Each week, local high school students give their take on one topic.
This week's question: What do you think is the most important subject in school?
"It bites to say the subject I find most tedious, but: English. Study and appreciation of literature may be not so necessary, but writing and reading are probably some of the most essential skills. Writing is the only means of communication other than speaking in person — unless you count body language or sign language — and is especially integral to long-distance and mass communication; reading is indispensable when it comes to informing yourself. Society depends on both today. So if English establishes these skills, then I'd say it's pretty important."
— Rona Chong, Sophomore, Modesto High School
"Either English or history. English because you need to be able to convey your opinions clearly on paper for many important events in life, such as college and job applications. History is equal in importance to English because history has a strange habit of repeating itself, and the only way to avoid making the same mistake twice is to learn from the mistakes others made."
— Peter Hodson, Junior, Modesto High School
"No matter how I answer this question, I'm sure to hear some arguments from my teachers come Thursday morning about why each of their subjects is really the most important subject in school. However, I firmly believe that math is the most important subject of all, as it is the subject most commonly used in everyday life. Well, maybe except for English, but honestly, how often do students really need to write extensive commentaries and essays after they graduate?"
— Rebecca Mears, Sophomore, Modesto High School
"I think that taking a different language is really important — especially Spanish, because that will help out in almost any job. Plus, it's always better to be able to communicate with people when you go visit a different country."
— Dionne Evans, Senior, Johansen High School
"All right, so English teaches you the essentials of reading and writing, math teaches you the necessary means of adding and subtracting (and unfortunately many other really complicated things that I am told I will use one day) and history teaches us the importance of our past in relevance to our future ... all of which of seem fairly important. Yet, for me, I would have to say zero-period Leadership is the most important subject in school. This is the only class that requires waking up at the crack of dawn in order to make it to class on time. Though it may seem a bit bizarre, I do feel that waking up early will pplay a crucial role in my adult life. Thanks, Leadership!"
— Sasha Riddle, Senior, Beyer High School
"It's hard to really pinpoint one specific subject that I consider most important because every subject has its pros and cons; however, I believe the subject that should be emphasized the most in today's schools is English. Our nation depends greatly on communication and the necessity of knowing the proper way to speak. So, I believe in order for our country to run smoothly and effectively, every person, legal or not, should be fluent in proper English."
— Connor Johnson, Junior, Davis High School
"By far, the most fundamental and applicable subject is English. Not only is it important for your future in basically all fields, but it is quite an important asset for 'the now.' Without a decent background in grammar, spelling, reading, writing and comprehension, there is nothing really intellectually stimulating you can apply your mind to. On a personal level, I also feel that English is the most significant subject one can take in school, and this is because I plan on having a career in writing, and English is a pretty large aspect of that particular goal. The other courses are definitely of value to you as you take them, but the things you learn in English are the things that can and will help you succeed, especially if you are like me, and looking into the many fields involved with the subject."
— Kevin Davidson, Sophomore, Beyer High School
"Naptime. Just kidding, Mr. Coats! I would say English is most important. (I hope Mrs. Moreci reads this. How about some extra credit?) Sure, math and history are important subjects in helping a student become well-rounded, but I use techniques I have learned in English every day. Reading, writing, analyzing topics and having discussions on world issues are concepts every human needs to understand and use on a daily basis. Lunchtime isn't too bad, either."
— Emily Kay Shrader, Junior, Enochs High School
"Picking a 'most important' subject is basically choosing a favorite subject. At risk of sounding incredibly nerdy, asking me to choose a favorite subject is like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I honestly love every subject and think every subject is necessary — one needs to know math to deal with finances, but also needs to know English to communicate, and needs history to understand what society is driven by, and needs science to understand how things work."
— Victoria Pardini, Junior, Modesto High School
"I think that it is the one that catches the students' attention the most, be it history, mathematics, floral design, etc. It is important in high school, junior high and elementary school to engage students. If their interest is caught and the students become vested in their education and learning in general, they are more likely to continue that education. When students dislike school and don't see the point in it, the probability of their continuing is slim."
— Nora Cassidy, Senior, Modesto High School
"History is unappreciated by students who wonder what it has to do with the present, but I think it's the most important subject exactly because of how it affects us now. The present situation is defined by decisions of the past, just like where a person is depends on what he has done in his past. Moreover, history is like humanity's collective memory of the past upon which it depends to make decisions in the present — as a person acts according to what he learned from his mistakes and experiences. Aristotle said, 'If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.' "
— Electra Chong, Sophomore, Modesto High School