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Saturday, June 11, 2011

blog #26 senior week

"Stress, disease, and a little bit of happiness. That is senior week."  -Gene

Just thought I would throw out there that Gene has the capacity to say some intelligent things haha

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog #25 Life After

My two important APs are over :) Yes I still have to take microeconomics next week, but we all know no one is going to study for that. So, senior year is basically a cruise from here on out. A couple unfinished projects that need attending to and a couple neglected friends that need to be shown how to have fun. I am thoroughly exhausted from my week and am proud to say I slept for a solid twelve hours last night. Regardless of the matter I am extremely relieved and happy to say we have TEN DAYS of high school remaining haha. It is a very happy occasion, but also a very depressing time as well. I know in these last ten days it is seriously the last time we as the class of 2011 will be together. We gave SMH a good run.

Now to the normal subject topic of APs, I probably either just passed or failed both of my APs this week. (Senioritis) They both played the same exact trick on me. Dirty little devils both had simple Multiple choice problems and then the hellish free response. I literally sat down smiling during the Multiple choice and then cried during the later half of the test. It wasn't that I froze or was freaking out, I really just had no idea what I was doing. In reference to my caring about the exams and my previous blog post I feel as if I cared enough for a three, but maybe didn't execute at an optimal level. Its whatever, I'm glad I am just going to graduate and never have to worry about APs again. College midterms and finals can wait because for once I am going to enjoy this great triumph over the eight Aps I took over the years...

The Reflection

APs APs you are done in my eyes,
I don't care for another surprise,
I fail and you smile,
I pass and you cry for awhile.

You are no friend of mine so go away,
theres no chance in hell I'd want you to stay,
in my life from day to day,
Get the hell out and stay away.

APs APs we had a good run,
You remind me of burning in the sun,
My back all red and my skin on fire,
To say I'd miss you would make me a liar.

Begone and never rear your ugly face,

Cause now my life is an easy-going race.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blog #24 May 1st Realizations

So it is the end of senior year and there is literally a month left in school. These days are supposed to be some of the best of my life, but i can't help but feel a little despair. For one APs are coming up, homework is still at an all-time high, and I just don't have the energy nor drive to do any of it. Fun is laying out in the sun, or preparing for the summer with friends... Summer hasn't started yet haha

So the realization that AP week literally starts tomorrow still has yet to hit me. Hopefully it does tomorrow when my first exam starts at 8 AM. But, the real realization is that none of the APs I am taking will help me in any way towards colleges other then canceling out electives I plan to take for fun anyway... The realization is that my entire senior year's worth of work seems to have been a waste of time better spent making memories with friends rather then having dates with my textbooks on the regular. That textbook never stops talking... May 1st is a very bad day. It is depressing because I know I may never see half of the people I run around with everyday at school, and it showed how I could definitely spent my last year in a much more enjoyable fashion.

I don't like May 1st, I don't like AP week starting tomorrow, and I damn well don't like knowing that I am absolutely unprepared for my tests to come this week. Hopefully my guessing ability is on key and I can pull up some bullshit to back up the Free Responses. AP Chemistry Monday, BC Calculus Wednesday, and AP Micro the following Thursday. Pray teachers have heart and don't kill us with homework and pray that the tests are semi easier then expected. When in Doubt put C!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog # 23 Mambo Number Five

From Composite Score to AP Score

The process of score setting—establishing the AP score boundaries (determining how many composite score points equals what AP score)—takes place immediately after the Reading.
AP Exam scores are reported on a 5-point scale as follows:

5  Extremely well qualified*
4  Well qualified*
3  Qualified*
2  Possibly qualified*
1  No recommendation**

*Qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
**No recommendation to receive college credit or advanced placement
During score-setting sessions (there is one for each AP Exam) composite scores are translated into AP scores by setting boundaries for each score based on a statistical technique called equating.
Equating relates an AP Exam from one year to an AP Exam from another year so that performance on the two exams can be compared. This is accomplished by looking at how well AP students performed on a set of multiple-choice questions that is common to both exams. These particular multiple-choice questions cover the curriculum content and represent a broad range of difficulty; they can therefore provide information about the ability level of the current group of students and indicate the current exam's level of difficulty. This same set of questions may show up on next year's AP Exam and the one after that too. That's why you aren't supposed to talk about or share the multiple-choice questions from the AP Exam with anyone; it's all because of equating!

