Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

Mrs. S was prompt, considerate, and organized, and went over and above duty on many occasions to spark our interest, keep us on track, and help us grow as writers. The coursework was thorough and challenging, but I never felt overburdened...in fact, I had a lot of fun! Mrs. Serbicki's course prepared me very well for the AP Lit exam.

AP Class Reviews

AP English Literature taught by Maya Inspektor

by Students and Parents

Most Fun Class I've Ever Taken posted by Gavriel Eagle on May 22 2018 at 03:06:54

This was hands down the most fun class I have ever taken! I had to remind myself that it was "schoolwork" at points :). Mr. Stewart and Mrs. Inspektor are AMAZING teachers and I always looked forward to reading the Morning Messages and feedback on my work. Another incredible facet of this course is the student interaction: through the DQs I got to have thought-provoking discussions, arguments, and nerd out sessions with other students, which gave me a firmer grasp on the works we were studying and amply prepared me for the exam. Through the Skype chat, I forged (and continue to forge: we're still going strong even though the course has ended. I even met up with a classmate in real life) friendships with people as passionate about literature as I am. This course, if you are willing to put in the effort, will more than prepare you for the exam. But even more importantly, it will introduce you to great works of literature and the tools to analyze them, and will likely have an impact on your life that reaches far beyond the exam. 


posted by Gavriel Eagle on May 22 2018 at 03:01:00

This was hands down the most fun class I have ever taken! I had to remind myself that it was "schoolwork" at points :). Mr. Stewart and Mrs. Inspektor are AMAZING teachers and I always looked forward to reading the Morning Messages and feedback on my work. Another incredible facet of this course is the student interaction: through the Discussion Questions I got to have thought-provoking discussions, arguments, and nerd out sessions with other students, which gave a firmer grasp on the works we were studying and amply prepared me for the exam. Through the Skype chat, I forged (and continue to forge: we're still going strong even though the course has ended. I) friendships 


Hard? Yes, but if you want a amazing exposure to real literature, this is your class. posted by Jake Dalton on May 21 2018 at 20:35:43

Before this class I thought that books were amazing, but literature was just meant for spark notes and school assignments, and that most of it would pass over my head anyway. However, after my application was sent off, without any way to bring it back, and I read the first email from my future teacher, my horizons were expanded beyond what I thought possible. Mrs. Inspektor, aided by her loyal Stewart, led us on a journey of discovery, easing us in to a knowledge of all we didn’t know, and all we had yet to learn. They led us through the gothic castles of Frankenstein, bootlegged discussion questions under the tables of Gatsby’s parties, and placed us under the impression not only that “literature is fun”, but that (In her own words) “"studying" literature IS reading for pleasure”.By the end of the class (sadly, it had to end L) I had been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that this was the case. I even (horror of horrors) had the audacity to laugh at the sophisticated humor on the AP exam itself! The public school students around me, who hadn’t had informative morning messages every day to inform them that literature is actually meantto cause emotion, muttered words about how strange homeschoolers who enjoyed literature were. Yes, perhaps it is strange, but I now admit to actually enjoying literature. I enjoyed sailing down rivers with characters, and exploring them more deeply with an amazing professor, and students who actually read the books. I walked into the exam room with about the same amount of confidence as Sir Walter Elliot in front of a mirror, for those of you who have yet to read Persuasion, this is ultimate confidence. I loved this course so much, and wish all you prospective students the best of luck, and may your sails of discovery be filled, just as mine were, by the inspiring wind of Mrs. Inspektor. 

 


Take This Class!!! posted by Zoe Lin on May 20 2018 at 23:30:17

AP Literature was one of the best courses I took in my high school career! I generally spent about 1.5-2 hours a day on the homework, but almost all of the assignments I enjoyed because I love literature - and especially learning literature from Mrs. Inspektor!

I particularly loved the big essays/projects we did in class like writing an eight page paper for the Jane Austen Writing Competition or an essay combining two full books from the schoolyear. AP Literature definitely made me fall in love with literature more and see its relevancy and worth in all our lives, whether you want to pursue English more seriously in the future or not.

Additionally, AP Lit really stretched me. It grew me as a person in a place that wasn't overly competitive, cutthroat, or stressful. Mrs. Inspektor and Mr. Stewart are the most supportive, encouraging teachers who value each student's learning growths. They are there to teach literature to the students, but they're also there to ask important questions, to take time to appreciate great milestones, and to look at AP Lit as much more than just another AP to get a 5 on. The AP exam itself and preparing for it was at first daunting and overwhelming, but I can confidently say that I felt well-prepared. I also think that my classmates were an integral part in my experience - through the environment fostered in the online classroom, we were encouraged to voice both praise and criticism in response to each other's writing. The diversity of the community led to so many of our assigned discussions where I left feeling that I learned more from them than from the ideas I had first brought.

I'd recommend AP Lit to any student who wants to be challenged in their writing, their thinking, and their analyzing skills. However, I'd also say that students will enjoy this class if they want to learn more about the world we live in, about ourselves and how we interact with others, and about hard topics that are important, yet difficult to confront. AP Lit has certainly taught me about literature, yes, but it's also shown me that there are a lot of questions that I haven't addressed yet that in some ways, say more about me than anything else, so I'm truly grateful to have been in AP Lit this year.


A Glimpse Into the Class posted by Alaina R. on May 20 2018 at 15:10:54

I felt that the course prepared me well for the exam. I knew all the sections that would be on the exam and had taken several complete practice exams as well as many individual samples of both essays and MCQs. Students are given extensive feedback to improve their essays.



I found that for me there was about an hour of work a day (including weekends most weeks), not counting time for occasional long essays.



I particularly enjoyed the novel comparison essay. Because there were no time limits, it allowed me to go into more depth on analysis than I had done before, which gave me some insights into writing exam essays. I used some of these insights on exam day!

 

I would recommend this course to a student who has a strong interest in literary analysis and is willing to devote time each day to the course. There is a heavy writing component, so I would encourage that a prospective student enjoy or at least be able to tolerate writing. If a student enjoys writing and literary analysis, this class can be not just an opportunity to learn, but also an enjoyable journey.


Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam? posted by Abby Dean on May 20 2018 at 03:36:08

I felt 100% prepared for the exam when I opened the booklet. While the exam was definitelynot easy, I felt comfortable and know I did the best I could’ve done, thanks to all the exam prep encorporated into this class. A lot of my friends I talked to in other AP English Lit classes told me their teachers did little to no exam prep the entire year, which made me so very grateful to have a teacher like Mrs. Inspektor, who made it a huge prioroty that we were all very well prepared. That being said, the stress was not so much on getting a good score on the exam, but on learning about and appreciating literature to the fullest. I am very glad I took this course, and know it has not only prepared me for college courses in the next few years, but also taught me so much more about literature and learning. 


Difficult, but very much worth it! posted by Adun Oladeji on May 19 2018 at 17:06:05

This class was difficult. From the very beginning, it was a challenge. I think this was because I didn't really have experience with analysis, and found it difficult to learn how to analyze instead of summarizing or device listing. I had planned to spend one hour on this course every day but quickly found myself spending two or more instead, and struggling to keep up. However, Mrs. Inspektor was very willing to help me. Because of her consistent help and feedback, I learned so much, especially in the spring semester. I was able to figure out what the exam essays needed from me and how to respond strongly and convincingly. Because of this class's rigor, I felt very confident on the AP exam and I felt that my ability to write essays in general improved. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone, even students who are more left-brained. 


PLEASE TAKE THIS CLASS! posted by Greta on May 16 2018 at 13:41:31

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely 100% yes.  I honestly can't imagine an AP Literature course preparing me better for the exam than Mrs. Inspektor's class did.  I actually haven't taken the exam yet because the school where I was scheduled to take the exam forgot to order my test booklet (oops), so I have to make up the test on a different day later this month.  Nevertheless, I feel very confident about taking the exam later this month because I've been prepared so well for it in this class. :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Hmm...I think I probably put about 1-2 hours per day into this class, depending on how much was assigned each day.  Some days would be a little less, some days a little more, but 1-2 hours on average.  I'd also like to add that I enjoyed completing the assignments for this class!  They were challenging but also SO. MUCH. FUN. Maybe I'm just really nerdy (haha), but I genuinely loved every second of this class.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

Um, all of them?  Seriously, though, I found every assignment enjoyable and valuable in its own way.  My personal favorite assignments were probably the three major assignments this year: the short story assignment, the JASNA essay, and the novel comparison paper.  The short story assignment was wonderful because it challenged me to be creative and to apply all the principles of good literature and writing that we'd been learning in the short story unit of the course.  It challenged me to write a story well, the kind of story that might be published in an anthology someday.  My dream is to someday write for a living, so I absolutely loved this assignment.  

The JASNA essay was also such a fun assignment but in a completely different way.  For this assignment, we got to conduct real literary analysis of Jane Austen's Persuasion.  Through this assignment (and the novel comparison paper), I discovered something: I geniunely enjoy writing literatary analysis.  

Finally, the novel comparison paper was a very challenging assignment (especially since I procrastinated on it--something I definitely wouldn't recommend) but a lovely one.  Once again, I got to conduct some really fun literary analysis but also learned about comparing and contrasting great works of literature.  Also, the bonus assignment for Spring Break (the Literary Salon), in which we pretended to be characters from the works we'd read in class during the year, was so much fun (I was Emilia from Othello; I'd recommend this role to future students--it's so much fun!). ;)

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely, for sure, yes, yes, YES.  I've nearly always been a lover of writing and reading, but I haven't always enjoyed reading classic literature (what I now affectionately refer to as "good literature").  I also wasn't a huge fan of poetry before taking this class.  Actually, I wasn't a fan at all.  The Poetry Mondays, however, were so helpful and really inspired me to delve into more poetry on my own.  Now I adore poetry and will most likely be reading some of it this summer. ;)  I also wasn't a Shakespeare nerd before this class.  That changed very quickly after I read Othello in class (don't get me started on how much I LOVE that play...) and after I opted to read King Lear for a book club assignment (*wipes away a silent tear*).  So, yes, now I am a Shakespeare nerd, and I'm already planning out all the Shakespeare plays I'll be reading this summer...  My mental list is probably WAY too ambitious, but we'll see what happens. ;)  Anyway, YES, this course definitely enhanced my interest in literature and solidified in my mind that I'm now definitely (no doubt about it) going to major in English in college. :)

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

YES!  My fellow students were absolutely amazing people, and they were constantly pushing me to do my best because they were all always doing their best.  It was amazing to be surrounded by a group of people who are geniunely interested in learning (as opposed to just having fun) and some of whom are just as nerdy as I am about literature (I appreciate this so much). :)  Thank you so much to all of you guys! <3

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I know that probably looks like overkill on the exclamation points, but that's the best way to express how much I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this class and how strongly I think that you should go sign up for this class right now. ;)  I would absolutely recommend this class, especially to students who are willing to work hard, think critically, and grow.  Even if literature isn't your thing, you should still take this class.  The critical thinking and writing skills you'll gain in this class will go on to benefit you in nearly any field you decide to focus on in college.  Plus, the analysis of literature that we conducted in this class is so contagious that you're likely to come out of this class at least liking (or, in my case, ADORING) the study and analysis of excellent literature. :)  So, please, I'm begging you... *gets down on knees*  Take this class!!!!!

One final thing: Thank you so, so, so, so, SO much to Mrs. Inspektor, Mr. Stewart, the TA's, and my fellow students for an absolutely incredible year!  I enjoyed it more than I can possibly express in words and will miss this class so much.  I can't thank you all enough. <3


AP Lit review posted by Danielle on May 16 2018 at 02:45:01

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Overall, I felt prepared for the exam. Right from the beginning of the class, we wrote essays in reponse to prompts from previous exams. Mrs. Inspektor assigned many practice multiple choice tests in the months leading up to the exam and they helped me familiarize myself with the various types of questions. I did have a hard time on the actual MCQ portion of exam, but I used what I learned in class to get through it.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Depending on the workload, I spent around 5-10 hours a week on AP Lit. If we had a long paper due, I would spend many hours working on it, but if there weren't any major projects coming up, I would generally spend about 45 minutes a day on the regular assignments.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed working on the short story assingment. In the past, I was never able to finish a story, but I actually got to complete one in this class. The JASNA essay was challenging for me, but I learned a lot from it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I rarely read classics and poems for leisure before taking this class, but AP Lit piqued my interest in them.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes! Reading my classmates' responses to the weekly discussion questions were insightful, and the book clubs were enjoyable since I was able to hear what others thought about a novel.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I definitely recommend this course to anyone who is willing to work hard on all the assignments. There is a lot of reading and writing every week, but this class will definitely change the way you read novels and poems.


Review of AP Lit posted by Libbi Wu on May 14 2018 at 15:24:52

The course prepared me well for the AP Lit exam. There were enough practice exams for me to feel prepared and there were optional essays at the end for those who may not have felt prepared enough. Mrs. Inspektor gave such helpful comments after each of my essays that I was able to move from 4's at the beginning of the class to 7's, 8's, and a couple 9's. I put in thirty minutes to two hours of work each day for this course. The Novel Comparison Paper was a fun and vaulable assignment! Discussions were also helpful, and I enjoyed writing the JASNA essay as well. This course has increased my interest in literature and classics, especially since I had mostly read YA fiction before the course. The book clubs helped me get to know other students better, and the comments I received from other students on my essays was very helpful! I would recommend this course to other students if they're willing to work hard.


AP Literature Review posted by Angelia on May 14 2018 at 12:24:15

Yes! I felt very prepared for the AP Exam. Mrs. Inspektor assigned practice multiple choice sections very often and starting early in the year, so I felt really comfortable by the time the exam came around. We started working on essays at the beginning of the year, so I also felt good about writing essays on the exam. 

I think about an hour every day including weekends, but more during some specific times of the year like when we wrote our JASNA essays or novel comparison papers.

I really enjoyed all of our assignments! I loved the Literary Salon (we acted as different literary characters), writing our short stories and reading each others, and writing my novel comparison paper.

Yes! Before coming into this class I didn't quite "get" studying literature. Now I feel like I understand what literature is truly about, and I really enjoyed studying it in this class.

Yes, absolutely!

I would definitely recommend this to other students. I think that any student can do well in this course, although it is very reading and writing heavy. It is probably a difficult course to be a first AP or for someone who doesn't enjoy or struggles with reading and writing a lot. 

Thank you to Mrs. Inspektor, Mr. Stewart, and all of my classmates for an amazing year!


I love this class! posted by Faith Hefner on May 14 2018 at 12:16:54

I am not an English person. I have always been more into math and science. BUT, I loved this class. I learned so much and improved greatly as a reader and writer. This class quickly became my favorite. I felt well prepared for the AP exam. I think the novel comparison assignment really helped with that. I felt like I actually got to know the other students thanks to our "in class" is discussions and book clubs. I would absolutely recommend this class others. You spend 8+ hours a week on it, but you enjoy it while you are doing it!


Probably one of my favorite classes I've ever taken posted by Allison Yuan on July 25 2017 at 21:26:20

It has been almost three months since I finished Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit class, and I'm still continually amazed at the many ways it affected me. Mrs. Inspektor taught me how to read and to fully experience a novel. She showed me how to understand and appreciate different forms of poetry. I learned how to analyze many different types of written works, organize the information I gained, and write a compelling essay about it. I found that I could write a multiple paragraph essay in 40 minutes, and I discovered that I could research and write a 6-page paper comparing similar topics in two completely different works in two weeks. I found confidence in my writing that I had never had before; I had always loved creative writing but never thought I was very good at nonfiction writing or analysis. I was partially right about that... When I started the class, my essay scores weren't very high, and it took me a while to figure out the difference between summarizing plot and actually analyzing the many facets of a work. But with instruction from Mrs. Inspektor and her helpful individual comments, I learned how to write literary analysis and how to write it well.

One thing about this class is that there is a lot of reading involved--not only the assigned reading but any instruction is done via written messages. For me, this style of learning fit perfectly with mine, as I learn better when I can read and reread something. For someone who is more of an auditory learner, it may be more difficult to stay focused while reading and fully absorb all the information in the Morning Messages (the main form of instruction). That being said, Mrs. Inspektor's teaching is very easy to understand (though the material can sometimes be far from that), and her messages are very conversational and engaging as she helps you to grow as a writer and reader.

I enjoyed the interaction with the other students in the class. We had multiple discussions each week about our reading, formed our own book clubs, and read and commented on each others' essays throughout the year. I actually learned a lot from my classmates' thoughts on the works we were reading. After writing my own thoughts on each topic, I enjoyed seeing how others could build off or develop my ideas, and it was helpful to do the same with theirs. Sometimes it seemed we were all making new discoveries together, which was fun. In regards to our essays, even though some in the class were more experienced writers, it seemed that everyone had a mutual respect for each other (I know I was always impressed with the writing I read). There was always a lot of positive peer feedback, and the comments made were quite helpful.

I didn't take the AP exam, due to a conflict with a family trip. I was actually a bit disappointed at first because I was excited for the chance to challenge and prove myself. However, I realized that I didn't need a test score to prove how far I had come in my abilities as a reader and writer. Looking back at my essay scores, seeing how I had developed as a writer, and remembering the many works I had analyzed helped me to realize that this class definitely challenged me, but it also helped me to grow. And with this in mind, I can honestly say that if I had the chance to go back to last summer and decide whether or not to take this class, even if I knew I wouldn't be able to take the AP test, I would have signed up right away.

It's difficult for me to say how much time is required for this class... The amount of time required to simply complete the assigned work differs greatly from the amount of time that I often wanted to spend on assignments. One to two hours daily would be sufficient to finish most days' regular assignments. Some days were shorter and some were longer, but most were within that range. However, I probably spent more time on each assignment because I enjoyed it so much. (I took this class during my fifth year of high school [a mixture of high school and college classes, with fewer overall], so I had a bit more time to spend on AP Lit if I wished.)

On the weekends that major assignments were due, though, I would spend most of the weekend frantically attempting to finish and edit it (and sometimes completely rewrite it based on feedback I had received). Although if you planned ahead of time, you wouldn't run into that problem...though it seemed that most of my other classmates were in the same boat as I was. :P  (For future students, group Skype chats are very helpful for motivation, encouragement, virtual chocolate, comments, exchanging critiques, brainstorming, and questions regarding homework. I would highly recommend organizing one.)

My favorite assignment...um...well this is going to be difficult...I have too many. :P  Probably the novel comparison paper, the last major paper we wrote in this class. It was the most intimidating, most challenging, and most rewarding assignment. As I mentioned before, it was a 6-page paper comparing similar topics in two completely different works. I was afraid to even begin at first because it seemed so intimidating, but once I got started, I really enjoyed all the research, outlining, planning, and writing. It was basically the culmination of the entire year, as I had to use all the analytical skills I had gained throughout the class.

I also can’t help but mention Poetry Mondays...  Throughout the year, I looked forward to every Monday because I knew they would include poetry. :D

I should probably wrap this up now, as this is starting to look like one of my super long DQ (discussion question) replies that I always get carried away with… :P  But anyways, if for some reason you haven’t caught on from reading this review so far, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this class.


posted by Allison Yuan on June 14 2017 at 17:52:26

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?
What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?


An adventure worth taking... posted by Margaret Hamilton on June 01 2017 at 01:01:06

Definitely! I was really nervous leading up to the exam because I felt unsure of how well I knew the material but as soon as I broke that seal and started reading the passages and answering questions I realized that I was completely prepared. I had worked hard and Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert had given me all the tools necessary for me to succeed... But honestly as great a feeling as that was I felt even better when I walked out of the testing room and realized that I had been taught way more than any exam could sum up. I had been given a tremendously valuable gift, I was given the gift of knowledge. Something that will enable me to dive into literature with an open mind and keen interest for the rest of my days.

 

Ok well I am not really an accurate person to answer this question because I take extra long to do everything.. It is not that I am not focused or lazy rather the opposite, I would get so into a short story or novel that I would need to know every possible thing about it before I could move on…If there is one word I didn't know or historical context I wasn't familiar with than I would spend time looking it up. This usually ended up leading to me daydreaming into other stories and similarities and then to my own ideas so I could easily spend hours and hours a day in this course. However, like I said I am not a very accurate example so don't be scared off by me; if you are regimented and able to resist daydreaming into fantasy worlds of the books you are reading than I think 8-10  hours a week would suffice.

Hard question because I honestly thoroughly enjoyed every one. Even if something at first seemed hard or I dreaded doing it I would always realize that I would end up loving doing it a learn a ton from each thing. MM were great as were DQ’s but perhaps one of my favorite assignments was the books clubs. It was great being able to choose a book that you may not have read on your own. My first choice was David Copperfield, a very long book which I had wanted to read for a long time. Having other students choosing to read this was fantastic and I loved being able to discuss all of my ideas and questions with my fellow bookworms.  

Absolutely! I came into this class a little hesitant because I was worried that my love for reading might actually be lessoned by studying literature because I would not be able to enjoy the books and stories as much as I previously had. I thought that maybe AP Lit would change the way I see things in a way I was not prepared for.. I was right it did change the way I looked at literature but now I see it is a good change. At times I am now able to understand things more other times I find myself getting more confused when reading because I see complexity in what I may have previously taken at face value. This may seem bad because confusion can be a difficult thing but to me it makes literature even more interesting.. I love looking at things that appear to be confusion and are complex and then make sense out of them. Analysis creates puzzles and questions making reading resemble life which is certainly more interesting than reading purely for pleasure.  

Do I have to choose one? Because my interactions with fellow AP Litters( hmm not really a word..) was both interesting and valuable. Sometimes you would read something that a student said and it would be exactly what you were thinking too and that just feels great cause you’re like, “hey that’s exactly what I thought” more often though my fellow students would find something I never thought of and it would be enlightening. The great thing about literature is that it is, to an extent, subjective. What one poem might be to one person might be something entirely different to another. This of course what makes literature so fascinating!

One prerequisite that I would say every potential AP Lit student should have is being open. Open to new ideas, to books you may have never thought about reading.. One really important thing I learned this year was reading through others eyes. This is not to say that as readers we are weak minded and ready to jump into author's beliefs and opinions but rather to be open to understanding. Go into a novel completely defensive of your own morals, ideas, and beliefs but also jump into it with a wish to try to understand others and contrast those to your own. The most incredible thing about literature is it’s ability to teach us about life, which is diverse and complicated, so when you read try not to look at things as fiction or imaginary rather look at it as a way to understand what surrounds us. Once you do that analyzing literature can be extremely fulfilling.

 

My concluding words to anyone considering taking this class is,  just do it! Take Mrs. Inspector's AP Lit! I don't think anyone has ever regretted it. Yes it will be challenging sometimes it is even  uncomfortable to discuss what you do not know or to talk about your emotional responses to poetry but it is an adventure worth taking. And if you're willing to work hard and love to learn than fill out your AP Lit Application NOW, as ridiculous as it may seem it can change your life.

 


Highly recommended for EVERY student! posted by Hailey Adler on May 28 2017 at 22:36:21

It's almost unnecessary for me to write a review for this class, because...doesn't everyone know how good it is? :) Nonetheless, I would like to recommend this class to any student who wishes to study English. I took both AP Lang and AP Lit from Mrs. Inspektor, and they have to be among the best online classes available. I don't think there is really any prerequisite knowledge to taking this course - I've seen classmates from all different academic backgrounds excel as Mrs. Inspektor is really good at understanding individual students. I think it would be nearly impossible to take this course and not improve in your understanding of English and literature. 


I actually chose not to take the AP exam because I am a senior, and as I will be attending UC Davis and have already gotten the maximum amount of English credit they allow from my 5 on AP Lang (which I also owe to Mrs. Inspektor). However, if I had chosen to take the exam, I am pretty certain I would have gotten a 5. This class offers excellent preparation, as is obvious by students' very high average score. 


It really varied, but this class is definitely not too intensive. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't assign busywork - every assignment is worthwhile. Probably 6 hours per week, but more if there was a major assignment or a larger reading assignment. 


I thought I was going to hate all the major assignments - the short story, JASNA, and the novel comparison - but those ended up being my favorites! They really broke up the exam prep portion of the class nicely with work that seemed more like college-level work. I also love the morning messages


I would say that it actually did. I've always loved English (I got an 800 on the English portion of the SAT lol), but if you could love English any more this class will do it! Fun fact: I'm majoring in biology so I'm not an English freak - I just really loved this class!


Yess!! The book clubs as so much fun, and we had lots of lively discussions on the board. Plus peer grading was a nice addition at times. 


Absolutely! Like I said above, I think anyone could do well in this course if they want to put in the work. 

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review. ;) I just think the class was amazing and I want other people to have this experience!


LOVED this class!! posted by Corinne Ebner on May 27 2017 at 21:07:44

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely. I wasn't at all worried on exam day because of all the assignments and exercises we'd done to fully prepare, and I actually enjoyed the exam - I had really enjoyed the class as a whole, which carried over into a very positive testing experience.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

There were pretty much daily assignments in this class, plus Morning Message responses (although those usually took 30 minutes or less), so I usually spent one to two hours per day. Closer to one if it was a reading day, and closer to two if there were discussion questions to answer. The total was between nine and ten hours a week.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Where to start?? I'd have to say my very favorite was the short story writing assignment, which was great because it was an exercise in creativity and really emphasized the various elements that should be in every work of short literature. I also really enjoyed the JASNA essay, partially because the prompt was so broad (and I got to watch movies for research XP) and partially because I absolutely adored Emma and could have written three hundred pages about it. All of the books we read were fantastic and so helpful for the exam, and I was also glad that we did so many extra books in the book clubs. I honestly don't think there was any assignment I didn't like this year (even Poetry Mondays - I will grudgingly admit their helpfulness).

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes yes YES!! I have always loved reading and writing, but this class was so engaging and encouraging and just plain challenging that I have an entirely new appreciation for literature. I adored every book we read in this class and I am so excited to read more in this vein. I feel like my writing style has evolved so much over the past year, which was one of my goals going into this class, so I'm much more confident and mature in my written analysis.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

My classmates were so fantastic all year - we had so many great discussions, both within book clubs and about the discussion questions and essays. Everyone had unique opinions and ideas about characters and symbols and plots, and I had so many great conversations with people about the depth and many-sidedness of the books we studied. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK TO PEOPLE. We lit nerds have a tendency to take no prisoners when it comes to conversations about books. ;)

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Again, you have to want to participate. This class won't be fun if you don't try to connect with your peers and teachers. Also, come in with an open mind. If you're already going "Oh my gosh, Frankenstein sounds sooo boring and it's old" then you're not going to be able to learn from it and engage and enjoy. You're probably going to step out of your comfort zone at some point during the year, whether it's with poetry, creative writing, or just a type of novel you would never read on you're own. So be open to it! It's really worth it, I promise. I absolutely loved AP Lit, so yes, I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a strong work ethic and the ability to appreciate literature. Mrs. Inspektor is fantastic, and you will learn SO MUCH.


Whoever you are, this class is for you posted by Charisa Shin on May 26 2017 at 22:24:44

I absolutely felt prepared for the AP Literature exam. All year long, Mrs. Inspektor had walked us through many assignments, Morning Messages, and practice tests. In addition, on top of actual exam prep, we analyzed books in depth with each other through rich and thought-provoking discussions and completed creative assignments like writing short stories. I was able to walk into the testing room with confidence, knowing that Mrs. I had taught me everything I needed to know, unlike the others who sat next to me in the school gym, trying desperately to remember who Jay Gatsby was. 

But I emerged from this course knowing that I had gleaned much more than mere preparation for a test -- I now feel that I can read and appreciate any novel, essay, or literary work without it seeming too difficult or confusing. I also feel like I gained a deeper understanding of the English language as a whole, and the importance of literary mediums I previously took for granted, such as poetry. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course for anyone wishing to rekindle (or kindle!) their love for literature, challenge themselves academically, and immerse themselves in a stimulating environment where lovers of literature and language abound. 


Wonderful Class!!! posted by Lauren Fryer on May 26 2017 at 20:52:07

When I applied for this class and then signed up, I was very apprehensive. As an avid reader in my childhood, I felt like I had already burned through any books that would interest me. In previous classes, literature was taught, but mainly in the form of short stories with a couple self-guided, self-selected books and projects throughout the year.I was concerned that I would be less than prepared and that the other students would be miles ahead of me. However, I was completely wrong! This class reignited my love for reading and ignited a new passion for real literature and writing. Ms. Baert and Mrs. Inspektor made every aspect of the literature we read interesting and meaningful. This course changed my perspective on literature completely and has developed my writing extensively. On average, I spent 1-2 hours a day, with extra time around our major assignments. My favorite aspects of the class were the book clubs! It was fun to get to know my classmates and explore our common interests in literature together. Additionally, each classmate in the book club brought a different perspective and new insight to the piece we were discussing. I also really enjoyed our JASNA essay as well as the novel comparison essay (it's amusing to think that I was most dreading these assignments)! I would absolutely recommend this course to other students! While they certainly must be willing to work hard, the "work" becomes so enjoyable and interesting. To anyone feeling intimidated by the AP label, don't be! Mrs. Inspektor, Ms. Baert, and the TAs are so friendly and helpful and entertaining! They all work together to form a cohesive, close-knit class. As a senior, I can say that this has certainly been my favorite high school course.


posted by Regan DuHadway on May 22 2017 at 22:15:38

(1) Yes! I was so prepared for the exam and learned A TON this year. 

(2) Per week I probably put in about 6-10 hours of work. 

(3) I really really liked the end of the year novel comparison. I used it for one of the prompts during the test actually!

(4) Yes! I really discovered my love for solving literary puzzles, for that "aha" moment when reading a complex poem.

(5) Yes, but I didn't really get involved with other students that much! Yes, we helped each other out, but I didn't make life-long friends. I think I struggled with this part of the class the most. I wanted to actually physically meet my classmates. I craved the physical classroom setting probably just because this was my first online class.

