Suggested electives


Elder High School has a huge list of electives to choose from.  From Music Theory to Sculpture; Photography to Astronomy, there are a myriad of options for students to choose whichever path they wish.  People in the past have written about their favorite electives for The Quill, and they more often than not discuss the same electives taught by the same teachers.

I, however, want to discuss electives in a new way.  I’m going to talk about the electives that our school does not offer, who could teach them, and how it would benefit the school.  Without further ado, here are my suggestions for electives that would greatly benefit the students enrolling in them and the teachers teaching them.

Videography and Production

My first suggestion is for The Quill’s very own Mr. Rogers.  I bet Mr. Rogers could teach another 20 classes if he had the time, given his vast knowledge of the arts, media, design, and more, but I’ll start with one.  Videography and Video Production would without a doubt be a phenomenal class for him to teach.  I’ve taken his Graphic Design class and am in my second year of Journalism with him, and what both of these subjects lack is the stressing of shooting, producing, and editing video.

He has touched on video editing in the earlier weeks of the Journalism course, but I can tell you honestly that about 4% of the Purple Quill staff truly knows how to edit video effectively and efficiently.  An entire course, maybe a quarter or semester long could turn a class full of rookies into a group of guys that are winning Oscars for the films they helped produce.

Culinary Arts 101

Mr. Tierney, this one is for you.  Everyone in Mr. Tierney’s classes knows that he not only loves food, but has an extensive knowledge of the subject.  If you bring up food in conversation, you can promise that he’ll bombard you with questions to make sure you’re really about your stuff, and if you are misinformed, you can guarantee that he will enlighten you.  He’s full of recipes, opinions on popular restaurants, and tips for ordering and making your own food. He may deny it, but he really is the most qualified to teach such a class.

Elder provides for students chasing a lot of different career paths, but this is an area where we can improve.  Any of you guys who have aspirations similar to those of Fieri, an introductory cooking course could possibly push you in the right direction.

Rhetoric and the Media in Politics

Mr. Gergen was selected to teach a new elective that actually is coming to Elder next year, nonetheless, I bet he can handle this task too.  He’s got his hands full with an array of Government classes, but this is too crucial to our generation to look past.  “The media” is such a broad term, but it truly is how our generation receives news.   From Twitter to CNN, the public figures and political officers use media to communicate their messages.

The problem today is that these people can polish their words and ideas in a way that makes it hard to understand what they are truly saying and what they truly mean (“Fake News!”).  A course in the rhetorical strategies and the methods by which the politicians and public speakers employ them, could help the overall political literacy of not only our school, but our youth as a whole.

Law Enforcement and Punishment

We’re switching up the pace now.  This class ought to be taught by none other than our very own Dean of Students: Mr. Flaherty.  You might be thinking: “Coach Flaherty isn’t a cop.  What does he know about enforcing law?”  Well let me tell you, the guy enforces the law every day of the year.  I, for instance was just enforced upon the other weak when he slapped me with a bricksheet for a simple infringement on the Ban on Hoodies.

I thus conclude that Mr. Flaherty would be an excellent candidate to teach such a course.  Possible lectures could include: “The art of giving demerits,” “How to make a hairy guy shave his face,” and “The ups and downs of assigning bricksheets.”  If any students are actually trying to be cops, I guess this wouldn’t really help them.  However, for those in positions of authority without a police-issued weapon (for instance, Elder High School Dean of Discipline), this course could give some great insight.

Music Production and Recording

Some students have their eyes set for the East or West Coast, in search of finding success in the music industry.  Senior Josh Powell and junior Bryce Martin have a bit of experience in this field, having collaborated on a blazing hot new single.  While they already know what they’re doing, being able to take their talents to the classroom studio in a formal and professional setting would greatly benefit them.

As for teacher, I haven’t completely made up my mind.  At this point, it’s narrowed down to three possibilities: Mr. Nohle, Mr. Groszek, or Mr. Grimm.  Mr. Nohle writes his own songs already, so he definitely knows what’s up.  Mr. Grimm swears on his daughter that he is an underground rapper, so perhaps this would lure him out of hiding.  As for Mr. Groszek, you’ve surely heard his tunes bumping from the second floor every morning.  His repertoire includes some of the best oldies around, guaranteed to bring the good vibes, so he could for sure bring some heat to the table.

Large Scale Art and Media

We have all the typical art classes: painting, drawing, multimedia art and so on, but I think we could step outside of the box.  I think it would be pretty radical to have a class dedicated to creating enormous sculptures, and murals that take up entire buildings.  It wouldn’t be easy, but to do it for an entire semester would allow the class to develop their skills and eventually make some huge (in terms of size and success) projects.

Obviously this class could be taught by either of the well-equipped art teachers, Mr. Buetsche and Mrs. Plagge, but the only downside would be struggling to find time for a 40-foot sculpture during a 52 minute class.

I would definitely sign up for a couple of these classes if we had the opportunity, but in the end, these are merely suggestions.  Hopefully the list of classes keeps growing and diversifying, saving future students from a boring and tedious school day, allowing them to learn about things that genuinely interest them.