Knight Errant

Science Fiction takes reading to whole new worlds

Jack Rahill

Grace Christenson, Student Life Editor

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When it comes to picking English classes, it’s no secret that the senior class has plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re an inventive individual who takes joy in crafting original stories or just looking to watch all the movies you can on Netflix, there’s something for everyone when it comes to selecting an English course. While classes like Creative Writing and Film Studies may be where the bulk of the senior class ends up, one class in particular stands apart for its bizarre, though refreshing, choice of literature: Science Fiction.

Science Fiction, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a type of fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals, or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component. Despite this relatively specific definition, the class itself is enjoyed by a variety of students. “It’s very diverse,” Ms. Tiffany Joseph, the teacher for this year’s Science Fiction class, said.

Unlike most English classes, Science Fiction relies heavily on unusual learning methods such as artwork, science

activities, and class debates in order to better understand the reading. “The thing about science fiction is that it raises a lot of real questions…it allows us to ask questions about human nature or science or progress or things like that in kind of a way that’s more approachable for students,” Joseph said.

The thing about science fiction is that it raises a lot of real questions…it allows us to ask questions about human nature or science or progress or things like that in kind of a way that’s more approachable for students.”

— Tiffany Joseph

One method Joseph has opted for in her time as the Science Fiction teacher is allowing the students to express themselves creatively. “They do a lot of drawing, which sounds weird,” Joseph said.

Senior Sydney Johnson confirms this point. “Sometimes we do a question sheet or [Joseph] gives us something to draw. We do a lot of drawing, and sometimes we draw with the class, too. Like people will volunteer to go up to the board and they’ll draw something, and we all have to guess what it is,” Johnson said.

While drawing in an English class may sound unusual to some, for senior Isabel Fleming it’s an enjoyable part of the Science Fiction experience. “It’s always funny to see what people imagine the characters look like. I have zero artistic skill, but I’m pretty proud of my work, and I still have all my drawings. So we always look forward to our mini art projects,” Fleming said.

For Fleming, the decision to take Science Fiction was based solely on her love for the genre. “I’m really interested in the science fiction genre. Growing up, I read a bunch of science fiction books,” Flemming said.

For senior Sarah Kinney, the decision was based on both coursework and who was teaching. “A class where I could read and then Ms. Joseph was teaching me sounded good,” Kinney said.

While Kinney initially anticipated a course that was heavy in reading, she was happily surprised by the relaxed nature of the course. “I expected there to be a lot more reading because I’ve just been used to having big chunks of reading in my other English classes, but the reading for each night isn’t really that bad,” Kinney said.

Likewise, Johnson was pleased by the laid-back attitude of the Science Fiction class. “It’s pretty relaxed. I wouldn’t say you’re, like, forced to participate a certain amount or anything. You don’t turn in your worksheets most of the time. It’s just really flexible. [Joseph] tries to give you a manageable amount of work because she knows you have other classes. I’ve never spent more than maybe like thirty minutes on reading. I’d say it’s good for someone who wants to take an English class but manage extracurriculars with it,” Johnson said.

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Science Fiction takes reading to whole new worlds