Collision of Classes

Advanced publications student takes intro class


More stories from Brianna Peck


Photo courtesy of Emily Broad

Senior Alex Lie is an advanced yearbook production student here at Rocklin High School. But his schedule begs to differ.

“I had a lot of schedule conflicts this year. Right now, I’m in AP physics and AP computer science, which like advanced yearbook, are both during first and second period. . . But I talked with Mr. Ruby, [who is the yearbook production teacher], and he said I could come in during eighth period to do my advanced work.”

With advanced publication only offered during first block, Alex finds himself in a classroom full of students still learning the basics of photography and design. However, from designing his own pages, writing his own stories, and helping out underclassmen, Alex’s responsibilities stand out in stark contrast.

“If you’re doing the things you love doing, then it’s not hard to motivate yourself into doing that stuff.”

“A lot of people come up to ask me questions about classroom and cultural norms, but most of the time they will ask for help about yearbook stuff and basics of design. I’m always happy to help out the underclassmen especially if they are in the introduction class.”

Participating in six AP classes, competitive soccer, advanced yearbook production, having a part-time job and other extracurriculars – don’t overwhelm Alex. He enjoys the rigor of his classes, with the added benefit of them preparing him for college.

“If you’re doing the things you love doing, then it’s not hard to motivate yourself into doing that stuff. Like all the classes I’m taking, they are classes I want to take, it’s not like I have to take them. They are subjects I enjoy and I think they are going to help me out, especially in college.”

Most of Alex’s school day is spent in STEM classes, where little creative design is needed. However, after graduating from high school, Alex plans to combine his STEM and creative design skills into a mechanical engineering degree.  With the field implementing aspects of design and mathematics, his yearbook production skills will come in handy.

“It seems weird that I’m in publications, especially because it’s the opposite of STEM, but there is a connection. I’m planning on majoring in mechanical engineering. . . Like in yearbook, you are designing the whole page and how it looks and using techniques to make it look aesthetically pleasing and whereas in engineering there is something called CAD (Computer Aided Design). . . That’s why I like doing design.”