas, the Latin course catalogue offers classes covering nearly every topic imaginable. ​As students form schedules for the upcoming school year, they are tasked with the careful balancing act of choosing classes that both meet requirements and align with their interests. The process has raised concerns about course choices as students begin to realize that they will not be able to take all of the classes they wanted to over their remaining years at Latin. Many of Latin’s electives are available only to upperclassmen, or at least are only made well-known starting junior year. As students get older, they are given more freedom in your course selection— freshmen with an almost fixed schedule and seniors with schedules they’ve essentially built themselves. For this reason, freshmen and sophomores are relatively unaware of all of their elective options, resulting in the feeling that there is not enough time to take all the classes they want later on.                                                              Students attribute the rushed feeling to the school’s graduation requirements, specifically regarding art and gym credits. Although the gym requirements get students exercising during the day when they normally wouldn’t, being forced to take a gym class is contributing more stress than it was intended to relieve. Students constantly complain about wishing they could use the time for homework or meeting with teachers. As for the art requirements, some students feel that taking art classes can have them putting in a lot of work for subjects in which they are not at all interested. Instead of completing their art credits, they could be pursuing one of their deeper interests through a different course. Any benefits the requirements may bring, many people believe, are significantly outweighed by the restrictions. Head of the Upper School Ms. Rodriguez is passionate about the school’s policy of health and wellness and recognizes that “for some students, pursuing their interests gets in the way of pressures brought on by requirements and college applications.” This unfortunate circumstance proves to be all too real among the student body. Students are forced to sacrifice classes they love for ones that fit requirements or are more pragmatic regarding college transcripts. Isabella del Hierro ’19 feels this pressure and states, “I want to take a lot of art electives because I really like art but don’t want to pursue it as a career— now I feel like I have to take more practical classes to fill my college application.” This strain— whether caused by requirements or the stress of college applications— would best be solved by giving underclassmen more information about all the courses Latin offers. With a significantly lesser workload than upperclassmen, freshmen and sophomores are presented the perfect opportunity to explore their many interests before they feel like it is too late. The key is to seize every possible chance to experiment with Latin’s course offerings as an underclassman. Latin has recognized this problem and is currently exploring how to find a compromise between requirements and allowing students to pursue their interests. For more information about upcoming changes to gym requirements and PE ISPs, check out this article.]]>