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The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
How to help our Earth
April 12, 2024

My schedule cannot handle all this Health

Aria+24+contributing+illustrator+
Aria ’24 contributing illustrator

Since the first day of middle school, I was told that I needed to find “my passion.” This became a tedious task, leading me to try out a plethora of activities at Marlborough, such as painting, debate and the All-School Dance Concert. Ultimately, I came to the final realization that I was indeed an unremarkable painter, debater and dancer. But for a time, before Health class came along, I found my passion at Marlborough. 

In 9th grade, I discovered photography. The experience of manually developing an image from film to prints enraptured me and from there, I discovered the wide world of digital photography and Photoshop. I also was captivated by photography’s rich history, discovering Nan Goldin’s and Lauren Greenfield’s haunting images. 

Most of all, I simply loved being in Photography class and growing close to my peers as we subjected ourselves to vulnerability in critiques or checked in with each other before class. 

Yet, in 11th grade, because both Health and Photography could not fit into my schedule, I was forced to drop Photography for Health class. While I believe that Health class teaches invaluable, important topics, and technically by California law, schools are required to have one full year of Health in middle school and one year in high school, for multiple reasons, I think that Health 11 should not be a required 11th-grade course. 

To start, while I was taught about new, fascinating topics such as breast examinations, considering the older age of juniors, I believe that diving more deeply into addiction or contraception might help to make the curriculum even more pertinent to junior’s lives.

Secondly, junior year is widely known as one of the most important years of high school, with students hoping to take rigorous courses before college such as APs or Honors. Yet, for myself and others in my grade, Health class threw a wrench into those plans, causing us to drop classes we are passionate about such as Photography, Robotics or Theatre. 

For this reason, although the class is important, I think that Health should not necessarily be required for a semester in 11th grade and instead should be a year-long course in 9th grade when taking Honors classes is not as important and not as many Honors classes are offered, or more students should have the option of taking Health as an asynchronous course.

Making the option of Health as an asynchronous course more available would help students who have crammed schedules be able to fit multiple electives into their course load. This year, only a small amount of people were allowed to take the class asynchronously. 

Photography was essentially the most meaningful class to me, bringing me joy and placing me in a supportive environment. Being forced to stop taking such a class in the hardest year of high school took its toll. Although my main grievance with Health class is the period it took up in my schedule, I believe that the class could be even better if the curriculum more thoroughly examined topics that are specifically meaningful to juniors, such as contraception or substance abuse, while also making the option of completing the course asynchronously more available, or simply make 9th-grade Health a year-long class, so that juniors are able to sign up for the rigorous courses they want.

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Dinah '25, Photo Editor
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