In an increasingly high-pressure academic culture, finding the area between two curves has become common knowledge among Diamond Bar students, but not how to file taxes.
In a poll of 268 Brahmas, The Bull’s Eye asked students to identify which courses they would like to see added to their high school curriculum.
Ranking highest among the choices listed was personal finance, a class to educate students on how best to manage their income and budget their money beyond the basics covered in a regular single-semester economics course.
Senior Daniel Huang said he was inspired to learn more after watching fiscal discipline coach Dave Ramsey’s advice in class.
“I think that senior year most of all is when I’ve learned about personal finance, and I think that it’s a good time to be learning before you go into college because you should have a good background and foundation for this,” Huang said.
Sophomore Frances Tong also believes personal money management is a skill best taught early.
“In high school, we all spend a lot of money and we’re not really thinking about it because we’re not the ones making the money, so we don’t understand how hard it is,” Tong said. “But [then] we start to get jobs and we don’t know how to manage our money properly.”
Many students also agreed on the importance of home economics: learning how to cook, clean and properly maintain a home.
“I think people would be surprised about the amount of people that can’t do some basic things that are necessary to know like sewing, cooking… and it would be really useful,” junior Heather Maiershofer said.
Senior Megan Ly grew up under the care of a nanny for around 12 years.
With her parents continually busy with work, Ly and her older sister took on most household tasks alone.
But when their nanny left the family, the siblings were left without guidance.
“My parents didn’t stop working,” Ly said. “So I would have to figure out how to cook and clean and my sister would help me and I could tell that she was confused, so I’m pretty sure that course could have helped a lot.”
Following the trend of essential life skills, driver’s education was a choice many Brahmas feel should be reinstated as well.
The course was previously offered as an elective at DBHS.
Numerous student voices cited convenience as a major factor in their preference for taking the driver’s education course during school hours.
“I chose driver’s ed as one of the classes I think we should have as an elective because personally I procrastinated on doing driver’s ed and I regretted it later,” senior Miranda Dypiangco said. “I just think it’s important because it’s something everyone will have to do eventually.”
Junior Lizet Fernandez bolstered her support for such a class after her cousin took driver’s ed at her high school.
“She said it really helped her,” Fernandez said. “I think it’s a good class to take in high school because usually you have to go out of your way to do it.”
Others also raised the point that offering the course as a public school elective would alleviate the stress of high driving school tuition costs that not every household can afford.
Another popular selection among students polled was American Sign Language.
Ly said that had the option been available upon selecting a foreign language to study in high school, perhaps she would have pursued it instead of Spanish.
“Languages are very cultural, but sign language is a totally different thing where it’s still people communicating, but it’s probably at the back of their mind when the topic of languages is brought up,” Ly said. “[Deaf people] can only communicate with such a small part of the world, and maybe if we had [sign language] in our schools then they would be more able to express themselves.”
Dypiangco was first exposed to ASL through her neighbor, a former Ayala High School student who took the class there and now teaches the nonverbal language as a profession.
“I just always thought it was pretty interesting, and I think it’s important to expose people to ASL because not everyone in the deaf community has the option to have a translator, so it makes things easier to the deaf community,” Dypiangco said.
Sex education and anthropology received 49 and 34 votes each, respectively, and the most popular write-in suggestions for new classes included game design, AP Macroeconomics and AP World History.