The Humanities course at Mass Academy is taught by Mrs. Small. Rather than a traditional English class, this course is a combination of history, English, philosophy, and cultural studies. This course revolves around the essential question “What does it mean to be human?”, which is reflected across the various units we cover. We do several readings throughout the year, watch documentaries, practice different types of writing, and explore concepts such as race, identity, and culture.
To begin the year, we started off by analyzing the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau. We read several chapters of this book over the summer, and made journal entries for each chapter. As part of this unit, we were given the task of writing and presenting a skit based on our own interpretation of Walden. We were put into small groups, a created scripts, had several rehearsals, and finally performed our skits at the Bournedale retreat. Take a look at the script my group created above.
This essay was part of our education unit, where we explored the education system in the United States. We delved deeper into common school stereotypes, how students are impacted by them, and worked to understand the true meaning of education. For this particular writing piece, I chose my own prompt. To put in short, I wrote about the effects of an overachieving mindset on the mental health of students, particularly high schoolers. I incorporated textual evidence from the readings we had done in class, along with information from outside sources.