New Humanities class ads depth


Katrina Osborne

Students in the new Humanities class are working on a collaborative group assignment using GoogleDocs.

Alex Jackson, Reporter

Humanities is an Honors English/Art class for seniors co-taught by English teachers  Mr. Negley and Mrs. Floch and Art teacher, Mr. Eberly. The teachers created this class together during the previous school year and finally launched it at the beginning of this year. Mr.  Negley approached students in Honors English classes to pitch the idea of them; a combination of an Honors English class and an Honors Art class, specifically for seniors looking to combine their skills in these subjects.

Last quarter, students in Mr. Negley’s and Mrs. Floch’s English class were studying Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha in conjunction with various texts about reality and multiple perspectives, while students in Mr. Eberly’s class were connecting this to Dante’s Divine Comedy and the question of what beauty really is.

In many ways this class is a prototype, connecting two subjects that are usually treated separately along with three individual teachers and a total of four separate class sections of English and Art students. The goal of the class is to not only connect subjects, but also to help students reach out and participate in their community. This took the form of attending events around the school, like performances, museums, or an art show featuring tape art created by counsellor Chad Farnes and extended to students working on projects to showcase both in- and outside of school.

Siddhartha introduced students to new ideas challenging the average mind. It made them think beyond them comfort zone. The goal of this book was to change mindsets and think beyond the question why and how, to instead look past the symbol and consider an endless series of questions that could give some a headache if they were to attempt to answer them all.

Similar to Siddhartha, Dante’s Divine Comedy introduces Dante who has to travel through the nine rings of Hell to escape his doom. The way these two different texts intertwine is the hero’s journey. Siddhartha and Dante traveled through a series of struggles. The hero’s journey in general is a difficult time period in somebody’s life in which a person goes through a hard time and lives through the struggle learning ways to overcome their obstacle.

The idea that sparked the creation of humanities was an Art, Music, English, and Honors class combined into two periods that Mr. Eberly attended while in high school. Mr. Eberly asked Mrs. Floch and Mr. Negley what they thought about the idea of starting a class where Art would be combined with English. Both, Negley and Floch accepted the challenge.

“Hopefully people will have a better understanding of themselves and the possibilities in the world that life has to offer,” said Eberly.