The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

What are MIHS Electives Doing in Response to COVID-19?

Graphic by Lena Hardisty

All the electives at MIHS have had to make drastic changes to schedules, workloads, and assignments in light of current events. But what exactly are they doing?

“We are still, at least in my radio class, sticking with our main mission of trying to get great content on the air,” Joe Bryant, Media Broadcast Instructor, explained. 

In classes such as Choir and other music courses, they have been meeting weekly to practice listening and attention goals. 

“Choir has been having fun playing some games over Zoom, as well as working on our listening and practice goals.” Annalise Rockow, music and performing arts instructor, stated. 

Daniella Melgar’s dance class is also keeping busy. “My dance class is assigned dance choreography to watch and learn. Once they have learned the choreography, they film themselves doing the dance and then upload that to Schoology,” Melgar explained. 

Although the dance class isn’t able to showcase to the community what they have been working on, they have been practicing intensely and working hard through this strange time.

Drama 1, also taught by Melgar, is “finding ways to improv on-screen with what we have around us in our environment.”

Even if the class isn’t able to give the community performances and show their skills, they are still practicing and making the school closure worthwhile.

Melgar’s drama 2 class, is “currently writing one-person shows, so they have writing assignments due each week, which will then turn into a show that they will film.”

This will be a great experience for the group as they are making use of resources they did not before while practicing necessary drama skills.

Radio shows and public service announcements are still being made from home by the students of the Radio Broadcasting classes.

“I am seeing more great content than ever,” Bryant said. 

Music classes have also been producing great work, despite not being able to rehearse with others in the same room, a crucial part of Band, Orchestra or Choir. 

“Many students are rising to the challenge and producing awesome work!” Rockow said.

“These students decided to take a music course to further explore making music and introduce a new form of music to their lives. I am simply trying to continue to encourage music practicing and music listening through this really weird and difficult time,” Rockow explained.

Even though choir won’t be able to put on a full performance, the choir class has been “[working] on preparing a song to make a virtual choir recording,” Rockow said. 

This recording will be able to showcase the hard work that these students have done to prepare for the originally planned performance.

The workload for Choir and other music classes has been altered as a result of COVID-19. 

“As a music educator, I want students to feel as though I am not simply assigning busywork,” Rockow explained.

Drama is yet another class that has a reduced workload as a result of COVID-19.

“I want my students to be excited about their assignments, and to find joy in performing and creating in the same way they do when they are at school. It’s not a huge amount of work. I want them to grow and create, but I don’t want to overwhelm them and bury them in work,” Melgar said.    

The workload for the radio broadcasting class has changed as well. “I would say the amount of work and the expectations have been less, not to say everybody is doing less,” Bryant said. 

Radio Broadcasting has been hard at work to make the whole island connected. “We want to do our best to keep us all connected and keep us all entertained and keep us all informed. And that is the main mission for the rest of this quarter and beyond,” Bryant added.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Howison
Hannah Howison, Senior Staff Writer
Hannah Howison is a senior at MIHS in their fourth year of journalism. In the past, they have been a part of the back page team, the Features Editor, and is a Senior Staff Writer this year. In their free time, Hannah rides horses, plays videogames, and sings.