Well, here it is. My last (required) blog post for AP Lang. It’s a bittersweet feeling, knowing that this means summer is right around the corner, but also knowing my time as a writer for AP Lang is coming to an end. However, this does not mean my time as a writer is coming to an end.
I learned an incredible amount of information about myself and writing this year. When I was in this class at the beginning of the year, I had no expectations. I thought it would be another class I took just to put on my college applications—I didn’t imagine I would learn as much as I did. From learning about logical fallacies, punctuation rules, and how to properly handle an argument (especially the pro-life—pro-choice, since that example seems to come up an unusual amount of times), I can honestly say everything I’ve learned in this class has helped me to write, read, and think better. In this blog post, hopefully I can clearly explain to you how I have grown in these three areas.
It’s safe to say I’ve had to write more in this class than any other class in my high school career. I am grateful for this, because the more you practice something the better you get. I am not at all saying I have become a flawless writer, but this class has allowed me to recognize my “good” writing from my “bad” (I put these words in quotations, because what is good and bad writing?), and understand why some of my writing pieces are better than others. I like to think I was able to do this before, but I didn’t understand what writing was and even though I still don’t really know, this class has given me a better understanding.
Active reading is something I was taught to do in middle school. Teachers would force me to take notes on every page so I would “engage” with the text. Due to this, that was what my definition of active reading was. This class has given me a new definition, completely changing what I thought active reading was. Turns out, you can engage with a book without taking notes about it! Just by recognizing what the author is trying to say, what the theme they want to portray is vs. the theme you are taking away, that’s active reading! I can’t wait to argue with the next teacher who wants me to take 10 notes per page because they think that’s the only way to engage with a book.
“What? You think differently because of this class? Why would you let one class change the way you think?”
No, I do not think differently because of this class, but I do. Makes sense, right? I still hold the same beliefs that I did in the beginning of the year, but I now understand why I believe those things. Because of this class, I can distinguish what real sources and facts are, and how to use them in my writing. News articles that are strictly based on opinion are no longer a first choice when looking for something to defend my argument. My thinking is based more on logistics, with a mix of opinions (I’m only human). I’ve realized there are two sides to every opinion, and understanding both sides will only make me a better person.
Of course I have learned more this year, but I find my strengths in these three areas are the biggest take aways for me. I hope that you have gained as much as I did from this class, if not more.