New Year, New Classes
by Annie Lu
The noteworthiness of CCA is an undisputed fact and an oft-cited point of pride for students. Something special occurs on campus every week, from ASB-coordinated lunch activities to sports games and performances after school. On a larger scale, it is common knowledge that the B building has been newly constructed, but not everyone knows about the ever-changing repertoire of classes offered.
Last year, the AP Computer Science Principles class launched at CCA. An exhibition of CCA’s uniqueness: we were the only school in the district providing this class. Mr. Remington, a computer science teacher, referenced the class as fit “for people who have taken a computer class before but are not quite ready to take full-on college programming.” If they are more excited about the latter, they could take on the more difficult and specialized class of AP Computer Science A. “Principles is like a college introduction, a transition into more advanced topics.” The class was successful in its pilot run last fall, according to the end of course survey. Students expected it to be “challenging but doable”, but effective in building interest. After all, since we live in the digital age, it’s a good idea to understand how all of these newfangled devices function (before they gain sentience and learn how we work instead).
Another class offered for the first time last year is sports performance training, taught by coaches Lackey and Riese. Sports performance training is an alternative to more traditional P.E. classes like weight training and personal fitness. Mr. Lackey compared this class to its more specific counterparts like basketball or football P.E. at other schools in the district. “What we did,” he explained, “is we have a program that kind of encompasses all those.” While sports performance training is more physically demanding, given that the expectations are higher, it’s not exclusive to school athletes. There are no official prerequisites, so anyone who wants to get a good workout and see personal improvement can take the class.
Looking forward, we can see a new and exciting class beginning for the first time at CCA. Mrs. Sevilla, who has always loved Organic Chemistry, is piloting an Organic Chemistry course. She said, “Most students feel chemistry is very abstract. Organic Chem figures out how you could use this reagent and this catalyst, open this and close that, move this around. Besides just the beauty of the structure, see how you convert one thing to another.” This is how the world is put together. We are, after all, organic matter ourselves. Students interested in medicine, pharmacology, or biochemistry would see this class as most important. Organic Chemistry is not a weighted or College Board-sanctioned class, so students will not be taking it just for a GPA boost (please don’t). Instead, it intends to draw passionate students into the field of Organic Chemistry with its lab component and for its remarkable status as a second-year college course.
Every year, classes come and go and change, providing a dynamic course profile for students to peruse. Who knows what might come next—tree climbing? College cooking? How to stage a revolution? The possibilities are endless. The multitudes of opportunities, like a seemingly infinite collection of classes and watching the teachers play corn hole at lunch, could make anyone envious of the CCA environment. CCA’s ever-shifting culture never ceases to fulfill the description of “amazing”.