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Subject Selection Guide: A Love Letter to AP Euro

By Matilda Brewe (281)

We’re quickly approaching the time of year when applications for elective courses are the talk of the town. For freshmen, the process is muddled and confused by a year spent as Central students from their homes. There is much to be said for walking the halls to get to know a place, since that was just not a possibility this year, we should look forward to the year ahead. Allow me to make the case for AP European History: 

The allure of AP Euro was, for me at least, what I had heard about Mr. Hung. It was my number one priority to have a teacher who was passionate about teaching, and even with the need to quickly pivot to online classes, this class has delivered. 

For many sophomores taking the class, this is our first year taking an AP class, and it lays down a very useful foundation for how to study and prepare for an AP test. Emily Harris, a student in the class this year remarked that she feels she will be prepared to take the AP test in May, saying “There are plenty of practice opportunities for writing practice, and you get better at it as the year progresses.” The material covers a pretty sizable chunk of history. Not only does it leave you feeling prepared to take an AP test, but it also leaves you excited to learn. You’ll mostly discuss big concepts and their historical relevance at different points of European history in class. You won’t often find yourself being asked to memorize certain dates or “what did this advisor to the king do in this year?”, you will instead learn how different ideas and actions of the past interact with each other, and why things happened the way they did. A significant portion of class time is dedicated to sharing ideas, so it’s a great option if you’re eager to participate. Through this style of discussion, you’ll also get to know your classmates pretty well. 

This class is organized in tandem with Mr. Trott’s English 2 Honors class, so if you  take AP Euro, you’ll also take that class. Mr. Hung and Mr. Trott plan their lessons to relate to one another; when we learned about the French Revolution in Mr. Hung’s class, we read A Tale of Two Cities in Mr. Trott’s class. They also plan activities together and sometimes join each other’s class periods. Those times have been my favorites this year- the activities are always fun and interactive, and they’ve been pretty successfully translated for the medium of Zoom classes. 

AP Euro has been my favorite class this year, and I have genuinely looked forward to it every day. It’s definitely one of those classes that you get out of it what you put in. It’s an AP, so it can be rigorous at times, and paying attention in class is imperative. Mia McElhatton, 281, took the class in-person last year and she offers this advice, “The most effective thing is to not get caught up in the details and to be engaged. If you’re not going to participate in class and if you’re not going to ask for help when you need it, you’re not going to get as good of an experience out of it.”  If you are looking for a class that will challenge you with passionate teachers and classmates, AP Euro may be calling your name.

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