There's nothing worse than spending your symmer dreading an upcoming year of Physics and American History. But classes don't always have to be a drag, and forward-thinking schools across the country are getting creative with their course offerings to keep students engaged. Would you be interested in taking a class assisted by video games, or one that analyzes and critiques comic books? What about a class designed to help you break into the fashion industry, or a course that brings history to life by reenacting battles in the classroom? (We know we'd sign up for "Art of the Graphic Novel"!)
We rounded up seven high schools across the country with course offerings designed to pique your interest. Click through the slideshow below to see how these awesome courses and electives keep things interesting between first and last period.
What class do you wish your high school offered? Sound off in the comments below or tweet your #DreamClass @HuffPostTeen!
The Art of the Graphic Novel
Newton North High School in Newton, MA revamped their English electives for the 2012 - 2013 school year. "The Art of the Graphic Novel" is just one of the <a href="http://thenewtonite.com/english-departement-adds-five-new-classes/" target="_hplink">five new courses</a> offered, including "Memoir," "Write On," "Black Voices," and "Contemporary Voices."
American Rebels and Romantics
At Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, MA, you can take a variety of unusual English classes, but you won't see a standard AP English class or any other AP humanities course. Why? Principal Peter Badalament told the <em><a href="http://www.boston.com/news/education/articles/2012/06/24/advanced_placement_participation_varies_widely_between_high_schools_as_tough_tests_gain_popularity/" target="_hplink">Boston Globe</a></em>, "The philosophy is that the courses we have in those disciplines are superior to the AP courses."
American Civil War
Amanda Ingle teaches a Civil War elective at Newsome High School in Lithia, FL. "The favorite part of the course for most students," Ingle told<a href="http://bloomingdale.patch.com/articles/unique-elective-class-offered-at-newsome-high-school" target="_hplink"> Patch.com</a>, "is the reenactment we perform of fighting in the trenches." The students flip over their desks and use paper balls as ammunition to recreate battles.
Fashion Fundamentals, Fashion I - Fashion III
Students at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield, Illinois can pursue an interest in fashion alongside their academic courses. Course topics range from construction and design to fashion etiquette and how to make it in the industry. "I'm hoping to go into fashion marketing," SHG student Emilee Miller told the <em><a href="http://www.sj-r.com/features/x1535091779/Unique-classes-give-teens-unique-experiences?zc_p=0" target="_hplink">State Journal-Register</a></em>. "So what I learn in this class should give me a few pointers for later on in my career."
Wise Individualized Senior Experience
Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA seems to have found the cure for senioritis. Instead of second-semester senior English, seniors can opt to create their own individualized program of study for 10 hours each week. Since the program's induction three years ago, students have written sketch comedies, practiced women's self-defense, studied reconstructive surgery, and became a certified as an EMT. "It's one of the best things I've ever done in my life," student Brooke Bundy told the <em><a href="http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/ORINDA-High-school-seniors-design-courses-2629383.php" target="_hplink">San Francisco Chronicle </a></em>.
"Reading Like A Historian"
Imagine taking a history class without a single lecture or textbook. Sounds awesome, right? That's the idea behind the nontraditional curriculum in place at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. Known as <a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/march/rethinking-history-education-030512.html" target="_hplink">"Reading Like A Historian,"</a> the approach teaches students how to analyze documents and ask questions, rather than encouraging rote memorization.
There's no better way to make a lesson stick than to make it enjoyable -- which is why video game publisher Valve is bringing <em><a href="http://venturebeat.com/2012/06/22/portal-2-schools-education/" target="_hplink">Portal 2</a></em>, an "edutainment" video game, to schools. Teachers can use the program to create maps and games for students to solve using problem-solving skills, physics, and math. Would you want to bring <em>Portal 2</em> to your school?