(6) Yes, I would recommend this course for people who are willing to work hard. I never have seen myself as an incredible writer. I don't even think my writing is good. Math and sceince are my subjects. While most of the students are literary prodigies or at least students who are top-of-the-class writers, I was able to get high scores and learn A TON because I worked hard. 


This is a great class! posted by Audrey Mirasola on May 19 2017 at 16:49:52

This course is challanging, but it is definitely worth it. Throughout the year you take several practice tests and go into the exam very prepared. I would say I spent 1-2 hours a day completleing messages, disscussion questions and reading for this class. While it might have been a lot of work, it taught me to love literature!


Engaging and fun, and amazing preparation not just for the exam, but for college writing posted by Carolyn Garner on May 17 2017 at 01:16:43

While I was taking this AP Lit class, I was also simultaneously taking classes at a community college. Yes, I know community college aren't necessarily known for challenging or engaging classes, but it's an interesting comparison that AP Lit took more time and was far more engaging than all three of my college classes combined (during the spring semester). 

I was not only very prepared for the AP exam, but it was a lot of fun simply taking it. 

 

Biggest Take-away!!

While I cringed at some of my very first essay grades at the start of the year, I quickly learned that it was totally okay to sometimes write out a lousy essay. While preparing for the exam, sometimes I attempted writing an essay more informally, or with more structure, or with slightly less. It was all experimental - and I got to the point where I wasn't afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes my harshest grades were the ones I learned the most from. Taking those risks are helpful. Mrs. Inspektor was *always* encouraging, even if one of my essays sucked. Occasionally I'd try something new and strike that golden grade - and discover that I'm far better at writing a slightly different way. 
All the students seemed to have a mutual respect for the talents and essay-writing-voice of those around them. 

I've been made aware of my weaknesses and better know how to control them. 

I'm also more keenly aware of my strengths, and know how to use them. 

 

Thanks for a wonderful class. 


Best Class Ever Changed My Life posted by Carynlee Berry on May 16 2017 at 12:49:08

Very well! Many of the problems on the AP exam were downright easy, and others were simply enjoyable due to the love of analysis bestowed upon me by this course.

Whoooo boy. More than I was supposed to, that's for sure! I found myself going over the recommended limit every single day-- not because I had to but rather because I wanted to. This class is demanding and if you are anything like me, you will want to go above and beyond the demand. I think I spent from a low of 2 to a high of 7 hours per day on this course. I would highly recommend reading ahead so you do not fall behind in assignments and can space them out over a few days if you need to.

My favorite assignment was definitely the “Short Story” assignment, but this may have been more beneficial to my life outside of AP Lit as it has ignited a love for writing fiction within me. The most useful assignment with concern to the AP exam was the “Comparison and Contrast” essay. This makes you particularly well versed in two books of your choosing that you read within the class. You learn many of the nuances and deeper themes of the two novels, as well as picking up and memorizing many key quotes from them. This assignment was equally fun and valuable!

Very much so! Although there were points throughout the year when I never wanted to see another book in my life, I came out the other side hoping to pursue a minor in English Literature in my college ventures!

EXTREMELY. Not to discount Mrs. Inspektor’s excellent teaching in any way, but the class interaction was definitely the best part of this class! This class is pretty heavily discussion based and the more you interact with your classmates, the more you learn. I would highly recommend starting/joining a Skype group as soon as possible, as a more casual discussion of class materials was very therapeutic and helped me to get to know the coursework and my classmates so much better!

I could not recommend this class enough! A student who is adept at and loves reading and writing will do well in this course. Although that said, I would not recommend this as a first AP course or if you are planning to take many AP courses this year. I managed it with two other APs but I found myself entirely without time to myself, even on the weekends. BUT I am very poor with time management-- I am sure many other students could manage it better, I just wanted to give fair warning. Although this class was hard, it was the most intriguing and fun class I have taken to date and I can’t imagine it being beaten anytime soon! Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent teacher with a great course and I am VERY sad that it is now over for me.


A Haiku and some advice for you posted by Kenneth Harland on May 15 2017 at 21:15:01

AP Lit Haiku:

Enjoyed books galore,
Plays and poems by the scores
I can't ask for more.

All rhymes aside, AP English Litterature with Mrs. Inspektor was a great class. I am a math/science guy, but I really thrived in this class and learned so much from Mrs. Inspektor. I took AP English Language last year, and I enjoyed many aspects of the class. However, I appreciated AP English Litterature's focus on works of litterature as a whole compared to rhetorical devices in Language. I feel that Litterature brought what I learned in Language together and allowed me to apply it the books, plays, and poems I read every day. I suggest that you take this class even if litterature is not your first love becuase, with some time and hardwork, you can really improve your writing and reading, nurturing a life long love of litterature.


posted by Micah Long on May 15 2017 at 15:35:54

Absolutely. This course teaches you how to read, write, and think about literature in an effective way, and while the exam wasn't a breeze, I was fully prepared to take it. 

5-10 hours. For a normal day, I'd spend about an hour, but when larger assignments were due, I ended up putting in a lot more time. 

Both the novel comparison paper and the JASNA essay were extremely valuable in terms of creating a longer-form paper that is very well supported. I loved the short story assignment as well. 

Yes. I've actually shifted some of my future educational endeavors to focus more on literature and art because this course encouraged my love of stories and storytelling. 

I'm not always thrilled with the discussion questions. Occasionally, I feel like they've provided me with valuable insight, but as a general rule, it just seems like a bunch of people typing up their opinions. I think a focus more on individual study would be valuable. The book clubs (while virtual) are generally good and give us the opportunity to take learning into our hands. 

Both creativity and independent motivation are extremely important. With those two attributes, this course is extremely valuable for students. 


AP (Absolute Preparation) posted by Mckenzie Alons on May 15 2017 at 15:03:58

I struggle with intense test anxiety, and in order to tone it down to a sane level I must feel overly prepared in every possible way. Mrs. Inspektor's course prepared me so well that I actually enjoyed the exam -- which, for those who know me, may sound downright strange.  I strolled into the test with a normal pulse and found myself not anxious, but curious about what passages and prompts the College Board had selected and created for the 2017 exam.  I knew exactly what to expect, and my immense store of essay tactics, novel analyses, and literary devices enabled me to navigate the blurier multiple choice questions and trickier prompts with deciciveness and ease.

I spent 2 hours per day on average for this class, including the weekends when major papers and practice exams were due.  However, I enjoy literature so much that I found myself reading other novels, plays, and short stories on the side to complement my course work.  

I especially enjoyed writing the Novel Comparison paper, which was was the last major assignment of the class.  It was a challenging assignment and I spent the first week just trying to decide on the novels I would write about, but the final product was definitely worth all the late-nights and re-writes.  It prepared me immensely for the third FRQ of the exam and also brought my curiosity in literary studies to a whole new level.  I have suddenly become almost obsessively fascinated with literary criticism and Russian Literature, and this assignment just might have convinced me to sign up for a class solely on Dostoevsky for my senior year.

The community this class creates is unlike any other class-setting I have known.  The students are dedicated, curious, and driven, and I was inspired and encouraged by my interaction with each of them.  I particularly enjoyed the "Exam Grader for-a-day" activity because it pushed me to really think about the writing of other students, as well as my own, and develop a more concrete understanding of the College Board's expectations in the FRQ portion of the exam.

I recommend this class for anyone who is willing to work hard and consistently, be challenged, and write...a lot.  With Mrs. Inspektor, your effort will not be made in vain.  You will feel prepared for the exam, but best of all, you will feel prepared -- and excited -- to write and read almost anything.  AP means Advanced Placement, but with Mrs. Inspektor it's Absolute Preparation -- for writing, reading, studying, test-taking, learning, college, and ultimately, life.


An Incredible Tool for Learning and Development posted by Mackenzie Miller on May 15 2017 at 14:16:18

This course prepared me exceptionally well for the AP exam. Mrs. Inspektor (I wasn't in Mrs. Baert's section, but I know Mrs. Baert did this as well) worked us very hard, and I'll be honest, writing timed essays every week got tiring pretty fast. I have left this class with my hatred of timed essays still intact. That being said, the constant practice for timed essays got me to a point where, by the exam, I was far beyond prepared. I was like the Terminator of timed essays. It helped me a lot to pace myself, and the feedback I got from Mrs. I and my peers throughout the year definitely helped develop my writing and general essay skills. I think what made this course really stand out for me (and made it the best course of my year) was the amazing teachers and students. I loved the subject material, and I think anyone who likes literature will, but the understanding, skill, and techniques of Mrs. I and Mrs. Baert really made this a class that I felt helped me as a writer, a student, and a general human being. 


Awesome Class!! posted by Andrew Joyner on May 15 2017 at 11:17:39

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I did not take the AP exam because the college I am attending next year would not accept the AP Lit credit, but I still feel like I can say Mrs. Inspektor did a fabulous job preparing us for the exam. By the end of the year, we had written so many exam style essays that they were beginning to feel like a breeze. We also did some really good multiple choice practice throughout the year.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Usually between one or two hours a day.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed the book clubs. It was fun to get to read a book and then engage with your classmates by discussing and analyzing it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I definitely left this course with a greater appreciation for literature and feel very prepared for college English.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes. Discussion with classmates was one of the best parts of this class. Getting to interact with classmates in our discussion questions was critical to enhancing your understanding of the assignment.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this class! As long as you are willing to work hard, this class is not particularly hard. A love of reading and writing certainly helps:).


Best AP Course Ever!!! posted by Lucie Riddell on July 05 2016 at 14:52:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

A thousand times YES! I've always been a literature type, so I probably would have felt relatively good about this exam no matter where I took the course. However, Mrs. Inspektor ensured that we were not only prepared enough to do well, but confident enough to actually enjoy the test! After writing weekly essays analyzing works from Shakespeare to Austen to Conrad -- writing them when tired, when mildly sick (although Mrs. I is lovely about giving extensions if you need them), when you've had a ton of other homework that day, when you just don't like the prompt -- I can pretty much promise that you will be supremely confident when it comes to doing your exam essays. Same goes for MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions to the uninitiated). 

As it happens, I just received my AP scores today and I did indeed get a 5 on the Lit exam, thanks to Mrs. I and her amazingness. :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Depends on the day. The lightest days, probably no more than an hour. Heavier days (of which there will be maybe two or three in any given week), about two hours, but that's allowing time for me getting excited about discussion question responses and making them super long. The heaviest days, when I had Skype book clubs with my friends, probably three-ish hours; however, that's more because I *liked* the subject than because I literally had to spend that much time on it. xD 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

Two words: book clubs. Seriously. If you take my advice and take this class, PLEASE put all the effort you can into organizing and staying in good book clubs with people you enjoy book clubbing with. There's nothing that can beat reading Shakespeare aloud with your friends over Skype and analyzing your favorite characters with people who bring such insightful, thoughtful contributions to the table. I got lucky and ended up in my first book club with a group of lovely people that have brought so much joy to my life ever since, but if you don't end up with the people you click with the first time around, please keep trying! I can say from personal experience that the right book club really can change your life. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I didn't think it was possible to enhance my interest in literature (if you haven't noticed already, I'm a total English nerd), but this course did the job. Mrs. I introduced us to so many diverse and different styles of literature that I found myself appreciating books, like Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, that I would never have picked up on my own.

I also gained a new appreciation for works like Emma and Their Eyes Were Watching God that I already loved, but didn't fully understand before this course. Before AP Lit, I loved Shakespeare; after AP Lit, I've been nicknamed Luciago (Lucie + Iago, after playing him with much vim and vigour in our Skype reading of Othello), have organized and participated in a live reading of Much Ado About Nothing at the AP Party, and am marking up my copy of The Tempest with staging notes in the hope of directing it someday! 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

No. Not at all. It's not like I met my 5 best friends through this course or anything. :/

Sarcasm aside, this is by far THE BEST PA Homeschoolers course I've taken as far as class interaction goes. What started off as participating in a few lively book clubs quickly expanded into chatting on long Skype calls about nothing in particular, editing each other's novels, giving each other relationship advice, becoming mutually obsessed with Shakespeare and inventing our own Shakespearean alter egos (Luciago being one), and finally meeting up in person (yes, all 6 of us, from New York to California to Virginia and all over in between) at the amazing AP Party, hosted by Mrs. Richman herself. Whether or not our plans to have a get-together every summer come to fruition, I'm so grateful for all that these crazy, amazing girls (and the many other brilliant and thoughtful students in AP Lit) have taught me, both about literature and about life. <3 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Given the caveat about "if you're willing to work hard yadda yadda yadda," I think anyone could do well and have fun in this course! My biggest piece of advice, again, would be to really throw yourself into the atmosphere of the class; there are so many amazing people and opportunities to take advantage of if you only reach out! It's probably possible (although I never tried) to treat this class like just another AP: do the homework, take the tests, hope you get a good score on the end-of-year exam. But it can also be so much more than that. More than any other AP I've taken, what you put in is what you get out. If you're doing your best to be involved, I can promise you that you won't regret it. 

Oh, and one more thing -- I happen to know that the TAs this upcoming year (2016-2017) are total superstars. Alexander Zlokapa contributed so much to the discussion boards last year with his insightful discussion question responses and his thoughtful comments on people's work. And Abby Shaffer and Katherine Ichinose...well, let's just say that (a) they are among my aforementioned 5 wonderful best friends, and (b) I can assure you that class with them as your TAs will never, EVER be boring. xD 


Please just take this class posted by Clara W. on May 24 2016 at 02:12:56

I can't stress enough the impact that this class had, not only on my high school education, but on all parts of my life. As I go off to colllege this year, I'm heading into challenging coursework knowing that I have been given a solid foundation in upper-level English, thanks in large part to this AP class. 

Of course! This class is challenging, rewarding, and so much fun. I learned to work with other people, I made new friendships that will last outside the bounds of this class, and I worked harder on this subject than I ever have before. My point is, this class is so much without the AP exam. However, this class is fantastic preparation for the AP exam. I went into the exam actually excited to see the questions and how they would compare with what we had studied over the year. I was thrilled to see how prepared we were. 

It completely depends on the week. When we were writing literary analysis papers, I was probably spending about five hours a day on my work. However, in a reasonable week with nothing  out of the ordinary happening, I would estimate that I spent about two hours a day on the coursework. However, the work is so fun and you're surrounded by so many enthusiastic people that it really doesn't feel like hard work. 

Over Spring Break, we had a Literary Salon, where we assumed the roles of characters and got into mock fights, parodied music from Frozen, and prepared for the exam. I've never laughed so hard at my schoolwork. 

I also loved the book clubs. They are one of the most unique and important aspects of this class. I made close friends and learned the value of analyzing literature in a community. Oh, and I used Skype a lot. That Skype loading sound became the soundtrack of my senior year. In AP Lit, I could discuss a wonderful book with people who were just as enthusiastic about it as I was. 

Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! I've always been a person who loves English, but this class enhanced my interest exponentially. It also gave me the final push to embrace an English major in college. 

This is one of the most interactive PA Homeschoolers classes I've been in. Students are kind, supportive, and (sometimes overwhelmingly) intelligent. I've even started a blog with a few of the students from this class. On our blog, we talk about many of the same things we discussed in this class. I'm also a part of an extremely active Skype group (and I mean active...I appear on Skype an hour after I left and find 500+ notifications). In class, Mrs. Inspektor encourages constructive criticism and some of the classwork revolves around responding to other student's ideas. 

Hard work is absolutely required. I am wholeheartedly an English-lover, and I was an English-lover coming into this class, but future students should be aware that they will be pushed more than they ever have in an English class. I remember feeling discouraged after the first few mediocre essays. When I look at my writing at the end of taking this class, I'm amazed at the progress I made in substance and in style. Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent teacher and I can promise future students that, if they work hard, they will finish this class with a phenomenal English education. 


Take this class! posted by Megan Pollon on May 11 2016 at 16:06:03

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes!  We did a ton of practice tests and essays.  I felt very confident in what I was expecting and how I was going to write each essay.  Obviously, you can't know what prompt you're going to receive, but Mrs. Inspektor discusses what to do when you are lost and don't understand something on the exam.  I felt like I did well on the exam, now I just need to wait for the score to see for sure:)  In addition to the actual exam part, Mrs. Inspektor also prepares you for being nervous and how to deal with your nerves.  I went into the exam feeling pretty calm and I was able to use any nerves that I had to help me focus.  

How many hourse of work per day did you generally put into the course?

I put in about 1-2 hours per day.  There is work due almost everyday, so set aside 1-2 hours to do it each day.

Are there any particularly Favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really liked the Novel Comparison Essay.  This allowed me to pick two of my favorite books and go into depth with them.  It was great exam prep too.  This assaignment was structured enough that I wasn't worried about what to do, but it also made me think really hard about the books I was reading and draw a lot connections.  

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!  I already loved to read, but I think I now understand why I love to read.  AP literature gave me so many skills for understanding novels and drawing greater meaning from them.  I now have so many more things that I want to read this summer.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, I particularly enjoyed the discussion question interaction that we had.  It was really fun to see other people's insights on the works that we read.  I was also fun to argue about differing points of view.  I found my classmates' feedback on my essays to be very valuable as well.

What sort of student would do well in this course?  

Anyone who is willing to put a lot of work into it.  This class is not easy. Getting the assignments done isn't too hard, but doing well on them is difficult.  You have to be able to try new things in your writing and persevere when it just doesn't come out in your grades.  Also, I recommend taking AP English Language first.  That course helped me with my writing, so I didn't have to focus on it as much in this course.  I think it would have been incredibly difficult to start with Lit, but I know some people do that, so it can work.


<3 <3 <3 posted by Katherine Ichinose on May 11 2016 at 15:03:54

I didn't think I could love any class more than AP Lang, but boy, oh boy, was I wrong. 

But this class. There's no class that can beat this class. (Unless Mrs. I starts a Shakespeare class? *hint hint* xD) This class is challenging, enriching, enjoyable, encouraging, and just generally a beautiful thing. I couldn't have asked for better classmates, teachers, TAs, assignments, etc. Not only that, but the environment of the class is so stimulating. Everyone is encouraging, making it easy to share your ideas and I've never met a more talented and kind group of people. 

Oh, very!! I'm a very anxious person in general, but I know I was fully prepared for the exam. The exam itself may have been the easiest part of this class! Mrs. I prepares the class thoroughly and I walked into the exam room knowing what to expect and knowing I had every reason to be confident on the exam. 

Honestly... as many spare hours as I had after the rest of my schoolwork was done. xD You could get by with working one to two hours per day (depending on what assignments are due and what you're currently reading), but I loved this class so much I could have spent days on it. 

Oh goodness. I LOVED getting to write a short story, and the discussion questions were always very fun and enriching. I have to say, though, that the book clubs take the take. Through the book clubs, I got to connect with wonderful people who I am now friends for life with. Not only that, but the book clubs were FUN. We put together live video-call dramatic readings of Shakespeare plays, which not only was insanely fun, but also helped SO much with comprehension of the plays. I can honestly say, though, that there was no assigment in this class that was not valuable and did not enhance my understanding of literature. 

Yes! I didn't think I could become more interested in literature, because I already loved it so much, but this class has encouraged my to appreciate works of literature I would never have enjoyed without this class. I've come to really understand Shakespeare, to see the witty humor in Jane Austen, to delve into ambiguous morals in Heart of Darkness, and I've defended characters that other students have found frustrating. *hugs Laura Wingfield protectively* I've always loved stories and characters, but this class has pushed me to love stories and characters that are hard to love, to see beauty in darkness and to appreciate the meaning of tragedy. 

*glances at Skype thread of AP Lit students now called "Beautiful Hobbits Writers Club"* *glances at waffle necklaces on my dresser* *glances at literature blog I have started with my classmantes* *glances at my countdown until I get to meet my classmates at the AP Party* *glances at all-caps conversations about the most random things* 

... erm. yes. very interesting. xD 

This group of students are some of the most talented people I've ever met. They have caused me to look at things from a completely different perspective, they've pointed out things I would have never seen before, and they've been there to help me through frustrations and have celebrated in triumphs. I've forged lasting friendships through through this class and I can't say how grateful I am for that. 

So when (WHEN, not IF) you take this class, please talk to people and make friends. You can't imagine how wonderful I will be. 

I can assure you that any class willing to invest effort in this class will be well rewarded for their hard work. My brother does not share my love for literature to say the least, but he still did very well in this class. Mrs. I is very encouraging and can work with people of all different interests and talents. She will bring out the best in you as long as you're willing to do your best. PLEASE, PLEASE take this class. I promise you will not regret it. 


If you love writing... posted by Matthew Coile on July 17 2015 at 18:33:40

...why in the world are you waiting to sign up for this class?

I received a 5 on the exam, thanks to this class. My writing definitely improved, as did my appreciation for literature. Not only does Mrs. Inspektor offer helpful feedback on your writing, but she also uses the internet very effectively in organizing the class. I think the highlight of the class, however, is the interaction with fellow English nerds across the world. Discussion questions, book clubs, comments on each other essays... unbelievably helpful. Yes, it was harder than organic chemistry, harder than calculus, harder than anything else I've done, but it's also one of the best things I've ever done. 

If you relish a challenge and wish to improve your writing, sign up for this class right now!


This class taught me so much – take it! posted by Jackson Min on June 08 2015 at 14:54:29

I really enjoyed this class. Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic instructor who has a way of teaching that is interesting and informative. She is engaging, fair, and makes the work enjoyable 


AP English Literature posted by Nathan Emery on May 16 2015 at 24:17:22

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely! The practice essays throughout the year and discussion question responses all helped me prepare analysis and critical thinking about literature, which helped me on the exam essays. Those skills also translated to multiple-choice, so I felt very prepared when I was taking the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I spent about an hour and a half most days, although that varied when I was working on one of the three long papers or doing review. Generally, though, I spent about 8-10 hours a week on the course.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I would say the three big papers–a short story, an analysis of Mansfield Park, and a novel comparison analysis–were the most valuable. Though I am not a story writer, writing the short story was challenging and valuable, and the two analysis papers challenged me to analyze deeply and gather specific evidence from the texts. The skills I honed in those papers were valuable in class, on the exam, and will continue to be valuable as I read literature in the future.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes! Before I began the course, I enjoyed literature and engaged in some analysis, but this class pushed me to analyze more deeply, evaluate more critically, and ultimately engage more fully with novels and poems than before. This all gave me more appreciation for literature.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, they were certainly valuable. Students' comments on my essays were always thoughtful and helpful, and the points they added and discussed in response to the discussion questions were almost always well-developed, well-supported, and added to my understanding of some part of the text.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Being willing to work hard is necessary, as with any AP course. Additionally, to do well, a student must be willing to put in effort to accept suggestions and feedback and apply that to essays and analysis. Since this course is not so focused on material as is, for example, a history course, students must always be willing to attempt new techniques, challenge themselves, and voice and support their own ideas to gain the full benefits of this class.

I would certainly recommend this course! Although it is challenging at times, even for students who are naturally writers or avid readers, the skills I gained are certainly valuable. Additionally, this class gave me new perspectives on literature and poetry, as well as deeper appreciation, and those are things I hope everyone could gain. 


awesome class! posted by Natalie on May 07 2015 at 14:26:17

Mrs. Inspektor did an absolutely fantastic job, not only making me extremely prepared for the AP exam in every aspect, but teaching me skills that I will definitely use in college and in life. This class has, quite honestly, dramatically changed my reading experience. Before this class, I just read to get the basic plot summary in the shortest time possible; typical Natalie style is to rush through tasks as effectively as possible- in the shortest amount of time. Reading was one of those tasks that I did just to to do before this class. But once I realized that I was missing a lot of deep analysis compared to the rest of my classmates, I started to read not only more slowly, but more deeply, and consider the significance what I'm reading. My experience with literature is much more enjoyable, and I feel like I've found a new world to explore. I spent an average of an hour on this class per day, mostly writing or reading. I would recommend this course to students that are willing to work hard and don't want to take a passive approach to literature anymore. 


Definitely Recommend!! posted by Catherine Marlin on May 07 2015 at 12:38:03

Definitely! Sometimes I thought that there were too many assignments, but that's what an AP class is- if you feel you aren't doing enough in the class, you probably aren't! Every single assignment helped me to learn how to analyze different kinds of literature and poetry. Even outside of the AP exam this class taught me so much about literature.

It generally varied. On a typical week I usually put in about an hour and a half a day give or take. On busier weeks when we had big papers due or book clubs, it was definitely more. The fact that there were many assignments each week also taught me to manage my time - a definite plus!

As much as I thought writing essays was tedious, this part of the class seriously helped my writing both on the AP exam and in general. Now writing papers don't seem like such a huge task!

I've never actually planned on doing anything with liturature in college, I'm more of a science person. But I know I'll need to take English classes in college anyway, and this class is probably the best preparation I could have hoped for. Seriously. And if you're someone who loves liturature, you'll probably like this class even more!

Yes! Book clubs were awesome. It was so fun getting to discuss books with other people, especially since a good portion of my school classes have been with just me, being a homeschooler and all! It was also good to have feedback on what you wrote from people your age since they were going through the same assignments.

If you are willing to work hard, go for it! But this class is not for the faint of heart. The assignments focus on making you a better writer and analyzer, so go in with a mind to improve. It is also a highly rewarding class, especially with all the help you get from Mrs. Inspektor, TAs, and your fellow students. Highly recommend in all ways possible! :D


A Wonderful Class posted by Megan Crutcher on May 07 2015 at 12:02:12

Mrs. Inspektor's class prepared me very well for the AP exam. I felt confident with the material and my skills in analyzing literature grew immensely. I grew from getting 3s and 4s on essays to getting 8s and 9s throughout the year. This is a testament to Mrs. Inspektor's helpful comments and the AP practice she gives her students. I highly recommend this course. Anyone who is diligent and likes to read will do well in it.


Excellent class!! posted by Georgia Murray on June 23 2014 at 23:25:31

Yes.  For sure.  The AP English exams (I took both the lang and lit exams, although I only took the AP Lit class) are rather different from any other AP I have done in that they don’t really have a specific body of information that they cover.  For this reason, there isn’t much text-book style learning in this class.  Instead, Mrs. Inspektor prepped us by having us write many FRQs throughout the year and also having us complete discussion questions on our readings as we went.  This helped really secure the novels in my mind and forced me to look for a level of depth I wouldn’t normally search for – very helpful come exam time.  She also had us complete quite a few MCQ tests and made us analyze our mistakes, so we were well prepared for that portion, as well.

Maybe two on average?  It’s kind of hard to say, because when you are reading a novel, it depends largely on how fast you read, etc.

As many others have mentioned, the frequent essays were very helpful.  In the spring, Mrs. Inspektor also assigned a longer novel comparison paper, where we had to choose two novels/plays and compare/contrast them with regard to a specific prompt which we chose with her approval.  I did The Great Gatsby (my favorite book from the assigned reading list!!) and Heart of Darkness, and I really felt like I gained a lot from the exercise in terms of how to approach literary analysis when given more than 45 minutes.

Hmmm.  Not sure how to answer this.  I’ve always loved literature, but it isn’t something I plan on studying in college or anything.  One thing I will say, though, is that this course forced me to branch out in my literary taste, for which I am very appreciative – neither Heart of Darkness nor Wuthering Heights were novels that I was ever likely to read on my own.  The former was hands-down one of the best written works I have ever read (way more intense then I usually go, but whatever), but I never would have known that had I not been exposed to it through this class.

Very much so.  I mentioned the discussion questions earlier – well, those are very interactive by nature, because you have to respond to the posts that come before you.  We also did six-ish book clubs, where you had to discuss whatever book you had selected with your partners

One who likes literature for literature’s sake and who wishes to expand his/her experiences therein.  For me, I have a few authors whom I just love – Shakespeare (but I prefer to see the plays on stage rather than to read them), Jane Austen, Tolkien, sometimes Dickens, etc.  I also have stuff that I just don’t generally read, no matter how many times someone tells me it is a classic – like Frankenstein, for instance.  However, this class really helped me try other stuff, and while I still have very decided preferences, they are at least more informed judgments.  Plus, I got to add Oscar Wilde to my list of beloved authors (for his witty plays, not for Dorian Gray, which goes on the list of things I refuse to read despite obvious literary merit).  I also learned to appreciate works that aren’t my normal thing – for example, Crime and Punishment, which I did for our social commentary book club,is rather darker than my usual genre, but not only do I appreciate its literary merit, I honestly loved the whole thing.


Great Course! posted by Tim Seida on May 29 2014 at 13:51:10

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. Mrs. Inspektor’s course gave us all the tools we needed to be prepared on the AP exam. The practice essay prompts that we did throughout the year were especially helpful in preparing for the exam.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I had already liked literature before this year, but Mrs. Inspektor’s class made it more fun and exciting.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The class was very interactive, and my classmates’ thoughts on readings and discussion questions were always very thought-provoking and fun to read.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would recommend Mrs. Inspektor’s course to anyone who wants to increase their ability to enjoy literature, do well on the AP exam, and have fun.


