Better Electives Jumpstart Students’ Futures

by Alex Seclow

Miramonte has an array of electives from AP Art to Video Production, and Photo to Foods. But what other classes are out there? Mirador outlines and discusses fun electives from other high schools that we wished Miramonte was able to offer (even though budget cuts are cutting classes, it’s fun to imagine what classes we would add if we could!).  From Building Basic Robots, Roots of Rock Music, and Powerwalking, Mirador has got you covered.

Monte Vista High School
Danville
Students: 2213
Teachers: 103

Child Development
Class Description: Students attend a preschool on campus where they play with and teach children.
Mirador’s take: Perfect class for students who can’t get enough of babysitting and love being around little kids.

Vietnam Era
Class Description: This class focuses on the roots of the Vietnam War, the U.S.’s intervention and the controversy it created both at home and abroad. Students will look at the Vietnam Era from a variety of political views as well as study Vietnam’s history and the legacy the Vietnam War has left.
Mirador’s take: Great for those who loved Forest Gump and want to study more about the origins and impact of the Vietnam Era.

Alternative Fuels/Vehicles/Robotics
Class Description: This course explores the building of alternative fueled automobiles and the use of alternative fuels. Students design an electrically powered robot.
Mirador’s take: This class is geared for the future.

Roots of Rock Music
Class Description: This class explores and discusses music and its impact throughout history from slavery, the civil rights movement, to the psychedelic era. It emphasizes common themes in music including war and peace, propaganda and protests.
Mirador’s take: Did I mention that optional trips to Bay Area music clubs are offered? Enough said. This class rocks!

Career Exploration
Class Description: This course is designed to help students find their passions and learn the means of achieving these dream careers. Students will learn skills, training, pay and working conditions of a variety of jobs.
Mirador’s take: A great chance to prepare you for the future!

Introduction to Computer Apps/Keyboarding
Class Description: Students will perfect their typing skills and achieve the minimum goal of 35 words per minute by the end of the semester. Students also learn more about Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in this class.
Mirador’s take: A good class for those who still chicken peck at the keyboard!

Recording Studio
Class Description: Students learn the process of recording,  including live performances and CDs. This class includes hands-on learning of computer equipment and recording software. Students record, mix, and burn CD projects as well as do a minimum of seven live performances.
Mirador’s take: Taking this class as well as Roots of Rock music would work perfectly for someone interested in pursuing a musical career.

San Ramon Valley High School
San Ramon Valley
Students: 2031
Teachers: 97

Shakespeare
Class Description: Students that enjoy working with prose, Romeo and Juliet, and other classics that lay the foundation for modern literature should sign up for this class.
Mirador’s take: Shakespeare lovers will die for this class!

Personal Finance with Business Application
Class Description: This class provides you with hands-on experience and realistic tasks, such as making everyday financial transactions and making investments, loans/credits, and Real Estate calculations. This is a great class for math fanatics who also enjoy doing practical business geared work.
Mirador’s take: Who says that high school can’t prepare you for the real world?

Power Walking
Class Description: This class is exactly what it sounds like: an entire class on power walking, which increases cardiovascular endurance and overall well-being!
Mirador’s take: This would be a great elective to burn off steam in between two difficult classes.

Literary Analysis through Film (For Seniors Only)
Class Description: This class introduces students to a variety of films, including musicals, dramas, comedies, and documentaries. Students read and analyze texts, learn film industry vocabulary, review films, and work on their writing and speaking skills related to films.
Mirador’s take: A good chance to become like Vanessa in the hit-show Gossip Girl.

Marching and Auxiliary Program
Class Description: This a marching band class. Be prepared to attend school and regional competitions.
Mirador’s take: A great class for those of you who are still reminiscing over Nick Cannon’s role in Drumline.

Body Boot Camp
Class Description: Through aerobic exercise and weight lifting, students learn to be physically fit and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Mirador’s take: A perfect class for insecure teenagers who need to learn to feel comfortable with their bodies and get rock-hard abs in the process.

Building Basic Robots
Class Description: Although this class isn’t quite as exciting as robot competitions, students still are given the opportunity to build and test robots using computers, Lego kits, and other supplies. There will also be underwater robots!
Mirador’s take: How cool does this class sound?!

Dublin High School
Dublin
Students: 1500
Teachers: 90

Consumer Health Employment Education (CHEE)
Class Description: The class covers job search skills from cover letters, resumes, job applications, job portfolios, & interviews. The class also includes lessons on parenting, which includes the Real Care Baby simulation.
In this simulation students are required to take care of electronic babies, make a baby photo book, and practice budgeting a baby’s expense. This class is a requirement that seniors must take in order to graduate.
Dublin senior Amy Franz said, “It is cool because it teaches us about life after high school and college and all the responsibilities that come with it. We learn about career options too, and a bunch of other after school things like getting a job, buying a house and taxes.”
Mirador’s take: A great chance to play mom or dad and live in your parents shoes for a class period every day!

Amador High School
Pleasanton
Students: 2600
Teachers: 120

AG Construction Tech
Class Description: This class focuses on learning about the basic home systems such as electrical, foundation, floor, wall, roof, and plumbing. Students construct a scale model house using blueprints and floor plans.
Mirador’s take: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!

Fashion Design and Textile Art
Class Description: This class focuses on student’s creativity and learning how to work with sewing machines.  This class also discusses fashion’s impact on society and the use of different colors and patterns.
Mirador’s take: Project Runway anyone?

Veterinary Science
Class Description: Students learn the anatomy and physiology of animals as well as the principles of surgery, pharmacology, genetics, nutrition, infectious diseases and careers related to the study of veterinary science.
Mirador’s take: Relive your preschool dream of becoming a veterinarian.