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Day 53

Wouldn’t night vision be so cool? Today is May 9.

With complete disregard for my wants and wishes, my body has decided I require a minimum of 11 hours of rest each night. I’m starting to get fed up with only being able to wake myself up once half the day has already gone by. I’m not saying I want to rise with the sun and the birds, but getting out of bed prior to lunch time would be a nice change of pace. I can’t imagine my early evening naps are helping my sleep hygiene much, so today I made sure I didn’t doze off.

Math and science aren’t my strongest subjects, and all this time away from school has done some serious damage to my study habits and memory for all things school-related. With a few days of intense cramming I should be able to ensure the scores I need, but I won’t let myself get my hopes up just yet.”

Compared to the last few weeks, today was my most productive day school-wise in quite some time. I am extremely lucky and grateful that both my parents are teachers. Before switching to elementary gifted education several years ago, my dad was an English teacher at Hickman High School for roughly 23 years. In that time, he taught Advanced Placement (AP) and honors English courses. He also worked as an AP test grader for a while scoring essays. Because of all this, he has been able to help me prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam prose essay I have to write this upcoming Wednesday.

He told me the best way to practice, aside from sitting down and writing thesis statements and essays, is to read through old exam material and look at the essays other students have written. Today we practiced on two short writings, one from an old AP Literature and Composition exam and another from an old AP Language and Composition exam. The first piece we worked with was an excerpt from The Other Paris by Mavis Gallant. This is a satirical story of two young people who marry for practical reasons rather than love. It offers an interesting commentary on the institution of marriage, which my dad and I discussed while analyzing the different literary elements and angles that influence narrative voice and the story’s overall message.

I’m lucky for my dad’s background in English education because he can help me prepare for my upcoming exam. Photo by Bailey Stover.

The second work I studied was a small section of A Summer Life by Gary Soto. This story looked at morality, sin and the loss of innocence through the eyes of a six-year-old coupled with strong religious allusions and symbolism. In addition to merely reading both of these stories, I also read several sample essays with scores ranging from a four to a nine. By reading both poorly and well written essays, I was able to see what makes an essay strong and what can be its undoing. I greatly enjoy English, so simply reading both stories was fun for me. Of all the AP tests I’m taking in these next two weeks, the AP Literature and Composition one is the exam I feel most prepared and excited for. I think with a few more days of practice and help from my dad, I’ll be in good shape.

In addition to spending time preparing for my upcoming tests, I also goofed off and watched Netflix. My current guilty pleasure shows are The 100 and Travelers. Even though I have already watched both series, I’ve liked going back and re-watching my favorite episodes. I know there are lots of other great movies and shows I could be binging, but for now I’m content to stick with my old favorites.

I think I’ve made my dad’s day today both through spending time with him working on AP Literature and Composition practice and because after dinner we played a game we call “Toss It” (but which I think is technically called “Ladderball”). Even though we are spending every day together, I feel like I don’t see him much. I’m usually content to keep to myself, which means aside from family meals and the occasional card game or movie night, I’m not hanging out with my parents or brother. If I’m being honest, I’m probably lonely, so from now on I’m going to make more of an effort to be available for family hangouts so I don’t hole up in my room day in and day out. 

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

E.E. Cummings

I’m going to keep studying for AP tests, but I’m not feeling too optimistic, especially about AP Calculus AB and AP Biology. Math and science aren’t my strongest subjects, and all this time away from school has done some serious damage to my study habits and memory for all things school-related. With a few days of intense cramming I should be able to ensure the scores I need, but I won’t let myself get my hopes up just yet. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” ― E.E. Cummings

How did you spend your 53rd day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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