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/exgrd_set.html


 This excerpt is found on collegeboard.com as seen above. I have been very conscious of the grading of APs for all of the years I have taken them and feel very differently about the grading scale. I have created my own scale and would like to share my thoughts with the world. It is not comparable to whether the student is properly qualified, I honestly believe the five point scale is based off of how much a student actually even cares about "college credits" that do not even count towards most colleges.

I shall begin my quest for mambo number five at the bottom with the 1. This student has no taste for the subject. He/she does not like it and the subject just does not like them. They are the student who got by in the year cheating off of someone or being complacent with that solid B. They honestly walked into the test and opened the book and just began to laugh. No preparation and no caring, but it is commenable that they paid the 87$ just so the AP process can continue and other students such as themselves can fail this test. Hey they don't have to go back to class, and the AP doesn't affect their grades, least they showed up exam day.

Number two is possibly the most unlucky of the bunch because regardless of whether they tried or not, they were that close to passing and pretending they know the subject matter. Hey I got a two on history and knew I didn't deserve the three, but it was pretty upsetting either way. The two presents a student who showed up, probably coasted through the year and put an attempt into the AP exam. They didn't pass, but they tried their best (hopefully) and can at least say "Least I didn't get a 1". Either way getting a 2 does not feel good at all. I'd probably rather get a one so at least I could pretend I answered zero questions.

LUCKY NUMBER THREE, hey they passed! qualified AP scholar right there. Too bad most colleges only accept 4s or 5s on most subject matters, but hey in the eyes of AP you are qualified. Must mean alot. So not much to say about this one except the student studied and put the effort in and maybe just passed. The parents are glad and the kids ain't sad. Its a comfortable score and is comendable because APs stink. PS I'll bet my life that half of these kids guessed and got lucky.

Number 4. This is a kid who studied and put hard effort into the class. Even if they didn't get that all glorifying five, they are pretty damn smart. A four guarranttees that the kid is well qualified. I mean I don't see the difference between a well qualified and extremely well qualified student, but AP has to still put a four down even when they passed with flying colors. You did good kid to get a four, but you ain't the best.

MAMBO NUMBER 5, they are the big cheeses, the brainiacs, the brain children. Sharp kids. probably minimum 94% in said class and are just naturally bright. I would say that most of these kids cared about the test enough to at least review. Also, that alot of them are lucky fours who guessed on those last three questions when time was running out. They are extremely well qualified to forget all the info the day after the test.

The grading needs to be modified to a 'caring' basis. This test does bring in knowledge, but the questions are so broad that it really comes down to who even cares about the subject the most to take the time. My thought is that 4s and 5s be combined and 1s and 2s. A 1,2,3 grading scaled bell curve. AP week better go by fast...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blog #22 AP Stress

APs o APs are on their way,
neither here nor there can I stay,
I pace and pace and achieve none,
AYYY I feel accomplished with a one.

Study Study Study,
Can't stop listening to Kid Cuddie,
The attempt to read books out in the sun,
Is a failure in the eyes of this one.

Its raining and cold in late April,
The foreshadow for the terrible tests to come,
It feels like its time to tear open a staple,
And crush those packets to become alumn.

APs o APs why don't you go burn in hell,
Really this late in senior year?
I already give in ring the bell,
The next few weeks are coming near...

The day after APs there will be a loud cheer,
Cause then there will be nothing to fear!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog # 21 A Decent Proposal

So I was roaming my future college campus the other day when I noticed a very peculiar sight. It was not illegal, it wasn't hugely noticeably, nor dangerous in itself. As I continued on my expedition I noticed this phenomenon again and again. Those damn red plastic cups were everywhere! I am no Environmental buff, but I am pretty sure that red plastic cups don't dissolve in rain or pick themselves up! It was a serious issue in my eyes. And again when I saw a dumpster there were mountains of these red little devils just hanging out. Plastic doesn't go away.

