By Gayane Hovsepyan
The equivalent of an introductory college course in human geography, AP Human Geography, is set to be offered to ninth graders next school year.
The class is only open to current eighth graders with GPA’s of 3.3 and above.
History teacher Benjamin Benson is set to teach the class. Benson was originally approached by Principal Jennifer Earl.
“I’ve never taught ninth graders, but I’ve heard great things about Toll, so I think they can handle it,” he said.
According to the College Board website, the purpose of the AP Human Geography course is “to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences.”
The incoming ninth graders, who will still be required to take a health class, have the option of forgoing their career prep guidance class to make room for human geography, a year-long course. They may either take health in the summer before ninth grade, or in their sophomore, junior or senior years.
By Young Cho
Starting with this year’s graduating class, students who are literate in more than one language will be able to earn state recognition of bilingual competency.
Students may earn state recognition by qualifying for the district bilingual competency award along with passing a SAT II foreign language exam with a score of at least 600. The remaining days to take the SAT II foreign language tests are May 4 and June 1.
In past years, the school district has recognized bilingual graduates and awarded these students the district bilingual competency award, which includes a seal on their diplomas, a certificate, and a medallion.
Students are deemed bilingual by the school district when they take four years of one language, score at least a three on an Advanced Placement language test, pass an approved language test from a foreign government, or pass one of GUSD’s foreign language exams. This process will remain the same and now serves as part of the qualifier for the state award.
The foreign language exams that GUSD offers are Armenian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog. The exams include reading, writing, oral, and cultural tests, and are usually held in February and March. Application forms can be picked up in the Categorical Office several weeks before the exams.
Unlike GUSD, the state does not currently offer specific language competency tests that qualify students for the award, so students must rely only on the SAT II to earn the award.
Last year, 407 students were awarded the district award, and, according to the Glendale News-Press, even more are expected to earn the award this year.
“This [state] award doesn’t actually translate to much in terms of universities,” senior counselor Rose Samore said. “It might be helpful for future employers, but that’s it.”
By Mihran Hvhanessyan
In a partnership with Lexus of Glendale, band and choir students took part in a mock job application on Tuesday to learn about finding and interviewing for professional work in the real world.
Band director Martin Rhees, who set up the event, thought it was a perfect way for his students to learn how to enter and participate in the real world should a career in music not work out.
“I want my kids to have a background where they can do so well in an interview that a human resources person can see what I see in them,” Rhees said.
Lexus of Glendale, a regular donor to the school district, volunteered to sponsor the job application process where each band member applied for the same generic position at the dealership. The position was that of a Lexus Delivery Specialist, responsible for delivering cars to customers and explaining their technologies and workings.
Students were given a few weeks to fill out the forms without any outside help from parents or others. Lexus employees then reviewed the applications and selected a few which stood out.
Those students were then interviewed by a panel of four managers, including Vice President Johnny Harrison, in front of their peers on the auditorium stage. Though the interviews were simply simulations with no actual position for hire, they were conducted as any real job interview.
The Lexus representatives discussed their evaluations of the students’ applications and interviews, teaching them what employers look for.
“If [the program] at least makes [students] aware of what’s necessary in the working world, then I’ve done my job,” Harrison said.
Among the applications selected for interviewing were Lillian Kong (’13), Sarah Hill (’13), Candace Wong (’14), and Paulo Munoz (’13).
“After the interview they actually told me what I needed to work on,” said Kong. “It really gets you ready for the future.”
By Edit Vosganians
The Advanced Drama Class will perform Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from May 1-4 in the auditorium at 7 p.m. with a show at 2 p.m. on the 5th; tickets are $7.
According to Stage Arts Teacher Rachel Myles, the idea of presenting the students with a Shakespearean play had been discussed from time to time.
“We decided on ‘Midsummer’s Dream’ because we wanted to show the humorous side of Shakespeare,” Myles said after coming to a mutual agreement with drama teacher Dave Huber. “It would be a nice change from the serious plays performed lately.”
“Midsummer” portrays the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors as they encounter mischievous fairies, wood sprites and elves, and a half-donkey weaver in mythical Athens and its enchanted forests.
The students started working on the script after spring break. Every cast member worked with Myles and friend Vanessa Tattaro, who volunteered to help with the play, to fully comprehend the words and the phrases used.
“The script has been broken down sentence by sentence, word by word, to help the actors really understand it,” Tattaro said. “It is crucial that the actors know the meaning and the purpose behind every line, not just regurgitate it.”
Every character, big or small, required the actor’s full dedication and concentration to “become the character,” according to Myles.
Ani Margaryan (’15), who will be playing Francis Flute, had to go through “a couple of character analyses for each of [her] roles to better understand the character than what is written in the script.”
The actors had to audition for more than one role, since it would be a play within a play. They have to be able to transform and meld into two different characters, while comfortably interacting with each other.
For Jonna Henderson (’13), the most challenging part of the play was “getting past the different manners of speaking,” but after that she was able to enjoy and embrace the Shakespearean language.
Rehearsals are currently taking place every day after school from 3:30 until 6 p.m. with hours increasing as the premiere date approaches.
Many of the costumes will come from previous plays. The king, queen, and fairy costumes will be made by Tattaro.
Myles and her stage arts class are building the sets for the play. There is going to be a fully-functional swing set for the fairies in the forest covered in green fabric and flowers to resemble trees, and an operating octagonal fountain made out of wood to be placed in the “garden.”
The stage has been arranged to accommodate the audience, too, since they are going to be seated on stage, along with the actors. Special areas are boxed off for the rehearsals so that the actors will be aware of their surroundings.
“The audience is going to be engaged in the play as well,” said Ally Specter (’13), portraying a wood sprite named Puck. “The interaction between the actors and the audience will help them understand the Shakespearean dialogue better.”
Vivek Patel (’13), who will portray Demetrius, is looking forward to performing physical comedy.
“For the younger audiences, or even the ones who don’t have a keen ear for Shakespeare, it’ll make the play comedic and comprehensible,” Patel said.
The main objective of this play, according to Myles, is for “people to walk away with a better idea of what Shakespeare is all about.”