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5 September 2008 / April

Preflection

Sophomore year: September ’06 | June ’07
Junior year: September ’07 | June ’08

I don’t even know how to do my school year predictions now that I’m in one class that ends in December, one that ends in January, and one (or maybe two) that begins in January.  This also throws a monkey wrench into my Exams series, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Yay metaphors!

I think what I’ll for now is write preflections on the classes I’m in right now and when I start a new class midway through the year, I’ll edit this entry.  And I’ll do something similar with the reflections so I can keep everything in two entries.

I have no idea what I’m going to do when I’m in college.  Maybe just end the series?  It’s probably more trouble than it’s worth…

Anyway.  Shall we?

Homeroom: For some reason it felt really fast, and rushed.  A few of us had some issues finding our lockers (YES!  H-BUILDING AT LAST!  No more back of K netherlands for me!) because apparently we’re blind, or something?  But it’s all irrelevant because we will never have homeroom again– or we might, but chances are I won’t be there due to…

Linear Algebra: Thus far we’ve been mostly doing stuff I learned in Precalc, which makes for fairly dull lectures and very dull sections, but I’m excited for the material we’re going to learn.  The teacher is nothing to write home about but at least competent, which is more than some of my past math teachers have been.  Also I can’t pronounce his name.  He’s French.  Is this important?  Yes, actually, when the French have a different name for the dot product than we do.

I don’t know anyone in the class, and you don’t really get any bonding time when you’re sitting in a lecture hall rather than groups of desks, so I can’t comment on the quality of the students.

Also, I actually miss Calculus a lot.  Not only the people (and the teacher!  and the puns!), but the actual subject.  We did a problem in section that involved a derivative and I was seriously like “Gasp!  Derivative! <3”.

But on the very first day of school, I didn’t have linear algebra, so instead I had…

Free periods: Yes friends, plural, because I am a goddamn senior.  Also I need time to transport myself down from Cornell.  I actually practiced the whole two periods (Mr. M: “You want the practice room unlocked?  Already?!“), which was intense and intensely awesome.  In the future, though, I’ll probably just get to school late.

English Literature: Wow, an English class.  Weird.

Not composed of nearly as many slackers as I thought it would be; I guess last year’s crop of AP Lang kids scared even the overachievers.  Ms. L seems inclined to talking in meticulous detail about things, which makes it perilously easy to zone out.  I suspect it will be somewhat easier to pay attention when we’re talking about books (like Dante’s Inferno!!!) instead of her grading policy.

The grading policy is actually kind of funky.  She compiles a “profile” of your work each quarter and does not take an average but instead makes a decision on a final grade based on your performance, how much she likes you, and maybe astrology.  It’s going to take some getting used to, I think.

Computer Science: Which I’m taking almost completely because of math seminar– just another reason to be grateful I was in that marvelous pseudo-class, because thus far, this is hands down my favorite class.  Ms. T kicks ass like none other (actually, I suspect like some other, but I don’t take Spanish), and there are some super cool students here too.

Since I never took either of the Intro to Programming classes, the normal prerequisites, I was initially nervous that I’d go in knowing absolutely nothing about what anyone was talking about.  This may have been a healthy fear, as it motivated me to teach myself Java over the summer.  It was actually pretty fun, but I think in some respects I went a little overboard, like writing the program that plays Blackjack with the user.  (Incidentally a really good way to kill time.  “I’m not gambling, I’m programming!”)

Although there are definitely concepts that I was able to get away with just muddling through that I will need to brush up on for the AP.

Government: Uh.  Well.  The teacher, Ms. D, is young, enthusiastic, new to the district, and almost oppressively optimistic and idealistic.  She is absolutely a friendly kind of person– we spent the past two days just chatting about ourselves– but I have a hunch she’ll be a less than impressive teacher.  One overly fond of worksheets.  One better suited for middle school.  Oh, Ms. D, prove me wrong, I beg you!

