Agora Days '12: A return to its roots
Published: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 4:38pm
Agora Days, a Uni tradition since 1977, is undergoing a few changes this year to get closer to the real purpose of the week.
In the X week edition of the 1980 Gargoyle, reporter Chuck Sentman stated that the idea of Agora Days was to allow students to teach and take "courses that interest them outside the realm of normal high school."
The courses could be fun, but were intended to be educational.
"You may expect to have homework in any of your courses," wrote Toshi Nishida in the Feb. 1977 edition.
Overseeing the changes is physical education teacher Rebecca Murphy, who is in charge of Agora Days this year. French and Computer Literacy teacher John Garvey headed Agora Days in previous years.
"John Garvey has been in charge of Agora Days for eight years or so and, as a full time teacher, he wanted to take a break," said Murphy. "Sally [Athletic Director Sally Walker] nominated me to head Agora Days. [Uni Director] Jeff Walkington and I had a meeting on it, and he thought it was a good idea."
Murphy has decided to make several changes to Agora Days to steer it back toward its original purpose.
"When Agora Days first started, the original intent was to be able to learn about different things that one wouldn't learn in school, as well as having the opportunity to teach," Murphy said. "However, [it] seems now that the students are using Agora Days just to goof off and they think that this is a time to relax and take a break from school."
Murphy is also creating a student-faculty committee to review the proposed classes.
"Even though I'm trying to make classes more educational, Agora Days is still for the students and by the students," said Murphy. "Having a student-faculty committee allows students to give some input."
The student-faculty committee consists of four people: Garvey, Murphy, another faculty representative, and a student. The latter half of the committee will remain anonymous so that students do not feel their proposals got rejected for personal reasons, as well as so that the committee is not pressured to accept a class.
Everyone, including students, parents, and teachers, is encouraged to teach a class. To submit a proposal, go to the Uni website homepage and click on Agora. Fill out the form and submit. Polished and carefully planned proposals that are submitted by Nov. 11 will be given priority. The earlier proposals are submitted, the better. Ideally, all proposals should be submitted by Thanksgiving break.