Challenge yourself in AP English
All high school students must take four years of English to graduate; after all, it is crucial that graduates have a thorough understanding of their language before entering the workforce or a university.
At Marysville High School, there are several classes from which to choose. For those students seeking a challenge, Advanced Placement English is the perfect choice. The class is designed to prepare students for the AP test.
If students pass this test, they can earn college-level English credit. AP English is also a prime opportunity for students to get a taste of a college workload while still in high school.
English teacher Ms. Duncan, known for her orange-y shoes and fairyland color TVs, has plenty of experience with the material: She has been teaching AP English for almost 18 years. She also taught a similarly difficult class in Ireland while she lived there. She feels the "rigorous" class provides the perfect setting for students to gain intellectual confidence.
"The AP test is not some local test. It's an internationally recognized exam. After doing well on the AP test, students know they are ready to compete at a global level — in college and later in life," Duncan said.
There are several perks to choosing AP English as a senior English class. In AP, students learn to classify and analyze many different types of literature — romantic, postmodern and existential modern, to name a few. Students also develop key writing skills.
Each student writes a research paper — complete with correct MLA citations and a proper heading — several timed essays and countless literary analysis practice paragraphs. Another bonus to AP is an extra GPA point.
Moriah Edwards, a senior, says the extra grade point was influential in her decision to take the class. She says her choice has definitely been effective thus far in making her feel prepared for college.
Ka Bao Her, a junior planning to take AP English next year, says she wants to enroll in AP to challenge herself. "AP is perfect for that," she said. "And since I plan to go to college, AP is good prep for me."
Duncan concedes that the class is difficult, but she feels it gives "the brightest" a chance to stretch themselves. "The class has evolved over the years," she said, "because the test is changing. It's not just old classics anymore. Now the test administrators are considering newer works of literature, more postmodern."
Though an upper-level course, AP is not a collection of 16th-century novels and poems that students must stumble through to understand. Most of the literature is fairly modern. Senior Cody Fishers says his favorite novel so far was Camus' "The Stranger." The book is not postmodern, but it was written within the last century.
AP provides a balance between old and new, college and high school, analysis and writing — all important qualities that make the class such a positive experience.
Karah Kemmerly is a senior at Marysville High School. Her column appears about every sixth week in Education.