Diversify your schedule with lesser-known electives


Photo courtesy of Paige Tasin.

WCHS’ course bulletin is a great place for students to find information about classes they weren’t aware of. Categorized by course genre, the website provides a description of each course and gives relevant information about the subject.

By Paige Tasin, Assistant Arts Editor

Biology, algebra, English and history: everyone has classes they are required to take at school. However, when schedules leave room for non-required classes, which ones are the best to take? There are many subjects that fit students’ passions, but because they are not required, some of these classes are lesser-known and many people might miss their opportunity to take them. Below is a list of interesting classes to take at Churchill and what they consist of.

Anatomy: The class mainly consists of taking notes about certain parts of the body and then having labs based on these notes. There is not much homework and when there is, it usually consists of a practice worksheet. There is a test on each unit every other week. The units focus on different parts of the body. The first unit focused on cells and every unit after has delved into a different organ system.  “My favorite thing we’ve done in the class is the chicken foot dissection,” junior Oliva Willich said. “Mr. Fishman showed us how to suture so we got to cut it open and then stitch it back up.”

Global Issues: “In class we listen to [Mr.] Jacobson talk about global issues,” junior MaryElena Morales said. “[We talk about] what is going on in the government, climate change, and coronavirus. We also watch a lot of videos and do fun activities about each topic.” The class does not have much homework and has a lot of projects that students get class time to work on. There are no tests in the class, which adapts to what is happening in the world; the main topics at the moment are government issues and COVID-19.

Ancient History: The workload is relatively light in this class, and focuses mainly on projects. “In class we learn about one of four ancient civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome),” senior Sam Krakower said. To delve deeper into these subjects, students go over their writing systems, languages, histories, geographies, governments and cultures. The class is very interesting and even allows students to do a project about a civilization of their choice to really dive deep into the understanding of each society.

Internships: For students that are looking for a different route in their schedule, an internship is always a great option. There are limited guidelines on internships students can choose from, as long as they find a company that is willing to give them the experience. “My internship is focused on learning mechanics of different machines or structures and shaving them down to basic elements to rebuild them in a new way,” WCHS senior Devin Jekat said. “I got my internship by meeting with the president of design at Apple.” The workload will obviously depend on what kind of internship you have. “I usually have one assignment every week and I have all week to work on it,” Jekat said. Though this is not the most typical course to take when choosing a schedule for the year to come, it is definitely the most unique.

Literary Magazine: The class is about creative writing and has a lot of great discussions involved. “A lot of it is very passionate discussion, all of which is quite interesting,” junior Kelsie Miller said. “We will occasionally analyze other works as examples of what a future assignment might look like…[these] usually include a creative response at the end.” There is a small amount of work to do in the class and students get a creative way to express their writing. It is a very unique opportunity to be encouraged to write freely the way students in this class are.

Piano: Students of all levels can take this class. It makes no difference if students have been playing for 10 years or have never touched a piano before. “I have a friend in Piano 2 sitting next to me who practices pieces for his private teacher, and then there’s me who came into the class knowing absolutely nothing about the instrument,” junior Sylvia Thomson said. The range in skill level truly makes this class interesting because any student has the opportunity to take the class. “Having a piano at home isn’t required to take the class, so I almost never practice outside of school,” Thomson said. Therefore, the class is very low-pressure and allows students to learn purely with the help of the teacher and the practice they can have in class. There is also a guitar class offered with a similar premise.

Physics C E&M: Students that want to go into more science-based subjects should look for classes like this. “Classes are mostly lecture style, with labs and worksheets sprinkled in,” senior Bridget Kelly said. “My favorite thing is how the applications of the material are explained. At this level, most people taking the class know they want to do something with engineering or STEM, so it’s great to understand how foundational this class is.” The class helps students looking for STEMcareers excel and allows them to have an interesting environment to learn about these topics. The class usually has one to two quizzes before a unit test.

LGBTQ+ Studies: This is a new class at Churchill and focuses on the history and milestones of the LGBTQ+ community. “In the class, we learn about LGBTQ+ history and how we can better society to make our world more inclusive and accepting,” junior Joey Morales said. The class allows students to learn more about the process of how people have moved toward equality of rights for the LGBTQ+ community over time. It is a revolutionary class for Churchill and one that is very important during our current times.

When choosing classes for next year, these are interesting options to pick from and definitely options that will deepen your understanding of that particular topic you chose.