Jane Park: Grade 7
Every Thursday morning at 10:20 a.m., Buckley’s seventh- and eighth-graders have an elective period, including such offerings as Mindful Bodies, Calligraphy, Scripta, Video Production, Model UN, and our very own Buckley Bark. Upper School students often hear about the different electives from their friends, but they never truly get to experience every option. The Buckley Bark, therefore, asked students about which electives they wanted to know more about and interviewed two people from each of the top three electives.
The elective students were most curious about was the Calligraphy course. This elective is taught by Mrs. Maureen Miseo. Kristin Yung (8th grade) and Adrienne Chacon (7th grade) mentioned that the elective sounded rather intriguing, which led them to choose it this year. In their opinions, it is very “meditative,” and it acts as a “break between classes.”
“It allows you to be yourself,” said Chacon. One of the joys of this elective is that while creating art, the students can relieve stress and make ordinary letters into special characters. Currently, the letter artists are learning a form of calligraphy called Neuland.
Calligraphy is more challenging than most people think, because the writers need concentration and patience. Although it is a type of art, it is different, because it incorporates words and focuses on penmanship. “It is a way to be expressive through art that is creative and fun,” said Yung.
The second most frequent elective asked about was Scripta, taught by Mr. Brett Topel. The process of making yearbooks intrigued many people. For Julia Bonvino (8th grade) and Alex Goldenberg (8th grade), it was important to them to be a part of making the yearbook, especially because it is their final year at Buckley. The yearbook is a “great way to have eighth-graders who are becoming alumni remember important events that have happened in their years at Buckley,” said Goldenberg.
The staff has been going through past volumes and has decided on the layout of this year’s book. Although sometimes there were different tasks to accomplish, the Scripta staff was all proactive and worked hard to perfect the yearbook.
Currently, they are working on the eighth-grade pages, such as their wills and the dedication. Creating the yearbook is about summing up the year’s events with visuals that will bring moments of the year to life. This elective will definitely remain as a special memory for the eighth graders.
The third elective that drew students’ curiosity was Model UN, taught by Mrs. Linda Bernard. Many people wondered what it would feel like to be a part of the United Nations General Assembly. Gemi Weissman (7th grade) and Kate Wehle (8th grade) both offered their thoughts on the course. “I had an interest in leadership and politics, said Wehle.
Currently, the Model UN elective is working on topics that the General Assembly will be discussing and is finishing position papers on topics such as international crime. Model UN is not only a simulation in which students can understand diplomacy and politics, but it is also an opportunity in which traits such as teamwork and leadership bloom. “We all work together, and we get to hear diverse ideas and opinions,” said Weissman.
Aside from leadership, Model UN has taught them the significance of being confident in what they believe in and to respect other opinions. The course teaches students how to solve real-world problems, but most importantly it helps students understand the importance of cooperation and teamwork.
It is clear that these electives do not just teach information; they teach students valuable life lessons. Students from all three electives enjoy spending time with their fellow companions. This makes the elective period a time where you can learn and have fun at the same time.