Interesting Courses to Take at Loomis

Interesting Courses to Take at Loomis

Nathan Ko '23, Contributor

In the middle of the winter term, Loomis students start choosing their future courses and creating four-year plans which outline their education goals while here on the island. Many factors go into a student’s choice of classes of course, yet it seems like one common priority for students is to have at least one interesting and notably engaging course. Due to the limited number of classes a Loomis student can take each year, many try to capitalize on the opportunity to take truly unique courses.

One such class, 3D Fabrication and Craft, is widely considered by many students as an intriguing and unique course in the Pearse Hub for Innovation. Mr. Ryan, our photography, video, and digital media teacher, described his 3D Fabrication course as a “class [that] attempts to bridge traditional art traditions with contemporary fabrication technology.” One unique and compelling aspect of this class is the degree to which it attracts students from all over, who unite in the creative and free-thinking place that the PHI was meant to be.

According to Mr. Ryan, 3D Fabrication and Craft is especially unique because it challenges students to “pull at many different parts of your [their] brain” to create successful projects. To elaborate on this idea, Mr. Ryan also shared that the course combines “math, science, logic, creative thinking, and cultural understanding” to “serve our [the student’s] imagination.” When asked about 3D Fabrication and Craft, Seth Sukboontip ‘23, who currently takes Mr. Ryan’s course, touched on the same themes earlier mentioned: “This course really pushes me to incorporate lots of aspects of my creativity into art.”

One of the new courses available to seniors at Loomis next year will be English IV: Banned Books. This class will replace another beloved term course, Literature of the Sea, which will come to a close this year when Mr. Seebeck retires. Ms. Hsieh, one of the English teachers here on the island, described the course as follows: “We think of banning books as something that happened in the past, something that happened in only dictatorships, Nazi Germany, ancient China, or the US in the 19th century. But in fact, governments, religions, and schools are still banning books all the time today, even in the United States.”

In further discussion about this new course, Ms. Hsieh connected English IV: Banned Books to the role that literature as a whole can have. “When you ban a book, that means you think the book has some power. This [Banned Books] is really a course about the power of literature.”

One current class that has grown increasingly popular, as can be expected, is Mr. Johnson’s Introduction to Computer Science course. Mr. Johnson, who teaches both English and the aforementioned course, addressed the growing popularity of this class by explaining that “there’s a certain relevance, practicality, and pressure that makes [Introduction to Computer Science] both interesting and fun.” Students who are intrigued by the inner workings of their computer are immediately drawn to the class – Sean Lee, class of 2022, noted that “before taking this course, I [he] always used his computer without caring about what happens in the background, yet through this course I’ve gained a better understanding of how my computer actually works.”

Mr. Johnson sees his Introduction to Computer Science course as a course meant to “dispel the mystery behind how computers work” and further instill in students a “responsibility to understand a little bit more about how computer programs and algorithms dominate our daily lives.” His course, known among Loomis students to be engaging and enlightening, educated students “not to be passive consumers of computers, but to dig in and grapple with their complexity, vastness, beauty, and promise.”