As everyone could tell, there are mainly two components of my title for this blog: the “adventure” and the “closet”. I believe these two nouns most accurately represent my first three weeks of the AP US Government in the Online School for Girls.
I would love to start with the first component: the intellectual adventure. As reluctant as I am to admit, the materials introduced in AP US Government are quite new to me. Grew up in China, I have very limited knowledge even of the Chinese government. So when I was asked to propose an amendment for a homework assignment, you could probably imagine me sitting in front of my desk, staring blankly into a Word document for an hour straight. By the time I actually finished the proposal, as flawed as it is, I did feel the excitement as if I had written a real Constitution of my own. Not that I am anywhere as intelligent as the Framers are- it’s simply the joy of creating something out of nothing, of starting from scratch.
The intellectual adventure does not include knowledge alone. It is a process of gaining studying skills and time management skills. The first week in session, I did not start my homework until the weekend that it was due, partly because I didn’t have time on the week days, partly because I simply didn’t realize the amount of the workload. It turned out to be quite a disaster. I could not take detailed notes, and I had very little time to think carefully through my assignments, the content of which are very challenging to the least.
I learned from the mistakes. Starting from the second week, I tried to use more free periods and lunch time to do a little bit of the assignment every single day. Sometimes I simply have to prioritize one over the other. I truly believe that prioritizing is the key to success: schoolwork or online-schoolwork? It’s a question. I believe that in addition to the knowledge, it’s time management skills that really benefitted me.
Then there is the second part of my title: “the closet”. Believe it or not, it is incredibly hard to record a video
without disturbing others or being disturbed. This is especially true if you go to a boarding school where you share room with another person. I first learned this when I was recording for the “Response to Reading Constitution Out Loud”. Considering the fact that my roommate is in the room most of the time, it’s simply awkward to record while other people are around. I also have to be cautious not to disturb her from doing homework. Therefore, I tried to figure out some solutions by either going into the hallway or the common room, both of which did not work because too many people are hanging out in these areas. Going to library is a valid solution, but due to the 10 minutes’ walking distance, this option also becomes less than ideal.
The ultimate solution I came up involves the personal closet in my room. I find it to be perfect, because there is enough light, and it’s a closed space so I don’t have to worry about outside distractions. If you have checked the Gibbons v. Odgen case I recorded and noticed the white wall behind me as well as the relatively dark surrounding, yes, that’s my closet.
Even though I have to admit it has not been easy and smooth in the past three weeks, I can’t really express how excited I am. The ideas that we learned are gradually coming together through the case studies, such as the one we did with Katrina. It made the abstract concepts a lot more easier to understand. Once combined with facts, the concepts are becoming more vivid. They are not mere concepts anymore. And the shift in between the “ideas” and the “actions” is what really fascinates me. With this curiosity and perseverance, I am ready for a year of adventures!