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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Opinion Roundup: New course offerings released for elective signup period

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Harrisites share opinions on the new homework policy.
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On Friday, Interim Acting Assistant Principal of Guidance Jessica Graf sent the annual THHS Elective Guide for the 2024-25 school year to Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors. This year’s edition boasts 87 courses across the Arts, English, Guidance, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, and World Languages departments, including over ten new courses not seen last year.

Students reflected on the new and removed courses, generally agreeing that the new courses were interesting and exciting for them, although some were disappointed by the loss of certain courses. Here is a range of student perspectives on the 2024-25 elective guide:

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I think the new courses sound interesting. I definitely know there are people who will be excited to take these courses. In particular, I love the idea of the “Chemistry in Cooking” class because it is unique and interests those who are passionate about cooking and science. Personally, I am disappointed in the amount of interesting and unique courses that were removed. I was considering taking the Astronomy class this year, as I am very passionate about it. I am disappointed to find out it is no longer an option. I am currently taking “Life Is But A Dream,” and I really enjoy this class, so it’s disappointing to find out it will no longer be a class. A course I would like to see be added is a new Theater Arts class for 11th grade to pursue the Drama Writers Academy degree. Especially after Theater Tech was removed, I would like to see more classes offered for those who are passionate about Theater and earning a Drama degree. Although I may not agree that these courses should have been removed, I respect the school’s decision.

— Junior Autumn Clarke

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I really like the fact that Townsend Harris provides a wide variety of options for electives. The guide is very helpful and tells me everything I need to know, from what the elective is about, to the materials required for the subject. I do wish there were more AP courses open to the 10th grade, but it makes sense why there aren’t for reasons such as needing to take a prerequisite. I like that freshmen can choose which regular English class they want to take next year relating to the [Writers Academy] tracks. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied and look forward to the possible courses I can take next year that aren’t part of the core curriculum.

— Freshman Manyata Chhetri

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I find the new courses incredibly interesting, and some teach important skills like financial and social responsibility, which I think are incredibly needed in this modern environment. I find that these courses also help expand on many students’ interests, like offering more orchestra classes. I also like that certain added courses also combine different interests, like chemistry and cooking. I wish to have seen more creative science courses, similar to how we have the chemistry cooking class. I wish we had a class on the physics of roller coasters or something t0 that effect.

— Sophomore Thaseena Anjum

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I think it is amazing that students have the opportunity to take such a variety of electives from so many different subject areas. I’m glad that not only the seniors and juniors but also underclassmen get to explore subjects they are interested in deeper than what is already provided in the base curriculum. I hope to try out many of these courses during my time at THHS.

— Freshman Beyonce Boahen

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New courses such as 3D design and The Chemistry of Cooking are being introduced at THHS. These courses are exciting and innovative, and they have the potential to prepare students for their future careers and personal lives.

— Sophomore Brian Merino

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When I first saw the new elective guide, I was pretty surprised because I never had the thought that we as students have more opportunities to plan for what we are interested in.

— Freshman Taha Alam

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This year, the Band Council and Mr. Heathwood were very passionate about bringing back Symphonic Band. Due to the exciting growth of the band program, we have enough people to form an intermediate band to give musicians the opportunity to develop their skills in that class before making the jump to Wind Ensemble. As a musician, I’m very excited to see this class come back and contribute to growing the many layers of the Band Program. The plan for next year would be to offer Symphonic Band as a separate class so we could make time to play more advanced pieces while not taking time away from Chamber Strings and Wind Ensemble.

— Junior Jasmyn Pillay

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I think the electives guide is a great way for us to learn how to be independent. We are encouraged to pursue our interests and what suits us best. For me, I like to take this as an opportunity in being able to tailor my education to receive academic satisfaction. The abundance of elective courses given is an assurance that we can find a class that can benefit us in the present and for our goals in the future.

— Sophomore Najibah Ziyan

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I had “Life is But a Dream” last year and it was a wonderful class. You didn’t have to stress out about the AP English exam and it was really fun because we read a lot of short stories, and we analyzed a movie for an essay. The teachers really made the class super welcoming and fun. I’m also sad that there is no “Underrepresented Voices in History” class. I had that my junior year, and it was amazing. I was able to do a lot of cool projects such as make a podcast and get Mr. Morzan to be on the last episode. I focused on Native American boarding schools. Compared to the AP US history class, you have less topics but go into more detail. I really really enjoyed the class.

— Senior Amelia Lauren

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Even though I am excited to see which courses I want to take, this takes a lot of thought, especially since I am going to be a junior next year. Over break, I will definitely take the time to sit down with my family and discuss the course options.

— Sophomore Brandon Pinto

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I think that they removed some of the electives that were popular among the students and replaced them with courses that would not draw as much attention. I noticed that they removed “Classic TV” and have [another course in its place].

— Junior Zahra Imam

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