by Natalie Murray ‘18
Following the election, many young people expressed uncertainty about Donald Trump running the country. Some feared for their rights, their safety, and even their lives. However, most teenagers that are wary of a Trump presidency feel unable to do anything to assuage these fears, so English and Theatre teacher Chris Goodrich decided to take action. He has used his status as a self-proclaimed expert survivalist to create a way for students to prepare for a worst-case scenario: The Hunger Games.
Though some may find this ridiculous, those who are fearful of Trump cite his unpredictability, childish temper-tantrums, repeated instances of lashing out at people for no reason, and his overall insanity as viable reasons to assume that he could take unprecedented and drastic actions.
“After hearing that so many students were concerned about their safety under Trump, I wanted make them feel safe,” said Goodrich. “I feel that it’s my duty as a teacher to prepare my students for their future, so I used my survival expertise to create a curriculum for Hunger Games Survival Class, and petitioned to have it implemented right away.”
The curriculum was made to provide necessary survival skills to anyone concerned about their future under a Trump presidency. The class, however, isn’t for everyone, especially not the faint of heart, as it involves many intensive activities, like rock climbing and knife skills. Other units include weaving, holding your breath, stage fighting, hide-and-seek, facing your fear, and poetry.
Now, some may wonder why weaving or poetry is in this survival class, but Goodrich offers a justification for every topic. Weaving is useful for both offensive and defensive strategies: either weaving nets to capture opponents, or a hammock to sleep in. Goodrich adds that poetry provides an excellent outlet for negative feelings, which would be abundant in a battle to the death.
“I’ve read and watched all the Hunger Games series, and I went camping once, so I’m an expert in the whole ‘survival’ thing,” said Goodrich. “But there are some things that I’m not confident about my abilities in, so I have field trips planned to my students can learn from experts” Among these “field trips” are trips to Sherwood’s weight training, pottery, and yoga classes.
Junior Ally White, who has taken Goodrich’s theatre class for two years, is thrilled to enroll in the class. “I had to drop AP BC Calculus to take this course, but it’s not like anything I learn in that class will be useful in real life,” said White. “I’m really excited to learn such a wide variety of relevant skills.”
Some, however, aren’t so ecstatic. Senior William Schwartz was hoping that the class would be an easy one that he could blow off, but he was wrong. “It’s so irritating. I was on my phone the other day in class, and Mr. Goodrich snuck up behind me, poked my shoulder with a mechanical pencil, and told me that my phone would’ve just gotten me killed in a real Hunger Games scenario,” complained Schwartz.
Other students share this frustration, but for a complete opposite reason. Sophomore Jeffrey Daniels is an expert survivalist, and signed up for the class expecting to be familiar with everything in the curriculum. However, he feels underwhelmed by the class. “Goodrich has no clue what he’s doing,” Daniels groaned. “For the knife skills unit, we learned the best places to stab someone – only we had to use plastic knives on a cardboard cutout, and we had to use a metaphor to describe the amount of pain the person would be in. It’s a waste of time!”
Despite complaints from students like Schwartz and Daniels, many students enjoy the class, which occurs every other day during fifth period in room H347 (more commonly known as the Auxiliary Cafeteria, or the Panic Room), and there is currently a wait list for students to enroll in it next year. As a result, Goodrich plans on improving his curriculum by taking survival classes over the summer, and expects to graduate from a self-proclaimed survivalist to a licensed Survival ExpertTM.