My Personal AP Journey

Hey Paul: A couple of follow-up questions on AP exams. One, how many AP classes did you take? Two, did you help your daughter study for her AP classes?

 Sure, I don’t mind sharing a bit of personal history. I graduated from (the real) Jessamine HS in 1987 when they only offered three AP courses. I took AP Calculus from Mr. Barnes and passed the exam. So by US News standards I was college material but only barely. I also took AP US History but memorizing facts is not my thing. AP English was offered but as may be apparent from the occasional grammatical errors in my columns, I didn’t take AP English.

When my daughter, Bethany, was studying AP Biology she asked me something like “How does the endoplasmic reticulum communicate with the mitochondria?” My answer was that I didn’t think they were on speaking terms but the medulla oblongata is important. That was the last time she asked me a tough science question that if I ever knew the answer, it was forgotten shortly after the exam a few decades ago.

I was able to help her work through a few Calculus problems but even there my skills were a bit rusty. So Bethany was like every other AP student – she was primarily on her own learning the challenging theory these classes present.