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Poll: What is or was your favorite subject area in school?

English 19 (26%)
Foreign Language 8 (11%)
Math 4 (5%)
Science 9 (12%)
Social Sciences 3 (4%)
Computer Science 7 (9%)
Phys Ed 0 (0%)
Recess 4 (5%)
Other 20 (27%)
   Discussion: What is or was your favorite subject area in school?
zil · 21 years, 2 months ago
I know there is an "other" so I shouldn't bitch, but thats never stopped me. and before you say , don't like this one "suggest a poll" I say shut yer yap! okay no there aren't any art choices up there? music lessons? art class? photography class? pttery? dance? I grrr in your general direction.
zil Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
oh yeah .... FIRST POST!!
Talcott Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I agree! While I'm an English (writing) major now, High School was all about the art classes. I think there are nearly as many artists around here as there are English majors, actually, there might be more...
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
We could take art or music in high school.

I can't draw so I took music.

freshman year: General Music
Sophomore year: American Musical Theatre

two art or music classes were required to graduate.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
we didn't have band in our high school.
Just music classes or music lessons in addition to art.

Chorus was an option but it was afterschool as well as Flute or Clarinet ensemble.

But if your district only provided one bus for you to get home (at dismissal time), you couldn't stay after unless someone picked you up from school.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
our school was "college prep" only.

We had "Regents" or "Non-Regents" classes and the other stuff was outside of your regular school classes unless it was mandatory to take.

Those of you living in a state that has these state Regents exams and diploma you'll know what I'm talking about.
A girl named Becca Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I wouldn't call the Regents program "'college prep' only." Actually I think most strictly Regents courses are far from college prep. People can and do get into college without honors/AP classes, of course...but it's really hard if you don't do something extra like, I don't know...4 years of band instead of 2, or business electives, or something. And, as you can probably infer from NY state high school had plenty of elective courses that weren't required by the Board of Regents, which is apparently different from your experience... Maybe the system doesn't have the playfield-leveling effect that they were hoping for...
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Becca I attended a College Prep school which specifically advertised "Regents Classes." When did you graduate from HS (which now makes a difference because all student in NY are required to take the Regents exams)? I didn't say regents was college prep but my school offered it along with non-regents classes.

I didn't attend public school - private school/college prep.

And yes, you can get into college without regents as shown by the statistics in my class when we got our alumni paper. They do how many in the class had regents and went to college and how many in the class had non regents and went to college along with all scholarships given to each student.

I was in Regents, my friend was not. We both were accepted to college and graduated.
I got into NYU on a sholarship, She went to SUNY College at Buffalo. Eventually I went there as well, graduated in '95 and '96 as a double major and now just recently went back to college.

For regents, you could take 5 years of a foreign language to eliminate math or science regents requirement (that would be senior year taking College French or Spanish (IV) as well as Spanish or French V), even though two years of math and science is required by the state, 3 years for Regents diploma plus passing the exams.

Becca are you from NY? I'm wondering if you took the New York State Exams.
A girl named Becca Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Yes, I'm from Rochester...but I graduated in 2001 so I'm sure the requirements and the tests have changed since then. Damn, I wish my extra foreign languages could have gotten me out of math or science... :) I also didn't realize private schools offered Regents programs...
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Ahhhh! that's why we're talking a completely different language!

I graduated in 1989 - the regents requirements were different back then. No wonder! :)

I took 3 years math (regents exam every year - Sequential Math I, II and III), 4 years foreign language (regents exam during the third year), 3 years history (Regents exam junior year for American history and current events not for the total histories from Freshman to Junior year like it is now), 4 years english (regents exam Junior Year), 3 science (regents exam for biology, chemistry and physics) I missing some exam? I think those were the exams I had to take.

I wanted to drop physics during my senior year to take spanish but the teacher wouldn't let me. She was the principal of the school and didn't want me to drop her class because others wanted to do it too (she was a terrible teacher). I found out about the 5 year foreign language requirement/exemption from my guidance counsellor and my spanish teacher. Don't know if you can still do that.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
my NY state high school had plenty of elective courses that weren't required by the Board of Regents

And I'll bet your high school had the money to have those electives if it was public in your school district. I'm curious, did you attend public school?

Private catholic schools not run by the diocese but by donations and tuition didn't have a lot of electives.
Our school didn't have many electives to take - had I went to my public HS I would've had more to choose from.
A girl named Becca Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Yes, I did go to public school...and I didn't mean to sound nasty or "haha your school sucks" or anything...I was just saying that that's not always the Regents program experience. :)
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
:) that's okay. :)

My school actually did suck so if you said that, I would've agreed with you. :)
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Yup, so were ours. Religion 3 days per week and Mass on Fridays which would equal the 4th religion class.

