This year, the American Studies course is back and bigger than ever. Last year AMSTUD wasn’t offered at Marlborough because almost every student in the 10th grade wanted to take either AP US History or Regular US History.
This decision frustrated previous AMSTUD students, who worked hard to motivate this year’s 10th graders to take the course. “[Former AMSTUD students] came with us to a [9th grade] class meeting that [history instructor] Dr. Millar and I visited in the spring…they did such an effective job talking about how great a class it was, that we had two classes worth of students sign up for it this year…we have about 44 [students].” English instructor, Deborah Banner said.
AMSTUD is a unique course offered in 10th grade that combines English and Honors American History. One English teacher and one History teacher are paired together to teach the class. This year, one section is taught by Tom Millar and Deborah Banner and the other is taught by Head of the History Department, Michael Rindge and new English instructor, Dr. Adam Lowenstein.
The only one of its kind at Marlborough, AMSTUD lasts for 2 periods back to back.
“It’s fun to design from the teacher’s perspective because it doesn’t work like a traditional classroom. It’s also great to have two teachers in the room…we can add to each other’s observations. English and history have a lot of overlap and they inform each other,” English Instructor, Banner explained. Right now, the class is studying sermons from the Puritan era and connecting the vocab and rhetoric to English. In the future the class will be reading The Great Gatsby and studying the 1920s simultaneously.
Not only is the class fun for the teachers, but the students enjoy it, too.
Sabrina Bell ‘16 was one of the past AMSTUD students who pushed 10th graders to take the course. “I think it’s a really good experience because college is a lot about making interdisciplinary connections and I think this really prepares you for that,” Bell remarked.
Gabrielle Golenberg is a student in the course right now in Mr. Rindge and Dr. Lowenstein’s class. “I like that we can create a special class where we discuss both the past and current events in both history and English,” she said.