The 5 Real Reasons to Take AP Classes

Funny Ap textbookSure, we’ve all heard the arguments for AP classes. They can get you college credit. They can offer you a more in-depth coverage of a subject. They will instantly turn you into Albert Einstein. The list goes on and on.

But while these arguments are true, they are not the main reasons you should take AP classes. I mean, get college credit before college? Please. That’s what junior high school was for. You need a break before entering college, not more college credits. Heck, college is so cheap nowadays there’s absolutely no reason why shouldn’t be able to afford at least a few days of college and pick up some credits.

As a brilliant investigative reporter—because no one ever suspects the gum-chewing, half asleep, walking into walls, grammatically erroneous teen to be anything but a source of comedic relief—I can tell you that there are actually other, better reasons to take AP classes.

1. Get Less Sleep

Many studies have shown that teens need 8+ hours of sleep every night. These incredibly scientific studies argue that a lack of sleep leads to depression, anxiety disorders, and zombification of teens into stumbling green undead creatures.

But let me ask you something: when’s the last time anyone ever sponsored a study examining the consequences of getting enough sleep every night? It’s never happened, because people are too afraid to find out what getting enough sleep could mean. For all we know, sleep can cause death, just like it’s been found that various amounts of sitting, standing, running, swimming, breathing, and eating can. Obviously, no one knows for sure, but to make sure you’re not getting too much sleep, you should definitely take some AP classes.

2. Learn More Useless Information

The purpose of our education system is to teach us stuff that we’ll never need to know, so that when we finally need to know something, we will have spent so much time Googling useless stuff that the useful stuff will be easy to find on Google. And, since education is often lauded for its effects on knowledge, the economy, politics, and social mobility, one can only conclude that more education is a good thing.

With that in mind, why take regular US History, when there’s an AP US History? It is clearly better to stay up until 3:00 AM learning about the Women’s Christian Temperance Union than it is to stay up until only 5:00 PM. Sure, in regular US History you might know the names of the leaders of the movement, but in AP US History you’ll learn so much that you can tell people whether the leaders preferred hot dogs or hamburgers.

3. It’s An Easy A

Colleges prefer A’s to B’s, or C’s, or even, believe it or not, D’s. But as the number of applicants to various colleges have skyrocketed, college admissions departments have had to adjust by spending less time on each applicant (although the popular alternative being considered is simply moving college application deadlines to the spring of your 6th grade year, to give the admissions officers enough time to really assess your “diversity”).

So, currently, college admissions officers only quickly glance at your transcript, trying to mentally tally the number of A’s. What this means is that the more AP classes you have, the more capital “A”s you have on that transcript. Thus, even taking an AP class adds an A to your transcript. And if it’s, say, AP Computer Science A, that’s even better. (For this reason, I’d recommend avoiding AP Calculus BC. Colleges hate C’s).

4. Awful Tests

Thanks to modern tech advancements, many of the old hardships of your parents’ days are over. You no longer need to walk five miles to school in the freezing cold with a warm potato in your pocket for lunch and warmth. You no longer need to sweep the school house or kill snakes on the playground. Heck, you don’t even have to churn butter!

Sure, this is mostly a good thing, but think about it: what are you going to tell your kids? Currently, your parents can make you grateful you have to wake up at 4:00 AM to catch the bus just by telling you about their own past.

Well, AP classes solve this problem. So, in the future, when you have kids, you can mention that you used to be locked in a room for four hours and forced to write essays about events that happened 300 years ago, by hand.

5. Never Worry about Social Status

It’s no secret that high school is a time of shifting social relationships, which can get pretty stressful. The best way to avoid this stress is simply to avoid people. And, the best way to avoid people is to take AP classes.

With AP classes, you’ll have 28 hours of homework every night, ensuring that you don’t have time to hang out with friends. Thus, you’re less likely to be betrayed or hurt by your friends, since you don’t have any.

Overall, there’s really no reason not to take AP classes. Heck, I’ll bet that in fifteen years taking AP classes will do more for your high school status than playing on the varsity football team. But don’t wait: take the number of APs that you can handle, multiply it by five, and then take that many AP classes. You’ll be astounded at how much your life improves.

5 Reasons to Stress about 1 Word (Finals)

Finals TestGive me an F! Give me an I! Give me a Nals! What does that spell! No, seriously, what does that spell? You’ve got an F, an I, and a Nals; that spells “is flan,” right? That’s the dessert that looks like plain yogurt but tastes better than gum, I think.