My classes were 50-55 minutes 4 days per week instead of the 40 minute classes 5 days per week.

It was nice - we didn't have to do homework at least one night for one class. :)

That's one thing about my school - every other public school person complained in college about the long classes. I was already used to them after having them for 4 years. 50-60 minute classes are long? No way! 40 minute classes were too short IMHO (after one semester of catholic school that had them).

Even my grammar school classes were around 45 minutes.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I had an interesting experience in that I went to public school my whole life, and then suddenly Catholic school my senior year of high school (it's a long story, but the short version is my parents started teaching there and we went with them)... religion class was definitely a surreal aspect of that. Not being a Catholic, I pretty much was just fascinated by the whole thing, but I admit I would rather have been taking something else during that period. They had a lot of things there I wasn't used to... like study hall and homeroom. They also had these weird rotating schedules, so every day your classes were at a different time... in the same order, just starting at a different place in that order each day.

One thing I noticed (and I have no idea if this is a common thing, or unique to our area), was that though I had been very disappointed in the English classes at my public high school, they were excellent at the Catholic school... and on the other hand, I went from a top-notch math program in my public school (where I would have had to fight to get into AP Math -aka Calc- because it was so popular), to one that was obviously weaker at the Catholic school where most of the other honors program seniors were just taking Trig (including the valedictorian) and there were only 5 students, including me, in the one and only Calc class (one of which was some genius Sophomore that had already taken Calc but had nothing higher to move on to).

I thought that was odd and pretty interesting. Any similar experiences? I'm so curious.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Let's see, we had Pre-Calc and Calculus (AP), AP History, AP English, AP Biology/Physiology etc., many college credit courses (I took spanish my senior year and received 3 credits for $78! Cheap! *g*), religion classes senior year was "Life Skills" and "Meditation" which in Meditation was the class to sleep in and LIfe Skills, well never tell a former nun that you're not going to get married but live with someone. ;) Trig for us was Junior Year or if you were advanced and placed in Second year math as a freshman, then you would be taking AP Calculus senior year.
(side note: this is catholic school)
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Speaking of AP, here's one way the students at my Catholic school got ripped off, I thought... when I started at the school, they had hired a new principal sort of revolutionize the place. He didn't believe in AP classes because he was offended at the concept of gearing a class towards one big test. SO, he abolished them. Completely. He renamed all the classes simply "Honors", and would not allow the exams to be a focus at all. We could still have gone to take the exams someplace else, but frankly I think without that specific training we would have all failed horribly. I had taken AP American History my junior year at my old high school, and taken that exam, so I had that credit (which as college credit was useless to me, considering the program I went into, but I was an unusual case), but did not feel prepared to take the AP Math exam which I really really wanted to do my senior year. My calc teacher wasn't as good as the one I left behind, and the class moved too slowly in my view. Anyway, for a bunch of college-bound students, I thought that was a terrible policy.

As for the English classes in my public school, I don't mean that they were inferior so much in regards to what was offered, or at what level... but the teaching was very weak in that area, and it made the classes pretty much useless. They were CALLED fancy things, like AP English, but that didn't stop them from sucking.

Religion class my senior year was divided into several sections... "Religions of the World", "Death and Dying", "Christian Marriage" (that was a HOOT), and... well, I guess I can't remember the fourth section. The teacher was actually really great, and encouraged open discussion on all the topics, even from me, but the whole thing was pretty strange for me.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Well, I must say that the public schools in my area in the 80's were truly funded just as poorly as the parochial schools (and worse than some... the Lutheran schools were better off than all the rest of us, i do believe... big German area), so I don't think it was a money issue there. Plus, as I said, the Catholic school kicked the public school's butt in English (especially Literature), and I mean seriously kicked its butt... I can't emphasize enough how crappy my high school English classes were in public school. I just wondered why they seemed to have opposite strengths and weaknesses. Now as far as the attendance in Calc class in either school, you COULD at least partially chalk it up to school size... I went from a class of 300 or so to a class of 150, but the thing that I thought was weird was that the kids in the other "smart" classes at the Catholic school were a year behind in math compared to the kids in the same academic track at the public school. It's like they just started them all a year later or something. Weird.
A girl named Becca Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
OK, thing is...I see your point, but there are a lot of possibilities for this and many other polls, and it's hard to include all of them. (I'm not saying art and music aren't important. I absolutely loved my high school music theory classes, and if music had been an option, it would have been a tough call between that and foreign languages.) So, yeah, it would have been cool to include art and/or music...but as long as there's an "other" for it, post what other option you prefer, and get over it. O:)
Talcott Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I think it's a matter of variaty though. There are three sciences listed (four if you count math), and the only arts-related class is English.