Wonderful class! posted by Michaela Miller on May 17 2014 at 19:52:56

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! Mrs. Inspektor had us read books that would be useful for us on the third free-response question of the exam, so there were no worries about that. The discussions we did as well as the essays we wrote throughout the year prepared us to answer all of the free-response questions, and we did plenty of multiple choice questions for practice. There was also a chat to discuss one of the multiple-choice passages, and though I wasn't able to attend it, I found reading through the transcript of it really helped to answer my questions about why certain answers were correct and others weren't. This was definitely one of the exams I felt the most prepared for.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I think I probably put about ten to fifteen hours into this class each week from the beginning right up until the week before the AP Exam. I have to be honest, I fell behind in my work more than once during the course of the class, so the large amount of time I spent may be partially due to the fact that I was trying to both keep up with new assignments and complete past ones. The workload of this class is by no means overwhelming, but combined with the other things I did this year, it ended up being a little bit much for me.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Yes! The novel comparison paper! Though at first I felt that this assignment was a little bit unrelated to exam preparation, I quickly realized that it was the best thing that Mrs. Inspektor could have assigned us. This paper required that we do extensive research into two books of our choice, find a way to compare and contrast them, and then support our assertions with specific references from both the text and several literary criticisms. Though it was hard work, I was both very proud of my finished paper and also had enough knowledge of two different works to easily write about either one in response to any free response question three prompt that might be thrown at me. I actually did use one of the books I wrote about in this paper on the exam, and I'm sure that my essay would not have been nearly as in depth as it was without my having completed this assignment.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! Before this class, I was intimidated by the idea of studying literature and I felt that too often people try to find meaning in a work that the author never intended to be there. However, after only the summer reading assignment I had become thoroughly interested in analyzing works of literature and by the middle of the year I was absolutely in love with this subject. I have been so inspired by this class that even though I already have all four English credits I need for high school I have decided to take British Literature next year just for fun.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Absotively posolutely (I'm running out of ways to say "yes" haha)! MY classmates were always willing to provide helpful, kind, and encouraging feedback on my work. I am certain that without them my writing would not have improved nearly as much as it did this year and I would not have enjoyed this class as much as I did. Their ideas made discussion very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading their varying points of view on the poems, books, and passages we read.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

As long as you are willing to work hard, I think you will do excellently in this class! I would especially recommend this class to students who aren't doing a lot of other AP classes or who don't have an otherwise busy schedule. I LOVED this class, but I feel I wasn't able to get all I could out of it because my busy schedule prevented me from fully participating in discussion and turning in some of my work on time.


BEST. ENGLISH. CLASS. EVER. <3 posted by Lillian Ji on May 15 2014 at 04:52:07

Okay, this class is a must. Not just for people who love English, people who love reading, and the like, because we all need to be equipped with skills for communicating ourselves and understanding the communication of others. This class is by far the best English class I've ever taken, and one of my most beloved classes ever. It's a very close second to APUSH with Mrs. Richman (just saying, I severely underrated my APUSH review last year in my post-exam daze and I will never forgive myself, so I can't let that happen with this review). Taking this class brought my analytical skills to a whole new level, and I discovered a passion for studying literature which will carry on with me through the rest of my life. Guys, if you love knowing that there's other people out there who feel the exact way you do, if you love seeing the world through new eyes, and if you love studying life, you'll love this class. Not only is AP Lit fun and enriching in and of itself, but it also helped me in other areas of my life. For instance, the skills this class gave me help me better understand the Bible, which contains more symbolism and metaphor and irony than anyone imagines (I mean, duh, it's the best work of literature in history for multiple reasons). Additionally, learning about syntax helped me comprehend the complex wording of legal documents and other...dry material we debaters sometimes sift through. So AP Lit gives you real-life skills and lets you ponder life and is fun. AND Mrs. Inspektor is such a wonderful teacher: she tells me exactly what needs to be worked on and how to improve. Also, she understands how crazy schedules and life in general can be sometimes. And not only is she funny and encouraging, but she's also quite open-minded and understanding. Ah, what's not to love about this class?

YES, absolutely! I'm the type of person who is horrendously paranoiac when it comes to exams and other stressful situations. However, I was incredibly calm the days leading up to the exam. This was primarily due to the excellent preparation Mrs. Inspektor gave us. We wrote about two to four essays a month, which significantly sharpened analytical and writing skills. We were given excellent instruction about analyzing poems, short stories, novels, and plays, and participated in lots of fascinating discussions. By the end of the year, we had viable options for the open question (in which you choose a work of "considerable literary merit' and analyze one specific aspect/motif and connect it to the "meaning of the work as a whole") and had the skills necessary to understand literature and defend our interpretations of meaning. I'm thankful that the exam went very smoothly for me. Due to numerous practice tests and essays, I was very comfortable with the exam format and content. I had fun taking the exam(:. Another reason the exam was so low-stress for me was because AP Lit is slightly more skills-based than knowledge-based. Once you have the skills necessary, no cramming is necessary: a light review of terminology and the works we studied is all that's needed. So the subject *and* the class is awesome :D.

Approximately 1-2.5 hours a day were sufficient to complete the assignments. Generally, I'd spend 7-15 hours a week, with the average being roughly 10 hours. We'd have a morning message to respond to (it might be composing a sonnet of our own, discussing the interpretations scholars have about the works we were currently studying, or reading the background of a play), and then an additional assignment for the day which could be an essay, responding to fellow students' work, responding to discussion questions, and such. How much time spent really depends on the individual's levels of ability and interest.

I'm pretty sure I enjoyed every single assignment. So many to choose from, hahaha :P. I really loved the novel comparison paper. We analyzed two works of our choice in depth (which we had previously studied in class) and compared and contrasted them, while focusing on a common theme, like identity or home or betrayal. I loved how the assignment was rather like a culimination of all that we had learned throughout the year. Plus, I got to know two of my favorite works better (Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby). I highly enjoyed re-reading the works (or parts of them) and tracing common themes and looking for the overall significance behind the motifs presented. The assignment greatly enhanced my understanding and love for the two works I chose. The fall semester short story assignment was super fun too! After we finished the short story unit, we could write an analysis of three short stories or write our own short story. I picked the latter and had a blast! Reading literary criticism (and arguing for or against the interpretations presented) was also fascinating! It was cool seeing what the "pros" came up with(:. 

Without a doubt, yes! I've always loved reading, but I never really understood books beyond the plot. However, this course changed that, and I've come to fall in love with the meanings of works (rather than the character ;]). I've discovered that I highly enjoy studying literature, and I hope to continue this study in college xD.

Definitely! My classmates were awesome. I loved the book clubs we did together, in which we formed groups to study works of our own choosing (with approval from Mrs. I, of course), and I really enjoyed listening to different points of view and other ideas! My classmates were also helpful in often providing feedback for my work. We were able to encourage and help each other along! The discussion question interactions were just fabulous. I loved how we responded to each other and added our own individual ideas, building upon each other's analysis and answering the question with this whole lovely patchwork of ideas x). Also, I had this awesome friend, and we would exchange papers (and encouragement) throughout the year. It's wonderful how Mrs. I made this class highly interactive. I had the time of my life thinking, discussing, and sharing with my classmates.

A student who loves reading and writing would love this course! More importantly, the type of student who would do well in this course, whether or not they love English, would be the type of student who's self-motivated and not afraid to ask questions and think outside the box. This course is a lot of work, but it's very do-able! It's just that it's difficult to catch up if you fall behind. Self-motivation helps the student who's on track stay on track, and the student who falls behind (which is inevitable sometimes) get back on track. It also pushes a person to go above and beyond expectations and to truly strive to give the best that can possibly be given. Moreover, not being afraid to ask questions and think outside the box would help a student in this class, because part of AP Lit is about not being scared to get your feet wet, discovering your own interpretation of a work and uncovering the deeper meaning behind a symbol or character...and making the meanings a part of yourself. Because we study literature to study life, and literature is a view into reality and the world around us (and I love the irony of using fiction as a gateway to reality xDD). We feel for the characters, and we see the same traits and meanings reflected in our own lives. There's just something so chilling about Kurtz's last words in Heart of Darkness ("The horror! The horror!") because we ourselves have experienced a harsh glimpse of reality and of the depravity lurking within our hearts. There's something so understandable about Catherine from Wuthering Heights and her struggle between stability and freedom and with herself. And we feel for Nick and Gatsby, because we too have been disillusioned with the reckless, meaningless ways of the world. I've adored exploring the meanings of life within literature this year, and yes, I'm pretty sure you can already tell that I unequivocally recommend this class.

Oh, it's been such a great year! I'm incredibly thankful that I had this opportunity to learn and grow with my classmates and teacher.

(And thank you for forgiving my verbosity and love for superlatives and adverbs.)


Class Review 2014 posted by Lilly Sweitzer on May 12 2014 at 23:19:00

This is an amazing class! I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a class in preparation for the AP Lit/Comp exam or even someone who is just looking for a literature class. 

This class is amazing preparation for the exam--by the month of the exam, I felt so prepared that I didn't even need to cram any more studying in! This is not, by any means, because I am simply an awesome student. No, it had a lot more to do with Mrs. Inspektor's teaching style and course work. The discussion questions, morning messages, essays, reading, practice tests and other site interaction caused me to focus on literature and literature analysis for an hour to three hours each day. Although this work may have seemed tedious at times, it not only prepared me for the exam but also for english courses in college. 

Some favorite parts of this class have been: 

And finally, the classmates are great. I'm really disappointed that I can't attend the get-together this May, because I have gotten to know my students through our discussions and book clubs, and it would have been great to meet them and the teacher! 

All in all, yes. Take this class. If you are willing to work hard, take this class.


Diving In posted by John Baert on May 12 2014 at 13:13:44

This class only works under one condition. Nobody forces you to do anything in this class. Sure, there are required assignments and of course the teacher wants you to hand in everything on time. But, this is a class that requires dedication and total commitment to the subject. If you don’t love the subject, you will have to learn to. If you don’t wake up early, you will have to start. If you don’t read for pleasure and keep a journal, you will have to. I guess if this review isn’t speaking to you yet, we are different types of people. But let me rewind a little.

When you picture Mrs. Inspektor, you should really imagine someone like George Patton. She is the Harry Parker (the renowned Harvard rowing coach) of literature. It didn’t hit me until I was already a good bit into this class how much she wanted me to do. Every week was packed with assignments that she didn’t expect me to take light heartedly. In fact, she wanted me to push myself every day of this class to succeed in the subject. What I also learned was how much she wanted me and the other students to thrive.

It is 6:45 am. I schlep over to my computer screen. I begin reading the Morning Message. Fifteen minutes later I wish I hadn’t read it because I now have an enormously intimidating assignment hanging over me that will continue to hang over me until I complete it. Hey, who cares? I’ll blast through it now and just get it done. Twenty minutes later I finish reading Perrine’s textbook. No idea what I just read. How could I? I didn’t hardly pay attention. Yeah, but no one really expected me to and if they did they must be out of their mind.

Eight minutes later I click submit. I had just stuttered my way through a horribly general morning message response. Great! This would still be hanging over me. Forty minutes later I had finished all there was to do for today for this class. I was somewhat happy with myself because I usually took forever. At least I did what I would ordinarily do in four hours in less than two. So there was my first improvement. But at that point I was literarily tone deaf. I couldn’t hear myself and even if I could I knew better than to wait for the song to finish. I quickly clicked closed my lap top.

I kept that up for about three months before I let the frustration start to show in my responses. Don’t get me wrong, I tried and I had been trying harder than ever before and looking back I wouldn’t be where I am today without pushing myself in every area. But I thought I had arrived. In reality, my essay grades were nothing short of novice and my DQ and MM responses where nothing more than rushed, unfocused attempts.

Then it hit me. I don’t remember when. It hit me gradually, I guess. Half the year had passed and I had begun to accept my work. Rather than thinking that the assignments never asked the right questions I realized I was just giving the wrong answers. I felt slightly relieved. At least I knew now that I wasn’t a literary genius and could work for the rest of the year to become familiar with this abstract subject. So, in little ways, I attempted to better myself.

I started reading more. I kept up my journal writing. I kept rising early in the morning for the morning messages. The only difference was that I was coming to the computer knowing that I needed to know what was inside the morning message. I came to the screen now looking for help in everything Mrs Inspektor would assign. I began taking the assignments not as a constant evaluation of my skills but as a chance to practice them and improve them. Test day wasn’t the only day to go all out. Today was the day and every day.

Mind you, I don’t quite know what Mrs. Inspektor had in her mind about me at this point. But I wasn’t anything new either. She had seen dozens of me before. Only the other me’s were probably more receptive. Little by little things started improving. It was starting to get easier. I could still do the work in two hours but they were so much more valuable than before. It became addictively fun to learn. Mrs. Inspektor was letting us write poetry. She was letting us write short stories. My! What opportunities! Everything became a chance to improve.

Two weeks ago I received the last two week syllabus. It was the last class update I would ever receive. Wait! I had just started. To me the class was only beginning. I was finally getting the grades I wanted and the confidence in my writing voice that I wanted. Click. Click. Click. It was all clicking. Beep. Beep. Beep. 6:30 am. It was test day. I was overjoyed and sad. I thought for an extra moment this morning. A thought settled into my mind after some rustling around in the brain. Yes, I was happy with what I had learned this year. But all the credit went to Mrs. Inspektor who didn’t budge on my grades until I budged. All my usual fake it till I make it tricks hadn’t worked.

That’s also when I had the Patton revelation; pearl handled pistols and all.

So, now that I’ve possibly dissuaded you from taking this class, bear with me a little longer. This class is one big opportunity. You would be unwise not to take it. This class is a chance to look deep into yourself and find what’s really there and also find what wasn’t there that you thought had been there. It is also a chance to learn: to write, to read, to think, and to improve. Go on, take it and don’t look back. This is a new frontier with unchartered waters, pirates, storms, possibly cannibals, and maybe even rogue whales. But don’t let that scare you. Dive in.


Please take this class! :) posted by Janessa Hughes on May 10 2014 at 19:59:35

First, this is such an amazing class, and Mrs. Inspektor is a phenomenal teacher! All year she invested so much time and energy into helping the class excel, and I have grown so much in both my appreciation of literature and my ability to communicate my interpretation. By the time the AP exam came around, I felt so prepared and didn't feel the need to cram or stress out. That's not to say that this class is not hard work. It definitely is! I typically spent about 1.5-3 hours a day completing assignments. But even though it at times felt tedious, I am so thankful that I persevered. *Everything* she assigned helped me grow so that I could be confident for the exam (and for analyzing literature in the future).

My favorite assignments this year were probably the numerous timed essays. I enjoyed the challenge of analyzing under time limits, and it was encouraging to see my writing develop as the year progressed. Another aspect of the course I really appreciated was interacting with the other students through discussion questions and book clubs. I am also so grateful for Mrs. Inspektor's communication. She gave such helpful criticism to my work, and was always encouraging.

I definitely recommend this course! Don't think that you have to be a really great writer, or an experienced poetry analyst. If you are willing to work hard, stay on pace with the schedule, and learn from Mrs. Inspektor's advice, then you will definitely do well. Good luck! :)


+Recommended! posted by Nicole Strittmatter on May 10 2014 at 01:52:45

First of all, I want to thank Ms. Inspektor so much... she definitely puts in an outstanding amount of time and effort into her teaching and her students. For anyone looking to take a serious online AP course, I strongly recommend taking this one.  Out of all the AP classes/online courses I have taken, this one was honestly one of my favorites (if not THE favorite). After completing this course, I felt even more prepared than I did when I took AP Language in private school last year. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the assignments we had… I think they were fairly graded and truly insightful. With Ms. Inspektor, I never got a grade that I was confused about, and even if I was initially surprised, she always followed up with comments about why I received the grade and how I could improve in the future.  If you are looking for an “easy A”, this is not the class for you. However, if you are willing to work hard to increase your knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for English, I would recommend this class. Even if you don’t consider English to be your favorite subject, I can see where this class would give you great experience. It was interesting to read certain novels/works with the whole class, but also have the opportunity to discuss other books in small group discussions. Overall, I really did enjoy English this year, and if you choose this course, I hope you will too.


This is an amazing class! posted by Nicholas Emery on May 09 2014 at 22:50:52

Definitely. Although there were maybe one or two literary terms I had forgotten on the exam, otherwise, I felt completely prepared. I can say that, if I missed any questions, it was my own fault, not a result of not being prepared enough.

I spent anywhere from 1 to 2 hours per weekday on the class, with an average of 1.5 hours/day. Usually the only time I had to work on weekends was when I had a paper, such as the novel comparison paper, due. And of course, I put more time into some book clubs than others.

I found the novel comparison paper (essentially literary analysis comparing one aspect of two novels) very helpful. As we only were to submit one draft, in addition to greatly improving my analysis skills, I learned to pace myself (especially since I had tons of college visits the week before the due date). I also found Mrs. Inspektor's "Poetry Mondays" extremely helpful. As my previous English courses didn't include much poetry, I felt these poetry analysis days extremely helpful in helping me become a better reader and analyzer of poetry.

Well, I always loved literature, but I'd say I like it even more now :). As I can now better analyze literature, I'm able to gain more enjoyment from novels and poems. I also have a greater appreciation for poetry. Before AP Lit, my not-so-great poetry analysis skills made me look with a bit of foreboding on poetry assignments, but now that I'm much improved in this regard, I gain far more enjoyment from poetry.

Definitely! This class is much more interactive than many other AP's I've taken. As a result, I've gained valuable insight on my essays from my fellow students. As well, their posts in discussion question threads pushed me to take my analysis deeper than I would have on my own. And, finally, doing book clubs with classmates was a fun way to discuss works and just enjoy ourselves.

I'd say any student willing to work hard (one of the many things you'll learn in AP Lit: include a few terms from the prompt in your AP essays to make sure you are staying on track :)) and who is willing to approach literature with an open and eager mind will do well in this class. Although I didn't agree with every work, I was still able to analyze and appreaciate the rich depth of nearly all the poems, plays, and novels I encountered. Also, you must be able to pace yourself on your assignments but also be willing to compromise with classmates on joint assignments. The novel comparison paper at the end of the year is perhaps the best example of this--you only submit a single final draft and must schedule the assignment yourself and update progress on the website.

Basically, if you like literature (or even if it's not your favorite), consider this class! I really enjoyed learning from and interacting with Mrs. Inspektor, classmates, and the course material to take my analysis and appreciation of all forms of literature to the next level.

Nicholas Emery


Truly Phenomenal English Class-You Won't Regret Or Forget It! posted by Justine Staub on May 09 2014 at 21:53:11


AMAZING Class! Take this! posted by Sarah Becker on May 09 2014 at 21:06:36

I LOVED THIS CLASS! I've taken many online classes, but this one is definitely near the top of the list. Mrs. I is an amazing teacher, and I'm sad that AP Lit is over already! I learned so much in this class: how to analyze poetry, how to analyze prose, how to analyze novels, how to write about different types of literature, how to discuss literature with a group, and, most importantly, how to LOVE literature! That's what I'm taking out of this class--the realization that literature can be a powerful way to convey truths about humanity, and the desire to read more of it! I made so many great classmates, got to read some great works, and had many opportunities to have deep conversations about literature.

This course definitely prepared us for the AP exam. Throughout the year, we wrote many exam-style essays that were extremely helpful. You won't necessarily get 9's the first time you try (I got a 3 on my first essay!), but that's the whole point--you'll see yourself improve!

Mrs. I had two major assignments--a short story (or you could write an analytical paper as another option) in the fall and a novel comparison paper in the spring. These assignments were amazing; I wrote a short story I'm extremely proud of and I was able to dive *very deep* into the two books I chose for my spring paper. I now feel confident to enter a college literature class--Mrs. I has given me the tools and skills in order to succeed in future literature classes!

Going into the class, I can't say that I was a big fan of reading... it's still not my favorite hobby, but I now see the powerful, powerful themes found in literature. I see literature in a different light, and I approach it in a different light.

Another thing I enjoyed about the class was the book clubs Mrs. I had us participate in. Not only were these great ways to get to know my classmates, but I was able to pick a book I wanted to read and then discuss it with others.

Bottom line: take this class! You'll love Mrs. Inspektor, and you'll learn so many things--through every discussion question, Morning Message, essay, and novel you read. This is a phenomenal, thorough, well-developed class, and Mrs. I has so much experience. This has been one of the best parts of my high school years so far, and I hope it can be one of yours, too!! 


Only thing better than this class? Mrs I's Lang class and maybe Mrs R's APUSH... ;) posted by Priya Stepp on June 28 2013 at 01:18:52

Before I answer the actual questions, let me just say that this was an AMAZING class. You need to take it. End of story. I’ll also try to make this review shorter than my review – which was actually more like a novel – for Lang last year, so maybe someone will actually read this. :P Like I said in my title, the only class better than this was Mrs. I’s Lang class and perhaps Mrs. Richman’s APUSH class…see a trend? Mrs. I is an awesome teacher who really understands her students and while pushing them hard to do their best, stretch themselves, and exceed the standards expected on the AP exam, also keeps in mind their crazy school schedules, unexpected events, and their human-ness I suppose. ;) And, well, I guess Mrs. I learned from her mom, right? ;) This past year I had really challenging family circumstances that most people don’t go through, and Mrs. I was amazingly understanding and was always ready to talk with me about anything I was concerned about in class and my actual, “non-school” self. If you take this class I guarantee you that you will NOT get a teacher who is distant, cold, or unfair…after two years of being her student and a year of TAing, I can tell you that she’s about as far from those characteristics as Gatsby was from despair. Yeah, bad analogy. But c’mon, Gatsby and Heart of Darkness ARE my two favorite books I read in this course...so give me a little break. ;)

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Um, a capital YES YES YES. I went into the AP exam soooo confident, and that rarely is the case for me, as I’m by nature a worrier and I’ll fret about allll my tests, even the ones I’ve spent months studying for. While I was a bit concerned about what topic Question 3 on the exam (the open-ended question in which you need to choose a book to answer the prompt) was going to be on, I was pretty confident on all the analyzing MCQs and the essays. Throughout the year we’d write 1 AP essay a week – at least – with that number increasing in second semester. We also had to take 5-6 practice MCQs, and do little exercises afterwards to make sure we learned from our mistakes. Oh, and as a side note – this course won’t JUST help with AP exams but also for the SAT and the SAT subject test in Literature…I got 800s on both my critical reading SAT and the Lit subject tests and I’m 100% convinced that if I hadn’t taken Lit and Lang that would not have been the case. So take this class!!!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

That’s a toughie…it really depended on the week and even the day. Yeah, I know that’s not much help. The assignments in Lit are daily, so it just depended on what was assigned…some days I’d spend four hours reading the assigned pages, responding to the morning message, and writing the required number of discussion questions, and other days I’d just respond to the morning message and edit a paper or respond to classmates’ essays for maybe two hours. In general though, I’d say in a typical week I’d spend a total of 16-18 hours a week on Lit.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Um, YES. Mrs. I had us writing FRQs even like the third week of class, so that was sooo helpful, having feedback on “real” AP essays quite literally the entire year. Also, in each semester we had one “big” project. First semester was a paper on several short stories and second semester was on two novels…and both papers, but especially the spring one, were immensely eye-opening. I was able to analyze The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby SO in-depthly (yup, I invented a word, like any, uh, good AP Lit student…) and after reading Gatsby a total of probably 5 times over the past school year as a result, I love the book soooo much :D And it also helped me dig deeper into those two books and gave me two very viable options for Question 3 on the exam.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Once again, a definite, definite YES. The very nature of the course revolves around LOTS of student-student interaction, which I just loved. I have some now-very-nearly-best-friends whom I met in Lang and who were with me again in Lit, and I met some new people too. There’s something amazing about having amazinggg friends scattered throughout the States, many of whom (who didn’t go to the AP Party – shame!!) I’ve never met, yet who understand me better than and are there for me more than my friends here in Maryland. Most of my AP friends are heading to college this year, while I’m a rising senior, but we are keeping in touch like crazy…the relationships you’ll forge in this class if you interact and go beyond the required interaction will amaze you. :)

------

I tried to keep this short, much shorter than my probably-several-thousand-word review for Lang last year. :) If I could repeat a year in Mrs. I’s classes – which, believe me, they were such awesome classes that I truly wish I could – I could probably pick Lang, just because of the amazing way my classmates and I just gelled and the specific assignments that were more up my alley slightly, but Lit is downright amazing, head and shoulders above 90% of the classes I’ve taken in high school. TAKE THIS CLASS. You’ll be so glad you did. :) 


Everyone deserves TEA* posted by Nina Camillone on June 10 2013 at 24:49:51

Disclaimers: You might not want to take this class. It will shake up, turn upside down and inside-out, poke, prod, and polish your view of short stories, novels, drama and poetry. Possibly it will strengthen your literary analysis skills to the point where you can't just plain read anymore without seeing symbolism, irony, suspense, and other techniques of their cohort haunting you at every corner, and maybe half-recognizing a few characters from previous adventures. You might find yourself surrounded by crazy classmates who don't even sing normal words to songs half the time because they write their own, and they might convince some of you to wear ridiculous costumes or speak in a strange voice to act out scenes from a play you're reading for the course. Weigh these costs carefully.

If, despite these grave and dire warnings, you decide to take this course . . . one last word of advice. BEWARE of an absolutely fantastic, caring, attentive, and patient teacher who WILL push you to do your best, answer your questions, help you hone your essay-writing and literature-analyzing skills, motivate you with pictures and/or videos of her adorable daughter, and maybe even write college application recommendation letters for you.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

*TEA = To Excel at AP English. Lame, I know. But take this class!! And again, don't say I didn't warn you. :)


AP Lit is awesome! posted by Jack Novack on June 06 2013 at 18:53:32

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam, the student interaction and the active TAs/teacher really helped me in studying and understanding the material from Perrine's Lit. There is an excellent forum system on the class website, and any questions or confusions were always answered very quickly. 

I worked about two hours per day on this course, so about 10 hours per week. Not an incredibly difficult load of work. More so considering that the majority of our homework was written essays, which, if approached with the right attitude, are fun. 

My favorite assignments were the AP essays that we wrote multiple times per week. Writing them and reading/reviewing those of others really helped me understand the difference between a boring essay that restates the question and a powerful essay that argues a point. 

"Did the course enhance my interest in the subject." Well... I certainly find reading classical (and even commercial) fiction more interesting, and I can pick up and recognize a lot more literary devices now. So yes, this course brings you to a new level of reading comprehension. IF this question, however, is asking whether or not I would consider an English major because of this class... no, not for me.  

The communications between myself and the other students in the class were excellent. There is a very well organized and easy to use forum on the main page of the website, so class interaction is very frequent. We are also required to respond to the essays, papers, and comments of others, so we not only meet other people but get to learn a LOT from them. 

A student with a background in literature will excell in this course. If you already know a good format for a paper, how to use adjectives, and how to makes sentences relatively smooth, you will very quickly grasp the connection between writing beautifully and writing a beautiful argument. Like all AP courses, you will have to work hard in this class, and occasionally you will open the WWW Board in the morning to discover a challenging assignment you know will take a long time, but if you a resilient this class will pay off. By the end of the year you begin to understand everything, and the class as a whole becomes very enjoyable.

Many of you may know this from reading the reviews and course description, but Mrs. Inspektor has not had a student score below a 3 on the AP test in something like two or three years, so rest assured, she is an excellent teacher who will do her best to teach you the information you need to know to pass the AP test.


Well Worth the Time It Took! posted by Bethany Gardner on June 06 2013 at 03:48:21

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


Yes. We went into this test confident (and often far more prepared than the students at the school where we took our exams!).

AP English tests aren't the sort of thing you can study for overnight; they test skills more than factual knowledge. You need to know basic rhetorical devices and poetry terminology, as well as a good range of books for the open question, but beyond that, it's analysis and writing skills that you can't cram in a week of frantic studying. But we learned these things throughout the year and will take them beyond the exam.

As an added bonus, AP Literature multiple choice questions make the SAT critical reading a stroll in the park (although you'll take SAT essay prompts) and the SAT Literature Subject test very doable.


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Since you're often reading two books at once (one for regular assignments and another for your book club), this class does have a heavy workload. I believe I averaged around 12 hours a week, including reading on the weekends. Be prepared to live and breath your novel comparison paper books for three weeks and to start quoting or referencing your literature books as much as you can without your friends/family yelling at you.

However, this class is well worth the time it takes! The reading, though dark and depressing at times (the best books show humanity for what it truly is, and, well, humanity's rather terrible), is fascinating. My critical thinking, analysis, and overall writing improved tremendously this year, and I made wonderful connections with my classmates.


Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?


The novel comparison paper. Yes, it ate up my "spring break." Yes, I got yelled at for quoting Crime and Punishment excessively. Yes, I spent at least 8 hours finishing and perfecting this paper the day it was due.

But I turned out what is currently my finest piece of writing, and I loved living in those books.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, but I was already planning to be an English major or minor.


Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?


Definitely! The book clubs are the runner up to the question before last. We usually met via G+ hangouts, and the live discussions allowed us to synthesize our ideas and work through difficult questions and concepts together (as well as have hilarious sidetracks).

I had the pleasure of meeting 1/3 of this class at the AP Party, and it was awesome. Nonstop book references, exploring the Richman's whimsical house, finding poetry Mrs. Inspektor wrote at the age of 6, Paradise Lost and AP exam parodies of popular songs, and sleeping in a cupboard that looked like the attic passageway in The Magician's Nephew.

Based on my experience in this class, I'm looking to apply to a selective or honors college in the attempt to find classmates like these--bright, motivated, interesting, and diverse. They made it worth being in a class.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?


If you are willing to devote the time, I would highly recommend this course!

"Over-thinkers"--people who read between the lines and analyze everything--seem to enjoy AP Lit and high-level literature classes in general. I've also found the propensity to make sometimes-unorthodox connections (between parts of a novel, a prompt and book, or two different books/poems) is helpful.

This course focuses on ideas more than actual writing, so it is assumed you are fairly comfortable with essay writing, grammar, and mechanics beforehand.

 

Other:

AP Lang or AP Lit?


There are people who did very well in AP Lit without having done AP Lang, but the general consensus is that you are better prepared if you do AP Lit second. This is because AP Language focused much more on style, helping you develop a clear writer's voice and construct sound arguments (without those, even the most insightful analysis falls flat). Also, the analysis in AP Language tends to be at a different level-- more of how language conveys a meaning or effect, instead of what that effect it.

Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher!

People were saying that they felt more connected to her half-way around the world than to the college professors the saw every day. Mrs. Inspektor has a gift for continual encouragement and constructive criticism.


Absolutely Fantastic! The best class ever! posted by Tejal Sarbaugh on May 29 2013 at 23:35:46

     This class has been the best literature class I have ever taken! Though the work was tough at times, it was never more than we could handle at a time. I definitely felt prepared on exam day. Not only that, but I also feel a lot more confident about the papers and work I will have to face in college. The level of work presented in this class improved my writing skills, analysis skills, and fed my love of literature. 

