English Electives Should be Open to All


Sydney Gager, Editor

Freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year I attempted to sign up for creative writing, but even with three english electives in my schedule, creative writing will not be one of the courses of my high school career. 

Instead of English 12, seniors have the opportunity to take english electives or AP Lit or Lang. However, these electives shouldn’t be offered only to seniors. With many options–Modern Gothic Lit, Contemporary Lit, Intro to Philosophy, Creative Writing, Public Speech and Debate, Satire, and Web Journalism–it is impossible for any senior to make a dent in these options. 

I’m lucky enough to have three periods of english each day–Web Journalism, Intro to Philosophy (which will become Public Speech and Debate next semester), and AP Lit–but even with four different english classes in my schedule, I am only taking half the amount of classes I want to and I’m missing out on classes I would’ve loved. 

Claire Killian’s article, We Need To Talk About Underclassmen Electives, was completely correct in pointing out the lack of options for underclassmen. But on the other side of the experience, seniors are bombarded with too many options. If Rye makes sections of each elective open to underclassmen and upperclassmen, then everyone can learn about the topics they love without sacrificing other interests their senior year. 

By senior year I simply don’t have the energy to care about the metaphysics we’re discussing in Philosophy. Freshman or sophomore year, though, I wouldn’t have shut up about it. I would’ve told my friends about it, my parents, and probably strangers on the street: “Did you know that your speed can affect how fast time moves?” “Did you know space is made of Higgs Boson particles?” “Did you know there’s ten (or more) dimensions that we can’t perceive?”

Underclassmen retain the passion that seniors have lost, so while underclassmen lack the technical writing skills of upperclassmen, they can succeed in english electives. They definitely have the ability to grasp most–if not all–of the information offered in the senior electives, especially if taught specifically to their abilities. If classes are separated (so upper- and under- classmen can each take the electives and learn at their respective abilities), then everyone can learn what they love without trying to take every single english class in their senior year. I believe teachers will be grateful to teach sections with more passionate, energetic students; offering more sections of english electives will be more enjoyable for both students and teachers.

Don’t leave underclassmen with excessive free periods while english-loving seniors like me mourn their inability to take classes that intrigue them.