The student news source of Garfield High School

The Garfield Messenger

The student news source of Garfield High School

The Garfield Messenger

The student news source of Garfield High School

The Garfield Messenger

Crucial Course Consideration

An upperclassman perspective on class registration uncertainties.

It’s that time of year again. Class registration season can be stressful, and hard to navigate but we’re here to help! As members of the Class of ‘24 and ‘25, we’ve put in the time and are ready to answer all your burning questions. In addition to our own experiences, we’ve collected stories from a variety of our classmates to provide you with a guide to crafting your perfect schedule!

Guitar: Hey freshman! Guitar lab is a perfect class to consider if you’re looking to try something new, or if you just need a relaxing period in your busy schedule. The class’s open-ended structure will allow you to discover your musical capability at your own pace and collaborate with your classmates… or should I say bandmates! There’s even those who were so inspired by the class that they decided to continue playing guitar outside of school. So, step out of your comfort zone and maybe even pick up a new hobby!

PS- Garfield offers a follow up course, Guitar Lab 2, to any avid guitarists who like to show off a little!

Journalism: Paperboy hats are coming back in style just in time to try Journalism 1! This entry-level class will teach you everything from how to interrogate your crush to how to clickbait your friends. It’s perfect for anyone looking to improve their writing, Photoshop abilities, and interview skills. If you have any interest in joining the Messenger, taking Journalism 1 is a great way to boost your application and give you an idea of what student journalism looks like. I also want to stress that you shouldn’t wait to get involved! I took Journalism 1 Junior year and joined the Messenger as a Senior and the only regret I have is not joining sooner. If you are in the market for eternal glory, effortless wit and a great time, Mr. Z’s class is the place for you!

Video Beginning: Looking to beef up your Letterboxd account? Video Beginning will introduce you to a wide variety of niche movies–or should I say films. When you’re not analyzing the classics, this course will provide you with the tools you need to make your visions come alive. Mr. Pugh will walk you through each step of the filmmaking process from an initial sketch to the blooper reel. Although, I should give you this warning: if you feel yourself relating to characters like the Joker or notice your friends have started rolling their eyes when you mention the last movie you watched, I’m afraid you may have fallen victim to the insufferable film buff trope. This is not uncommon among video students and no cure has been found, so beware of possible side effects.

Psych: Psychology is a notable stand-out among Garfield’s broad range of electives. Its status as a unique social science makes a seat in Mr. Snyder’s class highly sought after. Psych is a great introduction to a variety of psychological theories while effectively incorporating student voice. If you are looking for a project-based class, enjoy psychoanalyzing your loved ones, or just have a strange fascination with Sigmund Freud, Psych is right up your alley.

Weight Training: Do you consider yourself a ‘gym bro’? If not, amazing! Weight training encourages all students, not only self-proclaimed bulkers, to discover their strength. It’s a semester-long course that will cater to your own pace and teach you how to properly navigate a gym atmosphere. This class is a more independent alternative to a standard PE class, so hit the weight room, dawgs!

Leadership: Calling all Bulldogs! Do you see yourself as a leader? Do you want to have a say in what’s going on at Garfield? Think about joining ASB! You will work with your peers to ensure that student voices are heard throughout the school and included in important decisions. Don’t pass up this opportunity! (Just saying… it looks really good on college apps, too)

Ethnic Studies: LISTEN UP UNDERCLASSMEN. The decision between AP Human Geography or AP US History and Ethnic Studies is a privilege that we are all given as Garfield students. Ethnic Studies is an incredibly unique course that covers material not historically represented in the classroom. It allows students to think more deeply about how history is taught and how the stories of people of color are often omitted from academics. Additionally, this course could not be more highly recommended. I have only heard positive things from those who opted into Ethnic Studies; most have even gone as far as to personally encourage younger friends to try the class out. Before signing up for another history class with an arguably outdated curriculum, be sure to consider this opportunity to expand your perspective!

Science progression: The true mystery of Garfield: what order do I take my science classes in? This age-old question has been debated for years, and I’m here to settle it for you. Go ahead and start by getting Physics A/Chemistry A out of the way, followed by standard Biology (these are graduation requirements). Here’s where it gets complicated. If you want to hop on the AP train, AP Environmental Science or AP Biology are both great options. The other two AP sciences offered are AP Chemistry and AP Physics, but you must keep some things in mind. To take AP Chem, you’ll have needed to take Phys B/Chem B first (yes, this is different from Phys A/Chem A). Technically, you can take AP Physics simultaneously with AP Calculus A/B, but it is strongly recommended that you take calc beforehand. The reason being AP Physics is a calculus-based class, so save yourself some struggle. Alternatively Garfield’s science department offers so many more options that aren’t AP! Consider taking Marine Biology or Astronomy, both amazing classes that go in depth on specialized subjects. 

*Final notes: you must take Phys A/Chem A and Biology (A/B) to graduate, in addition to a third year of science of your choice (three total credits). Secondly, sophomores can now take either Phys B/Chem B or Astronomy as an elective! This is a great opportunity to get some credits out of the way, especially if you want to take APs. 

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About the Contributors
Jordana King (she/her)
Jordana is a Junior at Garfield and this is her second year on the Mess! Her favorite (and strongest) section to write in is sports. Jordana plays softball for Garfield as well as a team outside of school. She also enjoys hiking, camping, playing guitar, skiing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and eating food. Her favorites include... color: dark green, seasons: summer/fall, movie genres: comedy and horror, food: sushi. Her goals are to expand the presence of women's athletics in the media, as well as draw outside readership to the Mess.
Sela Harrison (she/her)
Sela is a senior this year, and this is her first year writing for The Messenger. She loves everything outdoors and spends as much time as she can hiking, camping, backpacking and enjoying nature. Outside of school she plays frisbee, works at a café, and attends as many concerts as she can. Some of her favorite things include, 90s movies, thrift finds and Enlightenmint Yerbamate. She is beyond excited to be a part of this years Messenger staff!

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