What to Do: Part 2

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I did not blog last night, and that always makes me a little anxious because I feel like I’m forgetting something that I really need to do. However, I did not blog because I was having my 16th birthday party and it was a blast! It was really nice because I’ve been able to stay decent friends with people outside of school and this was the first time I got to see them  in a while, and even better they met my school friends for the first time and visa versa. We had it at Jump Start (my families gymnasium), so we were able to stay as long as we wanted, and the last people left around midnight. Then I still had to clean up and get dropped off at one of my friends house for a sleepover with my Girl Scout Troop who had left my party just a little bit earlier. Then we didn’t end up going to bed until 4am, which was reasonable because we had a lot to talk about since we haven’t all seen each other in months.
This morning we got up and went ice skating which was fun and harder than I remembered. Then I went to Kat’s house to have what ended up being a FaceTime conversation with Cassidy Lichtman about course selections and the whole valedictorian thing and what it meant to her just to get another opinion on the matter. Finally I went to my friend Emily’s house to work on a project for history class.
All of this talking about courses and school got me thinking again about what I’m going to take, because tomorrow is when we are suppose to submit our applications for honors and AP courses.
As of Friday I had decided, and had been really sure about it too, that I was going to take on level US history next year.
But I still can’t decide because there are still so many people saying I shouldn’t, even my mom now today. She was basically expressing the same reason I was originally fearing which is why I don’t know what to do again.
My reasoning for taking on level would be because I want to have deep level discussions and more project based learning rather than read and take a test. (And the truth is, I almost didn’t take AP World because of similar reasons with not being a fast reader or  particularly thinking highly of history. Yet this year has been fine most of the time.) However, if I’m taking a class with people that then don’t put in as much effort to provide to the conversation and that I don’t trust to do their part of a project (so I would end up being forced to do most of it), is it still worth it; is that still productive and meaningful learning?
It isn’t that I hate the kids that would potentially be taking this class, and I wouldn’t mind working with a different group of people, but I also want to make sure I’m still benefiting. To quote myself from my first blog post on all of this, “I do not go to school alone, and the people in my class will highly influence my learning”.
I would love to say that I can trust everyone in my grade to put in the work effort to make it a thoughtful and productive class no matter who is in it, but the truth is, that is a dream that doesn’t currently exists, so I can’t honestly say that; thus this fear exists and my dilemma continues.
Then the problem is that AP course submissions are due tomorrow and I don’t feel confident in either decision anymore. I don’t feel like I can honestly fill out the AP application knowing I don’t really want to take the class, but I still don’t feel confident that the on level class will really be the best fit for me either.
I feel like I can’t win either way which really bothers me.
(My new dream for if I have to take this class, which I came up with after talking with Cassidy (I have already gotten a few people to join in on the idea to try and make this happen), would be for us to just create an honors class as well.
I feel like lots of students have expressed the desire for more honors classes because they want the middle ground; they want challenge and DEEP level thinking without having to deal with getting through the required material for an AP course.
The entire debate is about which we can we live without, but why can’t we have both? Why do we have to work with just these two options? What if we just designed a new course that has the best of both worlds? A US history course that allows for students that want both a challenge and to be with students that our deeply invested in learning, to also have the flexibility of learning based on their interests in ways that are more engaging and real world based than just reading to prep for a big test.
HMW create an honors US history course that allows for students that want both a challenge and to be with students that our DEEPly invested in learning, to also have the flexibility of learning based on their interests in ways that are more engaging and real world based than just reading to prep for a big test?)
So my mind has been confused once again, and I just don’t know what to do. I know I don’t want to pick based on the GPA it will help me with (I officially don’t care about that because it goes against everything I value), but I don’t know what to do and I have less than 12 hours to decide and am driving myself crazy.
(Not going to bed until 4am yesterday is not helping with any of this, but I can’t undo that decision now, and I don’t know if I would because it was fun with my fellow Girl Scouts.)
But now I’m just lost once again.
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