Lunchtime Fair Offers Elective Previews

Natalie Li, Staff Writer

Elective course offerings for 2012-2013 were on display during an Elective Fair on January 26-27 in the quad at lunch. Visual and career tech. ed. courses hosted tables on Thursday while other general classes were showcased on Friday.

Autoshop, Photography, Woodshop, Video Programming, Drama, and Engineering and Art comprised Thursday’s courses while Friday displayed the Social Sciences, Contemporary Issues, Psychology, Mandarin, Physiology, and Journalism.

The idea of an elective fair first arose in the visual arts’s PLC, a professional learning committee for the visual art teachers. Art teacher Jill Langston said that the committee decided that students needed to know more about the courses offered. “Times have gotten tough financially, and the arts and technical ed. classes are usually the first to be trimmed,” said Langston. “Hopefully more people become aware of the courses we have, so we can hold our studios and shops open.”

Sharing similar sentiments, woodshop teacher Don Dupont found that a lot of students weren’t aware of what courses were available, or more often, what those courses were about. He hopes that presenting projects at the fair will improve student awareness. “Taking electives help a student become a more well-rounded person and college candidate, and this is an attempt to raise awareness,” he said.

The elective fair was especially important for Mandarin teacher Shih-Min Holland. Since the Mandarin classes were introduced just last year, Holland is trying to get more students to sign up. “I am hoping that the class will grow because Chinese is such an important language, especially with China’s booming economy,” said Holland.

There is also another chance for the Mandarin classes to solicit new students at Stanley and Joaquin Moraga on February 7 and 9.  In fact, many of the electives will be represented by current students during these visits, hosted by the counseling department, to the feeder middle schools.

Junior Shelby Watts said, “[The fair] is a good way to get kids interested in different classes and help develop interests in new art forms.” She also said that people should take woodshop since “it’s a fun class.” Senior Nicki Bartak said the fair is an “excellent idea to get students information about classes since getting info is the first step to picking a class.”