Plus, I somehow think many, many, <i<many</i> more people around here would go for the arts over phys-ed ;)

Regardless, it's not like this is the end of the world. Just a little plauge or something ;)

nate... Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Art and music don't count as real classes!

Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
yeah! where is music!?

For me, art sucked as a class, but then there was always band and lessons - in grammar school, high school and college. Easy A when you get to college to bring up your GPA. :)

No, I never went to band camp. Sheesh!
nate... Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I think you missed my point.
This poll is for real classes... not that art and music crap that people take to fill in their time.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Nope, Art or Music was required to graduate from a New York State High School.
Two years worth to get the diploma.

Like PE but 4 years was required there. By senior year, people could not take gym but take dance in my high school.

However if you are like me, and blind in one eye, it was illegal for me to take PE so I got excused from it. :)
nate... Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
However if you are like me, and blind in one eye, it was illegal for me to take PE so I got excused from it. :)

I just had to find creative ways to injure myself.
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Interesting about PE... at my high school you could actually get an academic waiver that exempted you from any PE requirements and allowed you to take more academic classes. It wasn't very well publicized, and you had to be taking mostly high-level classes to qualify, but that's what I did. I took so many dance classes in those years, it wasn't like I was missing out on exercise. Even so, I'm surprised it was legal... though you didn't hear me complaining. :)

Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
My music, art, and drama classes were all for grades...(and I kicked ass!) I loved them!
I loved Engligh but the question wasn't "What was your favorite academic subject"..or is that what you ment?
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
That's a major whoops on my part. I voted for math but loved my music and art courses.
Bareena · 21 years, 2 months ago
I'd be very surprised if anyone actually picks phys. ed. as their favorite class. Phys ed--ecch!
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I wasn't required to take it in High School or college. :)

Thank god for a doctor's excuse and New York State Law. :)
Mollie Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I agree. It was my least favorite/most hated.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I hated it in High school but it was great in college. I took golf and fencing. Fencing rocks the Casbah. I'm a swashbuckler at heart.
sheryls Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
we normally took phys ed freshman and sophomore year - i took it freshman and second-semester-senior year, because i was putting it off ;) and then i just mostly assisted the teacher and got out of class for senior things.

bah, i hated that. i was always like, the slowest girl. i remember having the second-highest body-fat content in the class in the caliper test thingy. ergh.
George E. Nowik · 21 years, 2 months ago

all the way.

-= george =-
Agent Scully · 21 years, 2 months ago
When I went to grammar school, computer class wasn't until 8th Grade and it was programming on an Apple IIe which were new that year for the school. Ahh...the black and green monitors.

In high school we didn't have computer class until junior/senior year and it was an elective like typing class was.

This poll needs to be a tad specific on which decade we're talking about for classes. ;)
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I graduated from high school in 1987. In southern Michigan. We didn't have any computers in the schools I went to at all, at least that I know of. In typing class, we had mostly manual typewriters, in fact, along with a few electric ones that we took turns using. Anyway... I then went off to college at Carnegie-Mellon University which was way ahead of its time as far as the incredible availability of huge numbers of computers (at that time all Macs- classics and SEs, and a few IBM machines running DOS and a lot of machines running CMU's own Unix GUI, Andrew), and also required a computer skills class for every freshman. None of my friends at other colleges had any of that stuff available, at least not to your average student. SO, I was ushered in to the world of computers much sooner than a lot of people my age, at least from my area.

Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
What's about to make me cry is that you were in elementary school at the same time I was entering college. You do realize, of course, that those old skool macs were pretty much brand new technology at the time, right?


sheryls · 21 years, 2 months ago
ah, yes, i took 4 of them. Hebrew, Spanish, Russian and Japanese - Japanese being my favorite but least-studied, as i took it one semester before i graduated. :( feh. should have started that from freshman year.

i *was* a computer science major, but they were NOT my *favorite* classes.

like, i was never saying "YAAAY! time for data structures!" or "WOOHOO! I have systems programming bright and early at 8am!"

nope, definately not.
A girl named Becca Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Amen. :)
Lovelovelove foreign languages. They're one of the main reasons I'm at Middlebury. Currently studying (or have studied/plan to study again soon) French, Spanish, and German...hoping to start Russian and/or Italian if scheduling permits. And maybe basic Greek or Hebrew at some point. Probably won't get to Chinese or Japanese before I graduate...but maybe someday.... Until this semester, it had been a while since I'd taken a beginning language...I'd forgotten how much fun it was. Even worth getting up for an 8 am class. And for me, that says a lot. :)
Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I'm very jealous. We had two language choices at my high school (Spanish, German) and none at all before that.... oh, and my high school was only three years, so that meant 3 years max of either language. Then again, we're back at 1987, southern Michigan... not the most multi-cultural time or place. I did take Italian as an independent study, which I could do through the National Honor's Society (we had an optional sixth period and they would pay for an outside tutor if you could find one for something), but what I really wanted to learn was Russian, Hebrew, Latin or Greek. My senior year I transferred to a school where they had Latin, but I couldn't schedule it. Got to continue German in college... actually it was required, along with French and Italian since I was a classical voice major, but German was definitely my favorite, and I stuck with it the longest.

