Senior seminars would keep us tied to school


I have a confession. You probably won’t believe me, and if you do, you may not want to talk to me anymore. But here it is: some small part of me doesn’t want APs to end. Some small part of me is worried about those last few weeks of the year, those class-free weeks we’ve been dreaming of since the moment we learned that APs end in May, before school is actually over.

I can’t say I’ll miss the homework, the pop quizzes, tests, papers, projects. I may get used to sleeping more than seven hours a night, as outlandish as that seems. It’s possible I’ll even enjoy it. But these classes and the work that accompany them are what make Harvard-Westlake what it is, and when we’re left showing up to school for two or three periods a day, we can’t really count ourselves as Harvard-Westlake students. We’ll be in an in-between period between high school and college, yet we’ll still tecnically be students here.

For the past five years, Harvard-Westlake has in many ways given me an identity. Our friends, the classes we take, our extracurriculars, sports, everything we do here reinforces what we like to do, what interests us, who we are. I can’t remember the last time I was bored, because Harvard-Westlake seems to take up all my time. I mean that in a good way, for the most part. And yet for those last few weeks of school, most of the senior class will be in a transitory stage, at school for a few brief periods a day. Why would I not want to be here at school for the last few weeks that I possibly could?

Director of Studies Deborah Dowling is proposing a Senior Seminar program which will offer lighthearted one or two period classes for seniors to take in May, after AP exams are over. Seniors will retain their sense of belonging here while learning, say, how to do laundry, or how to improve their Frisbee skills.

More than anything, the classes will be fun, and seniors will still be a part of the community without experiencing the stress of AP classes.