Sortin’ Out the Schedules


Photo by Natalie Wilson

Confused freshmen Anna Grace Brown and Caleb Ferguson dive into debate to discover the depths of their new schedules.

On the terms of 2014-2015 school year, I signed up for two of North’s brand new, one semester classes, “Shakespeare” and “Speech Forensics”. This being their first year offered to rising sophomores through rising seniors, their odds of receiving enough sign-ups were cutting close. I guess it takes an uncommon type of person to sign up for more English classes, even if they are core-electives, resulting in only eleven participants for “Shakespeare” and a mere eight for “Speech Forensics”. With numbers like these, one can only expect class cancelation to be their disappointing fate.
Feeling cheated out of my excitement to be enrolled in these classes, I decided to take as much action as a typically influential freshman could, emailing my counselor and informing her on my disagreement in their choice of removing the only electives I had interest in. She told me that she was surprised with my concern and referred me to Mrs. Dawn Phipps, our head counselor. At first, I was nervous because of Mrs. Phipps superior position, unaware of her consideration and outstanding skills with students. A figurehead so important seemed like someone I would not want to take such a tiny complaint to. My anxiety persuaded me to just drop it, but eventually I realized that there was no way it could really go wrong. She responded and asked if we could meet during lunch in her office to discuss the process in which she chooses which classes will be held next year, a process which I believe we all underestimate.
When I walked into her office, I realized my initial perception was wrong. She seemed happy to have the chance to share her work with me, slowly and respectfully taking me through the depths of her computer, filled with charts, statistics, and lists beyond belief. Even as a child of the technology generation, the complications she works through each year during scheduling time blew my mind. It was obvious just by looks that she devoted many hours of her life to keeping classes and number of students simple for everyone else by putting the time in for ten people by herself. She was sincere with showing me how and why she chose to take out those classes, but reassured me that she would do her best to make them available next year.
Honestly, I was surprised at the tiny details involved behind the desk of a counselor. Schedules are possibly one of the most stressful parts of high school, and our counselors are the keystones that hold the bridge together. Sorting out classes takes a lot more time and effort than anyone gives credit for, especially those who assume the world revolves around them and that the act of canceling one of their classes could only mean discrimination. So before you freak out because you didn’t get a class with your best friend or you have math for the long lunch period, take a moment to thank your droopy-eyed, sleep-deprived counselor.