Elective Reviews

In January, Lakesiders begin the annual process of selecting their courses for the next year. While some classes are unavoidable, many others are up to students to choose. Here, we have compiled a number of reviews of certain fall electives submitted by those who took them this year. We hope that these will prove helpful to all those struggling to determine which classes they want to take next year! (Please note, these reviews are submitted by students. They do not represent Tatler’s opinions on any of these classes.)


Victorians: “Such a great class! Admittedly, we only got to read one book the entire semester, which was a bit disappointing, but it was understandable considering the length of most Victorian novels, and having Mr. Culhane as a teacher totally made up for it. The intellectual energy of the class is awesome, and, once again, Mr. Culhane is a genuinely funny, engaging, and somewhat awe-inspiring teacher. The readings are pretty intense, and I don’t think anyone’s calling it an easy class, but if you’re up for the challenge, I would highly recommend this course!”


Modernism: “Pretty standard English class, books tend to be more complicated and hard to read than other English classes”


Multiethnic Lit: “Very chill class. Cannot emphasize enough how chill it is.”


Chaos Theory: “A lot of fun! Mr. Christensen rocks. The whole “chaos” thing is hard to understand at first, and honestly takes some time for your brain to comprehend exactly what the class does aside from reading confusing books, but it’s super interesting to think about stories in a more mathematical way.”


Postcolonialism: “This is probably my favorite class because of how thought-provoking it is. We look at gender, class, and race hierarchies, the forms in which colonialists demeaned the colonized, who writes the story and why this matters and so much more. Ustad is truly a lecturer and really likes to talk, and what he’s saying is always interesting and a new take on the book. A lot of the themes and ideas that we discuss are relevant to current day issues and life. That being said, it is pretty reading intensive. I like Jane Eyre, but a sixty page reading (average of about forty pages) can be kind of a pain. If you’re up for the reading, I would highly recommend.”


The South: “The literature that you get to read in this class is insane. We cover a ton of amazing authors, from William Faulkner to Flannery O’Connor. That being said, I personally would have preferred it if we’d analyzed further into what we read and discussed it in a more probing and challenging way. So, if you’re really into English, I’d say it has its pros and its cons. If you’re just looking for a fun class though, this is definitely a pretty chill course with a lot of laughter, and Ms. Kaz remains, as always, one of the loveliest and coolest teachers at this school.”


Race Matters: “Race Matters is very student-driven and has many opportunities to research people or topics you are interested in, as long as they fit within the research question. It is also a really good way to grapple with your understanding of your own privilege and identity and have a chance to see the history of the US from an underrepresented perspective.”


Genocide: “Genocide is definitely one of my favorite classes, even if the name sounds atrocious. Mr. Nau has established himself as one of my favorite teachers of my Lakeside career through his clear passion for teaching the material. I won’t lie, much of the subject matter is troubling, but the class remains engaged even in heavy moments. Genocide challenges my understanding while simultaneously feeling like a community. I would recommend this class to anyone remotely interested in the subject.”


History of Capitalism: “Not a class for the faint of heart, Capitalism really requires you to think for yourself and develop your own ideas. Definitely one of the most intellectually stimulating classes that I’ve taken at Lakeside; the discussions are awesome and super thought-provoking. The concepts can be difficult to grasp, and Ms. Christy has high standards for her students, but ultimately, that’s part of what makes the class so exciting and rewarding. You need not be a staunch Capitalist nor a loyal Communist to take this class…but expect to come out of it with some fully-formed opinions on how the world should work.”


Bioethics: “Not the most challenging class, but we talk about a lot of super cool and mind-bending things that relate to real life.”


Organic Chemistry: “Oooh boy get prepared for some weird stuff. Remember that time in chemistry when you understood zero things but somehow it all worked out? That’s pretty much OChem. Labs are fun and the first week where we get to learn new stuff is really fun, but the tests are hell and so are the quizzes. Meet with your teacher, study with your friends, be prepared to scream a lot.”


Physiology: “Physiology is my favorite science class I’ve ever taken at Lakeside. Do it.”


Linear Algebra: “Favorite math class I’ve ever taken, very worthwhile.” According to another reviewer: “TAKE LINEAR ALGEBRA (especially girls)”