Comedy Literature added to Course Catalog

Jared Schwartz, Author

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Comedy Literature will make its debut next year as a new English elective course at Palo Alto High School, taught by current Humanities and Critical Thinking 2 teacher Lucy Filppu.

“This class is growing out of my feeling that students are not exposed to all this wonderful [comedy] literature,” Filppu said.  “I feel like there is untapped potential for an English class.”

Principal Phil Winston is happy with the current English options, but thinks this will expand and improve them.  He believes the class will be a success at Paly.

“It is going to add to our already diverse elective offerings,” Winston said.  He believes that this class will be fun and interesting , and that students enjoying learning is a good thing for Paly.

Filppu said she is working to make the class enjoyable.  She wants to include works of Woody Allen, Mark Twain, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart as part of the curriculum she is developing, in addition to the well-known television show Saturday Night Live (SNL).

“All these great comedic voices are out in our culture now and have been throughout history,” Filppu said.

Sophomore Harry Halsted looks forward to learning about these comedic voices, and looks forward to taking the course from Filppu.

“I love the idea of a Comedy Lit class,” Halsted said. “It adds more of a loose fun-ness to the elective options, and adds fun to learning.”

The idea of combining entertainment and learning appeals to students as well as teachers and administrators.

“Everything doesn’t have to be serious,” Winston said.  “You can still learn while having a good time, reading interesting texts and looking outside the box.”

He hopes that it will go even further in the future, and that Paly can continue to expand on this concept.

“The vision is that it [the course] will grow and take off and become this amazing opportunity for students,” Winston said.  “Then we will look at how to diversify it further.”