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GHHS Senior Year ('99-'00)

Wow! I've made it to my senior year in high school. It's actually quite interesting. During my years as an underclassman I always looked up at the seniors, impatiently waiting my turn to become one of the elite. Ironically now that I am one, I wish that I could go back to my sophomore year. That was the year that I first went to the high school (my freshman year was spent in the Jr. High still). However, I still am finding this year enjoyable and unlike many, I chose to take somewhat difficult classes my senior year as opposed to taking really easy ones and doing as little work as possible. Below is a list of all of my classes that I am currently enrolled in and what I think about them. If you have some extra free time on your hands, feel free to check out my junior year classes and/or my sophomore year classes as well.

Advanced Placement Chemistry

Yes, yet another advanced placement class. Unlike the two I took last year (AP Comp and AP History), I find this one somewhat fun. My teacher, Mr. VandeWaa, is an extremely interesting individual. He knows quite a bit about chemistry and does an excellent job of teaching it to the whole ten people that are in the class. Yes, I did say ten people. AP Chemistry is something like the least popular class in the entire school. I have no idea why; I find it rather interesting.

U.S. Government (First Semester)
Oral Communications (Second Semester)

Well, second hour has arrived and it is somewhat of a break from the last hour. Although history is my least favorite subject, Mr. Grenan has some very interesting techniques that he uses to instruct the class. We occasionally do service projects to help the community as well. Although a review of one of the sections from AP History, this class has reminded me of the many points of our government that I have forgotten from last year. Luckily for me this class is only one semester in length. (Although next semester doesn't get much (if any) better.)

Oral Communications was a very interesting class for me. Our teacher, Mrs. Schanderson was, and I'm sure still is, the most perkiest person I've ever met in my entire life. Although I personally hated the class content (I admit, I do experience quite a bit of anxiety when speaking in front of other individuals), it was helpful. I'm in COM 114 right now, and what I learned in Oral Communications has saved my butt a few times already.


This will be by far the subject that I miss most from high school. I went to the last Grand Haven High School Band Camp that I will ever be a part of and wish that I could stay in high school for the rest of my life because if it. Band Camp has got to be one of the best parts of my entire life. Not only does it prepare us for marching season, it allows one to meet new people, make new friends, and most of all have fun while learning about music and marching. I will forever remember the three years that I went to band camp and the people that I met. Now that marching season itself is over I realize just how much I'm going to miss marching. Although our old director moved to a different school, I still feel the band is doing well and that it will continue to maintain the tradition of obtaining a division one rating at festival. We are just now beginning concert season with our new director, Mr. Maynard. Mr. Maynard is a good person that has an innate ability to talk about something for extremely long periods of time, driving many people to the point of madness. The one driving force behind him that has become apparent is tone quality. He believes that without good tone quality a band basically sucks. However, I think that he is funny a lot of the time and for the most part find band enjoyable now. My description of band would not be complete unless I mentioned Mr. Bourdon, the one person who has stayed with the Grand Haven Marching Band for such a long time I sometimes wonder if he even knows how long. Mr. B is the greatest person on the face of this earth. He was the one who first started me with the saxophone, and he has stayed with me all the way. I sincerely wish him the best of luck in the years to come and want him to know how much I will miss him when the time comes to move on to college. He has helped the band so much, I just cannot put into words what he means to myself and the rest of the band.

Advanced Placement Calculus

Now that the emotional part is over, I get to move on to fourth hour. AP Calculus is a continuation of my earlier mathematics studies. And as always, I enjoy it a great deal. Math is one of my favorite subjects, and Mr. DeKuiper does a very good job of teaching it. The best part about this class is that I am allowed to use my new calculator, the TI-89, on tests and quizzes. I'm already learning much more than I knew from last year, and I'm sure that I will continue.

Grammar (First Semester)
Classroom Aide (Second Semester)

I may as well be frank about this, fifth hour is basically a blow off hour. Grammar is what I have first semester, and after taking AP Comp last year, it feels like I have warped backwards in time to sixth grade. The class is unbelievably easy. However, we do have a very interesting and kind teacher: Ms. Sweet. She teaches the majority of the class while I and a few other AP Comp students work on the homework and sleep or do other homework. The class can be amusing at times, but rarely is it challenging.

Well, my initial interpretation of how Teacher Aide would go was correct. I played on the computer a lot of the time while occasionally pausing to enter grades or water plants. Aside from this it was rather uneventful. The teacher that I was aide for, Mrs. Smith, was my CP Biology teacher in 9th grade. She's a very kind individual and although as Teacher Aide I did close to nothing, it was still fun to talk to her on a daily basis.

Spanish IV (First Semester)
Advanced Computer Programming (Second Semester)

Here I am, a senior in Spanish IV. I've lived through all four years of Spanish and learned quite a bit in the process. My teacher this year is the same one I had for last year, Mrs. Wilhelm. She is an extremely nice teacher, and I'm going to miss this class next semester and after graduation I'm sure. Although Spanish isn't what I would consider a fun subject, it has always been interesting and fun. Because it's sixth hour our class can get stir crazy rather quickly, but I think that we all enjoy having Spanish as our last hour. Unfortunately I need a computer credit to graduate from high school. In case you haven't noticed, I'm proficient with computers. As a matter of fact, I would be so arrogant as to say that I'm overly proficient in computers, at least for now. (I bet that changes when I hit college ;-)). Spanish has been a unique experience for my entire high school career, and I will miss it.

Ah, Advanced Computer Programming. What can I say? The name sounds cool...but underneath, well, I'm going to stop with that thought. The class is designed to teach people with prior knowledge of Visual Basic more. It has a prerequisite of Computer Programming, which I didn't take because I knew I didn't need. I'll admit, I did learn some new things about Visual Basic. However, the class was easy. I won't deny it, I had a blast. We spent excruciatingly long periods of time working on a single project, all of which I managed to complete far ahead of schedule. Thus, I basically had free time the last period of each day. Mr. Latham was a really cool teacher (he also taught my Physics class during my Junior year), and he did a great job of helping everyone that needed it. The atmosphere of the class in general was astounding. First off, the typical high school student can't just skip Computer Programming and move on to Advanced. Therefore, almost everyone in there was taking the class VOLUNTARILY. Translation: a group of computer geeks all in one room during the last period of the day. Needless to say, I loved the environment. The most interesting experience was when the network when down for an entire day. I was able to observe numerous states of psychosis as everyone in the room suffered from computer withdrawal. It ranged from people playing bumper chairs (we have nice cushy chairs with wheels to sit on) to people just screaming at others. After this there were numerous times when I'd have my linux server at home automatically connect to the Internet using a dialup connection and we'd all use the IRC server to chat with each other. The experiences involving this and substitute teachers are far to interesting to state here. Okay, no they aren't. There was one substitute that basically went ballistic on everyone. Some unnamed individual called her an inappropriate word through IRC and she unfortunately saw it on the screen. Well, let's just say at the end of the period everyone had been threatened at least once that they were going to get reported to the principal and kicked out of class. I would like to take this time to mention also that an extremely stupid and intelligence-lacking individual decided to be a retard and ping flood my server (which at the time was connected via a 21.6kbps connection) with "DUAL T3's" (we know U of M really doesn't have Dual T3's) from a University of Michigan server that his Dad had an account on. The results were disastrous and we spent the remainder of that period scaring him with threats that we were going to report him to the FBI. There were so many other events that were unbelievably hilarious that I just can't spend the time mentioning them. This class was the most interesting and amusing class that I've ever taken in my High School career. And like I said, I DID actually learn things about Visual Basic. Thank you Mr. Latham for creating a class that made my Senior year so much more interesting.