The Art of Choosing Electives


Students of BHS and BMS rejoice at the opportunity to once more choose what sort of electives you’d like to take in your upcoming year of schooling. For those of you just coming into the high school from the middle, your options may be scarce. But for you freshman out there about the climb the ladder to sophomoredom, you’re in luck. The realm of elective freedom is soon to be open to you. But with all the freedom, comes the tough choices one has to make in terms of what class they want to commit a year of their high school career to. So how does one choose then? While this won’t make the option crystal clear to you, but perhaps it will bring to your attention some of the gems of the elective world, specifically in the category of art and creativity.


First off we have the topic of Creative Writing, a subject taught by english teacher of 15 years, Mr. Charles Greenwood. He’s been teaching the Creative Writing class for 12 years and was actually tasked to create the curriculum himself. He was given the class without any instruction on how to teach it, and over the years has managed to perfect the formula. Mr.Greenwood stated that “there’s so much freedom in the class that everything is really just enjoyable to read, both for me and for the class. It seems you guys especially enjoy getting into and critiquing each other’s work. There’s this air of comfort in the class–in the amount you share with me and each other–more so than any other classes.” The comfort and freeform nature of the class is one of its defining features. According to Elise Carrell (12), “The best part about the class is just being able to write what I want, and also the nudges Mr.Greenwood gives us to write in different ways and forms. I never would’ve written a screenplay if it weren’t one of the many different assignments we do through the year.” Creative writing is the kind of class that let’s you decide what you want to write about; Mr.Greenwood simply gives you the tools you need to make that writing great. Whether you want to be an author, playwright, or just improve your writing skills, creative writing is the class for you.


Next up on the list is the Graphic Design class, taught by Mr. Matthew O’Reilly, he’s been teaching a variety of artistic classes at BHS for the past 9 years. Graphic Design has students at their computers a good 90% of the time, performing a variety of tasks with both Photoshop and Illustrator, such as designing cell phone cases, company logos, pamphlets, cereal boxes, custom fonts, motion graphics, and more. The highlight of the class forCole Chiodo (12) is “Being able to do all my work on the computer, it’s a fun medium for art. I especially like the live projects.” Alex Cortez (9) seemed to agree, stating that, “The live projects are my favorite part of the class, I love the freedom you get to tackle them how you choose even though there are set standards you need to meet”. What are the live projects you ask? They’re projects, actually requested by real businesses, where the students get hands on experience working on projects they might get in the working world of graphic design.

Finally we have the Ceramics class, taught by Mr.Frazier, who has been teaching art for 13 years. In the class you use a variety of tools including your hands to form clay into anything you can imagine. There are a series of assignments which have guidelines to them, but the multiple ways of approaching each one make every student’s experience unique. Want to make Mel Gibson but designed to hold a toothbrush in place of his sword? You can do that in ceramics. As Frazier himself describes the class, “It has a material warmth to it; people enjoy making stuff. As soon as you start working with it and getting the hang of the techniques, you get hooked. “ Ceramics student Catherine Mahrt (11) favorite part of class is “How Frazier let’s you complete your assignments in whatever way you want, overall it’s just a fun class, and Frazier’s personality makes it even moreso.” Throughout the year, students will be making a hidden box, several cups, a plate on the throwing wheel, and even an ocarina! If you wanted to make your own wind instrument then this class is what you’re looking for.

With this years changes to class swapping after the year has already started making it nearly impossible to switch mid-year, the last thing you want to do is get yourself stuck in an elective you don’t enjoy. Hopefully this gives you a bit of insight into some of BHS’s  more creative classes, and helps you on your path to choosing your perfect elective.

By Hamish Dinsdale

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