The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Writing intensive class challenges juniors


The Red Ledger recently conducted a survey asking students about the classes they were taking. After reviewing the data and taking into account other considerations, The Red Ledger selected what it thought was the hardest sophomore, junior, senior, elective, and overall hardest class on campus. With no clear hardest class for freshman, The Red Ledger decided to discuss the transition to high school. Every Monday for the next two months, a new story will be released revealing what was selected as the hardest class for each grade.

j4 j3 j2 j1 j5 j6 Frantically trying to conclude his timed writing before the bell rings, junior Chris Miller is not alone in his belief that timed writings are the hardest part about AP English Language.

“Students have a really hard time controlling the emotions and stress of the timed situation,” AP/GT English Language teacher Kathryn Pabst. “They aren’t used to writing in a timed situation, and so when those parameters are introduced students waste all of their energy on being nervous and thinking they don’t have enough time.”

With the clocking ticking, the pressure builds, and students in AP English Language usually rush analyzing their prompts in the hopes of maximizing their time to write.

“The timed writings are extremely stressful because I don’t feel like I have enough time to finish my essay and gather my thoughts,” Miller said. “I try and start writing as soon as possible, so sometimes I don’t get to really form my opinion ahead of time.”

Timed writings are familiar to those students that took AP World History their sophomore year.

“I did WHAP last year, so I’m already used to doing timed writings,” junior Allie Carrell said. “Taking WHAP really helped me get the time essence down for writing, but other than that it really hasn’t helped that much. I still freak out every time I do one.”

However, for many students, the more timed writings they do, the easier they become..

“Over time, students begin to understand that a class period gives them sufficient time to write to the level that AP expects them to,” Pabst said. “With practice comes a calm, confident student and a positive mentality.”

While AP English Language is not a homework intensive class, it’s still one of the more difficult classes junior’s take.

“AP Language is actually one of my easier class, in terms of homework load, but it’s one of my more difficult classes overall,” Carrell said. “If you get your work done in class, you really don’t have to spend that much time outside of school doing it.”

Students who sign up for this class can expect to write at least once a week.

“Whether it’s a pre-write, a final draft, a collaborative essay, a timed writing, or any other writing activity, students should come prepared to write something one day of the week,” Pabst said. “This class really mirrors Rhetoric 101 at the college level, which involves constant writing, so Mrs. Page and I try and model our classes that way, too.”

One of the unique aspects of the class, is that it’s not completely about what you learn in class.

“As students mature, we expect their views on the world to expand, as well,” Pabst said. “It’s not just about what we read in class, but it’s about what they bring to it. We need them to become sophisticated thinkers in order for them to do well on the AP exam.”

In order to encourage students to pay attention to the world around them, they are required to purchase a yearlong subscription to The Week, which is a news magazine.

“Lang asks students to be citizens of the world, and they need to be aware of current events and things that are going on in the world,” Pabst said. “They have to bring all of that background information to the classroom for their writings and discussions and arguments.”

Enrolling in AP English Language will benefit the students on the state mandated testing, as well.

“The STARR testing is now becoming an extended analysis and a persuasion essay,” Pabst said. “The extended analysis is like the rhetorical analysis we do and the persuasion is like the argument. The state is even moving for students to have those AP skills, regardless of whether they take the AP class, so the students should take the class to prepare themselves for both exams.”

Pabst believes that even though the class is difficult, after a short adjustment period, students will rise to the expectations of the classroom.

“Most students are totally capable and should sign up for AP Language,” Pabst said. “I think that they would grow as writers and thinkers in the class. They should challenge themselves with an AP English class and there are supports in place for the students that need them.”

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Samantha Wendt, Managing Editor
Initially, the legendary snack cabinet and promise of courtside Mavericks tickets lured Senior Samantha Wendt to the newspaper class. Wendt enjoys experimenting with dessert recipes, and sometimes spends upwards of 6 hours making a decadent dessert. Even more than food, Wendt worships the Dallas Mavericks. She idolizes NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and knows every single statistic and happening within the Mavericks organization. In the 1st grade Wendt alternated between studying the biographies of the first 42 US Presidents and learning Russian. In 4th grade, she progressed to mapping out the rest of her life; she decided to travel to every single country in the world for a year after college, become a spy for the President, take a bullet in the leg for the President which would led to her subsequent two-term election, and become a college professor until she dies. Now, Wendt has made her life plan more achievable, and aspires to join the FBI.

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