Bucket list: to do before you graduate

photo courtesy: Katherine Gerberich

photo courtesy: Katherine Gerberich

Secrets to discover

The English office. photo: Sarah Golobish

The English office.
photo: Sarah Golobish

English department office: Widely known as the most exclusive of the department offices, the English office is almost impossible to get into, with a rule dictating that visitors must knock at the door and wait outside for their teachers to come to the door. (photo)

Friendships: It may sound corny, but students are able to make great friendships at PHS. Make it a point to meet someone new every day over the first few weeks of school. If you live in Princeton, meet someone from Cranbury; if you live in Cranbury, meet someone from Princeton; try to introduce yourself to new students from other districts, states, or countries. Sports and clubs are great ways to meet new people and become more acclimated to high school life. Your teacher’s location: Because most teachers have to switch rooms between periods, it can often be very difficult to pinpoint their locations at any given time. If you need to talk to them outside of class, make sure you know where their offices are or where they can usually be found during break.

The tower. photo: Sarah Golobish

The tower.
photo: Sarah Golobish

The tower: No, we don’t mean the amazing school newspaper, we mean the actual tower. Shrouded in mystery, most students don’t even know where the entrance lies (through the office? Guidance? Underground tunnels?) and those who venture to discover it never return (just kidding). (photo)

Closets: Because the school comprises several different additions all built on top of one another, you’ll find that there are some strange doors down staircases, doors through secret courtyard entrances, and closets only accessible by navigating a series of rooms and doors.

Classes to take

 Journalism: Not only will taking this class get you on the Tower’s good side, but it will also help you improve the conciseness, clarity, and entertainment value of your writing. Students enrolled in Journalism will learn how to write a variety of articles from feature stories to opinion articles, making the class helpful for many PHS compilations.

Multimedia Special Effects. photo: Sarah Golobish

Multimedia Special Effects.
photo: Sarah Golobish

Multimedia Special Effects: Multimedia Special Effects is a great course if you are interested in working as an editor for short films and movies. It is designed to improve your abilities with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. (photo)

Algorithms Using Python Programming: This is a full-year course that teaches students to understand and write programs for Python. It is useful for any high school student wishing to take a more advanced university version of the course later on. Computer science has also become a popular college major and field of study, as a number of fields look for applicants with basic programming knowledge.

Writing Workshop. photo: Sarah Golobish

Writing Workshop.
photo: Sarah Golobish

Writing Workshop: This one-semester course is perfect for anyone interested in different genres of writing. It explores every step of the creative composition process in a relaxed environment outside of normal English class. (photo)

Film Appreciation: Film Appreciation is an entertaining course if you enjoy watching and critiquing films. Over half a year, the class enhances students’ knowledge of the filmmaking process and their ability to analyze a variety of genres.

Trips to go on

A Music Trip: All three of our music programs— band, choir, and orchestra—offer field trips for those who take their classes. Although trips change based on the year and although you are not guaranteed placement into the group that goes on the trip you like, many of our music students get the opportunity to go on one of these trips sometime throughout their high school years. Recent destinations have ranged from Budapest to Beijing to Hershey Park. No matter your level of expertise in your field of music, there exists the promise of some type of trip.

Algebra II Six Flags trip: Students who are enrolled in Algebra II get the chance in June to spend a day more packed with amusement park rides than with math.

Language trips: Depending on the language you take, you may get the opportunity at some point in your high school career to go on a language-affiliated trip. China, France, and Italy have all been destinations in the past, and some will continue to be destinations in the future. If you get the chance, try to go on at least one of these week-long excursions to get a taste of foreign culture and to further enhance your foreign language skills.

Things to try

Try out for an a cappella group and/or student directed play: PHS is home to four musical groups that perform sans instruments but avec applause, high spirits, and some mean harmonizing. While being accepted into one of these groups is a huge achievement, many simply enjoy the process of trying out, as the a cappella groups provide smiles, food, and fun questions to answer to all who offer up their talents. In addition, Spectacle Theatre holds annual student directed plays in which anyone can audition for brief five to ten minute skits.

Staying at the school so late that you are the only one left. photo: Sarah Golobish

Staying at the school so late that you are the only one left.
photo: Sarah Golobish

Stay at the school so late that you are the only one left: Although not entirely realistic (there is some rule or other about an administrator always having to be in the building while a student remains inside), there is something nice about having the normally jam- packed space around your locker, the hallway, even an entire floor all to yourself. (photo)

Go to gym when you are supposed to go to lab: Thanks to our wonderfully obscure seven-day letter system, we are always kept guessing here at PHS. Although you may not actually want this to happen to you, odds are that at least once before you graduate you’ll start walking to (or even changing for) gym when you should be going to science class.

Eat lunch outside: Although for most of the year it is too cold to spend break outside, pick a nice day during the spring or early fall to sit outside and eat lunch.

Go to a Spectacle Theatre production: PHS’s Spectacle Theatre puts on three plays and one musical every year through the drama program. Ranging from Shakespeare to Star Wars to both (Spectacle Theatre’s Shakespeare’s Star Wars last fall), these plays are definitely worth seeing.

Go to one (or many) club interest meetings: With dozens of clubs at PHS, odds are there is at least one for you. If not, you can start your own club by turning in a new club application to Ms. Lygas!

Like the Tower on Facebook: Just do it.