“Too Much” or a Good Push: Senn Students Comment on AP US History

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By: Ramiyah Lee (Senn Sophomore) 

October is nearing and so is the end of the first quarter of the school year. It’s been a huge jump going from hybrid and/or remote learning to full-time in-person learning. Students are finally adjusting to this new step towards normal. There’s been some buzz going around in the sophomore class about a specific course that many sophomores are taking. That’s AP US History-or APUSH. Many of the Senn sophomores have a lot to say about this class. 

George Jarroush an APUSH teacher said, “So the goal of APUSH is to introduce students to a higher level of rigor. The goal of AP classes is to try to prepare you as best as we can for college-level work.” 

During a student’s freshman year, they choose their classes in the month of February for their sophomore year. Only a teacher can recommend a student for APUSH in order for them to take it.

“In AP US history,” said Jarroush, “unlike Honors US History and other US History classes, where those classes are more are taught thematically, AP US history is chronological. So we start from the very beginning. And we just work our way through the US history timeline because we also read numerous primary sources in this class.” 

Many students complain about this class due to the workload. It’s a very content-heavy class.

Jarroush said, “Every student is given a reader for the first semester and the second semester. Each reader is ‘yay’ thick, and it is just chock full of primary sources from every single period that we are studying. And we use those primary sources to help us understand and get a better grasp of that time period of American history. We are starting to craft and create a larger mosaic. A bigger picture of what American history is, why certain things happened during those time periods, and how those time periods affect other time periods moving forward.”

Students were asked about the workload and how they felt about it. 

Taiyana Levy, an APUSH Senn sophomore said, “I get about three assignments every week. It’s just too much work. I don’t have time to do anything.” 

It’s also hard for students to stay on top of their work because their personal lives get in the way. Not only do students have personal lives and work from their APUSH class, they also have work from other classes which adds to the stress.

“I’m trying my hardest, but I prioritize. It’s really difficult because I have other responsibilities like sports and extracurricular activities, [and] things that take up my time yeah and younger siblings and friendships,” said Ashley Lanfair-Graves, another Senn APUSH, sophomore student. 

The three history teachers are Benjamin Bateman, George Jarroushand David Fingado.

Estrella Garza, another sophomore APUSH student at Senn said of her teacher, “The way that [Mr. Fingado] set it up is on a calendar, so we know what we have to do on which day If we have more time, we can do more work on certain days,” 

But another student, Laura Tobar, who has Mr. Jarroush’s also offered positive feelings about the class.

“[I have] Mr. Jarroush…he’s really fun. His way of speaking is pretty lively, so it’s pretty entertaining. He gives overviews of everything that we learned. He does it in like one class, which is great. Some people can’t keep up, and other people can, honestly. It’s my pace of learning, and I really enjoy his class. And I’m like, I think Mr. Jarroush is great.”

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