     The interactions in the class with Mrs. Inspektor, the TA's, and the students were phenomenal. Never during the year did I feel discouraged when it came to my work. Rather, I felt motivated by their constructive criticism and unfailing support. I would recommend this class in heartbeat! I've already mentioned it to a few friends who were interested in taking an AP English course. If you're hard-working, ambitious, and are interested in any form of writing or literature, TAKE THIS CLASS! 


Definitely take this class! posted by Suzanne McLendon on May 25 2013 at 14:47:09


Seriously amazing class. posted by Hannah R on May 21 2013 at 02:29:17

I felt very prepared for the exam. We did a LOT of timed essay practice, so by the time I got to the exam I was writing 4/5 pages of essay in 40 minutes (the AP Englishes will do that to you :) ), and so that part of the exam felt fairly routine/easy. Multiple choice is always a little tricky, but Mrs. Inspektor did an awesome job of helping explain the different strategies to deal with that part of the test, and she also provided us with a wide variety of assigned readings such that I wasn't very phased by any of the styles of passages on the exam. 

It honestly varied. Some days I'd put in about 30 minutes. The typical day was probably about an hour though, maybe a little more. During the two major assignments, the short story mini paper and the novel comparison paper, I spent WAY more time on the assignments. For the novel comparison paper, which we did in early-ish April, I probably spent about 30-40 hours over the course of a week working on it. So while it may seem like a deceptively light workload at times, don't let it fool you--the major assignments fully make up for those days where the assignments only take a few minutes :) But the two papers we worked on were so much fun and so awesome that the time spent working on them was well worth it. 

The novel comparison paper was just a fantastic experience. It's this 10 page paper, and the premise behind it is to take a past AP prompt (or create your own prompt like I did) and answer it using two novels by comparing and contrasting them. I used Frankenstein and Dracula, and overall it helped me not only have a fully understanding of the two books, but also forced me to think about writing larger papers. It was a bit of a challenge getting it to all flow coherently, but it was a very rewarding paper and a really great way to wrap up the class. 

Oh, definitely. Although I'm entering college next year as an intended engineering major, I decided to apply to one of my school's residential programs (a living community within the dorm), which is focused on bringing together people interested in literature and culture. I'm very much hoping to be a part of that next year since discussing literature has grown on me very much this year. 

Yes! This (along with AP English Language) was one of the most interactive online AP classes I've taken. I felt like I got to know all of my classmates even though we hadn't actually met. I'm really hoping to meet a bunch of them next year in person, and I can't wait. :) 

I would recommend this course to anyone who is passionate about reading, who wants to improve their skills as a writer, and who likes to have discussions with people of all different opinions. This was my second course with Mrs. Inspektor, and I can honestly say that after being in her class for 2 years, I feel thoroughly prepared to jump into college English classes. Her classes not only helped prepare me for the respective AP Exams, but also helped me with writing various essays for my college applications. They truly were invaluable, and I found this class to be just so informative and so interesting because it taught me so many things about literature that I previously overlooked. You don't have to be the best writer to take this class--Mrs. Inspektor will guide you along the way, and I think her constructive criticism has helped the entire class gorw together in their abilities. I also just want to say that the TAs this year were absolutely fantastic, and gave us a lot of good tips and feedback over the course of the year. Overall, if you're willing to work hard and you truly have an interest in literature, take this course. It will change the way you view literature, but in a good way :) 


Contained Herein: AP Lit, Squirrels, and one Sorting Hat posted by Olivia Cockley on May 20 2013 at 22:49:03

AP lit is an excellent course and it is ultimately very rewarding, although it is not for the faint of heart!  There were times throughout the year when I was absolutely in LOVE with the class and other times when I never wanted to think about it EVER AGAIN!   But, if I had the choice to do it over again, I definitely would. 

I felt very well prepared for the AP exam.  I wasn’t panicking like a squirrel in the middle of a road, not sure which way to run because of the essays  trucks bearing down from both directions.  I was scared, yes, but part of that fear was dread of going to a high school, DURING SCHOOL HOURS, to take the AP exam.  (I guess you could say I have publicschoolophobia.  But then again, what homeschooler doesn’t, right?)  We wrote essays responding to AP level-prompts taken from the Collegeboard website every other week and in the second semester started taking timed multiple-choice tests taken from previous exams.  Even when we weren’t writing actual essays, we were analyzing some EXCELLENT books (Wuthering Heights <3<3) and responding to discussion prompts.  I felt quite prepared and so will you, if you take this class. 

As far as how many hours I put into this class each day, I’m not sure of an exact total.  However, the assignments are usually not something you can dash off in 30 minutes.  You’ll have to be prepared to put time and effort (and sweat, tears, and possibly even blood!) into this class, but IT’S ALL WORTH IT!  This class will stretch you in so many ways that some days you’ll feel like a limp piece of elastic, but you’ll learn soo much through it.  (And your brain will regain its normal shape.  I promise.) 

I do have one regret about this amazing class: I only did one bookclub.  Bookclubs involve choosing a book to read and meeting through Skype or Gchat to discuss it with several classmates.  Because of various forces beyond my control such as the amount of other schoolwork I had this year, I was only able to do one bookclub.  It was really fun and don’t be like me; DO BOOKCLUBS!!  Anyway, chatting with other students is important and I really wish that I had done more of that.  It would have been fun to do more bookclubs and it’s always helpful to have someone to swap practice essays with. 

This class is fun, but it is not for everyone!  I know some of the reviews say that this is a class for everyone, that everyone should take it.  I’m not going to say that.  If you like literature, want to challenge yourself as a writer, or enjoy writing, then go for it!  However, it is a lot of writing and reading.  If you struggle with writing or plan on majoring in Outdoor Education in college, then this class is not for you.  Choose wisely; there is no AP class sorting hat to choose for you! 

Over all, I would highly recommend this class to you guys.  It’s a great class, I think you’ll enjoy it, and I KNOW you’ll learn a lot.  Mrs. Inspektor is a WONDERFUL, SUPER-HELPFUL teacher who goes way beyond EVERYTHING to be helpful and supportive.  Over the course of this class, you will fall in love (wonderful books!), party with a mysterious rich dude, discover ultimate darkness, and possibly murder your wife with a pillow!  Hang on to your hats, folks, it’s quite a ride!  


A Class Anyone Interested in Literature Should Take posted by William Jepma on May 20 2013 at 14:56:49

As a student who plans on majoring in Writing, I knew I would be taking AP Literature courses throughout high-school, but really, I had no idea I would learn as much as I did from Mrs. Inspektor's class. It was a lot of work (I do mean a lot) but it was so worth it. I probably put in an hour or two a day on average, more than that when we were studying for the exam or preparing for a big paper, but even though I worked hard, I never really felt over-worked. The many assignments Mrs. Inspektor assigned us were daunting at first, but because she gave us plenty of time to work on them, and detailed guides on how to go about writing the papers, I never turned in an important project late, or felt that the finished work was anything less than my best.

There were so many parts of this class that I loved. From the essays I had to write (which were influential in preparing me for the exam) to just chatting with my fellow classmates, this class was an experience I won't soon forget. It showed me a side of classic literature I never knew existed, and I've discovered my passion for stories goes deeper than just heroes and heroines. Because of books like The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, I've not only found out that literary fiction is not always dull, but that literature can be so much more than just fantasy.

I've made friendships in this class that I hope will last a lifetime, learned things I will never forget, and discovered a part of myself I didn't really know existed. Yes, the class worked me, it challenged me, but when it finally came time to take the final exam at the end of the year, I can honestly say I've never felt so confident. I really was prepared for it, and couldn't be happier about how I feel I did on the exam.

If you're somoene who enjoys reading literature, take this class. If you want to learn how to get more out of reading, take this class. If you want to challenge yourself to be a better writer, then definitely take this class. I don't regret taking it, and I don't think you will either.


a great class for anyone posted by Hannah Huynh on May 20 2013 at 14:30:14

As a math/science inclined student, I was very apprehensive about this class.  I was a pretty wide-read student from previously literature classes, but analyzing prose and poetry was just very challenging to me.  Mrs. Inspektor was an amazing instructor who provided us with many opportunities to develop those analytical skills particularly in her discussion question assignments.  I felt prepared for the exam in knowing many techniques to use to score high on the MCQ and many great books to write my essay on.  I spent about 10 hours a week on this class.  The daily assignments itself took maybe 7 hours total each week but we also did book clubs and that was my absolutel favorite.  We students would form our own groups and finish reading and analyzing a book in several weeks.  I really liked the weekly Google+ hangouts arranged with my classmates in discussing themes, motives, symbols, etc. from the book because that really helped my analytical skills and helped me appreciate literature more.  The wwwboard was a great place to communicate because Mrs. I posts daily messages so everyone has to respond daily.  That means every student is checking the website daily so if you have a question that's posted, there are many people who are willing to answer.  I was very fortunate my year to have three amazing TAs who would read over my two large essay assignments.  To succeed in this class, you have to do the assignments daily instead of cramming all in one day, but Mrs. I gives you everything you need to be successful.  So, though I was initially worried about this class, I worked hard and was able to do well in the class.


Take this class if you want to learn why classics are classics. (And much more.) posted by Sarah Kane on May 17 2013 at 24:33:32

I'll admit it, before this course I was COMPLETELY dubious about taking ANY AP literature course. 

I am (cough, cough *WAS*) not a classics person. I liked some books I'd read over the years for school, like Jane Eyre . . . that is, the parts I'd chosen to read instead of skim over. That was eigth grade, though, at a prestigious private school where they didn't really care if we'd actually read the books, only that the titles were on the class syllabus and that we carried our Penguin Editions around with pride.

I was really bitter about this.

I wanted to read experimental fiction thrillers and things I actually ENJOYED. Shoot me. Also note that at the time I was extremely proud of this fact and possible maybe sort of had a reputation for being that person with the guts to write "WHY AM I READING THIS" on the front cover of Julius Ceaser. I didn't see any point to reading Austen if you didn't want to--I mean, yeah, awesome story but I don't want to write essays on it and blah blah blah, I'm sure my classmates wanted to strangle me every time we got a new book and I started my rant on classical education and how phony and boring it all was. For multiple reasons, I ended up leaving that school. =P

THEN came Mrs. Inspektor's lang class (this is a review for lit, but my praise starts with lang!) which completely stopped me in tracks with everything school related. Oh my word, that class....changed EVERYTHING! I adored it, I feel like it taught me how to write....but still, I was loathe to take her lit class because I still didn't see any point to classics, and I'd read most of them anyway and theeeyyyy wwweeerrreee boooorrriiiinnnnggggggg.....but thank goodness I have a mother who doesn't let me choose all my classes based on what sounds good.

I took lit, and yes, the books were hard, the workload was intense, the time I spent blew private school lit class out of the water, but NO--

THEY WERE NOT BORING.

I honestly don't know what it is about Mrs. Inspektor's classes, but she can make even the snobbiest, anti-literature person get through these tough, tough novels and enjoy them in the process. Heart of Darkness, my own personal enemy, actually turned into something I spent hours dwelling on after the book, talking to people about, googling at two in the morning, and re-reading. YOU HEARD ME, *RE-READING*....I read Gatsby twice, too. And GOSH, I feel like I got so much out of these novels. I don't think I can go back to reading summer romance novels again. Heck, I don't think I can even WRITE romance again. Unless it's a simmering soul-fest like Wuthering Heights, or a culturally enlightening commentary like The Great Gatsby, which, though I HATED in eigth grade, I love now. Love. I haven't even seen the movie yet because I'm worried they will have missed the entire point of the book, because they didn't take Mrs. Inspektor's class! 

****ACTUAL REVIEW OF CLASS BEGINS HERE****

Mrs. Inspektor IS PHENOMENAL! The most kind, encouraging, involved, real, funny, and smart teacher ever. It's impossible to believe she's thousands of miles away....I feel like I know her AND her cute baby better than any of my college professors from this year. Her daily updates are crucial for keeping an easily distracted person like me on track, and the deadlines, which may seem very numerous, are also a really helpful part of the class set up.

The books are great. Read them. Read them again. 

The PEOPLE...oh, the peope that take these classes. Maybe I've just been blessed with incredible classmates for the past two years in Mrs. I's classes, or maybe being soooo nice is one of those things Mrs. I specifically requires in a student. Let me tell ya, there's more comraderie in these classes than in ANY I've taken before. Bookclubs are fabulous, fun, and a great way to get to know people in a really casual way. It doesn't ever feel like "school" when I'm skyping with a bunch of awesome people and we're all drinking tea and discussing Frankenstein. I got to actually MEET one of my classmates this year (wwwoooooaaahhh!) and we went to see a play together-one we'd studied in lit! It was AWESOME. 

So, should you take this class? 

I don't know, are you awesome? THEN YES! Do you like classics? THEN YES! Do you hate classics? THEN AN EVEN BIGGER YES! It's just a WIN for you. There's a lot of work, but every minute of it is ENTIRELY worth it. You'll cry when class ends because you'll miss it so much. I loved Mrs. Inspektor's class(es). And I'm not a school person. But in lit, you'll do more than school. You'll get to use your brain, enjoy discussion, enjoy people, and see RESULTS. It will change you! 

TAKE THIS CLASS! Put on a cape and send in your application RIGHT NOW! It will be so worth it. If I could take this class again, I WOULD. And there are very few (like, no other) classes I would say that about. OKAY I'LL STOP BEING MUSHY, JUST TAKE THE DARN CLASS ALREADY.


Just Take the Class. Go. posted by Alexandria Sewell on May 17 2013 at 12:33:28

Absolutely! We explored and analyzed a wide array of books, and I can definitely tell my writing has gotten better. 

The morning messages varied day to day, but usually, it was a hour a day. Though, certain assignments required more work. 

Since this course introduced me to one of my most favorite books in the world now (The Glass Menagerie), I guess all assignment related to this play was my favorite. 

Mhm! I'm considering majoring in Comparative Literature in college. 

Interesting! These guys are best. :)

If you want to work hard, read awesome books, and have the cutest mascot ever (Mrs. Inspektor's baby Nitsah is just too adorable), take this class!


Sign Up!!! (aka, I'm jealous of you since you can take this class and I've already finished but want to take it again) posted by Abby Casey on June 01 2012 at 15:16:27

Before I launch into this review, I have a question for you, the prospective student:  What do you want from this class?  Mrs. Inspektor is the most amazing teacher I have ever had.  By the time you finish this class, she will have equipped you with the vocabulary, analysis skills, and critical thinking skills to approach the test with confidence.  More than that, if you determine to put everything you've got (excuse the imprecision) into your writing, Mrs. Inspektor will teach you to cultivate your writing to a point where your style is recognizably, uniquely yours. 

Every one of my fellow students had some similarities that I think are crucial in someone looking to take Mrs. Inspektor's class.  You'll have to be willing to work hard on every project.  While some of the assignments are easier than others, they're all important to your understanding of literature.  You will have to be dedicated.  You'll have to participate in class assignments (they are so much fun).  And you have to love to read.  And write.  Honestly, this is a class for dedicated students who want to expand their writing and analysis, and who desire an amazing teacher to guide them on their way.

I spent 2 hours per day on class work, both reading, and completing daily assignments. However, as the year progressed, we wrote a lot of essays (sometimes 3 per week), all of which take 40 minutes each.  That added on to my homework and weekend studying.  In addition, there were extra bookclubs, and reading and writing I assigned myself in order to better prepare.  I will say, though that sounds like a lot of work, it was so much fun, the time flew.

HUGELY!  All of my classmates were amazing, and taught me through both their own work, and their kind criticism of my own.  Some of these kids have definitely become my e-mail buddies.=)  Also, anytime I had a question, it was almost immediately answered by either the amazing Mrs. Inspektor, the superbe TAs, or a knowledgeable classmate.  For our bookclubs, we used several different methodsp (Skype, g-chat, e-mail).  I definitely feel as though I know my classmates, although I never met any vis-a-vis.

I always got feedback on my work both from Mrs Inspektor and my classmates, which not only helped me hone in on rough spots in my writing technique but helped to develop my thinking.  Mrs. Inspektor's comments are always kind, and very encouraging - as were the other kids' in class.

I never thought I'd read Heart of Darkness or the Great Gatsby.  Not only did I read them (several times), I ENJOYED reading them.  I've also found that even though I might not like a book (I still don't LIKE Heart of Darkness, sorry Eva-Marie), there is always something worthwhile to learn from reading it.  And that's just one example!  Even books I'd already read and loved became fresh and inspiring as I learned the subtleties and nuances of their details.  So, to answer the question, how did my perspective on literature grow this past year:  exponentially!

Time management.  I loved the class so much I didn't want to study anything else!  I really did have to discipline myself to study less, um, fun, subjects, such as Calculus. =) 

All of them!  I actually can't pick.  That reason they were all so fun was simply because of the attitude of the class. Everyone is so excited to learn and share their thoughts, that every Sunday, when I received assignments for the week, was exciting!  I will say though, I particularly liked the final, Spring Semester paper.  It was fun to take all those analysis skills and flesh out my observances into something longer than just a 3 paragraph essay.

I found that though the course is focused on exam prep, Mrs. Inspektor prevented the course from becoming dry or repetitive.  In fact, she really focuses on your overall knowledge of literature and builds your skills all around.  This in itself prepares you perfectly for the exam.

Sign up!  This was a great class with great kids and a great teacher.  I love it.  And you will too! =)


Great, challenging class! posted by Mark Olsen on May 22 2012 at 16:08:15

Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class is a great challenge. While I took me an hour or so a day to complete assignments, most of the challenge came through the content of the work. Reading tough books and writing numerous essays and papers definitely prepared me for the exam. Mrs. Inspektor does a great job of pushing her students to do/be more through fun and engaging assignments like the spring Novel Comparison Paper. After taking the class, I definitely have a great appreciation for literature. I've always enjoyed it, but now I love it on a deeper sense. Now, I don't just appreciate what a book says, I appreciate what it is.

Communicating with other students is extremely important in this class. While the choice is yours, I found that the students that communicate and interact with each other did better on essays and papers. If you like literature, reading, book, challenges, and (yes) fun, then you should certainly take this class.


An absolutely amazing course! posted by Thomas Nath on May 21 2012 at 15:55:32

Yes, I felt extremely prepared.  I felt incredibly confident on the exam.

Maybe 7-8 hours a week--about an hour a weekday.  There's usually a response to a Morning Message, some reading/writing work, and maybe an essay at the end of the week, so it's very manageable.  What's great about the course is that there are absolutely zero unnecessary assignments; everything is very well designed so you get the most out of it.

Probably the novel comparison paper or our literary themes paper.  The first required a comparison of two novels (2500 word limit) and the second was an outline of a particular author and the themes in his/her work (1500).  Both were incredibly fun to write, and prepare you for the rigors of a college-length paper.

I loved literature already, but the class definitely exposed me to areas of literature I hadn't previously enjoyed, and I ended up loving everything we read.  I'm a major proponent of the short story style now.

Yes.  You meet a ton of people through this course and interact daily, which I loved.

I recommend this to absolutely anyone.  Mrs. Inspektor is a FANTASTIC teacher who will prepare you for the exam, but more importantly give you an understanding of literature that is extremely comprehensive and thorough. 


Tales of an Enlightened Lit Survivor posted by Matthew Fonken on May 18 2012 at 20:52:25

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

All students! Coming in as a science/math geek thinking I really didn’t need AP English, I learned to enjoy the complexities of our language and how it is much more than a single dimension of words.

 

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

Get ready to work your hardest and more importantly, get to know your own creative, closet-poet self.

 

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

~10+/-5 hours, it really depended on the week and I did get a ton faster as we went.

 

To what extent was this class interactive?

Responding to responses of responses. We really got to know each other through guided and free discussions, and personally through book clubs. With something everyday, this class was very interactive.

 

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

With everyone glimpsing various facets of the same assignment, the feedback was usually eye-opening critique and support. Mostly, my issue was that I tried writing so complex that it didn’t make any sense and so sometimes criticism was on the verge of harsh but other times optimistic, and always helpful.

 

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

I learned to respect poetry and creative writing in general much more as I learned how much goes into it. Although I don’t plan to become a Lit major, I’ll always appreciate great writing and maybe just writing something of my own.

 

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

It’s a tie between time and fear. There were days I took me an hour or two to write a paragraph, but that also sprouted from the fear of writing something wrong. Once I got to know my classmates, I let my creative side take over whether or not it was ‘orthodox’ or not. By the end, overcoming that fear carried over into overcoming the test, barely being nervous at all.

 

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

I’d have to say the 10 page spring paper. It was actually very fun to dig out every single symbol and secret of each book. Even though I chose Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies, depression central, I enjoyed letting my creativity shine.

 

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

Mostly reading AP books like Cliffs and lists of words, and telling myself I’m totally ready.

 

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:

This class is a hard journey, one you take with a handful of classmates, friends, just like you. If you let you out, you’ll learn to flourish practically as a writer and reader and creatively as a thinker and dreamer. It’s worth every minute. 


Amazing, strenuous class! posted by Taylor Reynolds on May 18 2012 at 18:20:30

Toward the end of Junior year, I began thinking about AP classes for Senior year.  Part of which was to chose between AP Lit and AP Lang.  After being told Lang was geared more toward my strengths, I thought I would take it, but ended up choosing Lit.  I cannot say I have never regretted it; however, it has been an amazing class and one of my favorites from high school.  This class has stretched me more than all (save one) classes I have taken. 

 

Having said that, TAKE THIS CLASS! :)  It has been an absolutely amazing experience, and one from which I have gained exponentially.  It prepared me extremely well for the AP exam.  Mrs. Inspektor is a great teacher and obviously loves her work.  I spent on average 2.5 hrs a day, but this was because I did several book clubs each month instead of the requited one.

 

My favorite assignments were writing a letter to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about how his poetry had influenced my life, and our monthly book clubs.  The book clubs were where I learned the most about analysing literature.  By discussing the elements within great works we were able to glean from each other to form a more complete view of the work.  Specifically, my book club for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead stands out as exceptional.  It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my high school career.  In reading it, I was able to profit from and enjoy a writer and work with which I strongly disagreed. 

 

I have always loved great books, but this course helped me to analyse them and poetry which more skill.  It also helped me to see the value of more modern works such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

 

All my classmates in PA homeschoolers classes have been amazing, but this group was nigh unto extraordinary!  We had an amazing year, and our interaction went far beyond profitable.  Whether it was proofreading each others Spring Lit papers 20minutes before the deadline or doing an extra book club just for fun, we had a great experience and worked well together.

 

I would say any student who is moderately interested in Literature, hard-working and curious about life would do well.  It won't be easy, but what we gain too easily we esteem too lightly.  It is a magnificent class, and you won't regret taking the class.


Amazing class, teacher, classmates... everything!! posted by Marisa Chow on May 17 2012 at 19:19:39

I'm going to repeat what everyone before has said: take this class!!! It's given me such a better understanding of and love for literature. Some English teachers find reconciling the concepts of teaching students how to decipher lit and the need to teach to the AP exam at the end of the year, but Mrs. Inspektor does both... flawlessly! I not only walked into that exam room completely ready for any multiple-choice question or free-response question, but over this year I've also grown in my writing skills and love for literature. 

ABSOLUTELY! We write... around 15 FRQ essays over this year, which might sound like a lot, but isn't. It is just the right number for a student to not be overwhelmed with essay writing, but also develop a comfortability that comes with practice. When you sit down in May with that AP Lit exam booklet in front of you, you know what to do. I wasn't even that nervous about the essays because we'd had such great practice. Of course, Mrs. I also prepares you for the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) by posting "Discussion Questions" on the website. Not only will you know how to answer questions, but you'll be able to decipher high-level literature. 
I generally put 1-2 hours into AP Lit every day. There are daily assignments. Of course, if you have a large project due, then that time increases (as with all classes). 
Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the Spring Semester Paper Assignment most... for that assignment, we compared two works of literature according to an AP Lit prompt. I spent a lot of time on it, but I ended up writing one of my best English pieces because of it. Plus, you really learn these two works, so by the time the exam rolls around, you've already got two high-level works of literature prepared.
Absolutely! I've always loved to read, but this year I learned how to actually read a piece of fine literature... and extract the hidden meanings behind words. This doesn't dampen the experience, but rather enriches it. I don't know what I'll do in college, but I know I'll always enjoy literature. 
Skype and GMail chats were extremely helpful this year! The book clubs that we form are... irreplaceable -- both interesting and valuable. I learned much from Mrs. Inspektor, but I also learned tons from just listening to my extremely smart classmates. :) They picked out things that I wouldn't have noticed, and I'm sure I might have returned the favor now and then. When you're in a group of intelligent readers, you become more of one yourself. (Iron sharpens iron, etc.) 
You do have to work hard. AP Lit took up a lot of my time. Although it's definitely manageable to get work done every day, beware of falling behind as work adds up quickly!! I'd recommend this course to students who are at least a little interested in literature (or are willing to become interested) and can manage their time well... Of course, if you hate reading and writing, this isn't the class for you. My advice: be a willing participant. Actively discuss literature with others and don't be shy about asking questions! 
In conclusion: take this class!!!! It's absolutely worth your time and effort. You'll not only come out of the class with a better understanding of how to decipher literature, but also a confidence in conquering future Lit classes. :)


A review of AP English Literature (creative, right?) posted by Anna Mitchell on May 15 2012 at 20:07:22

- Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

YES! When I walked into that exam room, I knew I was as ready as I’d ever be. By 8:00 on May 10, I’d taken four practice tests, written two lengthy literary analysis papers, read many great books that I knew I could use for the open question prompt (AKA "the Beast"), and practiced my writing skills with the nearly weekly essays assigned from past AP prompts. I felt no need to cram the last week or so before the exam because I knew that every bit of work and all the systematic review assigned throughout the year had prepared me completely.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I’d say about 1-2 hours per day (though I was really only working four days a week because I had co-op on Friday, plus an essay, usually about an hour long, due Sunday night that I would complete over the weekend) for the required assignments - discussion questions, reading, responses to Mrs. Inspektor’s daily “Morning Messages,” etc. Beyond that, though, Mrs. I also required us to participate in book clubs with our classmates - we’d form groups to discuss a book, then meet over Skype, Google Chat, or Google Docs to talk and document our discussions. So there was the extra time commitment of reading at least one extra book per month and meeting to discuss - it would all depend on how long the books were.

- Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

One of my absolute favorite parts of this class was the book clubs! I loved meeting academically-minded teens from all across the country (haha, coordinating with time zones for book club meetings could get frustrating!) - I met some awesome people with whom I will definitely keep up my friendships. A few times we read plays aloud together over Skype, with each person taking a character or two. The book clubs allowed us to apply our literary analysis skills we were gaining in class to books of our choice (as long as they had literary merit, of course - no Twilight in AP Lit!), and also prepared us for the test by widening our repertoire of books that we could use for the open question. 

Another valuable assignment (though I can’t say I loved writing it) was the spring novel comparison paper. Mrs. Inspektor required us to choose an AP prompt and pick two novels to compare and contrast based on the prompt. The paper had to be 7-10 pages of in-depth analysis, and we also had to incorporate real literary criticism. The paper honed my writing skills, furthered (and sometimes tried) my patience and perseverance, strengthened my knowledge of MLA, and also made me very familiar with The Great Gatsby and Othello, the two works I chose. (On the test, I ended up using The Great Gatsby to answer the open question prompt, and I was able to write a detailed essay on it and even include some word-for-word quotes that I remembered from my paper!)

- Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, definitely. Until this class, I always knew I was missing something when I read the classics. Now, though, I feel so prepared to tackle harder books (and reread some I read before the class): understanding the deeper meaning behind the superficial plot, grasping symbolism, appreciating vivid word choice, and questioning the theme. I also have a MUCH greater appreciation for poetry, which I had pretty much neglected for the past few years. We studied some poems in this class that were practically gibberish for me at first, but then, with Mrs. Inspektor’s advice on rereading and her excellent discussion questions, they slowly began to make sense. I learned that poetry is such a powerful art form because it can communicate meaning in such a small, poignant package - every detail counts in a good poem. I’m not much of a creative writing/poetry/fiction person - my interests lean more towards economics, politics, math, and science - but this class definitely enhanced my interest in literature. I’ll definitely be doing some fiction reading over the summer, and maybe even meet again with my study group to discuss a book or two over Skype. 

- Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

YES!! I covered this earlier, but I’ll say it again: meeting all the awesome people in AP Lit was one of my favorite parts of this class. We chatted on the WWWBoard, about all things from music to Peeps to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. (Of course, we did actually talk about literature, as well.) Besides book clubs and WWWBoard discussion, a few of my classmates and I, inspired by the example of students from the previous year, formed a study group. We met every week to go over prompts, review books and practice tests, study terms, and, inevitably, joke around. Also, when we were reading Othello, several of us met on Skype to read it out loud, which turned out to be not only educational, but also a lot of fun - good memories include trying (and failing) to get one classmate to sing the “Willow” song from that play. :-) 

- What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

One of the things I think many of us realized through the year was that you don’t have to be some genius literary critic to do well in AP Lit. You just need to have a good work ethic (get all your work done and submit it on time!), follow instructions, and try hard! Some of my classmates were brilliant writers and they always got excellent grades, while I (not exactly the literary genius) kept chugging away, trying to write clear and concise analysis, and also received top scores. I was disappointed at, and humbled by, my first essay score - I’d been expecting much higher! - but as I followed Mrs. Inspektor’s advice (including her personal comments on my essay and also Morning Messages on topics like essay introductions, essay structure, and other helpful instruction), my essays began to improve greatly. I would certainly recommend this class to students who are willing to work hard, because it will greatly benefit their writing. 


One of the best online courses you can take posted by Hannah Andrews on May 15 2012 at 15:12:47

I've taken several online classes a year since 7th grade (none with PA Homeschoolers), and I can honestly say that this was my favorite! Mrs. Inspektor is extremely knowledgable, caring, and challenging, so my experience was just what I needed to focus and tune my study of English, writing, and literature.

