School removes 13 classes from schedule

Scott Nussbaum

Ten Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research classes, two science classes and one foreign language class have been cancelled from next year’s schedule of classes due to insufficient sign ups.

The cancelled classes include “The Art and Science of Fly Fishing,” “Surrealism,” “The Creative Process: From Inspiration to Fruition,” “Criminal Law: Trials,” “Criminal Law: Appeals,” “Genetics and Biotechnology,” “Gender and Sexuality,” “Meteorology,” “Spanish V,” “World Religion” and “Video Game Design.” “Middle East Studies” and “Mythology and Its Meaning” will only be cancelled for the second semester of the year.

“Enrollment and interest are certainly part of the enrollment patterns we’ve seen, but it’s also that we have added many new classes without adding any additional new students and did so anticipating that some classes, new or existing, might not have sufficient enrollment to run the class,” dean Peter Silberman said.

“The Art and Science of Fly Fishing” was a new course added to the Kutler Center classes for next year and was planned to be taught by visual arts teacher Art Tobias and science teacher Dietrich Schuhl.

The planned curriculum for the class included the techniques of fly fishing along with the scientific aspect of fish and their environment, such as conditions in the water and fish population, and aimed to combine art and science through a single medium, such as fly fishing.

“At the end of the day, it is a cold hard calculation,” Tobias said. “You have x number of students, x number of sign ups, x number of teachers and only eight periods so it all comes down to the numbers. It doesn’t bother me that the class was cancelled.”

It is unknown whether “The Art and Science of Fly Fishing” will be offered during the next enrollment period, Tobias said.

“I think we have more students who are tempted to bite off more than they are able chew than we do students who are bored, so from that point of view I don’t think there’s much inclination to push students to take more classes than they already do, whether in the Kutler Center or any other school department,” Silberman said.

Juniors and sophomores were notified of the cancelled classes in an email reminding them to check their future schedules to ensure they are signed up for the correct classes.

Students can choose to sign up for an additional class if they had previously signed up for one that was cancelled by meeting with their dean and discussing their schedule. Students can also chose to leave the period blank if it was previously filled with a cancelled class.

“I was really looking forward to taking Surrealism and I’m sure whatever I replace it with will be fine too, but I guess I just wish Harvard-Westlake was more open to less traditional classes,” Ethan Weinstein ’15 said. “I think those untraditional classes that were cancelled could be much more interesting than regualr classes.”