Extensive Knowledge: Students Take Extension Classes

Madeleine Van Slyke and Ava De Leon

A new opportunity to learn has come to LASA in the form of extension classes. From Harry Potter Trivia to discussions about Bigfoot, extension classes at LASA cover a variety of topics that would appeal to students.

Before the beginning of the school year, LASA offered students the chance to participate in extension classes taught by teachers at LASA. The classes consisted of a multitude of topics for students to choose from and provided information on new and unusual subjects, instructions on how to do or create something and helpful life tips. This was the first year that LASA has introduced extension classes as a way to compensate for pandemic precautions. With a majority of students remaining at home, these classes have provided different opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise. Freshman Ramona González has attended several extension classes this year.

“[Extension classes] are basically a way to find something new that you want to learn about or learn to do,” González said. “There have been many different ones offered so far, and I believe there are new ones regularly. They are a really good way to connect with people who are interested in what you are and meet new people.”

Students, especially freshmen, have missed out on some of the typical LASA introductory events. However, these classes gave students the opportunity to try and get up to speed with high school life and get to know some of the teachers at LASA. Freshman Lucy Pigford reflected on her experience in the sessions she attended.

I took the ‘Philosophy of the Good Place,’ ‘Chess for Beginners,’ ‘Harry Potter Trivia’ and ‘Procrastiplanners Unite,’” Pigford said. “I liked how there was such a wide variety. It was cool how teachers shared their passions and interests with the students. Since I’m a freshman, it was nice to meet potential classmates with the same interests as me.”

González also mentioned how she enjoyed the opportunity to sample multiple hobbies in such a short amount of time. The flexibility of the schedules and the brevity of the sessions allowed students to attend multiple classes in one day and experience many different interesting subjects and topics.

“I like the idea that you can learn and try something new for just one day and one period of time and that you are not signed up for an entire semester class of something that you do not enjoy,” González said. “It is like a little bite of a hobby or topic that you can now choose to go deeper into or not.”

With the classes being before the school year, students were able to attend sessions without having to worry about missing out on other classes or getting caught up in school work. The availability and convenience of the classes allowed Pigford to take part in most of the ones she was interested in.

“I liked how they were before school started because then I actually had time to participate,” Pigford said. “I appreciated how they were free to students and you could take up to four.”

Students have found these classes helpful for different reasons. According to freshman Ella Lilly, they were a fun way to change up the day-to-day schedule and learn about new activities while meeting new people.

“I originally was just like, ‘What the heck, why not?’” Lilly said. “I believe my first class was ‘The Basics of Sourdough,’ which was fun when we were all stuck at home. I really liked that class, so I went to another and another. It was fun that I got to meet people when I hadn’t seen anyone new in ages, even though it was through Zoom. I had found myself getting into the same routine with what I was doing, which, if I’m being honest, was really nothing, and these classes got me started on activities I really enjoy.”

Extension classes allowed freshmen to be introduced to the LASA experience. Many students, like Pigford, hadn’t had an educational outlet for most of quarantine, and Pigford found the classes to be a good segue into a normal school year.

“I suppose it was good to learn and do something educational before school started since I hadn’t done much learning over spring and summer,” Pigford said. “My classes really didn’t relate to COVID, which was a nice change, but it was a fun way to learn during quarantine and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t.”