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes!! I went into the test feeling SO prepared, because our constant regime of practice multiple choice sections and practice essays gave me the security of knowing exactly how it would go. Mrs. Inspektor also did a great job of commenting on our essays and helping us understand what the AP exam graders are looking for.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

This is hard to generalize, but I would usually spend about an hour to an hour and a half per day responding to the Morning Message and doing the assigned homework. I did like that everything was due by midnight on the day it was assigned, because it didn't leave me any room to procrastinate! This class is definitely hard work, especially with the academic bar that the other students set, and I spent more time on it than on any of my other dual-enrollment college classes.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

More than I ever imagined in August. My mom suggested this class, but I was apprehensive because I haven't had a lot of experience with creative writing, fiction, or formal English literary analysis. I have always been the one spending hours and hours on a research paper and picking up nonfiction at the library every time I go there! This course shifted my perception of literature, because it gave me the tools to succesfully analyze and dig into what I was reading.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Wow, another YES! (Is this getting repetitive yet?) My classmates are some of the most genius and hardworking people I know, and we had so much fun getting to know each other. I will bring away lots of good memories from the class, especially reading Othello on skype in the proper dramatic flair, critiquing each other's papers, and spending hours discussing a book in our assigned book clubs. The other students inspired me to always give my best effort and never stop thirsting for knowledge, mostly because we had so much in common though hundreds of miles apart.

Advice to prospective students:

Take this class! Take it if you love literature, but also take it if you're a little hesitant about studying literature and analyzing it. You will need to have strong basic English and writing skills, because those are the basis for all the essays we practice. I was a little shocked to get lower grades on my first few practice essays, because I have always been very successful in English classes, but the experience was the challenge I needed. Be prepared to spend time geeking out with your classmates about the search for justice in Frankenstein or the portrayal of the American dream in The Great Gatsby, because you will never regret it!


SIGN UP NOW! posted by Hannah Che on May 14 2012 at 22:31:49

This is honestly the best class I have ever taken.  And I've taken a lot of online classes, trust me.

Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class will stretch your mind and sharpen your skills in ways you've never thought possible. When I came into this course, I thought I was a pretty great writer and an equally great reader.   

Lets just say that I was a tad bit disillusioned.  By the end of the course, I had learned what truly great writing and literature is.  I learned that writing needed to be not only smooth and organized, but also concise, precise, insightful, and enthralling.  And this class taught me the tools to transform my writing. I was disappointed and quite confused by my low grade on my first essay, but Mrs. Inspektor's comments on that essay and on subsequent essays caused both my writing skills and love of writing to increase tremendously.  Having to write two massive papers took away my fear of writing massive papers (ha) and taught me how to relentlessly examine my work and edit with specificity and purpose-- my first paper dropped 1000 words after a week of focused (and very painful!) editing.  Analyzing poetry and learning about such things as iambic pentameter and assonance gave me an appreciation and understanding of poetry, something I had never really taken seriously.  Studying literary criticism, discussing novels in book clubs, and learning how to write four paragraphs analyzing a sentence of Heart of Darkness taught me that there is ultimately no end to the depth and material that can be analyzed and drawn out of a work of literature.

 My literature consumption previous to this course had consisted of an assortment of small, quite-easy novels, but by the end of the course, I had picked my way through multiple plays, complex novels, and the gritty Heart of Darkness. And...my understanding of literature went beyond the authors' use of literary devices-- I learned how to analyze the deeper meanings and overarching themes that were subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) communicated through each passage and chapter. Needless to say, this class taught me to LOVE literature, not just read it.

This class was also the most interactive class I've taken.  Everyone in our class was so awesome.  We'd have heated Skype meetings, group readings of Shakespeare, book club discussions over Google Doc, spontaneous threads on the WWWBoard (one in particular was a debate about marshmallow Peeps and chocolate and their representation of commercial and literary fiction), paper critiquing groups, email debates, etc. etc. etc.  This class was a ton of fun, now that I think about it. 

Now for practical statistics.  This class was one of the heavier (work-load wise) courses I took, and I generally put in around 1- 2 hours per weekday.  Mrs. I's daily Morning Messages and assignments were very helpful in preventing me from procrastinating and leaving everything to the end of the week (which I have done many times in other classes, I will confess).   

As for the all-important question concerning the AP exam... I was totally and unquestionably prepared for it by the end of the course.  This was actually one of the few APs that I didn't have to consciously review/cram for the week before the exam, since everything was covered so thoroughly and intensively throughout the course of the entire year.  The feeling of confidence I had as I walked into the exam room in May made all the hard work in this course really worth it.   

So if it isn't obvious already after reading this lengthy review...

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CLASS.  

Trust me, you won't regret it.  You'll not only leave fully prepared for the AP exam, but maybe become more in love with writing and literature than you previously anticipated.

-Hannah


posted by Evelyn Baert on May 14 2012 at 18:50:50

I read more books this year (22 in one semester) due to this class. I though they were spread out between class reading, book clubs, seperate book club, and reading requirements for Euro, I still tackled the bulk of me because of APlit. I am convinced this is also the result of APlang from last year, but I experienced the difference this year. Nothing will ever beat the drastic changes I've watched myself go through in reading and writing in your classes, Mrs. I. Whatever happens on the exam tomorrow, won't ruin how much APlit has benefited me. Thanks, Mrs. I!


I command thee! TAKE THIS CLASS! posted by Tynan Stewart on June 01 2011 at 02:14:24

Greetings student from the future!  Or, if I have my way, “Greetings student taking AP Lit with Mrs. Inspektor from the future! 

Even though you’ve almost certainly read plenty of informative, emotional and extremely helpful reviews from my classmates and past students, I’m going to treat you to my own humble class review.  I sincerely hope that it will assist you in the difficult task of balancing your coursework for next year!

So pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.  Grab a cold glass of lemonade if it suits you. I’m going tell a little tale.  It’s a tale that takes place in a land of wondrous adventure—a land known as Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class.  It’s a story of symbolism and success, trials and triumphs, alliteration and allegory.  And most of all, I hope it is a story so enthralling that you immediately sign up for AP Lit with Mrs. Inspektor!  So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…

We begin our journey through this magical land with a little round of Q and A.  Starting with, perhaps, your most pressing question…

Yes.  Absolutely, certainly, unquestionably yes.  I walked into that AP exam with a smile on my lips and the knowledge that, whatever those essay prompts and multiple choice questions were, Mrs. Inspektor had prepared me to ace ‘em!

Hmm, that’s difficult to figure.  As far as time per day goes, I probably spent, as an average, an 1 and ½ to 2 hours a day on assignments.  However it was usually quite more than that, because, quite frankly, Mrs. Inspektor’s class is the type of class that drives you to put the best into your work.  Had I declined to enter into the stimulating discussions with my fellows, I could’ve halved the time I spent on AP Lit.  But trust me on this: the interaction with amazing classmates and the building of friendships were key to the class.  Whether it was adding my thoughts to a heated debate or just bantering on the message board, it was all time well spent.

Another toughie—since I think that all of our assignments were valuable.  Add that to the fact that virtually all of them were my favorites and we have a bit of a dilemma.  Hmm…  If I had to pick, I would go with the “Novel Comparison” paper we did during the spring semester.  Basically, we were supposed to each pick two books and weave them together in a complex and nuanced analysis while also relating each novel to a particular AP prompt (of our choosing).  To me, that assignment represented the core of what Mrs. Inspektor taught us to do: to delve deeply in the murky depths of complexity and meaning and to think about, analyze and attempt to understand and articulate what we find there…

Although that was probably my favorite assignment of the year, I’d like to mention in passing a few of my runner-ups.  Discussion Questions (known affectionately as DQs) were definitely in my top three for the year.  These Mrs.-Inspektor-chosen-questions were not only always interesting, but also thought-provoking and, most exciting of all, given to sparking, er, heated discussions.  As I remember, our class split (with all proper civility, of course) over the difficult issue of picking the protagonist of Othello…  About 20 discussion posts later we reached (to most people) a reasonable consensus.  These types of interaction were DEFINITELY one of my top three favorite parts of class!

I don’t know if I’ve made this  point clear yet but YES!  One of the absolute most important things I gained from class (more important than whatever the College Board, in its infinite wisdom, decrees that I earned) is a fresh new way of looking at literature.  Shakespeare is not to be feared—he should be embraced!  Heart of Darkness is novella of infinite possibility—not a headache.  The Glass Menagerie is more than just a soap opera about a dysfunctional family—it’s a window into life and its struggles.  Mrs. Inspektor has done more, much more, than “enhance my interest in the subject.”  She has taught me to love literature; it’s as simple as that.

Interesting or valuable?  No, that’s a bad way of putting.  Now if the question said: “positively, absolutely, stupendously, and superbly awesome!!!” then yes.  All gushing praises aside though, my classmates were wonderful, absolutely wonderful this year.  I can say with all certainty that I would’ve been lost without my brilliant cohorts in discussing and analyzing.  Literature is just one of those things that can’t be fully appreciated without others; what’s the fun of noticing some awesome detail about Gatsby’s character and not having anyone to share it with??? (Even if they do decide to contradict you.)

“Would I recom”—well, what have I been doing this whole time???  ;)  In all seriousness though, I would recommend Mrs. Inspektor’s course to any student who is both able and willing to make hard thinking part of their daily routine.  This class is in no way easy, but therein lies the power.  If you’re willing to learn, work and keep learning and working—even through setbacks and disappointments—you will excel. 

And thus ends our chapter of this tale!  I think it would be a fitting point to say: “And they all lived (and kept reading) happily ever after!”


Take the Class! posted by Nathaniel Chaverin on May 28 2011 at 22:26:53

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely. I don't know if I would have come close to passing the AP Lit test without this class. The class taught me not only the knowledge required for the Multiple Choice section, but how to put complex literary ideas into my own words for the writing section. The curriculum (and of course our great teacher!) did a brilliant job of readying everyone for a tough test.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The final assignment paper took me to the next level of in-depth thinking about my chosen books. I really appreciated the challenge of analyzing and then integrating the messages of two very different works in supporting one message. That was probably the most mentally demanding (and fun) assignment. It also taught me a lot about writing and putting ideas together.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes it did. This class has really reminded me of the power of great literature. I'll admit I was nervous at first, but the work made me concentrate on the meaning instead of explaining it for me, and that really stretched me and took my mind off my fears. Now I'm much more into literature--I read two famous works in the first week after the class (I think I'm hooked on lit now...)! My interest in literature has been greatly enhanced by this class, and I'm probably going to take a minor in English Lit in college.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Of course! All of the students were extremely friendly and helpful, and lots of great ideas changed hands during the course of the class.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes, be ready for hard work. I would recommend this class especially to students with a good grip on English language and grammar, with at least a basic knowledge of English literature, and who are diligent and honest. I think that many students will find something to enjoy in the course and I recommend it unreservedly.


GO SIGN UP NOW, MRS. INSPEKTOR IS AMAZING!!! posted by Calvin Gross on May 26 2011 at 18:32:39

Hello there fellow AP Student! If you’re thinking about taking Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class, here’s my advice: TAKE IT. I’m sure you’ve read piles of gushing reviews by now, and this is another one of those wonderfully complimentary reviews: I can say with no hesitation that this is the best class I have ever taken, and Mrs. Inspektor is the best teacher I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some good ones!). Last year, I took AP Lang with her, and it was excellent too. Any class taught by Mrs. Inspektor is one you should take!

Yes, I definitely felt prepared for this exam. We wrote timed essays from nearly the beginning of the school year to the end of it, and we did a lot of multiple choice sections during the second  semester. But beyond this, I felt like I knew the material itself extremely well. Analyzing poems, passages, and books presented no problems for me. When exam time rolled around, I knew exactly what to do.

This is a fairly demanding class: I usually spent 2 hours or so on my work each day, often more, for a total of about 10-15 hours per week. Our assignments each day varied, but we always had a Morning Message from Mrs. Inspektor. In it, she’d give her take on the day’s material, and assign some kind of response to it. This was often something like reading and analyzing a poem, or writing some thoughts on a professor’s review of a work. Our main assignments were varied: We read sections of our text, short stories, poems, and novels throughout the week. Discussion questions were the staple of our analysis: We responded to ones written by Mrs. Inspektor, wrote our own, and responded to our classmates’ responses. The time for this varied, but it generally took between one and two hours. Almost weekly we wrote timed essays from CollegeBoard prompts, and this took about an hour.

My favorite assignment was one from a Morning Message: Mrs. Inspektor asked us to write intentionally horrible poetry. It was a bast! All of the class enjoyed using horribly awkward iambic pentameter and rhyming words like “mania” with “Bavaria.” I’d love to include my own magnificently awful poem, but I probably shouldn’t. On a more serious note, I really enjoyed writing my first lengthy paper in the class. We had to choose an author and three of his or her short stories and analyze the works in light of the author’s life. I chose Poe, and I found the entire process to be not only illuminating but actually… fun! I really enjoyed reading some of the works we studied, especially The Great Gatsby, Othello, The Glass Menagerie, and The Heart of Darkness. The book clubs were also excellent. For six weeks or so, we had to read and discuss a work with a group of other students apart from the rest of the class. This was one of my favorite parts of the class. I enjoyed griping about Invisible Man (save me!), reading scenes from King Lear, debating the main character’s fate in Oedipus Rex, and debating the future reality of A Brave New World. It gave me a great opportunity to get to know my classmates better, and I truly enjoyed the experience.

 

Without a doubt. I’ve always enjoyed reading for reading’s sake, but Mrs. Inspektor has certainly heightened my enjoyment. There are a lot of non-fiction books I’d like to read, but I have so many more literary works I’d like to read that I don’t think I’ll ever get around to it!

This is one area where I think this class could not have improved at all. I was constantly inspired by my classmates to work harder and produce better results. There were times when I wanted to write a halfhearted one-paragraph discussion question but couldn’t because I knew my classmates were working hard. But perhaps surprisingly, I didn’t think this class was particularly competitive. There was no sense that we had to “beat” each other; instead, it was a superb atmosphere of support and encouragement. Responding to my classmates’ discussion questions was always enjoyable. I couldn’t wait to see what unique insights they had about works. The same was true of reading their essays: I enjoyed giving feedback on theirs and the comments I received from them were always helpful. We had a great deal of simple fun together too. We’d have spontaneous discussions on the website about things like whether we associated the letter “e” more with green or yellow. I already mentioned the books clubs, and I found them to be particularly helpful. I was much better able to understand complicated works like All the King’s Men when discussing them with other students as opposed to reading them on my own. During the second semester, a group of students and I decided to meet together weekly via Skype and read plays out loud together. We started with Othello and next read Tartuffe together; later we critiqued early drafts of each others’ final papers. During exam review time, we met together and reviewed the works we’d studied earlier in the year. The group truly heightened my experience this year.

As I’m sure you can tell by now, I HIGHLY recommend this class to any student, as long as they’re willing to work hard. Don’t worry if you’re writing skills aren’t the best; that was the case with me when I took my first class with Mrs. Inspektor, AP Lang. To her it mattered more how much I improved and how hard I worked. She met me at my level and helped me to improve. By the end of the class, I was completely confident about my skills. Mrs. Inspektor makes you want to work hard and better yourself, and somehow, she makes this fun.

Everything about this class worked together to make it successful: My classmates were superb, the works we read were enjoyable, the format itself worked well, and Mrs. Inspektor is a true master of teaching. I’ll be going to Princeton this fall, and I can confidently say that I would not have gotten in without Mrs. Inspektor. She has essentially taught me how to write, and I’m incredibly grateful for her contribution. Go sign up now!!!

 


Take this class! posted by Luke Olsen on May 23 2011 at 15:36:25

As a fellow AP student I've read plenty of class reviews while attempting to decide what class I should try to fit into my busy schedule. I know what kind of reviews are helpful and what kind of reviews are less than helpful (OH MY GOODNESS, I LOVE THIS CLASS, MRS. INSPEKTOR IS THE BEST TEACHER IN THE WORLD, YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!! :-) :-0 =)). With that in mind, I'll try to avoid gushing here and will attempt to write a review that is helpful to you future students. I will also try to avoid excessive use of emoticons, rants in all caps, and copious exclamation marks.

Absolutely. This was my first AP class and I felt rather nervous going into it. Although testing is always stressful, I felt very prepared for the exam after taking Mrs. Inspektor's class. Mainly this is because I felt like I knew how to take the test because I knew how to think and respond to literature. Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit does not just teach you how to take one specific test (although it certainly does that too), rather, it teaches you how to respond to literature in a way that is both meaningful and critical. By the time you take the exam, it doesn't matter if the passage is by Homer or Hemingway, you know how to digest and interpret literature. This is, perhaps, the most valuable thing I've taken away from the class, and ultimately, means more to me than my exam score. You recieve an education in Mrs. Inspektor's class, not just preparation. 

This is a tricky question. There are different levels of participation in Mrs. Inspektor's class which determine what you get out of the class. Usually, I would put in 1 to 2 hours a day; however, this was often because I was doing more than I needed. This is key to Mrs. Inspektor's class, though. You get out of it what you put in and extra time spent building relationships with other students in disucssion truly makes this class exceptional. So, ignoring the major projects that took more time, I usually spent around 7-10 hours a week; however, I could have done less-- although you won't want to. 

This is another tricky question. You do a lot of work in Mrs. Inspektor's class and you do it in such a way that you own it. When you submit your paper you feel like your publishing a work and you wait in anticipation to see how other esteemed literary critics (your classmates) will respond to your brilliance. In Mrs. Inspektor's class you don't write papers for her, in the same way that you don't read books for her or interpret poetry for her. In AP Lit you do this for yourself, you're the one who will ultimately benefit from an understanding and familiarity with literature. Because of this you develop an ownership of your work and it's difficult to pick one or two that stand out. However, to help you out, I'll say some of my favorites were the Author Mini-Paper (in which you research one author and attempt to understand how his/her worldview and life experience molded his/her literature) and the Literary Criticism Paper (in which you get very involved with two texts you've studied in the year -- I picked the Great Gatsby and the Heart of Darkness-- and attempt to answer a question 3 prompt in relation to these two works). 

Absolutely, this is another place where this class has had a lasting impact on me and has left me with much more than test preparation. I've always liked to read; however, with more and more reading required for school, I began to lose interest. Books were something I did for school and occasionaly read during the summer when I felt guilty about how much time I spent on my computer or video games. AP Lit this year has reintroduced me to the wide, beautiful world of literature and I can honestly say I've fallen in love. This class teaches you so much more than how to be succesful on the exam, it teaches you how to interact with literature--- how to accept the ambiguities and how to embrace the complexities. This summer I'm reading Les Miserables with a group of students from my AP Lit class... before this class I'm not sure I would have seriously considered tackling Les Mis, I highly doubt I would have enjoyed it; however, this class has changed it. (I don't think I mentioned my love of poetry yet either... I have Mrs. Inspektor to thank for that too). This class does not represent my first real interaction with literature; however, it has forever changed the way I look at it and has dramatically increased my capacity to enjoy and appreciate it. 

Absolutely. I can honestly say I had two teachers in this class, Mrs. Inspektor and the other students. I looked forward to, truly appreciated, and trusted their comments on my papers and essays. Furthermore, although a teacher can do her best, classmates truly set the intellectual tone and create the learning environment. My classmates pushed me to work very hard and challenged me to look at literature in many different ways. 

Students must be willing to work hard. A self-motivated student will have the best experience in  this class, as you get out of it what you put in. Strong readers and writers will find the class easier (as there is a lot of both); however, Mrs Inspektor does a great job of pushing students wherever they are and keeping the workload doable for students at all different levels (we had some very strong writers and some not so strong writers in our class; however, all benefited greatly and, I believe, all will do well on the exam.) 

Also, a degree of humility is needed for this class. Learning is, by its very nature, a risky business. Literature, where there is often no right answer, is even more so. I had days where I thought I was brilliant and my classmates saw it differently, I had an essay where I thought I was getting a 9 and it ended up being a 4 (in hindsight, I see the reasons ). Homeschool students taking AP level work may be very used to being the biggest, brightest, and sharpest. Students must be able to trust their classmates and be willing to put themselves out there as they struggle wtih difficult books. They must also be willing to recieve some negative feedback, pick themselves up and try again. Although you will almost certainly get some bad scores... one thing you won't ever get is left without help. Whenever Mrs. Insepktor (and most of the students for that matter) give a low score, there is always information provided on how to make it better. Students who are willing to work hard to make themselves better will benefit greatly from this class. 

In conclusion, I hope this review will be helpful. I would highly (I didn't say I wouldn't use bold) recommend this class. It gets a 10 on a 0 to 9 scale. It gives you the tools you need to be succesful on the AP exam, but, more importantly, it sets you up for a long-lasting, deep, and meaningful relationship with literature and poetry. Take this class!


There aren't enough adjectives in the English language to adequately commend this class to you! :) posted by Sara Jo Luecke on May 13 2011 at 22:19:15

Dear potential AP Lit student,

By this point, you’ve probably read so many enthusiastic, gushing reviews for this class that you’re wondering why you didn’t sign up for it last year already! However if, for some reason, you’re still not quite decided and need to read a tad more, allow me to throw a few more praises into the mix! ;)

Oh my, yes! By the time I sat down to the actual exam, critically reading passages and poems (and writing analysis) had become so familiar that the test went very very smoothly. Not in the sense that it wasn’t challenging or that I didn’t hit questions I was unsure of, but that the process of working through tricky spots felt almost routine, and I was very relaxed.

Hmm, I probably averaged a couple hours a day, though it really does depend. I’m sure I spent more time than was strictly necessary at times (read: often) – I would get caught up in analyzing some particularly interesting passage, or re-thinking something I had written previously, or getting involved in informal discussions, without necessarily realizing how much time had passed. However, you definitely get out of it what you put into it – I found the informal discussions just as valuable as the formal assignments!  And of course when we were working on longer papers or had book club meetings or something like that it took more time. However, I can vouch that every single ounce of effort (and minute of time!) put into this class is more than worth it!

Honestly, I can’t think of a single assignment that wasn’t in some way enriching and valuable. I guess that’s not very helpful though... ;) Hmm…I found the regular Discussion Questions (and informal discussions) that we did especially helpful – they made a big difference in learning to read critically and write clear analysis, and discussing the things we were reading with my fellow classmates was always very thought-provoking and enjoyable. “Poetry Mondays” (when we focused on specific aspects of poetry and analyzed poems) were also particularly helpful, especially since I hadn’t really done any study of poetry prior to this class. My favorite specific assignment was probably the spring semester paper that we had to write, where we compared two novels or plays we had read during the year. It was a challenging paper, but it was extremely rewarding (like everything else in the class!) – it was SO fascinating to compare and contrast two very different works in-depth, and it felt like the culmination of everything we had learned.

Ohhh my, so much so! I’ve always loved literature and reading, but my appreciation for the richness of good literature increased exponentially while taking this class – I can honestly say that I love analyzing literature, it’s absolutely fascinating! The more I learned, the more excited I became about it, and I don’t think I’ll ever approach a book the same again. (In fact, I now want to go back and re-read a lot of books I had read previously, because I know I missed so much!) Mrs. Inspektor doesn’t just teach her students “how to read,” but she teaches us how to think critically, to see the complexities and not oversimplify things.  And she does it all in a way that I’m pretty sure makes it virtually impossible to not get at least somewhat excited about it! :)

Understatement of the year – the interaction was amazing! I learned so much from my fellow students, whether from reading their essays and responses or from discussing literature together. This kind of class is different from, say, a math or history course, in that you’re not memorizing facts, but rather learning how to think critically and read analytically – so discussion with other students is especially valuable. We all bring different perspectives and approaches, and it forces you to really think carefully about your position or dig deeper into a specific passage. Book clubs were especially awesome, where we discussed our books by g-chat or through Skype...being able to just “talk” as well as discuss literature adds a really personal element, and beyond the intellectual benefits, we made some amazing, genuine friendships through these discussions. :)

I highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY (get the point? ;) recommend this class! Yes, it is  a lot of hard work, but you definitely get out of it what you put in – and so much more! Mrs. Inspektor is an absolutely amazing teacher (understatement!) – her feedback is always SO helpful and encouraging, her Morning Messages are very thought-provoking and interesting, and she does an excellent job getting her students excited about literature and thinking deeply. Even if English and literature is not really your thing, or you're unable to participate in much extra interaction, I'm 99.9% positive that you will still find it a very enriching and stimulating experience, and you will be challenged in so many ways and learn SO much! However, I feel I should warn you: the awesomeness and enthusiasm of this class is very powerful, and the chances of you being able to avoid being sucked in by it are slim at best. Consider yourself warned. ;)

~Sara Jo~


Why are you even bothering to read this review? Sign up for English Lit right now! posted by Erica Weston on May 13 2011 at 03:24:54

Hello fellow homeschooler! Are you at all interested in reading, writing, or critical thinking? Do you have any motivation to work hard? Do you enjoy awesomeness? If you answered yes to all those questions (and I seriously hope you did) then you should absolutely take Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class! And all joking aside, I mean that. This was an absolutely wonderful class for me, and I didn't even consider myself a very interested in writing before I took it. Mrs. Inspektor is a fantabulous teacher, and the assignments are thought provoking and stretching without being overwhelming. You do have to put in the work of course; I spent approximately 1 to 2 1/2 hours every week day on the assignments, and sometimes more just because I wanted to participate in extra discussions on the WWW board. By the time I took the AP exam I felt completely prepared--over prepared even. The exam was a breeze after all the essays I'd written and feedback I'd received.

However, that's not even the greatest benefit of this course: I've always loved reading, but this course helped me discover so much more about analyzing and understanding books on a deeper level. Also, because of this course I can now confidently articulate my thoughts on these books. To me, this is an amazing, even liberating achievement. Honestly, this was my favorite high school class, and I'm sorry it's over.

Before I took an online class I assumed it would just be me, sitting at a computer writing an essay, and that would be it. I was so wrong. The classmate interaction was amazing--that was my favorite part of the whole class! I loved getting to read my classmate's writing and receiving their encouraging critiques was incredibly helpful in enhancing my writing and ideas. By going back and forth in discussion questions, we went deep into analyzing every book we were assigned, and I loved that. But it went well beyond that: I made some amazing friends through this class! No really, halfway through the year a few students started meeting every week on skype to read the book we'd been assigned (Othello) out loud to each other to get the feel of the play. That was so much fun that we continued meeting the whole year to have book club discussions and chat. We're even continuing to meet this summer because we've become such good friends!

I sincerely hope you decide to take this course and that you will enjoy it as much as I did!


In love with Literature, and even more in love after taking this class.... posted by Maggie Baert on May 10 2011 at 10:40:12

Hello there, future students!

I risk echoing all of the high praises that have already been given to this class and our wonderful teacher Mrs. Inspektor but I can't help it. There's just no way to adequately describe and convey the everything I'd love to say about this class in any amount of words.

But let's start with the basics, the questions you're probably asking as you consider this class.

Did I feel the course prepared me for the exam? Absolutely! There is no doubt about it. That's probably the most superficial fact that could be said about the entire class. It's more than an AP class prepping you for an exam, it's an in depth course that involves analyzing literature to the utmost extent . Mrs. Inspektor teaches and guides each person the whole way through making it a very personal class.

How many hours of work per week/day did I put into this course?  That is hard to say. If you're doing the minimum requirements then I guess no more than 1-2 hours per day. If you're like me and like to talk and interact and do everything possible... then it depends on each day and what the assignements are. From 2 hours or up to 4, it's really up to the student how much time they want to dedicate to the course. But I will tell you this, if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into it, you'll get so much more than you EVER imagined out of it, even if you don't like literature or have difficulty analyzing, Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent coach and is there every step of the way to help.

Favorite assignment? (Is there even a way to answer that?!) Honestly, I loved every single activity we did. Morning Messages are very helpful. Reading literary criticism was amazing as well, even if I had fun disagreeing. It really provokes you to think. Some assignments incorporate more work than others but everything is balanced; nothing is overboard. Bookclubs were really a highlight. We sort of gave a new meaning to bookclubs as we incorporated Skype read-alouds (during out drama unit and then we carried that over into bookclub discussions.) That really gave a new meaning to this online class. We became more than just classmates; we got to know each other and became friends.

However, there was one assignment, I really, really loved. Mrs. Inspektor decided to give us a new kind of paper instead of a mini-poetry paper. It was designed to let us really analyze in depth without word limits or 40 minutes to discuss a novel.  We took an AP prompt and expounded on 7-10 pages discussing two novels. It was allowing us to apply everything we learned and let it all flow out of us. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when we took our practice AP exam, the essays felt only easier after that paper. It really was the perfect finishing touch to the entire year.

Did the course enhance my interest? (I think that's an understatement) I loved reading and analyzing before coming into this class. It is definitely one of my passions. The class only made my love for literature much stronger and Mrs. Inspektor really was a wonderful influence. My classmates were also influential as having a supportive and enthusiastic group really makes a difference. We challenged each other in many ways. As I enter my senior year, I know that I want to do more of this in college and share my love for learning with others in the future.

Did I find my communications with other students interesting or valuable? It was so much more than that... Having a group of classmates just as enthusiastic as I was and willing to put up with my looooong responses and tell me that things did not make sense, or on some occasions the opposite. I really learned a lot from them, from their writing, from everything they did. (I took Lit. without having taken Lang so sometimes I felt a bit behind with my writing skills. They were a great source of encouragement in that area and now I'm on my way to take AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor!) Essay feedback from them is really helpful and because literature analysis is such an interactive topic, it's essential to communicate with your classmates in order to refine your thoughts and observations on books, plays, and poems. You don’t necessarily have to be the most interactive student but what you put in, you will get out.

All in all, I was the kind of student who was on the interactive side. That being said I pretty much did about 2 hours a day or so (depending on the assignment and how much I talked on the wwwboard that day). I love reading, truly I do. This class did more for me than just make me like reading and analyzing more, it was a wonderful inspiration and Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful example as a teacher you can look up to. Even if you’re not the interactive type, just make sure you stay in tune with what Mrs. Inspektor wants and you’ll be just fine. Though, I don’t think it would hurt to get involved a bit with other students, it’s both educational and fun.

