Elective Class Summaries


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Nature and Uses of Language

This was by far my favorite class I’ve taken in Upper School. The students, the teacher and the topics were all amazing. The purpose of the course is to gain “a deeper understanding of the American linguistics and semantics, and how language is used to create meaning and identity”. Nature and Uses explores the meaning behind certain words, examines code-switching and more. If I could recommend just one class to any incoming Junior or Senior, it would be Nature and Uses. In my opinion, this class should be required for every student to take, because of its impact. the lessons have stuck with me since I took the course first trimester of my Junior year. I can confidently say every student in my class gained a firmer understanding of their language. The work load was intense but manageable. There are many essays to write in response to the readings, but they only help you to understand them more.


Class on Class

Social Class in Literature (Class on Class) is also a class I would recommend to everyone. I learned so much about my community and the struggles that go on around me every day. At the end, our class took a trip to the Austin Street Shelter, and this was a very meaningful experience for me. The end of class student teaching projects were also very special. Each student in class had a different story, whether they were on one side of the spectrum of class or the other, we all came together and listened.


Literature of Cosmic Horror and the Supernatural

Cosmic Horror was a very interesting class. Dr. Colvin teaches this course using the works of H.P. Lovecraft. If you are looking for a chill class with fun readings, I would say to take Cosmic Horror. The work is mainly reading and essays and the classwork is listening to the audiobooks. The books are so interesting and not something I would have read if I did not take the class.


Radicals and Extremists in US History

Radicals and Extremists was a really interesting class. I went into this class thinking it would be similar to the course about 9/11, but I was very wrong. The class taught me a lot about progressive people in US History who were seen as radicals and often used extreme tactics. There is somewhat more work than in other history electives, but I recommend taking this class. The projects and papers are really fun to work on and Mr. Giorgio is a great teacher.


Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology was a super fun class to take. The assignments and projects are fun, but there aren’t that many. You learn a lot about the topic in class and don’t have to do a lot of outside work which is very fun. If you are interested in social sciences, I would recommend taking this course. The textbook is very interesting and helps with the understanding of sociology with fun lessons.