I visited an AP camp at another high school this morning. AP students commonly have summer reading assignments, usually consisting of 1 or more novels and some related writing project. AP students commonly do not complete their summer reading assignments. (To be fair, that is not entirely accurate. Many do. Many, however, do not.) To alleviate this common problem, this high school has started a week-long AP camp during the summer. While not required, it provides a structured time for students to come in, get help, and finish their summer assignments before school starts. I think this is a good idea, and perhaps I shall try to implement it next year.
As for my own AP class planning, I am realizing how completely unprepared I am to teach this class. I suppose all AP teachers feel this way at the beginning. There is such a huge volume of information to cover, in addition to the catch-up material some students arrive needing. And to be honest, I am not completely sure that I've ever had formal instruction over all of the material myself. Not that formal instruction is the only, or even the best, way of learning. . .it just makes me feel somewhat at a disadvantage. They start listing different types of essays written for different purposes, and I'm not sure I could explain what each type/purpose is, let alone give examples. Fortunately, they are mostly common-sense and easy-to-figure-out-if-you-just-think-type labels. No doubt this year will prove. . .adventurous.
On an unrelated subject, it is utterly ridiculous how we (or at least, I) make ourselves miserable over things we cannot control and cannot change. How ironic that selfish behavior tends only to make the self (who, of course, is supposed to be the prime beneficiary of said behavior) more miserable and more conscious of its "wrongs" than otherwise. I am ashamed to admit it has taken me 2 days to admit this. To subdue my massively chaotic mental ravings, I finally scrawled them all out in random and spontaneous order. I am not sure what I think about this method of therapy. While writing is unquestionably therapeutic, spewing out childish whining is not much better (if any) in ink than by voice. On the other hand, it is easily recognizable as childish whining when spelled out on paper, and at least no one else has to put up with it.
I believe I should now be getting ready for our trip to the city this weekend. The kitchen needs to be cleaned up, my school paraphenelia (of which there is an over-abundance) straightened, and a suitcase packed if we plan on wearing clean clothes--which we do. In addition to that, I need to make 2 phone calls, pay the bills, balance the budget, and wash a load of clothes. Oh, and I have chicken thawing that must be cooked before we leave. Yes, my afternoon work should keep me busy. Some music will be helpful.