A glimpse at how Apeng students are managing their English workload over distance learning.
During the coronavirus pandemic this school year of 2020-21, junior students, with many taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, are expected to keep up with the workload the school brings them. Among the AP classes, one that is known for its large work amount is AP English, taught by Mrs. Smith and Ms. Wilkinson this year. “I have a lot of classes but it’s like nothing compared to Apeng,” Tessa Castellana (11) shares, comparing the quantity of work she gets from AP English to her other classes.
To keep up with the demand that AP English expects, students find ways to organize their assignments to avoid procrastinating. Brian Le (11), a junior in Ms. Wilkinson’s class, hums, “So when they give the assignment, first of all, I usually plan out what I’m gonna do on my calendar. If it’s more long term assignments, it would mean [I work on] a part of the assignments a day.” Tessa Castellana has another way of planning to finish her assignments. “I kind of tell myself I’ll get this done by this day, and if I don’t get them either, I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s fine. I’ll just try to get it done by tomorrow,’” she explains. “I get my other workloads [from other] classes done on Monday so that for the rest of the week I have time to just do Apeng if nothing else comes up after that.”
The urge to procrastinate can be a difficult habit to break, but there are many ways to work around that temptation. Alison Clarke (11), another junior taking AP English, shares her way of avoiding the temptation to procrastinate. “I need to distract my brain because when homework is due in two hours and you have four hours of work, you get it done somehow. You just grind the work. I trick my brain into doing that two days ahead,” she laughs. “You’re the most productive right before it’s due. You just get that adrenaline of ‘Oh shoot.’” Castellana finds that taking breaks when she’s stuck on assignments helps her from putting off the assignment entirely. “Sometimes if I’m like, ‘I cannot do this right now. I’m wasting time,’ I just watch an episode of a TV show, and then I usually take a 15 to 20 minute break. So I’m like, ‘Okay, at this time, I will stop.’ So I put an alarm on my phone to be like an ‘oh, get back to work’ kind of thing.”
The workload AP English expects of students can be taxing, so some students find ways to motivate themselves or set rewards for themselves after surviving the week. “So on Fridays, I usually like to have a chill day and mess around with a group of friends. Maybe play some games, you know? And then I think that’s really what I look forward to at the end of the week. Having a rest day is pretty effective as long as you relax,” Le described. Clarke expresses how she finds the motivation to finish her assignments in hobbies and other passions. “Having other things in my life motivates me to do my homework because I enjoy doing those things. It’s kind of like a reward system, and I’ve already committed time to doing that. So I need to get my homework done before then.”