In this class are also a lot of people with whom I literally never have classes, or have not since 7th grade.  Let’s just say it’s not the APCS sector of the student body.  Which I’m totally cool with, it’s just weird to be like, “Oh, hi Tommy, haven’t seen you since like 5th grade…”

Also, we have our curriculum laid out for us with the presidential election going on.  What convenient timing.  Then of course there’s the community service that I have to get done, sometime…

Latin: Ah, the ever-loved “Latin multilevel.”  Holy crap there are a lot of Latin 2 students!  Eight!!!  It was awesome seeing my old Latin 3 buddies again too, and Ms. N.  Unfortunately my AP compatriot is still off tangoing in Buenos Aires (I believe that’s the phrase Ms. T used in CS), so I had to scan and translate The Aeneid on my own.  Er, the first 12 lines of it, I should say.

I’m really glad Ms. N decided to just start right in with learning Latin.  There only so many periods of “And this is the curriculum, and these are the four Ps and a G…” that one can tolerate.  Which for me, I guess, is three.

Free periods: More of them!  Wednesdays I walk up to Cornell for section, but otherwise I practice or do homework or wander off campus, like I did on Thursday.  (Okay, if anyone had stopped me, I had a copy of my extension form which I was directed to carry with me as a pass until we get our IDs.  I am totally, almost pathetically, legit.)

Oops, I forgot…

PE: But do I even need to tell you about this?  It’s the same every year.  Except Kati and Molly are in it!  For now!

Addendum: We have a new afternoon bus driver!  (Don’t know about the morning bus, haven’t taken it yet…)  Which makes me really insanely happy because– without going into details– after my last exam last year, I seriously pissed off our old bus driver, and I do mean seriously.  She ended up glaring at me with icy loathing as she let me off extra far away from my actual bus stop.  I was dreading seeing her again and so happy to see a new cheery face in the driver’s seat instead.  Phew.

But I won’t be taking the bus much, as I’ll be either working, taking the late bus, going to Cornell, or ambling off campus and taking a city bus.  Which is awesome.  I had a great time sophomore year and a better time junior year, in spite of my full course loads.  Senior year couldn’t possibly be worse.

I’m excited.

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9 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Stacy / Sep 5 2008 7:30 pm

    She compiles a “profile” of your work each quarter and does not take an average but instead makes a decision on a final grade based on your performance, how much she likes you, and maybe astrology. Best description of Ms. L’s grading policy ever. ❤ I’m sure she’ll like you– just offer your opinion during book groups semi-frequently.

  2. April / Sep 5 2008 9:59 pm

    Haha, thanks– I’ll do my best!

  3. Kati / Sep 7 2008 9:22 am

    Oh man, you had an extension form whilst wandering off campus….oh, Apri…how dare you call yourself a senior?
    I’m not yet sure what to think of Ms. L’s grading policy. It may turn out to be an advantage, it may not.
    I’m sort of wishing I took Lang (I chose lit on the assumption that I’d be taking 12+ ballet classes/week again), simply because it’s Lang. But, well, we’ll see. I’m NOT one to pass up “AP talk-about-your-feelings”.

  4. April / Sep 7 2008 10:19 am

    Hey, I’m glad I’m in Lit– all my other classes are so analytical. And I’m much more excited to be reading Dante’s Inferno than like the Omnivore’s Dilemma.

    I’m sure you’ll find other ways to keep busy besides ballet. Like, being a senior, and all that.

  5. Rachel / Sep 8 2008 12:00 am

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma was hands down the best book we read in Lang last year. (Which doesn’t necessarily mean much, because most of the other books were horrible, but Omnivore was actually really good.)

  6. April / Sep 8 2008 5:31 pm

    Point taken– but I could imagine myself reading Omnivore’s Dilemma outside of school, whereas something like the Inferno I would only dare face in a classroom environment. But I won’t hate on Lang. 😛

Trackbacks

  1. Reflection « Circadian Rhythms
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