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Staples: It’s not that easy, The downside of class requirements

Jesse Heussner ’11
Sports Editor

Graphic by Connor McCann '14.

I’m a senior. I’ve already endured three tough, stressful years with just one free period, always with the assumption that I would have enough credits to take two frees as a senior. But I can’t—I have to take digital darkroom.

Yes, you could say that this whole situation could have been avoided, that it was my fault. After all, the handbook clearly states that I have to graduate with at least 1.5 art credits. Guidance has probably repeated it over and over again—I just refused to listen.

I can’t do art. I can’t draw a stick figure. I can’t think artistically. It probably doesn’t help that I just had to google “digital darkroom” to find out what kind of course I will be taking second semester.

Digitally editing and enhancing photographs…great. Now, I am not trying to bash the art department in any way, but I can absolutely, positively guarantee that this class will not benefit me whatsoever. And trust me, I am well aware that this sounds stubborn, bitter, narrow-minded, and even naïve.

“You never know what you’ll like until you try it,” right?

No. Screw the idealistic approach. While this adage might have value in elementary or middle school, I am pretty certain of what I like and don’t like as a high school senior. I’ve gotten enough “B’s” in middle school art (yes, sad times) to know that art is really not my thing. And I am 100 percent sure that I cannot take a photograph, edit a photograph, or do anything that could make a picture attractive.

It’s not about the class, either. I’m sure plenty of other people would enjoy taking digital darkroom—it’s just not the class for me. This gets me to my point: Staples should loosen up its curriculum guidelines.

We are lucky enough to have a school that has an abundance of interesting classes and electives, but our core curriculum prevents us from taking advantage of much of this. If I want to take film analysis, I should be able to take film analysis, even if I am already taking another English class. As long as the classes I want to take don’t interfere with college requirements, students should be able to pick whatever class they choose.

Requirements, while they are stated, also have to be made clearer. Is anyone really going to lookup the difference between a “fine” art and a “practical” art? While it was nice to finally receive a letter in the mail last week describing what credits I need to graduate, this letter probably came two years too late. I mean, sending this out to us in early October? Are you kidding me? Right as we are sending in applications? Let’s be logical here.

Maybe I’ll find something I like about Digital Darkroom. Maybe I’ll make a career out of it. But I know one thing: I will not be open-minded going into it, and that’s because it’s required.

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