New Senior English Course Replaces Electives

Coreena Brogden

Starting next academic school year, Pallotti will be removing of the multiple one-semester, senior English electives. In their place will be Senior Literature, a new, year-long course.

Ms. Amy Belinky will teach the course, which she helped design and is still seeking a permanent name for it. She shared that it would be a world literature class, similar to World Religions and World History. The students will read works from different countries and cultures.

Because this is a full year class, there will be a summer reading, That was then this is Now by S. E. Hinton, best known for The Outsiders. The rest of the reading list for the course includes Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. Fences by August Wilson, The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and The Stranger by Albert Camus.

This classic work by Marquez will be just one of the new offerings seniors will read next year.

This course was designed to incorporate the electives leaving the Course Catalogue: Poetry, and African-American Literature. Next year, the sole one-semester elective is Creative Writing, which Belinky will also teach.

While Ms. Bilinky said she will miss Modern Comparative Literature, she hopes to bring it into the schedule by alternating it with Creative Writing so that each student has a chance to take them all while at Pallotti.

It was Ms. Belinky’s idea for this course, receiving rapid approval from Assistant Principal David Tenney and Department Chair Marshall Lancaster. All three shared the belief that full-year classes are more helpful for struggling students. It is easier for them to recover from a bad quarter in a full year class than it is in a one-semester class. It is also easier to write longer papers in full-year classes which Ms. Belinky said is important for college. Her semester classes didn’t allow the opportunity to do.

When developing this course Ms.Belinky took inspiration from her freshman year college courses that she enjoyed. She only had an old Pallotti World Literature syllabus to refer to and collaborated with her department on book selections.