Electives: Beyond the Normal Choices

Diego Prozzi, Staffer

With elective choice sheets coming out, students are going to need to choose what electives they should sign up for. Unconventional electives available at LASA are engaging and help students learn in a more enjoyable way. This article explores possible options for LASA students.

LASA has a large variety of electives available to students. There are many electives available at LASA that are not available in other highschools. Some of these electives include Hitchcock, The Wicked Problem Project, and the American Film class. Students with different interests can find an elective at LASA that can meet those interests. Senior Owen Edgington is in The Wicked Problem Project. In The Wicked Problem Project, students choose a problem in the world and then work in class to fix it. For example, Edginton is creating a podcast to help students dealing with stress.

“It’s not much of a do this, do this, do this, you kind of create the class as you go. So that’s pretty cool,” Edgington said. “I chose stress in high school and so I am creating a podcast interviewing different people about stress and stuff like that, but other people have different types of problems, so it kind of varies.”

The Wicked Problem Project is a class that does not have a specific curriculum and students largely influence what they do in the class. People take electives for different reasons because they have different interests. In The Wicked Problem project students are also allowed to work together and help solve each other’s issues.

“It’s cool to collaborate with people,” Edgington said “I know a couple of different people in the class have different projects but they like teamed up to help each other out with their different problems, so it’s pretty collaborative I would say.”

Junior Abby Greendyk is in the American Film class. In American Film, students watch around 6 to 8 movies in a 6-week period and then have to participate in a BLEND discussion about the movies. This elective is only available to juniors and seniors. Greendyk said she signed up for this elective because her father works for the Austin Film Society, a nonprofit cinema that screens older movies.

“I’ve seen a lot of classics in my life but I felt like I wanted to learn history through a different medium rather than just like lecturing and stuff like that,” Greendyk said. “I felt like learning about American history through film is a good way to do that.”

Greendyk has had some experience with film, but outside experience is not required. She recommends people who are interested in film and history take it.

“I like it a lot, not only is it really nice because it is kind of an escape from the rest of the school but the movies we’ve watched so far are awesome,” Greendyk said. “Right now we are in the middle of watching Singing In The Rain which is one of my personal favorites. It’s really awesome, I really like the class.”

Most of the students in these classes would recommend that other students take it. They are classes that are engaging, and students can still learn interesting things. Greendyk said if you are going to pay attention there is a lot that you can learn, but recommends that it is not used as a blowoff class.

“That makes me sad because I think that the list of movies we are watching and I think that you can really learn something from it if you are actually paying attention,” Greendyk said.

Chloe Cardinale teaches the Hitchcock class. In the Hitchcock class, students watch and analyze films created by Alfred Hitchcock and learn about the cultural and historical aspects of writing, casting and filming a movie. At the end of the semester, students will create their own “Hitchcockian” style movie and present it during a final film party.

​”I was teaching Vertigo in Great Ideas and loved it, so I thought, this would be a really cool class to create.” Cardinale said, “Hitchcock is one of the greatest directors of all time, and his films are so rich in content, symbolism, social commentary and advances in filmmaking. I just thought it’s a very interesting and engaging subject and something LASA didn’t have”.

Unconventional classes at LASA can be enjoyable for both teachers and students. She currently has two classes available and there are no requirements to join.

“I love [teaching the Hitchcock class]. I get to share my love of films and film making with students.” Cardinale said. “Who wouldn’t love that?”