Aside from the required languages in college, it was really not possible to study any others... they had us in a conservatory program that put us in class from 8:30 in the morning to 11:00 at night with breaks really only for lunch and dinner, so there wasn't a lot of room for much else... what there was I filled up with ethnomusicology classes. Why I am babbling about this? I have no idea... except maybe I wish I could go back and do more somehow...

Melinda J. Beasi Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
Actually, looks like they don't even have German anymore (though they now offer French)... and looks like the school I went to my senior year no longer has Latin. You would think things would improve, wouldn't you? Sigh...

sheryls Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
my high school only offered spanish, french and german as well. hebrew was in elementary school (the hebrew academy of toledo) and i dont remember much of it. i can read an pronounce it, that's about it. i remember a few (mostly religious) phrases and vocabulary words.

i remember enough spanish to like, maybe hold a light conversation.

russian has been completely kicked out of my head by Japanese.

1 semester of japaense vs 5 semesters of russian. it's like bowls of Total.

goovie is married! · 21 years, 2 months ago
between english, other (music), and foreign languages. they were the only subjects that made school worth going to.
Melinda J. Beasi · 21 years, 2 months ago
This was a rough call for me, because I loved school in general, but since music is what I ultimately ended up pursuing a higher education in, that must be the answer. :) I was a big nerd though... I loved English, Literature, Creative Writing, History (all kinds), Math (especially Algebra and Calculus- I hated my Geometry teacher... though no teacher could have ruined Algebra for me, I loved it so), German... and, well the list could go on, but what's the point? Unfortunately I probably liked least my science classes, not that I wasn't interested in science, because I was, and did a lot of reading on my own, but I never liked any of my teachers in those subjects so I rarely pursued them beyond what was required of me as far as taking classes went.

Music... well, my parents were my primary music teachers during most of my pre-college years, so I suppose I was doomed to it. Music was my first love and really could not be topped. I loved both the artistic and theoretical aspects of it, which made it a perfect field of study for me.

Andrea Krause · 21 years, 2 months ago
Hard question. Definitely not phys ed. That was torture for a fat, unathletic girl like me. When we had to run the mile and I was laps behind everyone else I wanted to die and couldn't stop crying as I tried to run. Which of course made my throat close up and my breathing get worse so I struggled even more. Ugh.

I guess English was my best thing...especially the creative writing aspect. I did really well in French too. And I adored physics but couldn't get myself to do the labs. I ultimately ended up auditing it because I couldn't bear to drop it but I was flunking.

Even though my grades were horrible and I barely graduated...I enjoyed most of my classes a great deal. All my teachers loved me and I loved listening and learning and taking tests. I just had problems with homework and the motivation to do it.

I think I ended up most enjoying classes that encouraged independent thought instead of rote memorization and such.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I'm wondering if all courses could encourage independent thought and that it is just up to the teacher. Can anyone think of any counterexamples? The most important things I try to teach are how to learn, how to disipline yourself to work, and how to think.
Andrea Krause Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
I supposed so...because when I normally think of the division in my experience it's been english/philosophy/psych type things vs the more structured nature of math courses and such. But within math I HAVE experienced different approaches that change how I enjoy it. Math courses that are all about memorizing formulas and showing your work (and being graded if it looked "wrong") and all that....vs some where I was given leeway for HOW I got there as long as I consistently got there. That meant a lot to me because for some reason my brain seems to approach math in weird and backward ways. I often get the right answers but if I show my work it's nowhere near like the "traditional" way.
Agent Scully Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
That's like when the teacher asks a question in class and doesn't give the answer to make you think. I find that students now can't stand it - they want all the answers and no thinking (this is speaking from my classes and how the students get peeved in class when the professor won't give the answer). The more questions you aks, the more the students will think and then get to the final answer. :)

Well that's the way I taught school and tutor my students now. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
That's the way it is with most students. The one thing they hate is being made to think.
zil Back · 21 years, 2 months ago
um.... I took phys-ed every semester out of choice, to help keep me in shape for the seasonal sports I played. that just meant that I didn't ever have study hall, but I hated that anyway cause I couldn't focus with all the other jerk-offs goofing around. right.

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