HUMOR: “Dear Kenny” remembers his classes

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HUMOR: “Dear Kenny” remembers his classes

Hailey Spaeth

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This year the Scroll is launching a new advice column, featuring Country Day’s Student Council Treasurer, math extraordinaire, and overall favorite person, Kenny Wang. Send any questions you have for him to [email protected] For our first edition, Kenny was asked about the best teachers and classes here at Country Day. Here is his guide to our Upper School. 


It was a hard decision to choose to answer this question, or “How can I possibly cope with the death of Harambe?” (Well, Harambe has become an idea. And an idea will never die. It will only grow stronger with the relentless passage of time).

Now that I’m a senior, the details are getting fuzzy, but I’ll go through what my muddled mind remembers the most of each class (which is not much).

Starting off:

Dr. McCall’s Ancient World History – Lots and lots of stretching after learning about really old laws and losing units to terrain advantage. Quite a bit of learning about how to be a historian (the prelude to the sophomore and junior papers) topped off with DMac’s endless puns and history jokes.

Ms. Floyd’s Freshman/AP English – Romeo and Juliet, Great Expectations, and some other books that escape my memory. But, a solace amongst the terrible oceans of antique words, Ms. Floyd hands out snacks and lets students go to lunch when they should. Look forward to getting literally or metaphorically lost in the woods while trying to know thyself junior year.

Senora Suarez’s Spanish I – Slideshows of vocabulary and inevitable Zumba time. Sometimes Senora Suarez puts you in a picture for the yearbook. A good time overall.

Mrs. Back’s Geometry/Pre-Calc – Math is math, and you get to take notes while listening to Mrs. Back’s soothing tone and corny jokes. Sometimes you design solar panels (watch out Elon Musk) and sometimes you 3D-print hexagons of varying sizes, but astonishingly the same volume. Other times, spirographs are drawn.

Mr. Dunn’s Freshman/Sophomore Bio – Lots of material and frequent tests and Mr. Dunn’s savagery. Not just savagery in making fun of people and educational videos, but also savagery in demonstrations of how to properly and humanely behead a goldfish, or how to crack open a cat cadaver to examine its organs.

Mrs. Dunn’s Sophomore English – If Mr. Dunn is savage, then Mrs. Dunn is at least as brutal, if not more. Depressing books with emotional sacrifices and equally depressing amounts of red marks on essays. Emphasis on actually reading the books and learning words to roast your friends with on the sentence forming portion of vocabulary quizzes. Additional emphasis on learning quotes and sometimes forgetting those quotes in front of the entire class.

Mr. Black’s Modern European History – This class is a wildcard. You’ll be reading enough texts to build a house for a large hamster. You could be learning about anything from the artwork that was simply a toilet to the peerless dietary efficiency of the potato. More fun is watching the Prisoner (which is a wild ride) and listening to Mr. Black sing in all his glory.

Mr. Faulhaber’s Algebra II – If math class was a comedy, then Mr. Faulhaber would be the straight man. Even if he thinks something is funny, he might act like it’s simply ridiculous. You can’t be nuts or bring nuts into this classroom.

Senora Castro’s Spanish II/III – Healthy amounts of Spanish and Spanish-related projects. Also a concentrated smattering of Vistas homework, along with a frustration at the little man with a walnut shaped head constantly repeating “No…” or “Try it again,” except in Spanish.

Mrs. Wietmarschen’s Band – You play songs and wrong notes, but it is unknown to you whether there are more songs or more wrong notes being played. You are also conscripted into concerts and performances, but you do it all, because you know it is for the glory of the band. Actually, a pretty laid-back class with Mrs. Wietmarschen, who can play any instrument.

Mrs. Butler’s AP Chem – Writing detailed lab notebooks and studying for lots of chemistry tests seem pretty good. But there are also even more fun things to do, such as making myriads of mole puns for Mole Day, launching ice cream ingredients wrapped in a ball of tape and ice at your friend’s head, tie-dying shirts that eventually become an indeterminate color, and listening to Mrs. Butler sing Happy Birthday in Dutch.

Mr. Twyford’s Intro to Engineering – A lot of different things you can do here. You’ll be doing a lot of Arduino wiring, and sometimes serve as the general handy-people for when anyone wants anything built or fixed on campus, such as a gaga pit for the middle school. For the final project, you might not know what’s going on, but you might also be able to produce the modern miracle that is the Nintoaster.

Dr. Tyrrell’s APUSH – John. Adams. It’s nice learning about John Adams and confusing events in American history, but this class will put you through a grinder. There will be DBQs. There will be sources. There will be a junior paper and you may or may not choose to procrastinate until it is due, but it will hurt. Dr. Tyrrell might also order you out of the room, but usually she just acts exasperated in a good-natured way to anything that happens.

Some classes that are uncharted territory:

Dr. Tyrrell’s Economics – Seems to be a distinct lack of John Adams, but there are more graphs that’ll leave you wondering what the numbers really mean.

Ms. Thornberry’s Senior English – Sometimes frightening. Sometimes Hamlet.

Mr. Miller’s Physics – Self-proclaimed petty tyrant with an aggressive rivalry with Mr. Dahl.

Senora Robitaille’s AP Spanish – When in Senora Robitaille’s class, speak Spanish.

Mr. Twyford’s AP Computer Science – Programming and confusion distributed evenly.

Mr. Neugebauer – Unbounded limits and unbounded enthusiasm for math.


Hopefully this little summary will help you be more informed when choosing your classes next year. Unless you don’t care about my opinion, in which case — you’re the real winner.