Course Description:

Humanities (HUM) is a combination of a traditional writing/language and history course and also includes a small amount of other subjects which make up the Humanities such as philosophy and sociology and how they are all connected to STEM. The essential question which is studied throughout the course is "What does it mean to be human?" To do so, we study the following topics:

Class activities include class discussions on selected topics and readings, reading texts such as Walden and Sapiens, and writing essays (HUM is a very writing-intensive course).


Our first major project of the year was to create and then preform a play about the novel Walden, by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. All students were required to read the book during the summer, which is a personal memoir of Thoreau’s two years at Walden Pond (Concord, MA) from 1845 – 1847 and what he believes is wrong with society. Needless to say, everyone had very strong ideas about the book coming into the school year… my group (Abhinav Bapanapalli, Diksha Sriram, Mateo Rollins, and I )decided to create a play in which Thoreau attends a modern-day therapy session. The central message is that while many of Thoreau’s ideas were initially very good, he took them way too extreme.

At the end of our satire unit, we wrote an essay analyzing a piece of satire. I chose to analyze “A Modest Proposal,” by 17th – 18th century British satirist Jonathan Swift and analyzed how his essay satirizes the “simple” solution to complex societal and economic problems.