I hope you deeply consider taking this class. While it is hardwork because Mrs. Inspektor won’t hand literature analysis to you on a silver platter, if you’re willing to put your heart into it, you can only get good things out of it.

~Maggie Baert~


Best Class Ever! posted by Shannon Mcnally on May 09 2011 at 17:52:32

Hello possible AP Lit. student,

You have come to this section to read about what us students think about Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit. class and I am sure that you will be unable to find one negative thing about it. If you’re considering this class I will assume that you like or are at least interested in literature and therefore this class is for you! Sometimes studying literature can be tedious and boring, but not in this one! Mrs. Inspektor has made it fun and enjoyable through challenging DQs, fun papers, and interesting Morning Messages. Even though sometimes the material we had to read (Heart of Darkness and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock) was difficult I learned to enjoy analyzing it once I got into it. I will admit that sometimes I thought I would never be able to understand some things, but through the help of Mrs. Inspektor and other students I was able to understand and analyze it causing the works I once dreaded to become some of my favorite. I used the once abhorred book Heart of Darkness in my most memorable assignment: the spring semester paper analyzing two books with a specific question. This was one of my favorite assignments because I was able to use all of what I had learned this year and apply it.

One of my favorite aspects of this class was the interaction. It was highly interactive and I’ve made some awesome friends! Through book clubs, DQs, and fun with literature (yes that is feasible) on the WWW board we got to know each other and we had a blast studying literature together! However, this does not have to be the case. What you put into the class, you will get out of it. I was able to interact a lot in this class but even if you are unable to do so you can still gain a lot without it. This class can be for both highly interactive students and others who do not interact as much, both will gain a new appreciation for literature and learn so much.

I spent about 2 or so hours a day on my AP Lit. work depending on the assignments, but I’m the kind of person who does their work a little bit slow and tries to do it carefully. This is my first and only AP class as I am a senior this year and I felt prepared to take this class because of all that I had read in past years. It is very beneficial to have read some classics and poetry before entering the class but I wouldn’t say that it is necessary if one is willing to learn and adjust to more difficult reading.  I had the most trouble with adjusting my writing to a higher level, but with excellent feedback from Mrs. Inspektor and classmates my writing has improved.

Not only has this course prepare me for the exam through learning how to analyze literature in the fall semester and many practice essays and multiple choice questions in the spring, but it has helped prepare me for college and has changed the way I look at literature. I no longer throw a book or poem to the side because I can’t understand it or it’s boring, but I enjoy analyzing it and gleaning its literary value.

If you are willing to apply yourself to learn and understand literature and to have a fun time while doing it, search no further my friend, for you have found this class, the one you need to and should join! :) Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher and you will not regret taking this class!

 - Shannon McNally


This class is the most awesome high school class - ever posted by Miki Kwek on May 08 2011 at 10:35:00

Greetings, prospective AP Lit student!

 

I’ll get straight to the point – you should totally take this class.

 

English has always been my strong point and I’ve taken other English Literature (both honors and standard) throughout my four years of high school. However, taking AP Lit with Mrs Inspektor challenged me and stretched my mind in ways other classes never really did. Mrs Inspektor is possibly one of the best English teachers out there. Her daily messages are always encouraging and her passion for literature is infectious. The interactions with the other classmates are the best I’ve had in all the online classes I’ve taken. You learn a lot from the other classmates and you come out with a lot of good memories.

 

Be prepared to read – a lot. There’s a considerable amount of summer reading and, in addition to the assigned reading (which might alternate between poetry and prose), we formed book clubs throughout the year. There will be several points where it feels like you have no idea what’s going on. I have to admit that there were some points during the school year where I got really tired of this class, especially when we were going through a difficult book. (The period where we studied Othello and Heart of Darkness were especially mind-numbing for me.) However, at the end of the day, you come out with this class not just a more well-read person but also with greater critical thinking and analytical skills.

 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, very much so. I was very relaxed in the last week before the exam. This is the sort of course that you cannot cram for – you have to work consistently throughout the school year if you want to do well for the exam.

 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put in about 1 hour to 1.5 hours each day. If you are a student who, as I was, am living overseas (I live in China), you might need to work a little later at night as that is when Mrs Inspektor posts the daily messages. (Don’t worry if that doesn’t make any sense. Don’t let the time difference discourage you from taking this course! I survived and so will you. :)

 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Each semester, we each had to write a longer paper on either an author or different books. Don’t get me wrong – those papers were very, very challenging and at times frustrating to write. But I feel like they’ve definitely prepared me for the kind of papers I’ll need to write in college. Better to suffer through it now in the safety of high school than get a rude shock in college.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes! Absolutely. One of the majors I am now considering for college is definitely English Literature. And even if I don’t study Literature in college, I know that because of this class, I will never look at books the same way again. (And shouldn’t the point of education be more than just exam-preparation?)

 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, very much so. The most awesome part about this class was that we all came from different backgrounds and lived in different parts of the States/world, yet we all found many things in common with other students. Mrs Inspektor encourages us to critique each other’s essays, which not only helps you in your essay-writing skills but also enhances your critical reading skills.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I think that if you’re a student whose critical reading skills are strong and you enjoy reading, you should do pretty well in this course. Any student who also loves English language itself would enjoy this course immensely (especially the poetry section). Other factors would be self-motivation and a desire to excel. Although Mrs Inspektor as a teacher is there as a sort of accountability, this course really is the sort where you have to push yourself to want to do well.


Great English literature class! posted by Daniel Luckenbaugh on May 06 2011 at 18:53:39

Dear prospective AP Lit student,

Mrs. Inspektor's AP English Literature class is wonderful!  I took her AP Lang class and really enjoyed it (and scored a 4 on the AP exam), so choosing this class was an easy decision.  You get to read great works of literature, including Othello, Frankenstein, and The Great Gatsby (which was my favorite work).  I believe the course absolutely prepared me for the AP exam.  Mrs. Inspektor assigned us plenty of multiple-choice practice and many essays, including essays from past AP exams.  And there is great interaction between classmates, and not just regarding English literature :).  We did have humorous, friendly interaction.  My classmates also gave me valuable advice for improving my essays.

Before you decide to take the class, I suggest you read some famous works of British and/or American literature.  And ask yourself if you enjoy poetry or not; we studied a lot of poetry.  We also were assigned book clubs, where we divided ourselves into groups and read high-quality novels or plays and discussed their meanings.  So this class involves a LOT of reading.  Also consider your schedule for the school year; this class does require a lot of time.  Significant effort is necessary if you wish to earn an A or A-.  The exact amount I spent varied from day to day and from week to week, but I probably spent 2-4 hours per week most weeks on this course.  And do you enjoy writing?  Writing is integral to this course and the AP exam.

Even though I found deeper meanings in works of literature and enjoyed decoding books, I did have one big problem: how I think does not work well with literary analysis, especially poetry.  I found prose more enjoyable and easier for finding meaning than poetry.

As a final thought, my favorite assignment was our spring mini-paper.  For that, we chose two works and compared them in regard to one aspect.  We could make up our own prompts or respond to past AP exam prompts.  I chose to respond to a past AP exam prompt about the importance of the past and chose The Great Gatsby and The Glass Menagerie (my favorite play from the course) as my works.  Digging deep into these two works was fun, as was comparing them.

So, if you are willing to put forth the time and the effort, and if you enjoy reading great works of literature and finding meaning in them, sign up for Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit course!


One of my favorite highschool courses . . . posted by Jessina Leonard on June 03 2010 at 16:05:22

Dear future/prospective AP lit students,

I do not exaggerate when I say that Mrs. Inspektor is one of my very favorite teachers and this course and it's sister course (AP English Language and Composition) are two of the very best courses I took in my highschool career and the two courses that I feel have prepared me the most for college. As with all of the classes I've taken through PA Homeschoolers, this course is professional, organized, and challenging. I couldn't recommend it highly enough!

To what kind of student would you recommend this course?

I think any student who has some interest in reading and writing and who understands the basic concepts of essay writing (thesis, etc.) would do well in this course. Of course, some self-motivation and a desire to learn is always helpful, as well. And as a side note, while it's not a set down rule, I think most people generally tend to find it best to take AP English Language and Composition before taking AP English Language and Literature. (But again, it's not necessary. There are many students who take the literature section before taking the language section.)

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

I think a basic understanding of grammar, punctuation, literary terms (metaphor, simile, etc.) and essay-writing skills (thesis, etc.) is really the only preparation a student would need before taking this course. Sufficient experience with reading and analyzing literary novels would also be helpful, but not absolutely necessary. While a good writing and reading background is necessary, Mrs. Inspektor provides all the other tools a student needs to succeed in this course and on the AP exam. For example, if you've never written a timed essay before, don't worry that you are not prepared enough. Mrs. Inspecktor gradually helped us become more and more comfortable with writing essays within time limits, even if we had never written an essay in 40 minutes before. Also, do realize that this course requires a good deal of time, effort, and self-motivation. Be prepared to work hard!

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

It depended from week to week, but I would say I spent on average 5-8 hours a week completing assignments for this course. The scope and sequence of this course is extensive, but certainly not overwhelming. By nature, I think AP Literature is one of the easier AP courses. For example, a week's worth of work would generally look something like this: Mondays we would have to read and analyze a poem, Tuesdays we would be assigned some reading from a novel (usually around 40-50 pages), Wednesdays we would answer 2-3 discussion questions based on Tuesdays's reading, Thursdays we would respond to one another's discussion questions with more thoughts and analysis, and Fridays we would be assigned an essay. Of course, assignments changed from week to week, but this was the general structure.

To what extent was this class interactive?

This is definitely one of the most interactive online AP classes that I've taken. Much of our required work each week is interacting with one another, whether it be reading and grading one another's essays or responding each other's discussion questions. Also, Mrs. Inspektor would post a "Morning Message" every weekday morning before 8am and we were generally required to respond to this in one way or another. This often led to discussion between students as well.  There was also quite a lot of interaction and discussion unrelated to the course. I remember one or two long discussion threads on the WWW board about college decisions or our favorite books.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

Throughout the year, we received feedback on our essays from both Mrs. Inspektor and from the other students in the class. While other student's feedback is always helpful and encouraging, I think it is Mrs. Inspektor's feedback that is the most valuable. Her feedback is always extraordinarily extensive and she is very careful to both encourage you in what you do well and to offer good advice and constructive criticism to help you improve your work. I can't imagine the time and effort that she puts into grading so many essays each week! Also, at one point I was a but unsure about some of her feedback concerning one of my essays and so I e-mailed her with a few more questions. She graciously and promptly responded, answering all my questions and clarifying her feedback. I think it has been Mrs. Inspektor's feedback that has primarily served to help me become a better writer in the past two years that I've taken courses with her . . . and I think her personal tutelage to each of the students is one of the main reasons I'd encourage anyone to take this course. She is quite seriously an amazing teacher.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during this class?

While I have always enjoyed literature, I've honestly always been much more of a non-fiction reader than a fiction reader. I'd generally prefer a memoir over a novel. And while that still is partially true, APLIT definitely instilled in me a greater love and appreciation for the short story, the novel, and poetry. And I've certainly come to a deeper understanding of the underlying symbolism often found in literature. And one of the other most valuable aspects of this course, in my opinion, is the way it opens up to the students differing viewpoints, as all of the literature we read is not necessarily from your worldview. While never asking us to read anything inappropriate, Mrs. Inspektor does encourage us to read novels and poetry and short stories that we might not usually read ourselves, and she encourages us to read this literature with an open mind. I found that this course not only gave me a new perspective on literature, but also a new perspective on life. And really, that's more valuable than any knowledge of literary symbolism in such and such a novel.

What was the main challenge you faced in taking this class?

Probably not procrastinating! But actually, even procrastination wasn't that much of a challenge as Mrs. Inspektor guards against this by having daily due dates rather than weekly due dates (as other online AP courses have). But really, other than that, I can't think of any huge challenge I faced in taking this course . . . well, except for reading Hamlet, which wasn't necessarily my favorite book of the year. :-)

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

My favorite assignments of the year were probably the two research papers we were assigned to write. Our first research paper during the first semester was based on a short story author of our choice. And our second research paper during the second semester was based on a poet of our choice. I loved having the ability to choose the work of an author/poet that I especially enjoyed and then being able to really delve into and study his or her work in a more intense way.

I also really enjoyed the Letters About Literature contest that Mrs. Inspektor assigned us to enter. We all wrote letters to a favorite author about the way in which the novel of the author had influenced us. It was a fun exercise that broke up our ordinary weekly essay routine.

But probably my favorite assignments of the year were our weekly Poetry Mondays. Mrs. Inspektor would give us a short poetry lesson Monday morning in her Morning Message and then we would have to read a poem and answer questions analyzing that particular poem, using the terms we had learned in the morning message. It was a wonderful exercise that was really fun (for someone who loves poetry like me!) and that greatly enriched my understanding of poetry.

And while I'm at it, I'll mention one last favorite assignment . . . book clubs! This year, Mrs. Inspektor had all of us participate in monthly book clubs. We could choose any book that we wished to (as long as it fell under the umbrella of literary fiction) and we could then form a book club with other students in the class and discuss the book with them OR we could read the book ourselves and write a little book review on it. This not only helped me feel extra prepared for the exam, but it was also a fun addition to our weekly work.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

Mrs. Inspektor is one of the most intentional teachers I've had for preparing her students directly for the exam, which I really appreciate. Early in the year she outlines the test for us so we already know what to expect. Several morning messages were completely devoted to explaining how the exam is formatted and how we should be preparing for it. Mrs. Inspektor had us complete several practice exams and she was always giving us suggestions for how to improve our scores. Of course, the weekly essay writing is probably the most directly helpful preparation for the exam. Mrs. Inspektor graded our essays on the same scale as the AP exam graders do, which was always helpful for knowing just how we should be improving our work. Also, one week, Mrs. Inspektor had us be "exam graders for a week," and throughout the whole week we had to grade on the AP exam scale about 20 student essays. By the end of that week, I certainly had a clearer idea of what the exam graders are generally looking for in an essay!

In conclusion, I really cannot say enough good things about this course or Mrs. Inspektor. While I am excited to be heading off to college this fall, I'm also quite literally sad not to be signing up for another one of Mrs. Inspektor's courses. So if you're interested in learning more about literature and are up for a challenge, I encourage you take the opportunity and sign up for this course. Good luck!

always,
Jessina Leonard


If you are even considering taking this class, do it! posted by Hannah Newman on May 30 2010 at 14:33:26

I enjoyed this class 100 times more than I thought I would.  The title “AP” always scared me, but I felt that an AP English class would be a good next step in my education, no matter how scared of it I was.  As it turned out, I loved the class, and although it was time consuming, what I have gained from it greatly outweighs the time spent.  

 

          To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

I would recommend this class to any student who loves to read good literature, and who is willing to discuss their thoughts on this literature.  I don’t think it is essential to go into the class with an already developed love for literary analysis; that’s something the class gives you.  Frankly, I flat out didn’t like analyzing literature before this class, but over the course of the year I found myself enjoying discussions and essays more and more every day!  I think that when you have the opportunity to get really comfortable with literary analysis, it becomes much more pleasurable.  This is just a roundabout way of saying that you don’t have to love analyzing literature right from the start, in my opinion; it’ll come as you go.

 

  What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

You should feel pretty strong in the basics of writing before taking this class, basics such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  It also doesn’t hurt to have read a fair number of “classics” before you begin the class, so that you know you can follow the plot and at least partially understand higher level books.

 

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

I spent anywhere from 1-2 hours a day on this class, which averages out to 5-10 hours per week.  Occasionally it was more, if we were writing a paper, and occasionally it was less, if I got ahead in my work.  On average, I probably spent 1-1 and a half hours per day on it.  For an AP class (or from what I have observed, since this is my first and only one!), I think that this is the perfect amount of work per day to prepare you extremely well for the test, without eating up your entire school day.

 

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

Mrs. Inspektor was very helpful in all of her feedback.  She gave us comments on almost every essay (and there were a lot!), and wrote extensive comments on our mini-paper rough drafts earlier in the year to help us revise to the best of our ability.  She also gave comments on our mini-paper final drafts, discussion question responses, and often on our Morning Message responses.  (The Morning Message is a little lesson of some sort that Mrs. Inspektor posts daily, and that we respond to in different ways, depending on what she tells us for that day.)   She was always very encouraging without being soft; her feedback was also very consistent, so that each individual student could see and work on the same weaknesses in their writing for the entire year, so that those weaknesses was improved in every aspect of their writing.

 

 How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

The range of books that I enjoy reading and will read of my own accord in the future was definitely widened.  I really never used to read any 20th century literature, because I was scared off by its often confusing and/or boring nature.  Now that I can deeply analyze literature, that has changed, and I can recognize the wealth of deeper meaning in all kinds of books.  My perspective on what I consider “good books” has been drastically expanded this year!

 

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

I had two main challenges really: balancing the workload with my other schoolwork and pushing myself to read novels in a new way.  First of all, I did struggle this year with balancing my other classes with this class (which actually had deadlines!).  Things got better after I realized that Lit needed to get done first or else at 11:00 at night.  Also, it was certainly a challenge to change the way you read books.  I needed to get out of the “lighter” reading frame of mind and into a more analytical attitude towards the books we read, so that I could discover the symbolism and deeper meaning they contained.  This isn’t to say that you can’t analyze and read for fun at the same time, but it just means that I had to learn that this was possible, but only if I focused!  (I hope that makes sense!)

 

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

We wrote countless essays over the course of the year that were either taken from past exams or practice exams issued by the College Board.  This resulted in feeling actually confident for that daunting essay section on the exam itself.  If I had done this a hundred times, what was there to worry about?  We also completed about 6 multiple choice sections that were either from past exams or from the Cliff’s AP book.  As it turned out, most of the class (including myself) thought that the multiple choice sections from Cliff's AP were harder than the real, College Board-issued practice exam we took; this prepared us for the worst, so that the multiple choice section on exam day seemed much easier than what we were used to.

 

Hopefully you can tell by now that I loved this class, and that I think you should take it too!  It was so rewarding, and it taught me things that will be impacting my reading and writing for the rest of my life.  And if you’re worried about how much time it will take up, don’t be:  It’s a good investment of your time, trust me!


posted by Hannah Newman on May 30 2010 at 13:47:04


Worth the Effort posted by Bethany Youngblood on May 24 2010 at 22:20:28

When I started this class I thought I had literature and its inner workings all figured out. I was very, very wrong. This class had so much more to offer me then I had thought. The knowledge and experience I've gained from it are well worth the time and effort.

If a student is willing to commit his time and brain power to studying and understanding the material discussed, then I think they should give it a try. Also, it helps if the student already has a love for reading and writing, because they'll do a bunch of it during this class. The student needs to be ready to accept constructive criticism and ready to say they may have been wrong in their interpretations.

I personally spent close to two hours each weekday working on this class, with some odd hours spread through the weekend. That makes and average of 12 hours weekly. I know to a student who's new to AP courses that may sound like a lot, but I barely finished everything on time even with all those hours. I spent those hours in two different ways. The first was the assignments themselves. The second was interacting with my fellow classmates, either on the WWW Board, email book clubs, or discussion questions. Every day I was comparing thoughts and writings with these students, and I believe that was the main thing that made this class so memorable. Everyone was very polite to each other. On every assignment turned in the class exchanged feedback with each other. The feedback is fair and only meant as constructive encouragement from one student to the other. I received feedback that plainly pointed out my errors, and showed me effective ways to learn from my mistakes.

The main challenge I faced in this class was putting my knowledge into effective practice. I may have known the material, but I sometimes had problems putting that information into good essays or question responses. Because of this class I hope I am moving past that. I remember enjoying most every assignment because I knew it would help me learn. They also helped me greatly in preparing for the AP Lit. Exam. All the hard work, practice, and repetition payed off. Each assignment highlighted vitally important subjects in understanding and delivering good literature. My teacher took us through the lessons step by step, pointed out our flaws, and encouraged us to do better.

At times I may have been confused over the material and the ins and outs of doing college level work, but I'm extremely grateful for the experience now. The personal and academic rewards from this class are amazing if a student applies themselves.



~Bethany Youngblood~


This is an incredible class! posted by Erin Curtis on May 12 2010 at 15:05:01

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
First and foremost, I highly recommend this class to anyone who already loves reading! Also to diligent students who are willing to learn and work hard, open to honest criticism and willing to participate in class interaction. If you like writing, or are leaning toward a career as a novelist, playwright, or some other form of creative writing, this is an invaluable class to take!

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
 Having read several literary classics like Great Expectations or The Chosen and analyzed them is, I think, the best preparation possible honestly, as that's what this class is all about. Also, this class requires a good deal of writing, so solid writing skills are necessary. Not that they have to be spotless, but they should be clean enough to allow analytical and expressive writing—there is a lot in this class!

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?
On average, I would say 10-15 hours a week, including work over weekends. In general, it was 2-4 hours of work a day for me, because I often read slowly or went back and analyzed what I'd read. The workload is intense and can be overwhelming, but it is manageable and the amount varies from day to day, which helps. :)


To what extent was this class interactive?
It was VERY interactive. Roughly a third to a half of class assignments was involved interaction. We all grew immensely as we discussed and argued ideas together, and became friends in the process—despite the fact we were scattered across the nation. This was a wonderful facet of this class.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?
The feedback I received was always honest, gracious, and motivating, whether it was from Mrs. Inspektor or from classmates. Mrs. Inspektor’s criticism is always intended to help her students succeed. She never lets a mistake slide, yet she cushions her comments with sincere graciousness and praise. She set the standard for our responses to each other's work. Also, often we bounced our personal thoughts, ideas, or opinions off of each other’s work, which was very enriching.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
One of my fellow classmates pinned it for me perfectly: “my love of literature absolutely EXPLODED!” I can't say it better.  And also, I once dreaded poetry and felt bewildered by it, but now I love it and enjoy it as much as books, if not more for its own merits.   

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
 I think it was being able to write analytically. I struggled with that a lot and still do to an extent, but my abilities and powers of analytical thinking grew tremendously, I am certain.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
I think my favorite was our spring semester mini-paper, where we selected one poet, eight of his poems to analyze, and drew connections between the poet’s biography and his writings. I chose T.S. Eliot, whose poems once daunted me as I struggled to understand them. But after this class I understood them--to my great excitement. I drew so much personally from his poems that I could have written another paper on what I gained! Writing that paper was a wonderful experience; it showed me what I could do in analyzing literature and how far I’d come.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
I don’t know how else to put this except, it did! Every single minute prepared me! I was extremely comfortable taking the exam, and went in confident that I could do well. Throughout the year we took several multiple choice practice exams and wrote many practice essays (my hand still hurts). We made flash cards of literary terms, read works from varying eras and genres in class and in book clubs (informal monthly discussion groups dealing with one work). Every assignment dealt with learning literary techniques and analyzing them: exactly what the exam covers.

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
This class is one of the greatest experiences of my life. Even though our goal was to study literature to prepare for an exam, my worldview and my identity was shaped. I gained a sharper understanding of human nature and condition and even myself through the books we read; my abilities to think deeply took wing; even my faith in God grew. Now when I open a book, I feel like I’m opening up a treasure chest packed with “jewels”: devices and techniques that give the book’s meaning its potency, and my reading experience reaches another level of richness and enjoyment. My goal to be a novelist has become firmer and my writing has taken new life as I’ve begun experimenting with literary techniques. And Mrs. Inspektor is the perfect teacher to encourage all this in her students. She is fun and bright, eager for her students to succeed and to pass on her passion for literature--which she has done successfully.
 

This has been the greatest class I have ever taken (obviously, you say, as I have rambled and gushed about it for 878 words! Unless you skipped down to the end *for shame!*) :) But it is a ton of fun and enriching, even if you aren’t a literature nerd like me! I promise you, you won’t go away feeling like you wasted your time in APlit.

~Erin


Class Review posted by Nina Lanctot on May 10 2010 at 12:37:11

This is an incredible class and is valuable for almost any student! Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderfully encouraging, creative and organized teacher, who gives assignments that are directly connected to exam prep, but also that help you grow as a person and as a student.  I love words, but have always been a painfully slow and overly careful writer.  I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to essay exams and before this class, felt horribly unconfident about writing essays within a time limit.  This class has helped me greatly in this regard :).  I feel I am now able to get an essay together quickly and effectively, for the most part.  This class pushes constantly (but in a really kind and fun way!).  I was not overwhelmed, but really inspired to move forward.  APLit also demands that students read extensively.  Again, Mrs. Inspektor manages to organize this part of the class in such a way that you don’t feel overwhelmed, just challenged and competent.  I know that my literature literacy has increased phenomenally because of this class and I am so grateful.  Students not only really love this class, but they profit greatly from it!


Amazing Class! posted by Caleb Ference on May 10 2010 at 11:09:56

Though more analysis than writing, being someone who's hoping to eventually become a fiction writer of some form, this was still an amazingly helpful class. The analysis we did of classic literature showed me both how to regognize literary devices in literature, as well as teaching me how to better use them. I've also gained a new appriciation for both literature and poetry, and feel much more prepared to study and apply themes in works I may read.

The class was amazingly well-organized with a fairly straightforward syllabus, and I was able to find out what I had to do each day without a lot of trouble. The group disscussions were one of my favorite parts; I had the oppertunity to both grow in my understanding of the material, and to help others with thier own. Both the class and the teacher were a lot of fun getting to know as the year went on, and we quickly found out how much a lot of us had in common with each other, and how much diversity we still had in personality and skills.

Probably my hand down favorite aspect was, though, was the creativity of the assignments. The class certainly wasn't boring, because Mrs Inspektor would sometimes add a creative twist or interesting alternative to the usual Morning Message or discussion assignments. From inventing alternate versions of stories we've studied, to writing creative poems, to deciding what some characters might act like if they were placed in a modern-day WalMart, we were able to have fun with some of what we studied and share it with other classmates.

Overall, this is an amazing, but still challenging, class for anyone who wants to better understand literature and poetry.


Amazing Class posted by Alex Mellen on May 09 2010 at 15:03:17

I loved this class and everything about it. Mrs. Inspektor is very knowledgable about English and about the AP test, and she's lots of fun too. Often, my favorite morning messages included creative writing assignments or some other fun activity.

Taking numerous practice tests was my best way of preparing for the test. The AP Lit essay is so different from any other kind of writing, but it's actually quite enjoyable and makes you think more about literary techniques and what the author meant. Mrs. Inspektor often explained to me how I could better do these things, and with her help, I improved my scores.

The poetry study was very thorough, and I liked looking for the overall feel of the work instead of just studying the meter or rhyme scheme. The two mini-papers helped increase my ability to analyze literature on my own and write compellingly about it.

The class took my about eight hours a week to complete, with more work in the first semester and less in the second. Some days it got overwhelming, but the variety helped. I already knew a lot about literature, but I learned so much more.


887 Words About Why You Should Take AP Lit posted by Camille Gross on May 07 2010 at 12:12:17


AP Literature with Mrs. Inspektor posted by Carmen Paddock on May 07 2010 at 10:42:12

AP Literature is the third course I have taken through PA Homeschoolers over the course of two years, and it is the second one I have taken with Mrs. Inspektor as the teacher.  The fact that I came back for a second year should speak for itself as testament to her incredible teaching!  She is encouraging, dynamic, and fun, all while being very demanding and not letting her students get away with anything.  I feel that without her gentle encouragement, attention to detail, and her occasional shoves in the right direction, my writing, reading, and analyzing skills would be nowhere near where they are now.  

The course itself is amazing.  The students read four novels, two plays, and numerous poems and short stories in the class.  Additionally, one reads about six or seven novels throughout the year as part of "Book Clubs" - informal book discussion groups.  The class is very interactive, and all my classmates were incredibly helpful as well as just being amazing people and fun to chat with online.  At the end of the year, I felt very well-prepared for the AP Literature exam - there were no surprises or questions that I did not know how to deal with on the test.

Any student who loves reading fiction, writing, and critically thinking about what he or she reads would love AP Literature.  It is not an easy course - I put in anywhere from one and a half to three and a half hours a day, with occasional work on weekends - but it is an environment where the challenges are not only met but embraced with gusto.  I cannot recommend this class highly enough!


This class is amazing!!!! posted by Meredith Pochily on May 07 2010 at 08:40:14

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Definitely. I actually found myself looking forward to the exam and approaching it as a kind of challenge rather than a test. I knew exactly what to expect and felt like I had a really solid understanding of what we had covered during the year and could use that to my advantage on the actual exam. I had quite a bit of trouble with the practice multiple choice tests, but I felt like I understood pretty well what I had gotten wrong, and Mrs. Inspektor was great about answering questions and giving specific advice to help me improve my scores. We did plenty of practice essays (in general one a week from January/February to the exam) so I felt well-prepared for that section of the exam as well.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I spent in general 1-2 hours a day on work for this course. Some days it was more than that and others it was less (the weeks when our mini-papers were due were particularly busy). Mrs. Inspektor always put out the assignments two weeks ahead of time, so we were able to work ahead on reading assignments or other work if necessary.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class and explain why. I really enjoyed poetry mini-paper we wrote comparing and contrasting eight poems by one poet. I'd previously never been much of a poetry person, but studying the work of John Keats' in depth really gave me a new appreciation for it. I also really enjoyed the book clubs we did with our classmates each month. They provided a good opportunity to read new literature and get to know my classmates.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work and how was it helpful? Getting feedback from both Mrs. Inspektor and classmates was something I always looked forward to. At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Inspektor responded to our discussion questions, but as the year went on, the discussion became entirely student-based and we would respond and comment on each other's work. Mrs. Inspektor graded and gave specific, detailed comments on each of our essays, and we also graded and critiqued one another's essays, which was really helpful in determining what makes a good essay. Mrs. Inspektor's feedback was always detailed and positive; she always had something good to say about our work and something to point out for us to work on next time. Her structured feedback really helped me to improve my essays from January to May.

