So Many Classes

By maryellen March 15, 2021

Great Things About Columbia HIgh School – So Many Classes 
by Mary Ellen Dawkins

Woo Hoo it’s class selection time for 2021-2022 at Columbia High School! My 8th and 10th graders are deciding what they’ll be taking next year, and I have to admit I’ve been kind of drooling over the course catalog. I loved loved loved school and dorked out most of my years (skipping lunch three years so I could fit in extra classes like Graphics and AP Chem). Scrolling through Columbia’s catalog makes me wish I could go back to high school. 

These are the classes that caught my eye. You can peruse the catalog yourself here.

Art History – (The class I would sign up for today.) “This course is an introduction to subjects normally grouped under the heading humanities, and is often the high school student’s first exposure to discourse concerning religion, philosophy, cultural history and anthropology, all of which are examined through the visual/cultural evidence contained in art history. “
Fundamentals of Engineering Design – (Wish I had this class before I went to Engineering School!)  ” …will introduce students to the basics of engineering design and provide an overview of the different disciplines within engineering including civil, mechanical, chemical and electrical.  Students will explore the role of an engineer, the design process, structural analysis, modeling and reverse engineering.  In addition, FED teaches students the basic tools used in the preparation of engineering documents.  The course utilizes AutoCAD software and Autodesk Inventor, which are widely used computer programs for generating engineering drawings and models. “

CHS News AM – (How cool is this!?) “This course involves hands-on production of CHS AM (News) announcements. Programs are broadcast live and taped weekly to the school and neighboring communities. Students are expected to be at a level of competency for directing, producing and hosting a liv show. Student work is promoted through YouTube, social media and on the Columbia High School webpage. All students gain hands-o experience in production and performance.”

Literature of Social Criticism – (I wish I could take this now! Revisit classics I didn’t understand when I was younger) “Students will read a variety of novels, plays, short stories, poems and essays by authors such as Steinbeck, Sinclair, Baldwin, King, Whitman, Sandburg, Wilder, Miller, Brooks and Angelou in works such as The Grapes of Wrath, The Jungle, The Bluest Eye, Invisible Man, and Johnny Got his Gun.  Issues explored will include exploitation of labor, hardships of migrant workers during the Depression, effects of technology, war and racism.”
Literature of the African Diaspora – (Would love to have the opportunity to analyze what I read on a broader scale.) “This survey course will provide students with an awareness and appreciation of African and African-American Literature and Literary Traditions from ancient to contemporary times; an understanding of the common thematic, stylistic, cultural, and political links that connect the literature of Africa to that of Black writers in the Americas, and throughout the diaspora”
Shakespearean Literature – (I would love to re-visit Shakespeare as an adult!) “Students will become aware of the universality of Shakespeare’s works and discover the impact and relevance in the  present day, while developing a lasting interest in and love for Shakespeare.  This course is for the beginner and advanced Shakespearean student.  Students will be active participants in the annual CHS Shakespeare Festival.”

Sports in Literature – (Ok so maybe my kids might like this more than me) “Sports in Literature is a thematic-centered, intensive reading and writing course.  The curriculum is built upon the great themes for which ‘sports’ provides a powerful lens: determination, sacrifice, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, dealing with loss and success, etc.  It also takes an historical and cultural look at society and how sports plays a dominant role in our culture, with economics, race and gender playing prominent roles in this regard.”
Special Dance Company – (Their performances are amazing. I dance along in my seat! ) “Company members study various styles of dance with an emphasis on modern dance technique, improvisation, choreography, dance history and somatics. The Special Dance Company takes field trips, master classes, performs at several venues throughout the year and our annual performance is held in May.” (This photo is taken from their 2017 performance at Columbia HIgh School.)

Linear Algebra – (I took this class my sophomore year in college!) “Introductory Linear Algebra will expose students to topics that they will not have seen before. The goal in this course is to expose students to both the conceptual as well as algorithmic underpinnings of linear algebra. Key topics include solving linear systems using matrix-oriented approaches (i.e. Gaussian and Gauss-Jordan Elimination), identifying and constructing examples of elementary vector subspaces in n-space, finding eigenvalues and eigenvectors of square matrices and investigating their applications to real world problems.” Colu