Castilleja: A school for pets


Christine Ryu

Animals join Castilleja.

Every year, a new batch of Castilleja students wait across the circle, waiting for their tie to be tied. However, this year, these new students are a bit odd. For the first time in all of Castilleja history, Castilleja will be admitting non-human students.

Jill Lee, head of admissions, shared the department’s criteria for the new students being admitted into Castilleja:

  • curiosity and enthusiasm for things around them
  • ability to play well with others as well as alone
  • even-tempered
  • ability to come on command— don’t want any pets just wandering about!
  • ability to cuddle and give kisses

When asked about the new curriculum, the school gave a sample schedule of all the classes the new students would be taking this upcoming school year.

Period 1: World Language 1
This course will give students the opportunity to learn a multitude of languages such as human, dog or cat. Students will learn basic conversational skills in these three languages which will help them throughout their life.

Period 2: Fitness
This course will give the students the opportunity to exert all of their excess energy in numerous ways from running to swimming. Side note: aquatic students will only be able to participate in the swimming unit; they will have a free period during other modules.

Period 3: Art
Students will have the opportunity to explore the arts in a safe environment. Projects include the infamous “Paint the Campus” project where students will be free to run around with paint and decorate the campus to their wishes.

Period 4: The Study of Famous Animals throughout Time
Known as SFAT for short, students will have the opportunity to uncover the legacy of animals throughout the ages. Animals that will be studied in the curriculum will include famous names such as Dolly the sheep (first animal to be cloned), Grumpy Cat (the famous meme), Laika (first animal to orbit the earth), Koko the gorilla (first non-human to master sign language), Cher Ami (messenger pigeon in WWI) and Balto (heroically saved people by delivering medicine to them).

Period 5: Biology
Students will study the anatomy of different animals and note the similarities between their evolution and the evolution of the animals studied. Side note: this course will include dissections which may be disturbing to some students.

Period 6: Vocal Arts
Students will learn how to harmonize together and create beautiful auditory masterpieces.

Period 7: AT Psychology
Students will be able to learn how to understand their human relatives better through an interactive course which includes watching films of different genres and analyzing the behavior of the characters and how similar and different they are to humans in student’s daily lives. Films include Iron Man: The First Avenger, Mean Girls, Gone with the Wind and Cinderella.