Actually, it spells Finals. AAAAAAAHHHHH! Sorry, that was an involuntary reaction to the word “fina-“ AAAAHHHH! Hold on one second…okay, sorry, that was an involuntary reaction to the word(s) “Rowndiau Terfynol” (Welsh).  Oh, good, problem solved.

“Rowndiau Terfynol,” or RT for short, are incredibly stressful.  You know this.  I know this.   I’m sure that at one point, even the teachers knew this (although they forgot in a forced process of memory regression during teaching school, using electroshock therapy.  I mean, after what you’ve been through in high school so far, could you live with yourself as a person knowing that you’d just ruined the valuable procrastination time of your students by assigning, well, anything that takes more time to complete than 1+0?).

RT are so stressful that they produce an involuntary nervous reaction from myself, even when I am writing.  I bet the same happens to you when RT is mentioned, along with dizzyness, headache, shortened breathing, increased heartrate, nausea, and seeing everything around you, not just movies, in 3-D (in severe instances). Watch: Finals.  AAAAHHHHH! [Pause] (I’ll wait for your heart to get back in your chest from your neighbor’s yard before moving on).

The question, then, is where does the stress come from? In many instances, unless the final is more than 25% of your overall grade, the impact/change RT will have will be minimal (unless you have a borderline grade). Well…

You Could Choke

No, I don’t mean choke, as in blockage of your windpipe leading to suffocation.  You should worry about that at least every other day, not just RT week.  No, I’m talking about messing up to an extreme degree.  What if, for some reason, you got an impossibly low grade, like a 12%? That would affect even non-borderline grades. What if you accidentally fill in all of the wrong answers? What if your brain wakes up and decides to work only in French?

You Could Bore Yourself to Death

This is very real, and it accounts for many deaths in the lawer’s-really-small-print-writing industry.  What if your finals were going along fine, but then, due to having to answer six consecutive questions about the biodiversity of the average Florida swamp alligator population, you keel over, dead at your desk? Nobody would probably notice, as they’d all be absorbed in their own tests, or possibly also dead from boredom.  The teacher would just assume you’d fallen asleep, and, when he realized that you were no longer amongst the ‘biodiverse’ living, would feed you to his pet alligator.

You Could Get Subjects Mixed Up

You studied a ton for these tests, not only re-reading every passage in all 7 of your various textbooks but also by emailing the authors about finding even more information. But what if you’ve studied too much? What if you are asked a question about the US Constitution, and you try to take the sine and cosine of the Constitution? Anything’s possible, of course; I mean, we’ve managed to put a man on the moon, for crying out loud (bonus: does anyone know if he came back, or if he is still up there, being full-body searched by the TSA before he can get on his rocket back to Earth?)

You Could Experience Technical Difficulties

By technical difficulties, I mean pencil problems.  With today’s advanced consumer-electronics-style pencil industry, a billion to a billion-trillion things can go wrong.  You could run out of lead for a mechanical pencil.

Your lead could break, and the pencil sharpener doesn’t work. Your pencil might not be #2 (for scanned multiple-choice forms). Your pencil could get nervous and forget how to write under the high-pressure of RT. Your pencil’s lifetime warranty could expire, and you (stupidly) didn’t buy the $300 extended protection program. You could forget a pencil, and have to write using the various substances present in your lunchbox.  Literally billions of things-I’m not kidding.

You Could Forget to Look where You Walk

Since it’s TR week, you need to study as much as possible for as long as possible.  This means that many intelligent teens, yourself probably included, walk the halls between classes with their head in a textbook or study-guide. This means that you aren’t watching where you step.  This is just asking for something bad to happen.

What if you walked into somebody else? Awkward, of course.  What if you fell down a flight of stairs? What if you walked right out a window? Forgot to stop at your classroom and walked all the way to hostile territory in Iran or Syria? Sure, these things are bad, but we all know the biggest, and most prominent danger of forgetting to watch where you step: you could step in the dog-doo that magically appears if you take your eyes from in front of you for even three seconds.

That, dear readers, right there is five, and just five, of the million reasons for stress during TR week.  But you won’t go back and re-count them, checking to see if there are really are 5, of course, so I could tell you that I really included all million reasons. You’d just have to take my word for it, because you are too busy studying for finals-AAAAAAHHHHHH!-I mean, studying for Rowndiau Terfynol.

