I start AP training tomorrow which will run for four days. It's August so I'm getting into school mode and class tomorrow sounds wonderful. I've trained in AP English the past two summers and since next year one of my AP Junior classes is teaming with AP US History, I'm taking the US History training. I'm super stoked for it. My last history class was when I was 18 years old and it was called Early Human Civilization: 3,000 BC to 1,500 AD. I loved it. It was my first quarter of college and my first blue book exam during finals. The professor was almost 80 years old and lectured an hour per day, every day. This class also generated one of my strongest collegiate memories.
It was the night before the final exam and I hadn't studied at all. I laid my textbook and class notes out on my desk with a highlighter and legal pad and sat down, ready to begin studying at 9:00 PM, 11 hours before my final. I sat at my desk and stared at my tools. Then I stared some more. I flipped through my notes. I opened and closed my book. After a few minutes of this I had the most troubling thought, "Shit. I've never studied in my life and I don't know how." For the next ten minutes I sweated and panicked and cursed high school for being so easy. I had never cracked a book open in my 18 years of life to study. I had never done homework. I had never had to even try at school because it came so easy. I finally called my dad and told him my predicament. He just laughed at me and said, "Yes! I've been waiting for this call!" He took about 15 minutes and told me some different ways to cement the material, which I then put to use for the whole night. I left my dorm at 7:30 without sleep and made my way to the classroom. There was 50 kids in the class at 8:00 when our professor walked into the room, asked us if we had our blue books (he told us to bring two), and proceeded to walk to the front chalkboard and write down one question: "Describe the events that took place from 3,000 BC to 1,500 AD and how they connect." It was the best question I'd ever read and I was so prepared. The final was three hours long and I used the whole time and both of my blue books answering the one solitary question. When I finished, I had been the only student in the classroom for at least 20 minutes. I turned it in to the prof (forget his name) and he asked me how I did. I told him that I'd pulled an all-nighter and I'd absolutely nailed it. He said, "We'll see" and shuffled out of the room. I went back to my dorm and passed out until 9:00 that night when I did the thing all over again study for a psychology final. After Christmas break I received my final exam score of 4.0 and had never been more proud of myself. It was a really cool moment and one of my better days.
When I'm Gone by Rafael Zoehler
I read this earlier today thinking it was a true story and it absolutely kicked me in the crotch. I may have sniffled out a tear or two. Then later I found out it was fiction and I was disappointed. Not sure now how I feel about that. Great read though.
Story: 10 of 10
It's a first-person narrative piece by a man whose father died when he was eight years old. His dad left him a box of letters to be opened up during important milestones in the authors life. They were things like, "When you have a giant fight with Mom," and "QWhen you have your first kiss," and "When you have your first child," and finally, "When your time comes," which the author opens up when he's 86 years old. It's a great hook for a story and I really, really wanted it to be true.
Teachability: 10 of 10
KIDS WILL LOVE THIS. Seriously. They will absolutely go mad for this piece but would like it better if it were true so I think that I won't tell them it's fiction until after we discuss it. Now go read it.