LGHS is one of the best public schools in California with its impressive test scores, high API score, and variety of activity choice for students. Yet, many students choose to give up one of their electives senior, or junior, year to have a “free sixth.” However, students at LGHS should choose to take six classes all the way through their senior year; they should seize the opportunities our school offers.
The main reason students give for having a “free sixth” is that they will use the extra time to work harder in their other classes. This may be true for some, but for a lot of students, the “extra time” is not put into studying. Students should think carefully before choosing to have a “free sixth.” When senior students have “senioritis” during second semester most do not have a large desire to work hard in school, especially once they know where they are going after high school. Instead of using that extra time for reality television, why not learn how to use a pottery wheel in Ceramics with Mr. Aguayo? Why not learn new techniques in Creative Writing with Ms. Austin?
Many students choose not to take an opportunity to learn from some of the most talented teachers in California. Students who attend schools in less-privileged districts merely miles away would take the opportunity in a heartbeat to learn how to write in Java from Mr. Bollhorst, or learn new painting techniques from Mr. Smith. We are so lucky that LGHS can offer 45 different elective classes, not even including the levels within each class. The list includes El Gato, Yearbook, Leadership, Advanced Science Research, Digital Photography, Creative Writing, Guitar, Orchestra, Band, Choir, Japanese, Spanish, French, Woodshop, Fashion, Cooking and so many more.
Senior Betsy Wall, who enjoys her elective as a senior at LGHS. She stated, “There’s such a variety of electives at LG that I had a difficult time deciding which one I wanted to do as a freshman. I chose Art 1 and loved it so much that I am currently in Art 4 as a senior. The art teachers, as well as the students, are a lot of fun and are great to work with.”
Students can learn skills that may seem unimportant at the time, but may lead to careers or new ideas in the future. Steve Jobs famously sat in on a calligraphy class after he dropped out of college and it led to the typography in Mac computers. In his commencement speech to Stanford 2005 graduates he stated, “I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”
High school is about learning, discovering who we are and what we want to do in the future. Even if you don’t want to become a singer, artist, musician, writer, computer programmer, or photographer, trying out the classes offered at LGHS will open up your eyes to new ideas, thoughts, talents, and activities. We will never know we like something until we try it, so do not drop the period, the opportunity; take it, seize it, and learn from it.