For some, Monday home days at CAHS are a time to sleep in and work in pajamas. For others, they are an opportunity to cram in some additional academic enrichment by attending one of the various optional Monday classes. One such class is a Survey of Classical Literature, taught by Mr. Holz.
Mr. Holz’s class, while still about books and writing, is quite unique from the other English classes. Monday classes tend to be lower stakes, and less formal. The decreased pressure coupled with the offer of a deeper look into classical literature appeals to a few students. “I would recommend this class to someone who’s really interested in literature, but doesn’t really like the pressures of a course they could take at a community college, or something to supplement,” sophomore Gabriella McField said.
Extensive discussions are also an attractive aspect of Holz’s class. “I like the way that it’s really discussion based. I feel like I can really jump into the meaning of the text rather than [needing] to complete this assignment for a grade, or do well on this essay and try to meet some state standard,” senior Lillian Broschart said. Regular English classes do have these discussions, but some students feel they’re not enough. “None of the socratic seminars … were ever relevant to the topic of the paper, and that annoyed me so much, so I stopped participating in them … these, when we talk about it, we actually have a basis for what we were talking about. It actually helps me understand what we were reading that week prior,” sophomore Sheyanne Ortiz said.
Mr. Holz himself also greatly enjoys teaching the class. He’s enthusiastic about not only providing his students with an experience he never had, but also being able to appreciate it alongside them. “I’ve been frustrated that for my own education experience I never got the opportunity to dive into some of these great pieces of literature, the great books, so to speak … it’s half for the students … and it’s half for me. I get to read along with them, which is tremendous fun, and we explore these things and go through ancient literature together,” Holz said.