History in Progress

Julie Boyer and Kelli Hanks, Staff Writers

Walking around, trying to find classes, going all the way across the college-like campus during break, all while being surrounded by new people is the standard for new student. Adding to all of these worries are two new classes, Bible Literacy and American Studies.

Bible Literacy offers a new look at the world around us. Teacher Vanda Terell wants everyone to know that her class isn’t all about religion. The class is not only geared to Christians, but to society as a whole, to give students an idea of the developing effect the Bible has on history and how it influences event occurring.

“The course will be driven so that kids will have to go home and they’ll be responsible for reading from the Bible and coming back to class and discussing it,” Terell said. “If you go and see the David at a museum, for example, you’re going to say ‘yeah that’s a really cool statue, why is it so important?’ What we do is look at the story of David and Goliath and look at why David was such a great King. ”

Both classes offer the same basic knowledge, relating history to English.  American Studies, a blend of AP English and AP American History, doesn’t drift far from the work load from the other AP classes. Many students are taking the class to prepare them for college.

“I expect there to be a lot of reading and a lot of projects.” junior Dylan Bragers said, “I don’t think there will be anything too surprisingly different from other History and English classes I’ve taken in the past, but I do expect the work load to be heavier.”

With about 180 students enrolled in American Studies, the double blocked classes are full. Students wanted to take American Studies instead of usual American History and English classes because of various reasons.

“I heard good things about Mr. Cone and Mrs. Holsinger.” Bragers said.

Matthew Cone, American Studies teach and a Plano Senior alumnus has been teaching at the school for 12 years. Other American Studies teacher, Sheila Holsinger taught 8th grade before teaching high school English for several years. Both enjoy working with each other and look forward to a great year.

“I’m hoping to get a fun learning environment from American Studies,” junior Emily Nancarrow said, “Not just Power Points and lectures, but a more dynamic classroom”.

American Studies expresses how culture in America was developed and influenced by things going on during the time period.

“I hope they understand the culture was a product of the time, above everything else,” Cone said. “There will be projects unique to this class.”

The American Studies class is apt to help them in many other ways.

“Students will get a lot more art in this class.” Cone said.

As colleges are getting hard to afford, the classes at Plano have been able to help.

“The state mandates that if there’s at least 15 people interested in a course then it has to be offered…We have 21 this semester, and 25 next semester and we’d love some more.” Terell said.