Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thoughts on Humanities

To say this year has gone by in a blur would be an understatement. I wanted the year to pass quickly, and it definitely did. However, one thing I will dearly miss is taking Humanities. I'll admit at first I was nervous, because I had never been in an AP English class setting before. I was slightly intimidated by my peers, but I soon realized that wouldn't be an issue. I struggled at first with participating in group discussions because of this, and I feared my thoughts would be laughed at. It took me a few weeks, but I got over my fear and began to participate more, regardless of whether I felt my suggestions to be right or wrong. I became more confident in group discussions, and I found myself starting to enjoy them.

The work we've learned over this past year has been the most interesting I've ever learned at STM. Mrs. Quinet, although we may seem to "zone out" during your history lectures, I guarantee we find them just as interesting as you do; we just don't outright express it. Learning the backstories of Latin America, Germany, Africa, and Russia among others has been some of my absolute favorite lectures to date. It helped me understand the novels more fully, and gave me a better appreciation for the works I was reading. As for the Art History side, Humanities is the reason I now want to minor in Art History. It was fascinating to learn about so many different types of art, and I can't wait to take more courses on it throughout college.

Ms. King, it's almost scary how almost every novel or short story I read was so interesting to me. From 100 Years of Solitude to The Unbearable Lightness of Being, each novel we've read has given me a new perspective. Before this year I had mainly stuck with young adult novels. Even though I'd consider myself a bookworm, I'd never really read anything out of my comfort zone. That being said, the works we read this year were most definitely a challenge, but a good one. I wouldn't take back any of those late night study sessions many of us had together. Please don't change any of the works next years Humanities students will read (besides The Tin Drum). The variety was impeccable and what I was looking forward to most about this class. Having touched on many different types of literature, I now have an idea of what english courses I'll probably take in college.

Taking Humanities was the best decision I could've made. I've learned more from this class than I have from any other. Yeah, I might've dreaded the 2 hour and 15 minute lectures or art tests but it was definitely worth it. I found the majority of my favorite novels thanks to this class, and it gave me a whole new perspective on what college courses I want to take. Thank you both for all the hard work you've put into teaching us over this past year. It's really been an amazing opportunity to learn from both of you.


msking said...

Aw, thank you, Miranda! It has been a pleasure teaching and learning from you, and the class certainly wouldn't have been the same without you. I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to teach you. It also makes my heart happy that you enjoyed the course and found it valuable and inspiring, and I'm oh so glad that you loved the novels, plays, etc. I wish you the best next year and beyond--I have no doubt that you and your classmates will go on to do great things. Whatever you do, though, please be sure to keep in touch. Mrs. Quinet and I will miss all of you! xoxo, Ms. King

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

Miranda, I 100% agree with all of this. Humanities was by far my favorite class I have taken at St. Martin's, and I am really not just saying that. The fact that it combines my two favorite subjects is only part of the reason I have enjoyed it so much.
After hearing everything from past Humanities classes, I came in with the mindset that I would quite possibly drown in the workload. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased that wasn't at all the case. While there was many nights (or rather VERY early mornings) that this seemed to be true, it was so worth it. When I look back at how much we have read and learned this year, it seems almost unfeasible.
Humanities really is not just English and history. It's more like English+Asian, African, American, European, Ancient History+World Religion+World Literature+Art History+Public Speaking+Creative Writing (& a know I'm missing some). And I've loved them all.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

Also, the PJs on David made a killing off of us.

Miranda Martinez said...

Thank you Ms. King! I will definitely keep in touch!

Joseph D'Amico said...

Beautifully said, Miranda. This year has been completely wonderful. Like Miranda said, even though it may have sometimes seemed like we didn't care what we were learning, more often than not we were all actually quite interested. I know I often looked bored and slept during the break in the long period, but that was because of my bad sleeping habits, not apathy. Also like Miranda, I was initially unsure about whether I would enjoy the class, but that doubt quickly vanished, and now I can say with absolute certainty that I am prepared for any classes in the humanities that I might take in college. This year we have covered a prodigious amount of material while being supported at every turn by teachers who truly want to see us succeed and are willing to forgive our mistakes and shortcomings (like forgetting to post or failing to participate in class, for instance). I'm going to stop here for fear of sounding like a sycophant, but I am truly grateful to both Ms. King and Mrs. Quinet for giving me the opportunity to take such a wonderful, interesting class.