The Reflection

Gull Lake High School's Online News Source

Western Civilization class evokes spontaneous discussions

Gull Lake’s high school offers a plethora of dual enrollment classes built into students’ desired schedules.  One such class is Western Civilization, offered by Glen Oaks Community College. Taught by Gull Lake’s Scott Minehart, the class ranges from 10 to 15 juniors and lasts from 6 to 9 at night. 

The class starts with a lecture on an entire chapter, meant to be summarized in a couple of hours. Western Civilization began with the Egyptians and Israel, teaching us the rise in advanced societies. Every class lecture, with no exceptions from the topic being discussed, is accompanied by many questions and discussions over the material.  

Students examine a world map to find latitude and longitude coordinates for an assignment. Photo by Lily Page

“Depending on how off-the-rails the class can go with discussions, it can get challenging to bring the class back into the lecture,” said junior Glenn Hedin, a member of Minehart’s class.

After a lengthy period of note-taking, Minehart dismisses the class to take a short break, giving more room for everyone to joke around with each other before the test often taken after the break.  The tests in this course aren’t scheduled for every class period, depending on the length of the chapter. 

When scheduled, the class hunkers down to complete questions on the test.  Subjectively, everyone glides through the assessment with ease and awaits top score listings after completion.  Minehart writes the top scores on the board and has the class guess who they belong to by decoding a name clue like “a coin worth five cents.”  Once the class figures out each puzzle and reacts accordingly, it’s time to either go home or work on the packet assigned.

The class experience overall is heightened by constant bickering and loud jokes among classmates. It’s worth noting that the history taught and shared becomes a catalyst for these jokes and reactions. Once a student recited a story of a Greecian figure and brought the class to tears by how casual he was when talking about brutal history. 

Minehart keeps a book with written one-liners from students over the years, one being a student in Western Civilization asking if Batman was based on Julius Caesar. He deals with such a chaotic group, hoping the constant one-liners make it less likely he’ll need to nag the group to stay awake in the late evening.

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