Elina Kang walks to Blake Transit Center in hopes of catching the 24 route bus, or the Washtenaw Community College bus to get to Pioneer.
Elina Kang walks to Blake Transit Center in hopes of catching the 24 route bus, or the Washtenaw Community College bus to get to Pioneer.

The Art of Dualling

January 20, 2017

Community student Elina Kang dodges through slush and snow on a cold January day to get to junior Tanvi Jaikamal’s car, around 12:10 p.m.. Her destination to Pioneer High School is about 10-15 minutes away, and she gets to the building well before the bell rings at 12:36 to start 5th hour. Sometimes Kang has the misfortune of missing the carpool and having to ride the bus to Pioneer. Even worse, she could miss the bus and not make it to Pioneer quite on time. This series of giving rides, bus fare and sometimes even walking to one of Ann Arbor’s ‘Big Three Schools’ is commonly referred to as dualling.

A little before Kang departs for Pioneer, her fellow classmate sophomore Will Panitch arrives at Community in the middle of lunch. In contrast to Kang, he finishes his classes at Huron High School around 10:40 a.m. and embarks on his daily journey of riding the bus to Community. Panitch takes The Ride Ann Arbor three bus, also known as the Huron River bus.

“I lose an entire hour, because the bus takes half an hour [after class] and goes the wrong way around.” Panitch said. “It’s a pain.”

Kang’s opinion about dualling differs. “I like to dual.” Kang said. “[The commuting] is a small inconvenience, compared to how much I gain.”

Exactly what gains and benefits are she talking about?

If you take a look at the classes these two students take at Huron and Pioneer, you can learn a lot. Kang is a member of Concert Purple Band, and will start taking Marketing which offers a chance to compete at state-wide marketing competitions along with her class. Panitch is a member of A Capella and takes Accelerated Precalculus, or Precalculus AC, which is considered faster-paced than the normal math. All three of these classes are not offered at Community. There are also social benefits that draw students to dualling. “My favorite part is going to a different school and having a different vibe, and having more friends at Huron [High School] and seeing what [it] is like,” freshman Marisol Cisneros said, who takes Government and Choir at Huron.

Even with extra classes and extracurriculars, dualling can push certain people away with the commuting and added details. It can be confusing with different final times, missing the bus or deciding what classes to attend on certain days where the schedule isn’t normal. “If there’s a scheduling change, no one tells you about it, because you don’t hear the announcements if you come in the afternoon.” freshman Nina van der Velde, who duals at Huron in the afternoon, said. “This one time, all the classes were off by an hour because of a pep rally, and I totally missed Band because the bus came at the right time and I took it, but the schedule was changed.”

The major difference from classes at the ‘Big Three’ and Community is that the hours are shorter than Community’s blocks. Huron’s classes this year were reduced to 49 minutes this school year to fit seven required hours and an optional eighth for their International Baccalaureate program. “I think the teachers at Huron, the reason they feel a lot different than the teachers at Community is because they’re so rushed because of the Huron schedule.” van der Velde said. “They’re trying to fit everything in. They don’t take as much time to explain things to you.”

Even with all the stressful and complicated issues surrounding dualling at the big schools, there are always perks, or just added choices in taking music classes and advanced classes that aren’t offered at Community. “They’re just not offered at Community.” van der Velde said. “It’s just another option. It’s not necessarily better, but it’s a good experience.”

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About the Writer
Photo of Gina Liu
Gina Liu, Website Editor-in-chief
Gina Liu is a senior and is currently serving as a co-Website Editor-in-chief for the second year. She hopes that her experiences junior year will help guide her not only in web design/management but in life. She still loves mockumentaries, playing cello and playing varsity tennis over at Pioneer in the springtime. Additionally, she has problems remembering to drink water, and problems remembering things in general. She also placed second in The Communicator's first "Sliced" challenge.

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