A summer of preparation


Julia Vastano

The AP United States History summer assignment, featured above, includes some reading, analysis and writing.

Andie Hughes, Contributing Writer

Summer is often a time for students to let school fade from the mind. It gives students a chance to unwind and go on vacation or just relax at home or even get a job possibly. However for students in AP classes such as AP Art History, there is usually summer work.

“There’s too much to cover if we don’t do a summer assignment,” AP Art History teacher Amanda Beller said. “It also kinda helps them be prepared and come in ready to hit the ground running.”

Most students have had to read a book or two during summer vacation, but classes like AP Art History can have much more extensive assignments.

“So for the assignment they’re going to have to know 35 of the 250 [art pieces] the first 35 that college board has assigned,” Beller said. “They’re going to have to know them backwards and forwards all the information about them, date, title, culture, media.”

For some students that can be daunting, but after taking the course it can be put into perspective.

“It was pretty difficult cause I waited till the last minute but that was my bad,” 2015 graduate Jessica Goodrich said. “But it was a lot of just memorizing but I think it really helped me in the end cause on the AP test I was like I remember everything from the first unit and not as much from the other units.”

The thought behind summer assignments is not to take away students free time, but to help them be successful in the class.

“The summer assignment helps or I wouldn’t do it,” Beller said. “They’re going to be learning some of those terms so that first day of class we can start using those terms and they’ll already understand them. We’ll hit the ground running.”

For students who have not taken AP classes previously, the summer introduction can play a role in their success.

“I think the summer assignment will definitely help them kind of set expectations.” Beller said.

Regardless of the AP class, the expectations are often the same.

“I’ve taken 15 AP classes, AP Art History included,” class of 2015 graduate Grace Kuang said. “Each assignment is representative of the class.”

Considered by many students to have a big volume of classwork, the summer assignment is a very small portion of AP Art History.

“It was a good introduction to how the class worked I think it well with the structure of the class,” Goodrich said. “For a summer project it was reasonable, and especially for the class it was reasonable.”