More than just an “easy A”


Joe Sigler

Senior year comes with many perks. Sitting in the front of the Black Hole at basketball and football games, parading out for the Homecoming assembly, and getting out of school a month early are major benefits. But the biggest and most enduring advantage to being a senior is the ability to take elective classes. Many seniors have completed most if not all of their graduation requirements. The extra space in one’s schedule allows for a great deal of flexibility. Here at WO, students are lucky to have the opportunity to take a multitude of useful electives. These classes are generally thought of as ‘easy A’s’, and most are. But there is so much more to elective classes than just being a GPA booster.  

  Math, science, English, social studies. These classes are required by the state to prepare us for college and life after, but do core classes teach one everything one needs in life? Do these academically rigorous courses teach life skills that are applicable outside of a school classroom? Nearly all do not, and that is where elective courses come in. “I’ve learned how to make cool, useful projects like tables, chairs, and desks. I think woodworking is a skill that you need for when you own a house where you don’t need to buy this or that and you can just make it, which saves money,” Sr. Josh Ouellette said. Ouellette has taken Woods and Manufacturing I, Woods and Manufacturing II, and Advanced Woods and Manufacturing. Other than making high-quality furniture, he has learned useful homeowner tips and tricks. “You can also fix things around your house like bed box springs and other stuff made out of wood instead of hiring someone to do it. It gives you a feeling of independence, which is cool,” Ouellette said. Ouellette did not take Woods because the state of Michigan told him to. He took Woods because he was interested in learning something different, something useful. “It didn’t hurt that I knew I was going to get an A,” Ouellette said with a laugh. Even though the class was an easy “A”, Ouellette got a lot out of the class.

  WO offers so many diverse elective choices. One could repeat a few years of high school and still not get through them all (not that anybody would suggest that). There are electives in each of the four core subjects that are not a part of the normal curriculum, industrial technology, family and consumer science, art, physical wellness, technology and journalism, and an abundance of blended and online classes. Sr. Leslea Rose has taken Broadcast Journalism (WOBN) as well as Annuals Journalism (Yearbook). “I really enjoy these classes not only because they’re different than my normal core classes, but because they have taught me life skills such as time management and how to better collaborate with others. I’ve also learned how to problem-solve in Yearbook, which I would not have learned nearly as well if I had not taken this class. Finally, I’ve learned how to use a ton of technology in WOBN that will help me in the future as technology continues to evolve,” Rose said.

  When one takes electives as an upperclassmen, people may say they are taking the easy way out, but that is not usually the case. Many students choose to take these electives because they are interested in them. Students also learn life skills that translate to the real world, life skills that are not taught in an AP Calculus or Chemistry class. Just because the class is not academically rigorous does not mean that the student is not benefitting from it in other ways.