We Need More “Snow” Days

Snow day

It's all about perspective

It’s January.  Do you know what that means? It means we have approximately a million days until spring break, not to mention a bagajitrillion days until summer vacation.  You see, the schools didn’t just wake up one day and decide to offer randomly interspersed vacations.  No, they sent the top science teachers to a mountain retreat and did not feed them until they determined exactly how long each student could survive in peak work condition without a break. (Although there are many other conspiracy theories).

Then, they doubled that time and set up spring break, winter break, and summer break. Fall, feeling shortchanged, decided to remove itself from the seasons in protest, which is why nobody really ever thinks of it being ‘fall’ anymore; we go right from warm summer to cold winter.  (Moral of the story: protesting by ‘leaf-ing’, or leaving, doesn’t always work).

However, right about now you should begin to feel the strain, because winter break has been over for weeks.  You are probably contemplating throwing your books at the wall in frustration and then dropping out of school, willing to take your chances in the organ and uranium trade that happens in crime-ridden northern Canada.  Although that is a bad idea, because most textbooks are heavy enough to smash through your walls, your neighbor’s walls, and the walls of the house down the block, all in one throw.

The solution, of course, lies in the thing known as ‘snow days.’ They are, essentially, one-day winter breaks that can happen at any time, often in a row.  I expect them to become more common in September, what with the global climate change, but right now, January is prime time for snow days.  I should know; I have almost had 40 snow days since the start of January (although I’ve actually had 0).

So why don’t schools give us more snow days? Well, it’s because Hollywood has a deal with the schools to keep them open. Hollywood, currently out of plot ideas, is hoping that a school bus will some day get stranded in the snow, so they can make a movie about a school bus full of multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-eyed innocent school children that get stranded in the snow on top of a cliff that is about to collapse (in the middle of some terrible third-world communist cannibalistic country) for 6.34 days that is “based on a touching true story.”

Ha ha. No, schools aren’t even that smart; rather than milking their policies of ‘no snow days-I don’t care if the weatherman just got hit by a car that skidded on ice into the studio-ever, and that’s FINAL’ for money from Hollywood, they listen to the interests of ‘the people.’  Here, the ‘people’ refers to a very, very small population of about 6 single moms, all of whom coincidently live in South Florida, where it never snows anyway.

These moms hate snow days.  If school closes, then they have to stay home from work, meaning they don’t go to work, meaning “ARE YOU MOCKING ME, YOUNG MAN?” they don’t go to work, which, of course, is bad, because then they don’t go to work.  “YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?” Which is really bad, because then the global economy collapses and the Canadians, Mexicans, and “all the little islands that we were supposed to memorize in 7th grade that I never bothered to memorize”-ians invade the US and take it over.

No, that doesn’t happen, but, as you can see, I had to throw that in to appease the 6 moms who are, well, incredibly vocal when it comes to snow days.  The schools also have to appease these moms, which is why we don’t have enough snow days, especially when there is actually snow on the ground, and not just morning dew.

But really, I think schools should consider the dangers of not having enough snow days. For instance, let’s say that there is even a little bit of snow on the ground.  Schools should close, because otherwise:

  • You could slip and hit your head.
  • A snowball could hit you in the leg, making you go “Hey!”
  • The school bus could actually get stranded, meaning you would have to fight your way to school amongst a swarm of Hollywood writers.
  • Icicles could fall from the school’s overhang, harming students.
  • The school’s roof could collapse due to the increased weight of .3 inches of snow, crushing everybody inside and forever immortalizing that school as the place where “School roof Colapeses-LOL so funny” on YouTube.
  • You could slip and fall into a Hollywood writer, making them hit their head, leading a cameraman to avenge their death by attacking you with an icicle and leaving you on the roof, which then collapses.

Clearly, every one of these things is more dangerous than 6 moms not going “NO IT ISN’T! YOU SAID s THAT THE U.S. WOULD CEASE TO EXIS-“ to work, because “YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY? THIS IS REAL LIFE! WHEN DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY RESPONSIBILI-“ without these snow days, the entirety of students everywhere will “DO NOT FINISH THAT SENTENCE! GO TO YOUR ROOM!”

Raking: A Deadly and Strenuous Chore

A rotting leafYou’ve heard the old saying: if you, a fisherman, give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you’ll go out of business.  But I bet you haven’t heard the equally profound: give a teen a rake, and then run away (fast); teach a teen to rake, and he’ll run away and become a fisherman.

