“What Happened to Great Books?”

Colin Hayter, Contributing Writer

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Great Books – it sounded like a great idea, but it never came to fruition. Originally intended to be a class to replace Creative Writing (which was just taken out of the Florida state curriculum), Great Books had trouble getting off the ground and never actually became a real class.

Though many students showed interest in a creative writing type class, very few people signed up, and so Great Books was axed and forgotten about. The problem seems to be the way that Great Books was advertised to students, or rather, its lack of advertisement. Mr. Lauby, who was an original supporter of the class, said, “Nobody really knew about it. ” Many students really just did not know what Great Books was, even the name was obscure, with Mr. Lauby describing it as, “A bit intimidating to some; it didn’t depict what the class really is.” A class called Great Books, to most, would possibly seem like a scary class just about reading big books when really, Great Books is so much more than that.

The problem definitely was not a lack of interest, however, and this is why the failure of Great Books is such a problem. Many students are interested in Creative Writing, and since it is no longer a thing, demand for a class of the same style is generally high, as it has always been. Junior Paige Eukovich stated that she and many people she knows would be interested in a writing class; however, when asked if she knew what Great Books was, she said simply, “What’s Great Books?”

Sadly, Great Books could have been a really great class, a class that “Would allow students to express themselves and explore different ways of achieving their creative voice,” as Mr. Lauby said. This skill would be improved by reading great novels and using them to develop one’s own skills, using the novels as mentor texts to improve their own writing.

This is not the first time that a class has failed because of a name change or poor advertising. Mythology, a very popular class, had its name changed to “Classic Literature,” and many students had no clue what this meant, nor did they have any notion that it was even remotely related to Mythology.

Next year, hopefully, Classical Literature (AKA Mythology) will come back next year, and hopefully, with better advertising and more communication, students will be informed of what this class is, and it won’t suffer the same fate as it has years before, especially because these classes also count for honors credits.

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