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Like, Whoa.

Today's voice lesson was AMAZING. I was totally on. Everything fell into place, my lines were legato and full of feeling.

I have NO IDEA where this came from. I'm attributing it to the fact that I talked to my mother on the phone for what would probably equal an hour. We talked about housing, we talked about Liz, we talked about the book fair, we talked about stuff. We got stuff done. We avoided having a debate about whether there should be AP classes in public High Schools or not. But it was wonderful. And it definitely calmed me down from my manic-ness that I was not dealing with very well this morning/last night. :-) And now I feel calm, collected, and ready to finish off this quarter with a BANG! :-D


Random Link:
http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com/

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
memeslayer
Apr. 22nd, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear you voice lesson went well. It's always nice to have everything go your way.

Out of curiosity, why shouldn't there be AP classes in public high schools?
tenthz
Apr. 22nd, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC)
My mother feels that the concentration on AP classes by the high school detracts from the education of the kids who aren't in the AP classes.... and our HS has a program for kids to go to the local community college to take classes for HS/college credit... so it seems a bit redundant that they have the most AP classes available of any school in the area.

Do you have anything to add, mom? :-P
memeslayer
Apr. 22nd, 2004 04:54 pm (UTC)
My HS is currently having a problem with this, only it's the IB classes stealing attention and money from the AP and regular classes. :(

My personal opinion is that AP classes have a definite place in high school(college credit! woohoo!), and that if the regular classes suffer as a result it's a problem with the execution and not the concept.

They fly the IB flag at my high school. It's creepy.
omorka
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, what's up with the IB people? I know the ideology and politics behind AP, and for the most part they're benign. I don't have the slightest idea what the IB philosophy/mission is, and they look down their noses at us for no obvious reason.

At our school, the only special funding the AP/Pre-AP classes get is the money from the state specifically earmarked for the program, which isn't much. (I think it's $50 per student per score of 3 or better.) Some of the same classes also get G/T funding because the high schools don't have a G/T program other than the AP classes (which is wrong, but another topic altogether), but that comes from a different pool and we have to fight to actually get it spent on our courses. It took most of a year to convince my department head to buy some supplemental textbooks for us, for example - despite our standard textbooks being over 10 years old. Courses like Algebra I do not have this problem - the school is happy to buy whole new computer labs for them - because the state exit test covers Algebra II and not Calculus or Statistics. :(
memeslayer
Apr. 23rd, 2004 03:46 am (UTC)
The goal of the IB program is to produce students with an IB diploma, which is achieved by taking several tests and doing a couple papers. Since the program is international, the diploma is supposed to be useful for getting you into a school in another country. In the US, the tests themselves can work like AP exams and give college credit. I got out of a literature class at RIT with IB credit.

I have several problems with the IB program. The first is that the course sequence removes most of the time students have to take electives, which I think is a silly thing to do at the end of high school. Also, the complete battery of tests runs several hundred dollars. The diploma candidates(15 graduated with me, maybe hundreds now -- see below) want the school to pay for the tests, which would end up costing many thousands of dollars for a very small number of students. You don't even find out whether you got the diploma until well after you graduate.

The program also seems to produce a fair number of what I like to call pretentious wankers. Now I'm an arrogant and overly-intellectual bastard, but at least I can back it up with personality. If the discussions in English and occasional snippets of philosophy were any indication, most of the candidates didn't have the imagination of a turnip. They were the source of some great stories...

There was the guy who had his education all planned out -- attend an ivy league school for a couple years, then study in Europe for a while. What did he actually want to study? "Umm...English, or something..."

I just didn't like a lot of them.

At my high school, they've expanded the IB program to try to recruit every freshman that walks in the door. They separate them into different homerooms(because heaven forbid they be with *non-IB people*! The horror!), and try to persuade them all to get the diploma. I understand they've also phased out the pre-AP program, so now it's IB or nothing.

The actual courses aren't bad, and are basically equivalent to a slightly enhanced AP course. A lot depends on the teacher, too. Our AP calc course was identical to the IB course(taught by the same person), except that the IB people had to cover two more topics at the end of the year.
mountainheather
Apr. 23rd, 2004 05:42 am (UTC)
I am just curious, what is IB?
memeslayer
Apr. 23rd, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
The International Baccalaureate program is basically the AP program on steroids. In addition to courses and tests, it also offers a diploma which is achieved by fulfilling several requirements, including writing an essay and performing community service. You can find more at:

http://www.ibo.org/

I was an IB student in high school, though I neither pursued the diploma nor took all of the classes offered. Specifically, I passed on a year-long economics course(instead of the usual half year), and took AP calculus instead of IB. Also, because I was not a diploma candidate I could not take the Theory of Knowledge course.
omorka
Apr. 24th, 2004 09:33 pm (UTC)
Okay, I read their Mission Statement and everything. Seems a little creepy to me - the prep program for what is essentially an early-college program should not begin at pre-K. I personally prefer the AP mission statement, but that may be the Ugly American in me talking.

I'm not generally in favor of homeschooling, but it does say something to me that you can take the AP tests even if you're homeschooled - while IB doesn't let you do that.
memeslayer
Apr. 25th, 2004 06:43 am (UTC)
To be fair, I don't think anyone in the US actually starts the IB program before high school. Elementary and middle schools have enough to worry about without throwing in pretentious wankerism(man, I love that phrase!).
omorka
Apr. 22nd, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
Heh. Here I am teaching an AP class at a high school and having to fight for every bit of attention, funding, or even just awareness I can scrape together. I'd be thrilled to death if we got half the consideration in materials and technology as the low-level/remedial classes. But the state says everybody gotta jump two feet now - it's more important to get those kids who are only jumping one over that bar than it is to pay any attention to the kids who could be jumping five if only anyone pushed them to . . .

Personally, I think a good AP class taught by a dedicated and well-trained teacher can be significantly better than a dual-credit community college course, which is often taught by someone who has no formal pedagogical training at all. But that's tainted by professional prejudice on my part.
mountainheather
Apr. 22nd, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
Good to hear. 8-}
I had a really good day t'day too.
Whoohoo.
and my HS's the oopposite way. ntuc. 8-p
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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