It’s no secret that teens hate chores, or that teens will use violence to get out of chores (although rake scrapes can look like cat scratches, if you get my drift).  And when it comes to chores, raking is one of the worst.

If you’ve ever done any raking, you know just how bad it can be.  The backbreaking effort, the disgusting rotting leaves, the paper bags, and of course, the slugs, politicians, accountants, and other slimy things that cling to the leaves themselves.

The Rake

The rake itself, your main tool, is not, NOT, a murder weapon.  I have this on good authority from the creators of the game Clue, who insist that a rope or candlestick is more deadly.

That means your rake really only has one use, and that is: to mess with your mind.  I mean, looking at the rake’s end, you can see it has more holes than prongs; how could this possibly work?  Apparently, according to the scientific law of chores, which states that any tool associated with a chore will never break when you need it to, it does.

The Leaves

Even before you start raking, you can see that this won’t be an easy task. There are dead leaves that cover the entire lawn, assuming you used the theory of “wait ’till they all fall down and then just rake once.”

Your lawn is practically an official graveyard for leaves.  It looks like the leaves had a civil war, or that there was a small nuclear explosion. This is quite depressing, especially considering that your favorite show is on in forty minutes (“Blues Clues,” for those curious).

Furthermore, each leaf has been on your lawn for many days, slowly rotting away.  Each leaf is at a different stage of its decomposition cycle, but all the leaves have dangerous looking mold on them that almost resembles Newt Gingrich’s hair.  In fact, some of the mold growths are so big that they look like they are turning into Newt Gingrich himself.

The Raking

So you finally start to rake.  One of the first things you notice is that some leaves get stuck on the rake prongs themselves.  Eventually, this gets so bad that you need to get another rake to get those leaves off (you wouldn’t want to touch those white, fuzzy leaves, even if you had a hazmat suit on OVER a scuba diving suit that was on OVER an iron-man costume).

This means, believe it or not, that you are now raking the rake. And if your first rake was big enough, you might even have to rake the leaves that get stuck on the second rake off, meaning you will be raking the rake used for raking the rake.

The Piles

The general theory of raking is to rake leaves into piles and then put those leaves into bags, unless you are into modern art, in which case you can put a little sign in front of each pile of rotting leaves with a title and suggested price.

You will begin to realize, though, that raking leaves into piles, especially large amounts of leaves, is quite difficult.  You either have to reach over the piles, thus straining your back (and I’m sure this leads to cancer) or rake behind/next to yourself, thus straining your back (I checked Web MD, and the symptoms of a back strain also correspond to heart attack, cancer of the broken nail, and sprained ankle that is rotting).

So, for those who innovate, you will end up with a circle of leaves with you in the center.  For those adults with rational minds, you could just step out, but look at it from the teen perspective: you’ve just spent ten backbreaking minutes raking disgusting leaves, you’re sweaty, and you’ve seen countless ENORMOUS bugs scurry away from your rake (not to mention you spent too much of your childhood watching horror movies); you’ve now got a 6-inch high pile of raked leaves surrounding you.  If you dare step over it, who knows what kind of poisonous centipede will jump between your sock and pant’s hem.

The solution is to turn the rake upside down and pole vault out of your circle of doom.

The Bags

Once all the leaves are in piles (which, if you look closely, appear to be breathing slightly), you need to put the leaves into bags.  But how shall you do this without touching the leaves?

There are two ways, both time-tested and perfected.

One way is to try and scoop the leaves up and put them in the bag using any tools you have on hand.  You can use the rake, a shovel, or even a sledgehammer, so long as you DON’T TOUCH THE LEAVES.  Personally, I’d go with the Caterpillar (you know, the giant metal tractor with a scoop).

The other way to get leaves into the bag uses explosions.  You need to lay some bags around your lawn, wide open, and then toss some dynamite onto the leaf piles. Theoretically, if you detonate an explosion under the leaves, they will shoot up and then fall back down into the bags you have set out.  (In practice, of course, you end up setting your lawn on fire, the leaves mutate into some sort of blob-monster, the fire department, police department, and national guard show up, and you get to be on your local news).

While the horrors of raking are enough to cause a nervous breakdown even in the FBI director himself, it is important to keep it in perspective.  Assuming you don’t come into contact with the leaves, raking will only impact your life for one day every year (although psychological scars don’t fade with time as easily as physical wounds).  However, if you touch the leaves, then see a doctor and ask them if quarantine/amputation is right for you.