The Harbinger Online

The Classes Less Taken

International Relations
Senior Jeff Madison considers International Relations his favorite class, and he’s only four weeks in. Besides the fact that his favorite teacher, David Muhammad, teaches the class, he also finds the course very interesting.
“I really like getting into debates in class,” Madison said. “And hearing other peoples’ opinions while voicing my own.”
Fellow International Relations class member, Sarah Milgrim, also enjoys it. Similar to Madison, Milgrim says she loves being able to learn more about the world through debates and class videos that she actually finds interesting.
The class involves a showing of a video series of journalists that travel to crisis-stricken areas. In one particular video, a journalist toured Africa during the time of the Ebola epidemic, giving viewers an inside look as to what’s really going on halfway around the world.
International Relations opened Milgrim up to a unique global perspective that she wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
Not only is the class popular among students, but also a favorite class of Muhammad himself. He loves the fact that the class is so unpredictable. For instance, a news story could come up ten minutes before class and just like that the lesson plan can change. Muhammad listens to the National Public Radio and also checks the British Broadcast Channel daily to make sure he is up to date on what’s going on in the world.
“I just want them to walk away and think ‘man I want know what’s going on in the world and why,’” Muhammad said.

Financial Literacy
Junior Calvin Jones enrolled in Financial Literacy to learn lessons he knew would be important to his future. He knew the business field was an interest to him, but what exactly did that entail? For example, Jones didn’t know much about handling money before the class, but already considers himself to be more financially responsible. He has gained this financial independence through lectures, debates and in-class worksheets based on money management.
Jones’ favorite thing about the class is that the students are allowed to openly debate and discuss different financial issues like retirement saving and the basics to managing budgets.
“I’m grateful that Mr. Klumpe is so passionate about our financial futures,” said Jones.
Senior Mitch Tamblyn also agrees that he learned a lot from financial literacy. Not only did the class make him more conscious as to how he was spending his money, but it also helped him to gain knowledge for how he should spend it.
“I definitely spend a lot less now on useless stuff and am starting to focus more on the long run,” Tamblyn said.

AP Art
Senior Carolyn Wassmer has been working on her 2D acrylic paintings for months. Wassmer’s focus this year in her AP Art class has been studying different landmarks around Kansas City and reproducing them on nine-inch wooden blocks.
“Basically what we do is develop a concentration of twelve pieces we work on throughout the entire year,” Wassmer said. “Then we submit our pieces at the end of the year just like any other AP test.”
Her favorite piece from her concentration so far has been her painting of the Western Auto building. The requirements for these concentrations are open ended, although most students stick with 2D work. Each day in class is used for independent study, in which Wassmer brainstorms her next painting and begins to sketch it out.
“You have to be very self-motivated to do well in the class because it’s very easy to go in there and not do anything,” Wassmer said. “But I’d definitely recommend the class.”

Human Growth & Child Development
Sophomore Isabelle Macwherter wasn’t crazy about Human Growth and Child Development from the start. Actually, it ranked pretty low in her list of preferred classes. Now though, the class is beginning to surprise her. It has already taught her more about children than she had ever known.
“I had absolutely no knowledge about children going into this class. I haven’t even ever babysat,” Macwherter said. “But I am glad that now I will know quite a bit about what goes on.”
Macwherter looks forward to the point in the course where she gets to take home a fake baby. Though the baby cries through the night and costs nearly 150 dollars, Macwherter is ready to take on the challenge.
“Human growth and child development isn’t really a place for those who aren’t planning on taking it seriously,” Macwherter says. “But I think you could take away a lot from the class.”

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