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January 22, 2011


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amazing. I just heard about a local school that has "uber TAG" programs. What the...?


On parents' night at our HS, the AP Bio teacher had a Powerpoint about how hard AP Bio was ("some of these kids are going to MIT"). She had a chart showing that 60% of her students got 5s and how that compared within the county and to the rest of the country.


impressive if the kids are then passing the AP test. Just goes to show we could accelerate the classwork in every level of our schools. I think lots of kids could take AP coloring- I could use a class in AP coloring because they changed all the countries then changed them again.


Parent of a kid in the Hated Magnet* here: the AP situation these days has gotten totally out of hand these days. In my day, in a proto-snoburb a long way from here, there were just TWO AP classes you could reasonably hope to take: AP English and one of the two AP Calculus courses. When I was a sophomore, one then-senior made the daring move of taking AP American History despite the fact that the school did not offer the matching AP course. He nailed it, and got into Harvard. Everybody took notice.

Fast forward to now. My kid will in all likelihood take and ace like nine of these. His high school is unquestionably better than mine, and due to our superior snoburban parenting, he might enjoy some advantages I did not have. But I have to think the goal posts have been moved in quite a bit as well, so what good does this all do?

Oh yeah: about AP Coloring. As part of my World History course, we had to do what sounds like a considerable portion of this (the map tests were excruciating). Everybody hated it, and there was no AP credit to be had, but I swear that 90% of everything I know and understand about geography and how the rest of the world works was due to that one hellish course. If the other kids in your W school want to laugh at him for this, well, the joke should be on them.


*I won't identify the Hated Magnet, but the name of it rhymes with "flare".


Because learning about other cultures and learning to be a citizen of the world is totally something to be derisive of. God, I wish my pasty-white cow-town high school had even offered regular Human Geography, much less AP Human Geography.


If he passes, he can take Anatomy and Physiology - AP Coloring 2.

Queen of the Weezils

Because of my 3 AP classes, I was able to graduate a full semester early from college, which saved my parents a lot of money. Further, my AP European History class was the only class I had that actually prepared my for college because the teacher taught it as if it were a lecture hall. So, if the kids can hack it and want it, go for it. I don't see a downside. "AP Coloring" sounds great.

The local planet killer

I am so old, and so rural, they didn't have AP, IB or any of this other stuff. We just got special dispensation to head up to the university near our town for night classes. Several of us were doing that in 7th grade, one kid because he'd blown through calculus by that point and the school had nothing left to teach him below the university level. Our ridiculously tiny town had half a dozen national calculator champions - full ride to MIT - not an AP class in sight.

Given the cost of university these days, might as well knock as much of the freshman requirements out as you can. But placing all this ego on it is a little silly.


The teasers just betray their own ignorance: Kapit & Elson's "Anatomy Coloring Book" has been a staple of college-level physiology classes for years. Close attention to morphology and spatial relationships is a *great* way to learn fine-grained detail -- like geography and anatomy.

The local planet killer

For A&P, the very best thing you can do is get a grounding in Latin and Greek: "sternocleidomastoid" tells you everything you need to know about the muscle, if you can decipher it, along with "triceps" and "latissimus dorsi."

Also excellent for the vocabulary portion of the standardized tests.


Just found your blog and LOVE it. :) We live over on the poor side of Snoburbia (off of Cedar). You simply must write about the light show from the other night (from the substation roof crashing in) that has led to our being without power (AGAIN!). It was 46 degrees in my house this morning! All I can say is thank God for gas water heaters, fireplaces, and stovetops. Fingers crossed for tonight...

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