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? For me, it was definitely time management. The first few months of class I had a really hard time balancing this class with my other subjects, sports, and music. However, I noticed that by January I had become a lot better at managing my time, I could complete assignments faster, and wasn't overwhelmed by the coursework. So while time management was a challenge for this class, I think I came away much better at it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Yes, without a doubt. I've never been opposed to classic literature, but was never entirely gung-ho about it either. Similarly, I disliked poetry before taking this course. However, this class gave me an entirely new perspective on both novels and poetry. It armed me with the tools I need to really understand what I'm reading, whether prose or poetry, on a deeper level. I feel like now I can sit down with a novel and at least take a stab at identifying the various elements. It's really a fun kind of challenge now that I have a place to start. This class has really changed the way I read and write and that's going to stick with me.

To what extent was this class interactive? It was a very interactive class. I was really surprised that, despite the fact this is an online class, I felt like I really got to know my classmates. Assignments with interaction, like multiple choice huddles (teaming up to work out multiple choice questions) and grading one another's essays were highlights of the class for me. Everyone was eager to learn and share their knowledge and we had some really good class discussions and debates. Also, the book clubs were a way for us to get to know our classmates outside of the class itself and during our discussions of the books we read I felt like I really got to know my classmates on a new level. So interaction was really a huge part of this class and in a lot of ways helped me to cement my new knowledge and apply it in open discussions. Reading and responding to my classmates' discussion questions was also a way to get new perspectives on what we were reading.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students? This course is a lot of work, but it is entirely worth every minute. Mrs. Inspektor makes the assignments fun and engaging and the sense of community in the class really helps to keep it interesting as well. If you're a student who is a hard worker, enjoys a challenge, likes literature (or is at least open to gaining an appreciation of it), and is willing to have an open mind towards different world views, you'll do great in this class. It's necessary to have basic writing skills coming into the course, and organization skills also help, as there is a lot to keep track of, but as long as you keep up on assignments, you'll do fine. I couldn't recommend this class more highly!

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: This class isn't just about literature, and it's definitely not just about preparing for the exam. What I got out of this class isn't something that one exam can give or take away. A lot of analyzing literature is analyzing the human condition and human nature on a deeper level, and in that way I think this class really changed me as a person and the way I look at life. It's been my favorite course of high school, and I highly recommend it. Mrs. Inspektor is an absolutely wonderful teacher who really cares about her students. She pushes us to do our best and she's understanding and encouraging; your success is hers as well, and her enthusiasm for the subject and the class are very real.

So, in case you cheated and skipped down to the end, you mostly just missed me gushing about how wonderful this course was. What are you waiting for? It's amazing!!

~Meredith


Exactly what an online AP course should be. posted by Thomas Snell on June 02 2009 at 01:46:01

With the devices available to her, Mrs. Inspektor did a wonderful job teaching this class and easily made this class the most rewarding online class I have taken. Mrs. Inspektor had us practicing AP essays from the very beginning so that by the time the test day rolled around we were ready for any curveball the Collegeboard might throw at us. While I did not take the AP exam due to a conflict with the AP German exam, I am confident I would have done just fine. I took the AP English Language test instead, and I felt that the most of the same techniques that I had practiced for Literature also applied to Language, which goes to show that Mrs. Inspektor's course improves English skills in general even though it has an AP focus. To this end, Mrs. Inspektor assigns a term paper on the book of the student's choosing, providing a level of depth not achieved by the AP test. This was certainly the most valuable assignment, and our class produced many excellent papers.

Mrs. Inspektor was very reasonable with her assignments, pushing us along at a good pace but granting the class more time to finish reading assignments on a couple of occasions when the assignments were unintentionally too much. Prospective students should recognize that this an online class; my only gripe with this class (and this gripe is unfortunately common with all online classes) is that the discussions can be frustrating at times due to the lack of continuity that would otherwise be found in a classroom. This is made up for by the excellent responses that students are able to come up with since they are able to digest the material at their own pace. I certainly learned a great deal by reading my classmates' discussion responses. For the student looking for an excellent online AP English Literature class who is willing to work hard (but within reason!) and enjoy seeing the just benefits of this work under an intelligent, capable, and understanding teacher, Mrs. Inspektor's class is the best!


Do I really need a title? posted by Andrew Pershe on June 01 2009 at 19:38:21

I'd recommend the class to a student who can handle an intense course. The course isn't exactly hard, but keeping up with all of the work was definitely a challenge.

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? Just know how to use your time wisely to split up the time between this class and any other classes you may take. That's probably the most important part of the course.

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? I spent anywhere from 8-10 hours on class per week. It varied depending on the assignment (a lot more time for the research paper, less for other times of the year)

To what extent was this class interactive? It was very interactive. We had discussion questions and "Poem of the Weeks" which we had to each comment on several times.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? We received feedback both from the other students and Mrs. Inspektor in the class, which was helpful.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? Hmm, I think that the first book we read "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" was the most helpful here. It enabled me to look at literature differently.

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? The biggest challenge that I had was applying myself after the Spring Break. After two weeks off, I had a tough time getting back on track.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. The most memorable assignment was the research paper. I learned a lot about "Gulliver's Travels" and I really enjoyed doing the research.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? We took several practice AP exams, and did many essays in the 40 minutes you would have while taking the actual test.

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: This is a great class. You will learn a lot, but will need to leave time for it, and make sure to not get behind.


posted by Alyssa Fillmann on May 31 2009 at 15:57:14

1) For various reasons I did not take the AP exam, , but I feel that if I had I would have done well. I was not at all a strong writer in September, but by May I felt very capable of writing a well-organized essay. 2) Generally, I put in 10 hours a week with this class. The time varied though, depending on the assignments. 3) I really enjoyed the discussion questions. It was nice to see so many different points of view on a particular aspect of a book. 4) I have always enjoyed reading, but I rarely enjoyed writing about it. After taking this course I am better able to put my thoughts on paper, in an orderly way. 5) If you are not a particularly strong writer, but are willing to put in the hours and improve, then this class is for you. I found the class at times to be difficult, but it was also very stretching.


Hard work, but worth it posted by Justine Strickland on May 31 2009 at 12:21:23

1. To what kind of student would you recommend this class? I would recomend this to students who have a free schedual. Even they think that they do make sure that they can write essays till 12 p.m. ;-)

2. What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? They need to have an extensive writing background, have a love for reading and posing questions, and understand what they are getting into. That is as much preparation as you need (besides reading the Summer reading assignment).

3. How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? About 2 hours a day/ 6-16 hours depending on the assignments.

4. To what extent was this class interactive? This class is interactive bassed. If you can't interact and continue a discussion, you won't get a full class or be ready for the AP test.

5. What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? I recieved a lot of constructive criticism from my peers as well as the teacher. This method really works.

6. How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? My whole network of ideas changed concerning Literature. I didn't know that so many classics were left to be read. The summer reading assignment really helped, but we didn't really continue using the knowledge we gained from it. :(

7. What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? My main challenge was finding time to actually do all of the assignments. Ballancing work, this AP class, speech and debate tournaments, and reagular school was very hard.

8. Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. The most memorable assignment was the second to last assignment. There were two different practice tests that we were to take I took the 2nd one before the 1st and everyone was confused, and I was really upset because I thought that I had a very, very bad score, but I was using the wrong answer key! ;-)

9. How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? This course helps the student to be a prepared as possible for the AP exam. Mrs. Inspektor understands our position and really helps us with our preparation.

10. Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: ONLY take this class if you CAN give a lot of your time to it. You MUST have a free schedual! Assignments are hard, so understand that this is a COLLEGE-like CLASS and has to be treated as that. But it is really fun! ;-)


This is a FABULOUS class!!! posted by Julie Inglis on May 29 2009 at 18:16:18

• To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

A student who will take the initiative with getting work done, loves literature, has a strong writing style to begin with, and a willingness to change things (even if the things seem trivial at first) in his writing.

• What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

They need to know how to write a strong essay and how to read rapidly but with comprehension.

• How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

I spent between 7-10 hours on average per week for this class.

• To what extent was this class interactive? One of the many things I love about Mrs. Inspektor’s classes is that they are always extremely interactive. You comment on classmates’ work and receive comments from them in return. After reading someone’s work over a period of time, you start to become acquainted with that person well—you begin to understand how they think, argue, and write. Mrs. Inspektor encourages getting to know students outside the classroom as well—via facebook, and AIM.

• What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

This class was great because no one was afraid to say when something in an essay seemed undeveloped or just plain weak. And no one would stint on praise if there was something good in an essay. I would get a large amount of feedback on my work—there would usually be some ideas on things I could improve on, but there was always encouragement there as well. Mrs. Inspektor’s feedback was incredibly helpful as well. Her comments were logical and her critiques well deserved. She was incredibly focused in her comments—always telling a student exactly where the student needed to improve. And she was always the first one to notice any improvements between a student’s essays. Her comments never discouraged me—in fact, they always made me want to work harder.

• How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

This class really made me start thinking outside the box when I considered literature. Before this class I had never really analyzed literature while I read it or considered symbolism in the words. But now, I rarely read a book without considering its figurative language, symbols, characterization, or foreshadowing.

• What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

The main challenge I faced in this class was the time management issue. I had a hard time with having enough time to finish my essay and go back and edit it. Often there was no time for me to edit my work. But I found that as I wrote more and more essays, it became easier and easier.

• Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

One of my favorite assignments in this class was where I rewrote a short story we had read from a different character’s point-of-view. It really taught me to try and empathize with characters other than an author’s main character. Sometimes when you just consider a side character’s feelings in a situation, it can completely change your thoughts on the story.

• How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

This course forced me to practice writing strong, timed essays. By the time the test rolled around I was confident that I could answer essay questions without getting sidetracked by the question and within the proper time limit. This course also included a wide variety of novels—any of which could be used on the exam. By having a wide variety of material in my head, I was able to come up with examples and answers on the essay questions extremely easily. I went into the exam feeling confident and calm.

• Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:

I would strong recommend this class!!! Mrs. Inspektor was one of my two top teachers in high school. Her class has completely changed the way I think about literature and the way I write (for the better =)). It’s challenging at times, but rewarding and fun. Mrs. Inspektor is an understanding, wise, and helpful teacher who really cares about her students and wants the best for them. She makes you want to do work hard and do your best and she cheers you on as she notices improvements in your writing. If you take her class, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!!


I improved so much! posted by Eunji Kim on May 29 2009 at 12:51:27

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? About 2 hours a day, sometimes more sometimes less, depending on the assignments and about 20 hours a week total.

Are there any particular favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? All of the assignments really helped me improve in different ways. But to choose one, the essay assignments were especially valuable in that they helped me develop my thoughts deeper and improve on expressing myself.

Did the course enhance you interest in the subject? Yes! I had liked reading and literature before this class, but through this class I learned so many interesting aspects of literature.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? There aren't a lot of opportunities to discuss and share my thoughts with others about literature (especially being homeschooled and living in Korea). So this was such a great opportunity to talk with others and know how other people thought about things.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students(if they are willing to work hard!)? Yes, I would recommend this course to other students. Of course, they would have to work hard, and invest a lot of time into this course too. But the student could learn so much more, and improve a lot also. Students who like literature, reading, thinking and writing would do well in this course. Passion to learn would also be a good quality to have!

I really improved a lot in writing and reading more deeply. I gained more confidence in writing essays than before. This course, though it wasn't all easy, was really helpful and interesting!


Excellent class, really helped on exam and with personal enjoyment of literature. posted by Sebastian Snowberger on May 26 2009 at 22:27:49

When I started this class, I was honestly in no shape for taking the AP exam. I have always liked reading and been okay at analyzing what I read, but until taking this I feel my skills were still severely underdeveloped and I had practically no idea what to do for essay writing. I was given thorough practice and excellent feedback, which I feel greatly helped me on the exam.

With reading, I probably averaged out to 1-2 hours a day put into the course. There were often a good bit of assignments, but there were well-placed breaks and I never really felt overwhelmed.

The assignments that I believe helped the most were definitely the essays and group multiple-choice sections. The essays were just well-needed practice, and getting feedback on my work helped me a lot in figuring out what to work on, and working with other students on the multiple-choice questions really helped me see what kinds of thought processes yielded the most accurate results.

I certainly feel more interested in literature than before taking this class. Being forced to write out my analysis of what I read actually really helped unclutter my thoughts on it and I appreciate many of the books I read, Hamlet in particular coming to mind, much more than I did beforehand.

Like I said, talking to the other students and critiquing their work really helped me by being able to see thought processes outside my own and to gain insight on the material.

I wholly recommend this class to any serious student that enjoys reading and would like to take it to the next level. At times the workload could be a bit overwhelming to some, but Mrs. Inspektor is very understanding and willing to help anyone taking this class succeed on the AP Exam and understand literature.


Take this course!!! posted by Melanie Bertotto on May 18 2009 at 15:17:43

Are you looking for a class full of challenging literature and thought-provoking discussions, an understanding and thorough teacher, and an open forum to share your work and receive feedback? Look no further. Mrs. Inspektor¡¦s AP English Lit class was my second online AP course and I¡¦m so glad to have taken it. I was planning to take my senior year English class at community college, but after taking Mrs. Inspektor¡¦s Lit class I realized she offers everything I want in a college professor, so I hope to take her English Lang class next year.

Having a strong literary foundation is helpful, but not necessary. Mrs. Inspektor definitely opened up my literary world and pulled me out of my non-fiction comfort zone. Although, she¡¦s not a miracle worker and I¡¦ll probably still lean towards non-fiction in the future, but I am much more open to fictional works, and dare I say, enjoy searching for the symbolism hidden beneath the surface.

Be prepared to spend the week reading and answering DQs and time during the weekend writing essays. The research paper was the most challenging assignment, but also the most rewarding to have completed. The DQs, morning messages and peer reviews kept the class interactive and the extra feedback on the essays added a fresh perspective. I felt fully prepared for the exam and hope that is reflected in my scoreƒº. As long as you stay on top of your work and realize this class is intended to be challenging, you¡¦ll have a great year and gain a new understanding and appreciation for literature.


Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit: The key to the treasure chest of literary riches posted by Tiffany Deierlein on May 15 2009 at 17:17:51

Literature has a way of gently forcing us to see the world in ways that we would not otherwise see it. Consequently, I learned about more than literature in Mrs. Inspektor's class; I learned about myself. I spent about eight to ten hours a week digging into the heart of literature and discovering the hidden treasures therein. I had always gotten a thrill learning about literature, and this class most definitely increased by love and understanding of the subject.

My favorite aspect of the course was taking the works we read and their themes, ideas, symbolism, etc. and discussing them with my classmates. I gained a wealth of new perspectives and interpretations that helped me journey even deeper into literature.

Any student who wants to go beyond merely reading a book--who instead wants to come away with thoughts to hold on to--will not regret taking Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit class. I know I speak for all my classmates when I say that what I learned here I will carry with me far beyond my high school and college years.


I don't know what to call this, but holy cow this class is amazing. posted by Olivia Cline on May 11 2009 at 12:01:38

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. The exam was actually [dare I say] easy, and my essays went marvelously.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It depended on the week. Some weeks when we were mainly reading it would be something like an hour a day, seven hours a week [I read really fast lol] but I'm guessing I was averaging about twelve hours a week. More during the epic research paper week. =]

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Poetry. I'm horrible with poetry analysis and would never have done as well on the poetry essay in the exam without the weekly poems.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, and I didn't think that was possible. English has always been [and I'm fairly sure always will be] my favorite subject [to give you an idea, I'm the type that read War & Peace for fun one summer] but this class was amazing, seriously.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Very much so. I met a bunch of amazing people who not only were great to discuss English with but we had amazing conversations about such wide-flung things as Lord Of The Rings and chictopia.com.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Quite honestly any student, and YES YES YES YES YES. Mrs. Inspektor is amazing, fun, just-strict-enough and basically my favorite teacher ever. [Which is saying something. I've had a LOT of amazing teachers.]


A Class Worth Taking! posted by Hope Pasztor on May 08 2009 at 13:27:07

I think most any kind of student would fit right at home in this class. If you've got a the slightest passion for literature and writing, then Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class is the way to go! I've always loved to read and to wright, and this class only deepend my interest in those subjects. It really depends on the individual week itself, how many hours I spend on this class. When I was working on my big reasearch paper, I spent half the day typing up my essay, but for the most part, I spent about an hour and a half each day in realtion to the class. That's seven and a half hourse each week.

One of my favorite things about Mrs. Inspektor's classes, is how she tries to make an online course into an interactive classroom settings. In adittion to daily Morning Messages, to which we were required to respond, we also discussed a variety of questions in regard to the books we were reading.

Perhaps one of my favorite interactive assignments was when she had us prepare our own morning messages, discussing specific literary terms or styles of writing in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights". We could either compose a Morning Message on our own, or team up with one of more students. I loved getting to know my partner, Melanie through this experinace, and it was fun to collaborate our ideas together into a completed Morning Message.

Near the beginning of the year, we divided into several groups, and each week, a student from that group would post a chosen Poem of the Week. Our task was to respond to the poem in a way that reflected or responded to previous responses-a true class discussion!

In addition to recieving detailed responses from Mrs. Inspektor, we were also required to sometimes critique our fellow students' essays. Both the critique I recieved from my teacher, and from my fellow students, consisted of a fair mixture of postive and negative feedback. No one was every overly harsh in their negative critique, always wording their conerns in a well-mannered way of speaking that was still helpfully critical, yet still remained polite and concerned.

Mrs. Inspektor always made sure to point out the good and the bad in an essay, focusing on minute punctuation details to larger mistakes in our thesis staments or arguments, but always with a postive and encouraging attitude. I've taken both her AP Literature and her AP Language and Composition class, and my writing has only improved in the past two years! During the course of this class, my perspective on literature not only blossomed and grew, but took flight on the wings of hope and renewal. I've always held a great passion for reading, delving into a wide genre of books and novels over the years. This class not only broaded my horizon of literary interest, but also has inputed a form of critique into my brain. Now, when I finish reading a novel, I can look at it with a higher level of critiscism. I appreciate good novels even more than I did before this class, and can recognize flaws more quickly in those not-so-well-written books.

While I enjoyed every minute spent in this virtual classroom, I admit that, in the first semester,I had trouble understanding the essay prompts. In no way is this the fault of anyone but myself. Dutifully, Mrs. Inspektor critiqued this problem in the context of my essays, and I finally caught on towards the end of the first semester. It's so hard to say which assignment was the most memorable! I love creative assignments, such as the do-it-yourself Morning Message.

One of my favorite essays we were assigned was at the beginning of the year, when we were asked to tell the short story, "Miss Brill" from the perspective of someone else other than the title character. I chose to delve into the mind of Miss Brill's fur stole, describing the ocurrences from its point of perspective.

I also loved working of the biggest assignment of the year; the 10-page+ reseach paper. We each had to choose a novel or play of a certain literary quality, and discuss an inner argument stemmed from the beleifs of the author, in addition to finding critical essays on our novel and incorporating them into the body of our essay, arguing for or against what they said in regard to the chosen novel and its argument. I really enjoyed undertaking such a project, and it most certainly helped me understand the argumentive points made in almost any work of literature.

I felt EXTREMELY well-prepared for the exam at the conclusion of this course. In addition to giving us a practice exam, Mrs. Inspektor also based most of our essay assignments from previous AP Literature exams. We also went over a number of multiple-choice passages, sometimes on our own, or working together in different teams. The only nervousness I felt on exam day, was going amidst the notorious "public schoolers". (I took the exam at our local public highschool) To be honest, I was actually able to sit back with confidence and enjoy taking the exam. I know this would not have been the case had I taken this class with any teacher other than Mrs. Inspektor!

First of all, if you're a student considering taking this class, I am increadibly jealous of your position. Think about it: you have the opportunity to participate in one of Mrs. Inspektor's AP classes! My sophomore year, I took her AP Language and Composition class; this past year I was in her AP Literature class. Senior year seems oh so gloomy, as I know I won't be her student. I guarantee that you will have a wonderful experiance by becoming one of her students, and that this class will prepare you 100% for the exam, as well as improve your writing skills and giving you a higher regard to the art of literature. Good luck! =)



Letters from my students... I was very touched when my mother, Susan Richman, surprised me with a scrapbook of letters from people who have been part of my life-- a gift to celebrate of my recent (and permanent!) move to Israel. One of the biggest surprises was that she had contacted all of my students for their thoughts about this class. With their permission, I'd like to share with you parts of these letters. Their comments deeply moved me and inspire me to live up to such kind words!

Most Fun Class I've Ever Taken posted by Gavriel Eagle on May 22 2018 at 03:06:54

This was hands down the most fun class I have ever taken! I had to remind myself that it was "schoolwork" at points :). Mr. Stewart and Mrs. Inspektor are AMAZING teachers and I always looked forward to reading the Morning Messages and feedback on my work. Another incredible facet of this course is the student interaction: through the DQs I got to have thought-provoking discussions, arguments, and nerd out sessions with other students, which gave me a firmer grasp on the works we were studying and amply prepared me for the exam. Through the Skype chat, I forged (and continue to forge: we're still going strong even though the course has ended. I even met up with a classmate in real life) friendships with people as passionate about literature as I am. This course, if you are willing to put in the effort, will more than prepare you for the exam. But even more importantly, it will introduce you to great works of literature and the tools to analyze them, and will likely have an impact on your life that reaches far beyond the exam. 


posted by Gavriel Eagle on May 22 2018 at 03:01:00

This was hands down the most fun class I have ever taken! I had to remind myself that it was "schoolwork" at points :). Mr. Stewart and Mrs. Inspektor are AMAZING teachers and I always looked forward to reading the Morning Messages and feedback on my work. Another incredible facet of this course is the student interaction: through the Discussion Questions I got to have thought-provoking discussions, arguments, and nerd out sessions with other students, which gave a firmer grasp on the works we were studying and amply prepared me for the exam. Through the Skype chat, I forged (and continue to forge: we're still going strong even though the course has ended. I) friendships 


Hard? Yes, but if you want a amazing exposure to real literature, this is your class. posted by Jake Dalton on May 21 2018 at 20:35:43

Before this class I thought that books were amazing, but literature was just meant for spark notes and school assignments, and that most of it would pass over my head anyway. However, after my application was sent off, without any way to bring it back, and I read the first email from my future teacher, my horizons were expanded beyond what I thought possible. Mrs. Inspektor, aided by her loyal Stewart, led us on a journey of discovery, easing us in to a knowledge of all we didn’t know, and all we had yet to learn. They led us through the gothic castles of Frankenstein, bootlegged discussion questions under the tables of Gatsby’s parties, and placed us under the impression not only that “literature is fun”, but that (In her own words) “"studying" literature IS reading for pleasure”.By the end of the class (sadly, it had to end L) I had been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that this was the case. I even (horror of horrors) had the audacity to laugh at the sophisticated humor on the AP exam itself! The public school students around me, who hadn’t had informative morning messages every day to inform them that literature is actually meantto cause emotion, muttered words about how strange homeschoolers who enjoyed literature were. Yes, perhaps it is strange, but I now admit to actually enjoying literature. I enjoyed sailing down rivers with characters, and exploring them more deeply with an amazing professor, and students who actually read the books. I walked into the exam room with about the same amount of confidence as Sir Walter Elliot in front of a mirror, for those of you who have yet to read Persuasion, this is ultimate confidence. I loved this course so much, and wish all you prospective students the best of luck, and may your sails of discovery be filled, just as mine were, by the inspiring wind of Mrs. Inspektor. 

 


Take This Class!!! posted by Zoe Lin on May 20 2018 at 23:30:17

AP Literature was one of the best courses I took in my high school career! I generally spent about 1.5-2 hours a day on the homework, but almost all of the assignments I enjoyed because I love literature - and especially learning literature from Mrs. Inspektor!

I particularly loved the big essays/projects we did in class like writing an eight page paper for the Jane Austen Writing Competition or an essay combining two full books from the schoolyear. AP Literature definitely made me fall in love with literature more and see its relevancy and worth in all our lives, whether you want to pursue English more seriously in the future or not.

Additionally, AP Lit really stretched me. It grew me as a person in a place that wasn't overly competitive, cutthroat, or stressful. Mrs. Inspektor and Mr. Stewart are the most supportive, encouraging teachers who value each student's learning growths. They are there to teach literature to the students, but they're also there to ask important questions, to take time to appreciate great milestones, and to look at AP Lit as much more than just another AP to get a 5 on. The AP exam itself and preparing for it was at first daunting and overwhelming, but I can confidently say that I felt well-prepared. I also think that my classmates were an integral part in my experience - through the environment fostered in the online classroom, we were encouraged to voice both praise and criticism in response to each other's writing. The diversity of the community led to so many of our assigned discussions where I left feeling that I learned more from them than from the ideas I had first brought.

I'd recommend AP Lit to any student who wants to be challenged in their writing, their thinking, and their analyzing skills. However, I'd also say that students will enjoy this class if they want to learn more about the world we live in, about ourselves and how we interact with others, and about hard topics that are important, yet difficult to confront. AP Lit has certainly taught me about literature, yes, but it's also shown me that there are a lot of questions that I haven't addressed yet that in some ways, say more about me than anything else, so I'm truly grateful to have been in AP Lit this year.


A Glimpse Into the Class posted by Alaina R. on May 20 2018 at 15:10:54

I felt that the course prepared me well for the exam. I knew all the sections that would be on the exam and had taken several complete practice exams as well as many individual samples of both essays and MCQs. Students are given extensive feedback to improve their essays.



I found that for me there was about an hour of work a day (including weekends most weeks), not counting time for occasional long essays.



I particularly enjoyed the novel comparison essay. Because there were no time limits, it allowed me to go into more depth on analysis than I had done before, which gave me some insights into writing exam essays. I used some of these insights on exam day!

 

I would recommend this course to a student who has a strong interest in literary analysis and is willing to devote time each day to the course. There is a heavy writing component, so I would encourage that a prospective student enjoy or at least be able to tolerate writing. If a student enjoys writing and literary analysis, this class can be not just an opportunity to learn, but also an enjoyable journey.


Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam? posted by Abby Dean on May 20 2018 at 03:36:08

I felt 100% prepared for the exam when I opened the booklet. While the exam was definitelynot easy, I felt comfortable and know I did the best I could’ve done, thanks to all the exam prep encorporated into this class. A lot of my friends I talked to in other AP English Lit classes told me their teachers did little to no exam prep the entire year, which made me so very grateful to have a teacher like Mrs. Inspektor, who made it a huge prioroty that we were all very well prepared. That being said, the stress was not so much on getting a good score on the exam, but on learning about and appreciating literature to the fullest. I am very glad I took this course, and know it has not only prepared me for college courses in the next few years, but also taught me so much more about literature and learning. 


Difficult, but very much worth it! posted by Adun Oladeji on May 19 2018 at 17:06:05

This class was difficult. From the very beginning, it was a challenge. I think this was because I didn't really have experience with analysis, and found it difficult to learn how to analyze instead of summarizing or device listing. I had planned to spend one hour on this course every day but quickly found myself spending two or more instead, and struggling to keep up. However, Mrs. Inspektor was very willing to help me. Because of her consistent help and feedback, I learned so much, especially in the spring semester. I was able to figure out what the exam essays needed from me and how to respond strongly and convincingly. Because of this class's rigor, I felt very confident on the AP exam and I felt that my ability to write essays in general improved. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone, even students who are more left-brained. 


PLEASE TAKE THIS CLASS! posted by Greta on May 16 2018 at 13:41:31

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely 100% yes.  I honestly can't imagine an AP Literature course preparing me better for the exam than Mrs. Inspektor's class did.  I actually haven't taken the exam yet because the school where I was scheduled to take the exam forgot to order my test booklet (oops), so I have to make up the test on a different day later this month.  Nevertheless, I feel very confident about taking the exam later this month because I've been prepared so well for it in this class. :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Hmm...I think I probably put about 1-2 hours per day into this class, depending on how much was assigned each day.  Some days would be a little less, some days a little more, but 1-2 hours on average.  I'd also like to add that I enjoyed completing the assignments for this class!  They were challenging but also SO. MUCH. FUN. Maybe I'm just really nerdy (haha), but I genuinely loved every second of this class.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

Um, all of them?  Seriously, though, I found every assignment enjoyable and valuable in its own way.  My personal favorite assignments were probably the three major assignments this year: the short story assignment, the JASNA essay, and the novel comparison paper.  The short story assignment was wonderful because it challenged me to be creative and to apply all the principles of good literature and writing that we'd been learning in the short story unit of the course.  It challenged me to write a story well, the kind of story that might be published in an anthology someday.  My dream is to someday write for a living, so I absolutely loved this assignment.  

The JASNA essay was also such a fun assignment but in a completely different way.  For this assignment, we got to conduct real literary analysis of Jane Austen's Persuasion.  Through this assignment (and the novel comparison paper), I discovered something: I geniunely enjoy writing literatary analysis.  

Finally, the novel comparison paper was a very challenging assignment (especially since I procrastinated on it--something I definitely wouldn't recommend) but a lovely one.  Once again, I got to conduct some really fun literary analysis but also learned about comparing and contrasting great works of literature.  Also, the bonus assignment for Spring Break (the Literary Salon), in which we pretended to be characters from the works we'd read in class during the year, was so much fun (I was Emilia from Othello; I'd recommend this role to future students--it's so much fun!). ;)

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely, for sure, yes, yes, YES.  I've nearly always been a lover of writing and reading, but I haven't always enjoyed reading classic literature (what I now affectionately refer to as "good literature").  I also wasn't a huge fan of poetry before taking this class.  Actually, I wasn't a fan at all.  The Poetry Mondays, however, were so helpful and really inspired me to delve into more poetry on my own.  Now I adore poetry and will most likely be reading some of it this summer. ;)  I also wasn't a Shakespeare nerd before this class.  That changed very quickly after I read Othello in class (don't get me started on how much I LOVE that play...) and after I opted to read King Lear for a book club assignment (*wipes away a silent tear*).  So, yes, now I am a Shakespeare nerd, and I'm already planning out all the Shakespeare plays I'll be reading this summer...  My mental list is probably WAY too ambitious, but we'll see what happens. ;)  Anyway, YES, this course definitely enhanced my interest in literature and solidified in my mind that I'm now definitely (no doubt about it) going to major in English in college. :)

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? 

