To add to my "fine arts" class graduation requirements, I took a semester of Drawing through Coastline Community College. In the class, we were taught various drawing techniques to improve our drawing skills. In drills and practice, we repeatedly drew our hands until we produced works of art that were both accurate and realistic. Through proper shading and toning, we added depth and life to our hand drawings. After we had drawn our hands, we moved on to more complex compositions including the human head. With tips such as "the eyes are halfway down the head" and "the ears are level with the eyes" the class in general was able to create impressive head shots.
As part of the requirements for graduation, students are required to take a health class once in middle school, and again in high school. In our health class, we learned about healthy living, reproduction, human systems, and diseases. We studied many types of cancers and their causes, along with things we could do to prevent them. At the end of the semester, we had a final project where we intensively researched a certain disease. Following the research, we assembled our knowledge into a four to five page paper and a PowerPoint presentation.
In music class, we spent most of our time learning about the history of music, from medieval times in the sixth century to contemporary music in the 20th century. We studied a wide variety of artists and composition styles from Hildegard von Bron to Debussy. We also learned about elements of music including tempo, harmony, and melody. Throughout the class, we listened to samples and recordings of various pieces inlcuding Gregorian chants and Beethoven's symphonies. In addition, the class trained us on the differences between eras of music that allowed us to distinguish pieces from the Romantic, Baroque, and Classical eras.
Speech class was an opportunity to improve my communication skills with anybody and everybody. Though students may question the reasons behind assigning us a speech class, I feel that the class was helpful and instructive. We learned skills that would help us easily draft and present informative, persuasive, and introductory speeches. Students presented several speeches over the course of the class about various topics. Our introductory speeches were about us specifically, introducing ourselves to the class. Informative speeches were about a topic of our choice and helped us educate the class on our chosen topic. Our persuasive speeches were presented in an attempt to persuade our class that our topic was best or good for them.