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WRD 103 Mary Elizabeth Buckingham Liz Lane My Favorite Class In my senior year of high school there were

a number of options open to me for my final English credit. I could take AP English, The Great Book s, Lit/Psych and more. I carefully went through my choices and decided on Liter ature and Film class. The opportunity to explore aspects in film and literature both separately and together combined to make an incredibly interesting class. This class became the best overall experience I had academically throughout high school. One main reason the class was so great stemmed from the climate of the class and the teachers approach to the material. The atmosphere created by the teacher was always relaxed and the teacher was fantastic, she consistently presented the material in interesting ways. We read, we watched movies, we wrote screen plays, and we acted out scenes of plays. Intellectually, we were treated as adults and because of that we enjoyed a very open and collaborative experien ce within the classroom. The class became a nice escape at the end of my day and I always looked forward to attending. Looking back over the months of curriculu m covered I realized there was never a boring moment, which made it really easy to want to go to class. The literary material covered was varied and we were lucky get a taste of many different genres. After years of intensive English classes the op portunity to take a fun, rewarding class that didnt feel bound by its curriculum was refreshing. We read everything from Greek Mythology to Shakespeare to Graph ic Novels to contemporary plays. Reading such a varied menu of literature after years of stricter literature-based curriculum driven classes felt like a breath of fresh air. The discussions were interesting too because everyone actually enj oyed the reading and wanted to participate. Genuine responses became the norm be cause instead of participating simply to improve ones grade, participation was mo re about the thrill of sharing what you thought about what was being said, or ho w you interpreted things. I always felt like everyones opinions were taken seriou sly as were our individual and group projects. Our activities in the class were always fun. Sometimes they would be just a simp le in-class project, like acting out a scene from Othello or coming up with our own modern interpretation of it and sharing it with the class. Other projects ou tside of class were exciting too. We had a group project where we had to write a short screenplay inspired by Film Noir. This was an especially fun, collaborati ve project. My partner and I delved into the noir genre and thought long and ha rd about our plot line and how we hoped our audience would respond to it. Most o f the other writing assignments were narrative projects, which is my favorite ki nd of writing. I love writing, and I loved having the opportunity to write so ma ny narrative pieces in the class. Again, it was a relief to write in this freer genre rather than the more structured analytic writing we had been tied in to fo r the last three years. The film part of the class opened a lot of new ways of thinking for me. I have always loved movies and I have always been able to find and appre ciate the hidden artistic expression a director might use but there was so much more that I learned in the class. The class gave me the skills to watch films wi th a critical eye and identify what the director is trying to say and show in mo re subtle ways. Now when I see a good movie I am able to really think about it and decipher how the vision was expressed to the audience. The class also offere d a wide genre of films, some corresponding with the literature, some not. We wa tched a lot of movies: foreign films to blockbusters to film noir to classics. I had not seen any of the films before the class and it was nice to be able to kn ow you would be going to class and watching a movie. The movies were all good to o; it wasnt like you were going to class to watch some boring educational movie. The films we watched were often very complex and had many layers to them that we would dissect through discussion after the film was over. The discussions abou t the films were always interesting because people had such varied opinions and

interpretations of everything. It was exciting to see how many hidden symbolism was in every film, and going back and watching certain important scenes to analy ze them. I have always loved art and throughout the class I realized that many f ilms are truly pieces of art to be appreciated over and over. Lit and Film was a good English class to end high school with. E nglish has always been my favorite academic subject, and I love reading and watc hing movies so what better way could I have ended my high school English career with? My schools English department is fantastic and I knew the class would be ve ry good going in. I had no idea how much I would end up enjoying the class, and Im so glad I ended up taking a fun English class as opposed to a normal English class . My teacher, the curriculum, and the students in the class all made it a very e njoyable experience.