The stereotypical college partier is generally a 18-20 year old male with an untouched shirt that is wrinkled with a red plastic cup containing liquid. The plastic cup totally masks the fact that a beer is contained within the walls of that red fortress of fun. Either way most college parties have a few essentials to begin, light snacks with chips and dip, the proper refreshments, ping pong balls, a beer tap, and generally Red Cups. For even my birthday party in eigtht grade I had to buy red cups to hold soda. They're just convenient. But, on a college campus where do these cups generally end up? In the trash where they'll sit and be transported to the dump and just sit there, or they will find their place outside on the streets cold and alone. My proposal involves a college noticing these facts and to somehow strike a profit from this easily countered situation. It promotes less pollution, and less plastic.

First, give people the incentive to collect these cups. A dollar for every fifty or so cups. Second, have easily accessible collection centers, aka the dining halls or main campus lobby. Third, Recycle those cups. Fourth, resell them to the general public at college centers for a less then market price. Easily done and it costs less for the college to pay workers to clean the campus. Winners all around.

Just think of the endless positive. Red cup classrooms, re cup phones! animals don't get their heads stuck in cups and die, and cash money for the college. Go Green or Go Home. Colleges need to recognize haha



But on the serious note, there was a lot of trash to be picked up, and solutions need to be made.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog #20 Why does authority work?



Again I am scorned by the cold touch of authority and the wondrous atmosphere that it puts me in. I just cannot get over the psychological trance that many are put in by a person of authority. One moment they could be bad mouthing a commander, then when the officer is present they are the finest of listeners. I just do not understand it. In my previous blog I discussed some positive and negative aspects a leader must emulate in order so gain respect, fear, or an aura of knowledge that wills a group into following the example pledged by the so called authority figure. Why did an entire nation persecute and kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust? Why do children feel the need to listen to their parents and adults?  Why does authority work?

I'll begin with my opinion concerning something as heinous and vile as the Holocaust. Obviously a combination of factors come into play in this regard. "The open door phenomenon", manipulation, and leading by example were some prime features as to why authority worked in this instance. Some called the children of Germany during the era the "Hitler's youth". In school they were imprinted with the idea that Jews were sou less beings that needed to be eradicated. While this was the key principle basic human ethics got the better of some children. Some people just can't kill, so the Nazis perfected the open door idea in which they made individuals take baby steps to becoming killers. In a quick example, lets say someone is being tortured. This first job of the individual would be to guard the door, second to guard with back to the tortured with the door open, next to face and watch the tortured while guarding the opened door, next to possibly restrain the tortured, next to maybe even perform of the torture themselves. Nazis developed this technique to create ruthless killers to put fear into the army and look to Hitler as a god. Hitler created his authority because he was able to manipulate and create his subjects. This authority worked through manipulation.
Fear. I know for myself when I was younger I listened to my parents and teachers out of fear. I was frightened to get spanked. No one likes the belt to the naked bottom, stuff hurts... alot... Kids don't have a huge amount of worries. They listen to their parents and then follow the rules simple as that. But, why do they follow the rules? They are scared of their parents, hell I almost pooped myself in kindergarten when I stole a little toy from class without realizing. I got home and told my mom and felt the worst I think I've ever felt. Over ten years down the line I still remember the fear I had telling my mother in the kitchen of our old house I had stolen a school possession. Fear sounds horrible, but it does help teach a young boy or girl how to behave correctly. This form of authority works and is constructive even if it sounds awful.

I've given two terrible examples, but authority also works in a laid back society as well. Take men's volleyball at st. mark's for example. We don't work very hard, we barely warm up for games, we don't even have practices on Fridays or weekends, and our huddles during a game consist of us trying to think of a good cheer. (We've shouted things like Leggo My Eggo, Too infinity and Beyond, Pound, Babs, Strocko, Winston, Four, Three... so on) We do all this, yet we win games? We are the team with by far the best chemistry in the state. Every one of us messes up sometimes and yet we all still smile and have fun. Why do we work? Because we have respect for our coach, and she has respect for us. She understands its the end of the year and that we don't care about school nor want to have the stress of a nagging coach. Stephanie Strocko is a great authority figure who understands us. All she gives us is a glare/ a swift comment here or there and that's all we need to keep in line. We honestly play for the fun of it while other teams pull their hair out for every point. Its awesome.

Why does authority work? It works for a multitude of reasons. Out of all three of the examples I went over I definitely know the third is the best mostly because we aren't literally killing people, and we aren't scared of anyone. What type of authority have you dealt with over the years?