Graphic by Jothi Gupta, Image from Greenhill.org
Katie Brodsky – AP Government
Senior Katie Brodsky is currently taking AP Government. The class has opened her eyes to the inner-workings of our government and how they play into current events today. Brodsky believes the course involves a lot of work, but it is manageable for students who are ready to take on the challenge. She recommends the class to all students, especially ones who have an interest in learning more about the US government.
Nikhil Ratnam – AP Chinese
Senior Nikhil Ratnam is in AP Chinese. One of his favorite parts of the class is watching different Chinese movies because he learns about Chinese culture through them. He took the class because he has been learning Chinese for the past eight years but also because it could be helpful in the future
“It’s especially important because Chinese is one of the most commonly spoken languages that over 1 billion people speak so it will be very helpful in the future,” said Ratnam.
According to Ratnam, the hardest part about the class is making sure he is always speaking in Chinese. Another challenge is to also learn about the cultural significance of Chinese holidays and traditions since they come up in the AP exam. He says that the workload is manageable but he would only recommend the class to students who really enjoy learning about Chinese culture because that is a prominent aspect of the class.
Morgan Hurst – AP Spanish and AP Calculus AB
Senior Morgan Hurst really enjoys AP Spanish. She says the hardest part of the class has been using more difficult “AP” vocabulary and learning to speak more fluently. Her favorite part has been dancing in class with her teacher in classmates. Her class has also done projects in Spanish-speaking countries. She would recommend taking AP Spanish to students who are prepared to take on the work. She feels more fluent and comfortable with the language and also more passionate about the culture. Hurst is also in AP Calculus AB, the middle level of Calculus offered. She likes the class but it has also been the hardest math class she has taken. It moves much faster than every other math class she has taken in the past. Her favorite part is being proud of herself after learning and understanding new concepts. She would recommend it to incoming students who are really comfortable with math or who are willing and ready to challenge themselves in a way they haven’t before.
Ashton Collins – AP Statistics
Senior Ashton Collins is in AP Statistics, which has become one of his favorite classes. The hardest part, says Collins, is adjusting to how much the class relies on reason and logic, which is different from other math classes. His favorite part is cracking jokes with his teacher Michael Legacy. His advice for incoming students is to stay on top of homework. According to Collins, the concepts are hard to grasp but very interesting. He has learned a lot about how to apply statistical concepts to real-life situations. He would recommend this class to students who are prepared for the workload and ready to take on the challenging mathematics.
Me (Lola Frenkel) –AP Environmental Science
I am in AP Environmental Science (APES) this year. This class is one of my favorites. I have learned so many things I did not previously know about the environment and how our society functions. Dr. Treavor Kendall is a great teacher and makes the course super interesting for the students. The workload is not too much and is very manageable with the rest of my schedule. I would highly recommend this class to students who are interested in taking environmental science in college and students who are just wanting to learn more about the environment. This class has made me conscious about my effect on our world and just how delicate our planet truly is.
Emily Caplan – AP Chemistry and Biochemistry
Senior Emily Caplan is in AP Chemistry. She says that the class overlaps with the chemistry course she took her Freshman year, so she is not learning too many different concepts than she previously did. Her favorite part is that the class is flexible and her homework is very helpful. For incoming students, she suggests doing problems online and using the resources the teacher gives until comfortable with the material. It is a good class for independent students, however, not for students who need more structure. Caplan is also in Biochemistry. She loves this class. It is applicable to the real world, and her class is doing things that no other high school kids have access to, including original lab work while technique and theory in parallel. She wants students entering the program to know that it takes a lot to stay on top of the work, and the concepts she has learned are among the hardest she has experienced. She says that if you are passionate about science, have succeeded in previous science classes and up for the challenge, take the class. Pointers: keep up with the reading, meet with the teacher, do lots of practice and seek out stuff that will let you apply what you are learning. According to Caplan, the more time you spend thinking and applying, the easier it gets. This class will set you up to be at the top of your class if you plan on biochemistry or pre-med in college.
Alex Witheiler – AP Macro and Micro Economics
Senior Alex Witheiler is in AP Economics. He enjoys the course because it is a subject that is not really talked about in other classes and is has very distinct in content compared to other history courses offered. For Witheiler, the hardest part of the class is that the class moves at a very fast pace, and if he loses focus during the beginning of a long lesson, the rest of the class will be very confusing. He also believes the material itself is hard and the information takes a while to sink in and really make sense. His favorite part of the class is the lectures. He says his teacher, Adrian Martinez, makes class interesting and engaging. All the notes are posted online, so during class, he can really give the lesson his undivided attention instead of trying to copy all the information. He would recommend this course to students who want to learn more about economics. For incoming students, he recommends using outside material to help study, such as YouTube or an AP review book.
“Practice is important, and understanding the logic behind how each problem is solved is very important. If you feel capable of doing that after five questions, then great, or if it takes you 100 questions, so be it. Just be comfortable with the logic of the unit and I think you will be well prepared for each assessment,” said Witheiler.