Notes from the High School: Week 11

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What a whirlwind of a week! It went by so quickly that I’m late getting up our weekly update.

Happily, many of you know exactly what’s going on because you made it out to our spring curriculum night, where we chatted about next year’s schedule, dual enrollment, AP classes, and other options for fall. I’ve already a couple of scheduling meetings with students, and everyone’s really excited about the fall line-up — of course, we do still have a couple of weeks of spring to go, and we’re making the most of them.

Last week launched our last round of mini classes, and we started off with a close-up exploration of Jack the Ripper’s London and the weird connections between the notorious Victorian murderer and Robert Louis Stevenson’s equally notorious Mr. Hyde. Across the hall, students considered some classic arguments, including the Ship of Theseus thought experiment.

For our final literature/philosophy split, part of the class dove into the world of modern utilitarianism, exploring Mill’s influence into the 21st century philosophical world. The other students began one of my favorite plays, The Importance of Being Earnest. Oscar Wilde’s non-stop wit deserves to be read aloud, so that’s what we’ve been doing — and even though everyone complains about mandatory reading, everyone also keeps laughing, so I’m thinking it was the right call.

In Victorian class, we also spent a lot of time laughing about Victorian housekeeping through the lens of Isabella Beeton. (One rabbit trail took us into the wonderful world of gelatin salads, which appropriately horrified everyone.) We also considered the shifting role of the Victorian aristocracy and the (surprisingly successful) methods they used to hang onto their power amid the rise of the middle class. In Shelly’s class, debate continued at a rousing pace.

Latin I students are working on a big full-semester review to prepare for the final, and in Latin II, we’re translating our last big passage of the year, which is full of genitive and dative case and weird sentence structure.

In math, we reviewed inequalities and number lines, quadratic factoring, special right triangles, advanced proportion problems, logs, cube root simplification, and graphing linear systems. Some students dove into parabolas and imaginary numbers.

We continued the year-end review in Spanish, including foods, animals, body parts, clothes, greetings, nature, geography, present versus preterite, ser versus estar, and conjugations in the preterite. Advanced Spanish students worked on future and conditional tenses, preterite versus imperfect tenses, present perfect tense, and subjunctive tense. (It was all very tense — haha!)

Several students took advantage of the off-Friday to take a road trip to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

Lots of final projects and essays are due next week and finals are coming up, but we feel confident most students will end the year on a high note. And graduation’s right around the corner!