I Pontificate over English

Jackson, Staff

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As an AP student at Springville, there are certain paths you can take to achieve getting a shiny sticker on your high school diploma that says “Advanced.” And in striving to achieve this, the only classes I have found moderately bearable to endure has been the English courses. I have always had a love for literature and writing, and these classes allow students to express themselves and learn how to argue their case, while at the same time giving them some pretty decent reading material. I took AP Lang my junior year, and it was an honest joy to go through. It flowed well, I had a great teacher (who was Mrs. Box, the one editing this), I never felt too overwhelmed, and the reading material ranged from murder stories to analyses of societal trends. I did fairly well in the class and ended up improving my writing skills tremendously. But this year, my senior year, things have been a little different. I now have AP Lit, and while I still have a great teacher (Mrs. Bryan, who is pretty awesome) there have been a LOT of changes I have had to adjust to. First thing is the intense workload, that is only promising to increase as time goes on. In Lang we mostly advanced in class, but in Lit, before the year even started, our work load was a gooooood bit larger than I expected, containing annotations and dialectical journals and all of those riveting exercises. And it’s not that I really mind that much doing them, it is just a LOT compared to Lang. And then there also is the dilemma of the subject matter. AP Lang consisted of mostly nonfiction novels, speeches, addresses, things of that nature. But Lit has poetry. And poetry for me is a problem. I am all for finding deeper meanings in life and being gushy and all. But poetry. Is killing me. My brain aches trying to decipher the abstract thoughts of the poets. I am used to the frankness of analyzing nonfiction texts, and going from that to the raw emotional tones in poetry, to me, has not been a walk in the park. Adjusting to this has been a struggle, almost like I’m using a different part of my brain that I need to unlock. And we are just now getting into the crystal clear works of Shakespeare.

That is not to say that I have not enjoyed my time in the class so far. On the contrary, I have enjoyed the challenge, to some extent. But to deny the fact that the transition between material and workload is definitely a struggle, would be a lie to myself. We still are chugging along, and my class is only getting better which is comforting. But nothing on God’s green earth can comfort the looming promise of what Mrs. Bryan has dubbed “March Madness,” and I am ninety percent sure we aren’t playing basketball. Fingers crossed, though.

This article’s purpose is not to scare of others from taking the AP Lit class. I actually encourage everyone who can take it to take it, as the benefits in doing so are high. I merely am venting my own frustrations and thoughts in the transition between the class of AP Lang and Lit through the facet of an opinion article in a high school online publication, as most of my friends are tired of hearing me vent, and I apparently have nothing else in life other than English that I have strong opinions about.