Electives fair: What happened this year?


Photos taken by Ellie Yuan

The annual Electives Fair took place in the quad on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 during an extended lunch. The purpose of the elective fair is for students to get exposure to the lesser known and new elective options. The electives fair is important for recruitment since any class needs to have at least 15 students to run, though they aim to have 20.

Gunn Assistant Principal Michalis Gordon oversaw the Electives Fair and noted the changes from previous years. “Before the pandemic, it was only the outdoor tables during an extended lunch,” he said. “We learned last year that it is very helpful to have a place where students can find out more information about a certain elective. There will be web pages dedicated to the electives, including links, videos and contact information.”
Gordon expressed how the elective fair builds not only interest and exposure, but also student-teacher connections. “[The elective fair] allows students to hear and understand who’s going to teach the class and get excited about it,” Gordon said.

Elective fairs are especially helpful to students who have difficulty deciding which elective to take the following year. Sophomore Joel Chen shared his perspective on the course selection process. “For me, it’s a very selective process. I’ll choose an elective if it aligns with my needs and interests down the road,” Chen said.
Some new electives that will be offered at Gunn next year are Anatomy and Physiology, Data Science and Literature of Sport. A new leadership elective, Student Government – Leadership, was also offered, where students will be able to interact with different leaders and develop various leadership skills.

Literature of Sport has been taught at PALY for several years and English teacher Katherine Ja suggested bringing the elective to Gunn. The class will feature units ranging from sports journalism to Friday Night Lights, a book-turned-show that has underlying themes of racism, poverty and winning at all costs. Students are also presented the opportunity to read books of their choosing in literature circles such as memoirs Shoe Dog by Phil Knight and The Sixth Man by Andre Iguodala.

Elective courses are an opportunity for students to explore different disciplines and values. For example, Ja hopes that the Literature of Sport class will allow students to value the power of seeing multiple perspectives. “We are going to be talking a lot about different topics that are controversial, and there will be intense arguments. I hope students learn to take others’ perspectives, are willing to do their own research, read and write a variety and be inspired by famous athletes.”