The beginning experience of AP American Government online has been an exciting but familiar one. Online classes are not new to me, because last summer I took one that focused on the Harlem Renaissance. Though this was an honors class, I felt that the grading for the writing was on an AP English scale. Because I had not taken an AP English class yet, I was at disadvantage. Although my first experience with that online course was difficult, thinking about taking another try at them was not, because online classes suit my odd free time hours. Because I have a love for politics and American government, the decision on which online course to take was an easy choice. However, I did question taking on a seventh class, because that would fill my schedule completely, and no one else from my school was going to enroll in the class. The risk of trying something new by myself has come to be one that I devote a lot of time to and really enjoy.
Taking part in the online AP Government class was the best decision, I have made in 2012. Never before would I have imagined that doing work outside of a normal school day would be enjoyable. Never would I have imagined that after getting off of work at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night that I would come home and work on AP Government homework till 3 am the next morning. Others in my school who are enrolled in AP online classes see my homework load and ask why is there so much each week. Because I have no answer, I shrug my shoulders and keep on working. In this class yes the workload is heavy with reading and videos, but the reward is being about to discuss what you have learned with your classmates. Each assignment asks a different question which keeps me going. Because each unit has a different focus, your attention is never lost.
Hopefully, it’s not surprising to say that my favorite part of AP Government is online discussions. Though it’s likely that I will never meet the students in this class, I feel a connection. In the beginning, I wondered if other students would be offended if I disagreed with some ideas. Everyone who knows me from school knows that my family is loud and opinionated, but I am not like that at all. Instead, there are only two classes that I speak in. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I’m not sure if anyone wants to hear my opinion. This class allows me to speak on issues, which have been present in my life and have influenced me. Sometimes I feel like other students think that some issues are not connected to them or that the issues we research from the 70’s, 80’s, or 2000’s are not applicable today, but the weekly discussions help us focus on how government policies affect everyday life. One thing I have regretted so far in this course is not having time to join Skype sessions. There have been two already, and everyone raves about how awesome they are. Because I have missed out due to work, I have decided that I will join the next one even if I’m at work.
With the topic of this class being government and politics, there is a constant examination of history, and how it is a learning cycle. We examine the ever-changing government with the help of Wilson’s text. Though his book is full of bias opinions, they do not overshadow the main goal of educating a reader on several broad topics. No textbook I have ever read on American government puts events in history in such simple English as he does which is appreciated.
While thinking about this class and how I incorporate it into everyday life, I thought back to being at Disney World last week for a dance competition. Directly in front of Magic Kingdom are the words of Walt Disney “Let the Memories Begin.” Maybe, it’s just me, but I felt that the framers of the Constitution could have said these words. In this course, we have studied the men who wrote and presented the ideas in the Constitution and who also worked diligently to create a balance of power. Because the Constitution is not set in stone every generation has the chance to interpret it differently. Because the interpretation can change from generations different memories are created. While being involved in this course, we examine the memories of our government, but it also sets up a path for the future. So let us go forth as educated citizens creating our own memories through our journey of AP Government!