My math teacher, Mr. Patterson walks up to me and tells me that I should be taking AP classes. I told him, no thanks. Why would I want to take harder classes and do more work? He said that I was more than capable, but that didn't convince me. Then he said that it would help raise my GPA, but still wasn't convinced. He tried again and said that he would be teaching it, but I stood quiet. He is actually a really cool teacher, but nope! Still not convinced! Then he went for the last attempt. He said that AP classes are actually easier than regular classes, but that made no sense. What? No way! I thought he was lying for sure. I didn't want to do it, but decided to try it after I saw a paper that Mr. Patterson showed me. It said lots of things, but what caught my attention was that it said that AP classes look really good on college applications and that universities give more scholarships to students who have taken AP classes.
Mom is always struggling with money. There is no way that she is going to be able to afford any university. She works long hours but still says that it’s hard to save money. I hate not having nice things. The idea of struggling this way forever terrifies me. For sure I’m going to college because I don't want to struggle like her, and I want to help her. I also found out that I wouldn't be able to pay for college either. This is when I decided to take hard classes, even if I’m not going to like the extra work. After all the steps, I finally got into two AP classes. The classes were odd and definitely different. Everybody was actually paying attention and taking notes. They kept asking questions and no one was acting dumb. No one was getting in trouble every ten minutes. My teachers seemed to explain things better and when we did group work, we actually worked on whatever they were teaching us.
Here’s what I learned from taking AP classes. For sure there is more work. He lied about that, but what I was learning was easier to understand. The material we covered seemed more interesting. I did my work because I knew that everyone else was going to do it. I felt the pressure, but it was a good thing. I had to study because I didn't want to feel like the only weird one that didn't study. Eventually I started to talk to everyone and we all helped each other with the hard stuff. It was confusing, I knew that everything way harder, but it didn't seem harder. I had to admit that Mr. Patterson was right so I told him that I was glad that I took the class. Later on he told me that what he meant by easier was that AP classes usually have far less distractions and interruptions, and way more discussions about whatever is going on. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep taking AP classes. They are easier to learn in because I felt motivated to pay attention and do my work. My goal is to be more prepared to go and pay for college.
~ Jason Rodriguez