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Not too easy. Not too difficult.
This course, in addition to teaching you valuable educational skills, is an excellent opportunity for any high school student to secure a better understanding of his or her future options. Before I dive into the life lesson aspect, I need to tell you about how this course has transformed my essay writing ability. Going into the class, I didn't even know that a proper essay consisted of an introduction with a thesis, and by the end of it, I was able to write three essays in 120 minutes in order to pass the AP test with a 5. My writing ability is something that I will carry with me and use for the rest of my life, and it is all because of this course and its excellent teacher. Furthermore, we have daily discussions about random topics to help kick off the start of class; it is a fun was of easing our self into the lesson for the day and helps us develop our debate skills. Many times, those discussions turn into advice sessions in which our teachers provides us insight for applying to colleges, scholarships, etc.
The thing that I loved most about the course was how closely it resembled a college course. The teacher didn't require you show up; if you missed, skipped, or were tardy, he didn't make a big deal about it just as long as you don't annoy him. The in-class work was not very hard, besides the occasional timed writings, but the thing that killed me was the long out-of-class reports. However, I soon learned not to procrastinate with those. As previously mentioned, the class discussions provided a mental break from all of the worries of school, and homework was almost never issued. One of the things that my teacher continually drilled into our heads is that we would all make it to college, and even though it might not be where we want to go, time will prove that it was the right place for us to go. Learning that opinion, that I now perceive as fact, puts much of my anxiety for future endevours at ease.
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Advice for students:
All I can say is to go into the course with an open-mind; the key to passing the class is listening (well, doing good on the assignments is actually how you pass but listening gets you there). This teacher doesn't assign busy work, so there aren't a lot of grades each quarter. You have to do well on the few essays that he does assign. Mr. Grates is always giving hints, tips, and tricks for writing essays when he speaks (but rarely writing them down), so if you listen to him and try those things out in your next essay, he'll take notice, which equals a better grade in the long run and brownie points on the side.