YES!  My fellow students were absolutely amazing people, and they were constantly pushing me to do my best because they were all always doing their best.  It was amazing to be surrounded by a group of people who are geniunely interested in learning (as opposed to just having fun) and some of whom are just as nerdy as I am about literature (I appreciate this so much). :)  Thank you so much to all of you guys! <3

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I know that probably looks like overkill on the exclamation points, but that's the best way to express how much I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this class and how strongly I think that you should go sign up for this class right now. ;)  I would absolutely recommend this class, especially to students who are willing to work hard, think critically, and grow.  Even if literature isn't your thing, you should still take this class.  The critical thinking and writing skills you'll gain in this class will go on to benefit you in nearly any field you decide to focus on in college.  Plus, the analysis of literature that we conducted in this class is so contagious that you're likely to come out of this class at least liking (or, in my case, ADORING) the study and analysis of excellent literature. :)  So, please, I'm begging you... *gets down on knees*  Take this class!!!!!

One final thing: Thank you so, so, so, so, SO much to Mrs. Inspektor, Mr. Stewart, the TA's, and my fellow students for an absolutely incredible year!  I enjoyed it more than I can possibly express in words and will miss this class so much.  I can't thank you all enough. <3


AP Lit review posted by Danielle on May 16 2018 at 02:45:01

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Overall, I felt prepared for the exam. Right from the beginning of the class, we wrote essays in reponse to prompts from previous exams. Mrs. Inspektor assigned many practice multiple choice tests in the months leading up to the exam and they helped me familiarize myself with the various types of questions. I did have a hard time on the actual MCQ portion of exam, but I used what I learned in class to get through it.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Depending on the workload, I spent around 5-10 hours a week on AP Lit. If we had a long paper due, I would spend many hours working on it, but if there weren't any major projects coming up, I would generally spend about 45 minutes a day on the regular assignments.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed working on the short story assingment. In the past, I was never able to finish a story, but I actually got to complete one in this class. The JASNA essay was challenging for me, but I learned a lot from it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I rarely read classics and poems for leisure before taking this class, but AP Lit piqued my interest in them.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes! Reading my classmates' responses to the weekly discussion questions were insightful, and the book clubs were enjoyable since I was able to hear what others thought about a novel.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I definitely recommend this course to anyone who is willing to work hard on all the assignments. There is a lot of reading and writing every week, but this class will definitely change the way you read novels and poems.


Review of AP Lit posted by Libbi Wu on May 14 2018 at 15:24:52

The course prepared me well for the AP Lit exam. There were enough practice exams for me to feel prepared and there were optional essays at the end for those who may not have felt prepared enough. Mrs. Inspektor gave such helpful comments after each of my essays that I was able to move from 4's at the beginning of the class to 7's, 8's, and a couple 9's. I put in thirty minutes to two hours of work each day for this course. The Novel Comparison Paper was a fun and vaulable assignment! Discussions were also helpful, and I enjoyed writing the JASNA essay as well. This course has increased my interest in literature and classics, especially since I had mostly read YA fiction before the course. The book clubs helped me get to know other students better, and the comments I received from other students on my essays was very helpful! I would recommend this course to other students if they're willing to work hard.


AP Literature Review posted by Angelia on May 14 2018 at 12:24:15

Yes! I felt very prepared for the AP Exam. Mrs. Inspektor assigned practice multiple choice sections very often and starting early in the year, so I felt really comfortable by the time the exam came around. We started working on essays at the beginning of the year, so I also felt good about writing essays on the exam. 

I think about an hour every day including weekends, but more during some specific times of the year like when we wrote our JASNA essays or novel comparison papers.

I really enjoyed all of our assignments! I loved the Literary Salon (we acted as different literary characters), writing our short stories and reading each others, and writing my novel comparison paper.

Yes! Before coming into this class I didn't quite "get" studying literature. Now I feel like I understand what literature is truly about, and I really enjoyed studying it in this class.

Yes, absolutely!

I would definitely recommend this to other students. I think that any student can do well in this course, although it is very reading and writing heavy. It is probably a difficult course to be a first AP or for someone who doesn't enjoy or struggles with reading and writing a lot. 

Thank you to Mrs. Inspektor, Mr. Stewart, and all of my classmates for an amazing year!


I love this class! posted by Faith Hefner on May 14 2018 at 12:16:54

I am not an English person. I have always been more into math and science. BUT, I loved this class. I learned so much and improved greatly as a reader and writer. This class quickly became my favorite. I felt well prepared for the AP exam. I think the novel comparison assignment really helped with that. I felt like I actually got to know the other students thanks to our "in class" is discussions and book clubs. I would absolutely recommend this class others. You spend 8+ hours a week on it, but you enjoy it while you are doing it!


Probably one of my favorite classes I've ever taken posted by Allison Yuan on July 25 2017 at 21:26:20

It has been almost three months since I finished Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit class, and I'm still continually amazed at the many ways it affected me. Mrs. Inspektor taught me how to read and to fully experience a novel. She showed me how to understand and appreciate different forms of poetry. I learned how to analyze many different types of written works, organize the information I gained, and write a compelling essay about it. I found that I could write a multiple paragraph essay in 40 minutes, and I discovered that I could research and write a 6-page paper comparing similar topics in two completely different works in two weeks. I found confidence in my writing that I had never had before; I had always loved creative writing but never thought I was very good at nonfiction writing or analysis. I was partially right about that... When I started the class, my essay scores weren't very high, and it took me a while to figure out the difference between summarizing plot and actually analyzing the many facets of a work. But with instruction from Mrs. Inspektor and her helpful individual comments, I learned how to write literary analysis and how to write it well.

One thing about this class is that there is a lot of reading involved--not only the assigned reading but any instruction is done via written messages. For me, this style of learning fit perfectly with mine, as I learn better when I can read and reread something. For someone who is more of an auditory learner, it may be more difficult to stay focused while reading and fully absorb all the information in the Morning Messages (the main form of instruction). That being said, Mrs. Inspektor's teaching is very easy to understand (though the material can sometimes be far from that), and her messages are very conversational and engaging as she helps you to grow as a writer and reader.

I enjoyed the interaction with the other students in the class. We had multiple discussions each week about our reading, formed our own book clubs, and read and commented on each others' essays throughout the year. I actually learned a lot from my classmates' thoughts on the works we were reading. After writing my own thoughts on each topic, I enjoyed seeing how others could build off or develop my ideas, and it was helpful to do the same with theirs. Sometimes it seemed we were all making new discoveries together, which was fun. In regards to our essays, even though some in the class were more experienced writers, it seemed that everyone had a mutual respect for each other (I know I was always impressed with the writing I read). There was always a lot of positive peer feedback, and the comments made were quite helpful.

I didn't take the AP exam, due to a conflict with a family trip. I was actually a bit disappointed at first because I was excited for the chance to challenge and prove myself. However, I realized that I didn't need a test score to prove how far I had come in my abilities as a reader and writer. Looking back at my essay scores, seeing how I had developed as a writer, and remembering the many works I had analyzed helped me to realize that this class definitely challenged me, but it also helped me to grow. And with this in mind, I can honestly say that if I had the chance to go back to last summer and decide whether or not to take this class, even if I knew I wouldn't be able to take the AP test, I would have signed up right away.

It's difficult for me to say how much time is required for this class... The amount of time required to simply complete the assigned work differs greatly from the amount of time that I often wanted to spend on assignments. One to two hours daily would be sufficient to finish most days' regular assignments. Some days were shorter and some were longer, but most were within that range. However, I probably spent more time on each assignment because I enjoyed it so much. (I took this class during my fifth year of high school [a mixture of high school and college classes, with fewer overall], so I had a bit more time to spend on AP Lit if I wished.)

On the weekends that major assignments were due, though, I would spend most of the weekend frantically attempting to finish and edit it (and sometimes completely rewrite it based on feedback I had received). Although if you planned ahead of time, you wouldn't run into that problem...though it seemed that most of my other classmates were in the same boat as I was. :P  (For future students, group Skype chats are very helpful for motivation, encouragement, virtual chocolate, comments, exchanging critiques, brainstorming, and questions regarding homework. I would highly recommend organizing one.)

My favorite assignment...um...well this is going to be difficult...I have too many. :P  Probably the novel comparison paper, the last major paper we wrote in this class. It was the most intimidating, most challenging, and most rewarding assignment. As I mentioned before, it was a 6-page paper comparing similar topics in two completely different works. I was afraid to even begin at first because it seemed so intimidating, but once I got started, I really enjoyed all the research, outlining, planning, and writing. It was basically the culmination of the entire year, as I had to use all the analytical skills I had gained throughout the class.

I also can’t help but mention Poetry Mondays...  Throughout the year, I looked forward to every Monday because I knew they would include poetry. :D

I should probably wrap this up now, as this is starting to look like one of my super long DQ (discussion question) replies that I always get carried away with… :P  But anyways, if for some reason you haven’t caught on from reading this review so far, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this class.


posted by Allison Yuan on June 14 2017 at 17:52:26

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?
What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?


An adventure worth taking... posted by Margaret Hamilton on June 01 2017 at 01:01:06

Definitely! I was really nervous leading up to the exam because I felt unsure of how well I knew the material but as soon as I broke that seal and started reading the passages and answering questions I realized that I was completely prepared. I had worked hard and Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert had given me all the tools necessary for me to succeed... But honestly as great a feeling as that was I felt even better when I walked out of the testing room and realized that I had been taught way more than any exam could sum up. I had been given a tremendously valuable gift, I was given the gift of knowledge. Something that will enable me to dive into literature with an open mind and keen interest for the rest of my days.

 

Ok well I am not really an accurate person to answer this question because I take extra long to do everything.. It is not that I am not focused or lazy rather the opposite, I would get so into a short story or novel that I would need to know every possible thing about it before I could move on…If there is one word I didn't know or historical context I wasn't familiar with than I would spend time looking it up. This usually ended up leading to me daydreaming into other stories and similarities and then to my own ideas so I could easily spend hours and hours a day in this course. However, like I said I am not a very accurate example so don't be scared off by me; if you are regimented and able to resist daydreaming into fantasy worlds of the books you are reading than I think 8-10  hours a week would suffice.

Hard question because I honestly thoroughly enjoyed every one. Even if something at first seemed hard or I dreaded doing it I would always realize that I would end up loving doing it a learn a ton from each thing. MM were great as were DQ’s but perhaps one of my favorite assignments was the books clubs. It was great being able to choose a book that you may not have read on your own. My first choice was David Copperfield, a very long book which I had wanted to read for a long time. Having other students choosing to read this was fantastic and I loved being able to discuss all of my ideas and questions with my fellow bookworms.  

Absolutely! I came into this class a little hesitant because I was worried that my love for reading might actually be lessoned by studying literature because I would not be able to enjoy the books and stories as much as I previously had. I thought that maybe AP Lit would change the way I see things in a way I was not prepared for.. I was right it did change the way I looked at literature but now I see it is a good change. At times I am now able to understand things more other times I find myself getting more confused when reading because I see complexity in what I may have previously taken at face value. This may seem bad because confusion can be a difficult thing but to me it makes literature even more interesting.. I love looking at things that appear to be confusion and are complex and then make sense out of them. Analysis creates puzzles and questions making reading resemble life which is certainly more interesting than reading purely for pleasure.  

Do I have to choose one? Because my interactions with fellow AP Litters( hmm not really a word..) was both interesting and valuable. Sometimes you would read something that a student said and it would be exactly what you were thinking too and that just feels great cause you’re like, “hey that’s exactly what I thought” more often though my fellow students would find something I never thought of and it would be enlightening. The great thing about literature is that it is, to an extent, subjective. What one poem might be to one person might be something entirely different to another. This of course what makes literature so fascinating!

One prerequisite that I would say every potential AP Lit student should have is being open. Open to new ideas, to books you may have never thought about reading.. One really important thing I learned this year was reading through others eyes. This is not to say that as readers we are weak minded and ready to jump into author's beliefs and opinions but rather to be open to understanding. Go into a novel completely defensive of your own morals, ideas, and beliefs but also jump into it with a wish to try to understand others and contrast those to your own. The most incredible thing about literature is it’s ability to teach us about life, which is diverse and complicated, so when you read try not to look at things as fiction or imaginary rather look at it as a way to understand what surrounds us. Once you do that analyzing literature can be extremely fulfilling.

 

My concluding words to anyone considering taking this class is,  just do it! Take Mrs. Inspector's AP Lit! I don't think anyone has ever regretted it. Yes it will be challenging sometimes it is even  uncomfortable to discuss what you do not know or to talk about your emotional responses to poetry but it is an adventure worth taking. And if you're willing to work hard and love to learn than fill out your AP Lit Application NOW, as ridiculous as it may seem it can change your life.

 


Highly recommended for EVERY student! posted by Hailey Adler on May 28 2017 at 22:36:21

It's almost unnecessary for me to write a review for this class, because...doesn't everyone know how good it is? :) Nonetheless, I would like to recommend this class to any student who wishes to study English. I took both AP Lang and AP Lit from Mrs. Inspektor, and they have to be among the best online classes available. I don't think there is really any prerequisite knowledge to taking this course - I've seen classmates from all different academic backgrounds excel as Mrs. Inspektor is really good at understanding individual students. I think it would be nearly impossible to take this course and not improve in your understanding of English and literature. 


I actually chose not to take the AP exam because I am a senior, and as I will be attending UC Davis and have already gotten the maximum amount of English credit they allow from my 5 on AP Lang (which I also owe to Mrs. Inspektor). However, if I had chosen to take the exam, I am pretty certain I would have gotten a 5. This class offers excellent preparation, as is obvious by students' very high average score. 


It really varied, but this class is definitely not too intensive. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't assign busywork - every assignment is worthwhile. Probably 6 hours per week, but more if there was a major assignment or a larger reading assignment. 


I thought I was going to hate all the major assignments - the short story, JASNA, and the novel comparison - but those ended up being my favorites! They really broke up the exam prep portion of the class nicely with work that seemed more like college-level work. I also love the morning messages


I would say that it actually did. I've always loved English (I got an 800 on the English portion of the SAT lol), but if you could love English any more this class will do it! Fun fact: I'm majoring in biology so I'm not an English freak - I just really loved this class!


Yess!! The book clubs as so much fun, and we had lots of lively discussions on the board. Plus peer grading was a nice addition at times. 


Absolutely! Like I said above, I think anyone could do well in this course if they want to put in the work. 

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for this review. ;) I just think the class was amazing and I want other people to have this experience!


LOVED this class!! posted by Corinne Ebner on May 27 2017 at 21:07:44

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely. I wasn't at all worried on exam day because of all the assignments and exercises we'd done to fully prepare, and I actually enjoyed the exam - I had really enjoyed the class as a whole, which carried over into a very positive testing experience.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

There were pretty much daily assignments in this class, plus Morning Message responses (although those usually took 30 minutes or less), so I usually spent one to two hours per day. Closer to one if it was a reading day, and closer to two if there were discussion questions to answer. The total was between nine and ten hours a week.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Where to start?? I'd have to say my very favorite was the short story writing assignment, which was great because it was an exercise in creativity and really emphasized the various elements that should be in every work of short literature. I also really enjoyed the JASNA essay, partially because the prompt was so broad (and I got to watch movies for research XP) and partially because I absolutely adored Emma and could have written three hundred pages about it. All of the books we read were fantastic and so helpful for the exam, and I was also glad that we did so many extra books in the book clubs. I honestly don't think there was any assignment I didn't like this year (even Poetry Mondays - I will grudgingly admit their helpfulness).

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes yes YES!! I have always loved reading and writing, but this class was so engaging and encouraging and just plain challenging that I have an entirely new appreciation for literature. I adored every book we read in this class and I am so excited to read more in this vein. I feel like my writing style has evolved so much over the past year, which was one of my goals going into this class, so I'm much more confident and mature in my written analysis.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

My classmates were so fantastic all year - we had so many great discussions, both within book clubs and about the discussion questions and essays. Everyone had unique opinions and ideas about characters and symbols and plots, and I had so many great conversations with people about the depth and many-sidedness of the books we studied. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK TO PEOPLE. We lit nerds have a tendency to take no prisoners when it comes to conversations about books. ;)

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Again, you have to want to participate. This class won't be fun if you don't try to connect with your peers and teachers. Also, come in with an open mind. If you're already going "Oh my gosh, Frankenstein sounds sooo boring and it's old" then you're not going to be able to learn from it and engage and enjoy. You're probably going to step out of your comfort zone at some point during the year, whether it's with poetry, creative writing, or just a type of novel you would never read on you're own. So be open to it! It's really worth it, I promise. I absolutely loved AP Lit, so yes, I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a strong work ethic and the ability to appreciate literature. Mrs. Inspektor is fantastic, and you will learn SO MUCH.


Whoever you are, this class is for you posted by Charisa Shin on May 26 2017 at 22:24:44

I absolutely felt prepared for the AP Literature exam. All year long, Mrs. Inspektor had walked us through many assignments, Morning Messages, and practice tests. In addition, on top of actual exam prep, we analyzed books in depth with each other through rich and thought-provoking discussions and completed creative assignments like writing short stories. I was able to walk into the testing room with confidence, knowing that Mrs. I had taught me everything I needed to know, unlike the others who sat next to me in the school gym, trying desperately to remember who Jay Gatsby was. 

But I emerged from this course knowing that I had gleaned much more than mere preparation for a test -- I now feel that I can read and appreciate any novel, essay, or literary work without it seeming too difficult or confusing. I also feel like I gained a deeper understanding of the English language as a whole, and the importance of literary mediums I previously took for granted, such as poetry. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course for anyone wishing to rekindle (or kindle!) their love for literature, challenge themselves academically, and immerse themselves in a stimulating environment where lovers of literature and language abound. 


Wonderful Class!!! posted by Lauren Fryer on May 26 2017 at 20:52:07

When I applied for this class and then signed up, I was very apprehensive. As an avid reader in my childhood, I felt like I had already burned through any books that would interest me. In previous classes, literature was taught, but mainly in the form of short stories with a couple self-guided, self-selected books and projects throughout the year.I was concerned that I would be less than prepared and that the other students would be miles ahead of me. However, I was completely wrong! This class reignited my love for reading and ignited a new passion for real literature and writing. Ms. Baert and Mrs. Inspektor made every aspect of the literature we read interesting and meaningful. This course changed my perspective on literature completely and has developed my writing extensively. On average, I spent 1-2 hours a day, with extra time around our major assignments. My favorite aspects of the class were the book clubs! It was fun to get to know my classmates and explore our common interests in literature together. Additionally, each classmate in the book club brought a different perspective and new insight to the piece we were discussing. I also really enjoyed our JASNA essay as well as the novel comparison essay (it's amusing to think that I was most dreading these assignments)! I would absolutely recommend this course to other students! While they certainly must be willing to work hard, the "work" becomes so enjoyable and interesting. To anyone feeling intimidated by the AP label, don't be! Mrs. Inspektor, Ms. Baert, and the TAs are so friendly and helpful and entertaining! They all work together to form a cohesive, close-knit class. As a senior, I can say that this has certainly been my favorite high school course.


posted by Regan DuHadway on May 22 2017 at 22:15:38

(1) Yes! I was so prepared for the exam and learned A TON this year. 

(2) Per week I probably put in about 6-10 hours of work. 

(3) I really really liked the end of the year novel comparison. I used it for one of the prompts during the test actually!

(4) Yes! I really discovered my love for solving literary puzzles, for that "aha" moment when reading a complex poem.

(5) Yes, but I didn't really get involved with other students that much! Yes, we helped each other out, but I didn't make life-long friends. I think I struggled with this part of the class the most. I wanted to actually physically meet my classmates. I craved the physical classroom setting probably just because this was my first online class.

(6) Yes, I would recommend this course for people who are willing to work hard. I never have seen myself as an incredible writer. I don't even think my writing is good. Math and sceince are my subjects. While most of the students are literary prodigies or at least students who are top-of-the-class writers, I was able to get high scores and learn A TON because I worked hard. 


This is a great class! posted by Audrey Mirasola on May 19 2017 at 16:49:52

This course is challanging, but it is definitely worth it. Throughout the year you take several practice tests and go into the exam very prepared. I would say I spent 1-2 hours a day completleing messages, disscussion questions and reading for this class. While it might have been a lot of work, it taught me to love literature!


Engaging and fun, and amazing preparation not just for the exam, but for college writing posted by Carolyn Garner on May 17 2017 at 01:16:43

While I was taking this AP Lit class, I was also simultaneously taking classes at a community college. Yes, I know community college aren't necessarily known for challenging or engaging classes, but it's an interesting comparison that AP Lit took more time and was far more engaging than all three of my college classes combined (during the spring semester). 

I was not only very prepared for the AP exam, but it was a lot of fun simply taking it. 

 

Biggest Take-away!!

While I cringed at some of my very first essay grades at the start of the year, I quickly learned that it was totally okay to sometimes write out a lousy essay. While preparing for the exam, sometimes I attempted writing an essay more informally, or with more structure, or with slightly less. It was all experimental - and I got to the point where I wasn't afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes my harshest grades were the ones I learned the most from. Taking those risks are helpful. Mrs. Inspektor was *always* encouraging, even if one of my essays sucked. Occasionally I'd try something new and strike that golden grade - and discover that I'm far better at writing a slightly different way. 
All the students seemed to have a mutual respect for the talents and essay-writing-voice of those around them. 

I've been made aware of my weaknesses and better know how to control them. 

I'm also more keenly aware of my strengths, and know how to use them. 

 

Thanks for a wonderful class. 


Best Class Ever Changed My Life posted by Carynlee Berry on May 16 2017 at 12:49:08

Very well! Many of the problems on the AP exam were downright easy, and others were simply enjoyable due to the love of analysis bestowed upon me by this course.

Whoooo boy. More than I was supposed to, that's for sure! I found myself going over the recommended limit every single day-- not because I had to but rather because I wanted to. This class is demanding and if you are anything like me, you will want to go above and beyond the demand. I think I spent from a low of 2 to a high of 7 hours per day on this course. I would highly recommend reading ahead so you do not fall behind in assignments and can space them out over a few days if you need to.

My favorite assignment was definitely the “Short Story” assignment, but this may have been more beneficial to my life outside of AP Lit as it has ignited a love for writing fiction within me. The most useful assignment with concern to the AP exam was the “Comparison and Contrast” essay. This makes you particularly well versed in two books of your choosing that you read within the class. You learn many of the nuances and deeper themes of the two novels, as well as picking up and memorizing many key quotes from them. This assignment was equally fun and valuable!

Very much so! Although there were points throughout the year when I never wanted to see another book in my life, I came out the other side hoping to pursue a minor in English Literature in my college ventures!

EXTREMELY. Not to discount Mrs. Inspektor’s excellent teaching in any way, but the class interaction was definitely the best part of this class! This class is pretty heavily discussion based and the more you interact with your classmates, the more you learn. I would highly recommend starting/joining a Skype group as soon as possible, as a more casual discussion of class materials was very therapeutic and helped me to get to know the coursework and my classmates so much better!

I could not recommend this class enough! A student who is adept at and loves reading and writing will do well in this course. Although that said, I would not recommend this as a first AP course or if you are planning to take many AP courses this year. I managed it with two other APs but I found myself entirely without time to myself, even on the weekends. BUT I am very poor with time management-- I am sure many other students could manage it better, I just wanted to give fair warning. Although this class was hard, it was the most intriguing and fun class I have taken to date and I can’t imagine it being beaten anytime soon! Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent teacher with a great course and I am VERY sad that it is now over for me.


A Haiku and some advice for you posted by Kenneth Harland on May 15 2017 at 21:15:01

AP Lit Haiku:

Enjoyed books galore,
Plays and poems by the scores
I can't ask for more.

All rhymes aside, AP English Litterature with Mrs. Inspektor was a great class. I am a math/science guy, but I really thrived in this class and learned so much from Mrs. Inspektor. I took AP English Language last year, and I enjoyed many aspects of the class. However, I appreciated AP English Litterature's focus on works of litterature as a whole compared to rhetorical devices in Language. I feel that Litterature brought what I learned in Language together and allowed me to apply it the books, plays, and poems I read every day. I suggest that you take this class even if litterature is not your first love becuase, with some time and hardwork, you can really improve your writing and reading, nurturing a life long love of litterature.


posted by Micah Long on May 15 2017 at 15:35:54

Absolutely. This course teaches you how to read, write, and think about literature in an effective way, and while the exam wasn't a breeze, I was fully prepared to take it. 

5-10 hours. For a normal day, I'd spend about an hour, but when larger assignments were due, I ended up putting in a lot more time. 

Both the novel comparison paper and the JASNA essay were extremely valuable in terms of creating a longer-form paper that is very well supported. I loved the short story assignment as well. 

Yes. I've actually shifted some of my future educational endeavors to focus more on literature and art because this course encouraged my love of stories and storytelling. 

I'm not always thrilled with the discussion questions. Occasionally, I feel like they've provided me with valuable insight, but as a general rule, it just seems like a bunch of people typing up their opinions. I think a focus more on individual study would be valuable. The book clubs (while virtual) are generally good and give us the opportunity to take learning into our hands. 

Both creativity and independent motivation are extremely important. With those two attributes, this course is extremely valuable for students. 


AP (Absolute Preparation) posted by Mckenzie Alons on May 15 2017 at 15:03:58

I struggle with intense test anxiety, and in order to tone it down to a sane level I must feel overly prepared in every possible way. Mrs. Inspektor's course prepared me so well that I actually enjoyed the exam -- which, for those who know me, may sound downright strange.  I strolled into the test with a normal pulse and found myself not anxious, but curious about what passages and prompts the College Board had selected and created for the 2017 exam.  I knew exactly what to expect, and my immense store of essay tactics, novel analyses, and literary devices enabled me to navigate the blurier multiple choice questions and trickier prompts with deciciveness and ease.

I spent 2 hours per day on average for this class, including the weekends when major papers and practice exams were due.  However, I enjoy literature so much that I found myself reading other novels, plays, and short stories on the side to complement my course work.  

I especially enjoyed writing the Novel Comparison paper, which was was the last major assignment of the class.  It was a challenging assignment and I spent the first week just trying to decide on the novels I would write about, but the final product was definitely worth all the late-nights and re-writes.  It prepared me immensely for the third FRQ of the exam and also brought my curiosity in literary studies to a whole new level.  I have suddenly become almost obsessively fascinated with literary criticism and Russian Literature, and this assignment just might have convinced me to sign up for a class solely on Dostoevsky for my senior year.

The community this class creates is unlike any other class-setting I have known.  The students are dedicated, curious, and driven, and I was inspired and encouraged by my interaction with each of them.  I particularly enjoyed the "Exam Grader for-a-day" activity because it pushed me to really think about the writing of other students, as well as my own, and develop a more concrete understanding of the College Board's expectations in the FRQ portion of the exam.

I recommend this class for anyone who is willing to work hard and consistently, be challenged, and write...a lot.  With Mrs. Inspektor, your effort will not be made in vain.  You will feel prepared for the exam, but best of all, you will feel prepared -- and excited -- to write and read almost anything.  AP means Advanced Placement, but with Mrs. Inspektor it's Absolute Preparation -- for writing, reading, studying, test-taking, learning, college, and ultimately, life.


An Incredible Tool for Learning and Development posted by Mackenzie Miller on May 15 2017 at 14:16:18

This course prepared me exceptionally well for the AP exam. Mrs. Inspektor (I wasn't in Mrs. Baert's section, but I know Mrs. Baert did this as well) worked us very hard, and I'll be honest, writing timed essays every week got tiring pretty fast. I have left this class with my hatred of timed essays still intact. That being said, the constant practice for timed essays got me to a point where, by the exam, I was far beyond prepared. I was like the Terminator of timed essays. It helped me a lot to pace myself, and the feedback I got from Mrs. I and my peers throughout the year definitely helped develop my writing and general essay skills. I think what made this course really stand out for me (and made it the best course of my year) was the amazing teachers and students. I loved the subject material, and I think anyone who likes literature will, but the understanding, skill, and techniques of Mrs. I and Mrs. Baert really made this a class that I felt helped me as a writer, a student, and a general human being. 


Awesome Class!! posted by Andrew Joyner on May 15 2017 at 11:17:39

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I did not take the AP exam because the college I am attending next year would not accept the AP Lit credit, but I still feel like I can say Mrs. Inspektor did a fabulous job preparing us for the exam. By the end of the year, we had written so many exam style essays that they were beginning to feel like a breeze. We also did some really good multiple choice practice throughout the year.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Usually between one or two hours a day.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed the book clubs. It was fun to get to read a book and then engage with your classmates by discussing and analyzing it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I definitely left this course with a greater appreciation for literature and feel very prepared for college English.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes. Discussion with classmates was one of the best parts of this class. Getting to interact with classmates in our discussion questions was critical to enhancing your understanding of the assignment.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this class! As long as you are willing to work hard, this class is not particularly hard. A love of reading and writing certainly helps:).


Best AP Course Ever!!! posted by Lucie Riddell on July 05 2016 at 14:52:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

A thousand times YES! I've always been a literature type, so I probably would have felt relatively good about this exam no matter where I took the course. However, Mrs. Inspektor ensured that we were not only prepared enough to do well, but confident enough to actually enjoy the test! After writing weekly essays analyzing works from Shakespeare to Austen to Conrad -- writing them when tired, when mildly sick (although Mrs. I is lovely about giving extensions if you need them), when you've had a ton of other homework that day, when you just don't like the prompt -- I can pretty much promise that you will be supremely confident when it comes to doing your exam essays. Same goes for MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions to the uninitiated). 

As it happens, I just received my AP scores today and I did indeed get a 5 on the Lit exam, thanks to Mrs. I and her amazingness. :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Depends on the day. The lightest days, probably no more than an hour. Heavier days (of which there will be maybe two or three in any given week), about two hours, but that's allowing time for me getting excited about discussion question responses and making them super long. The heaviest days, when I had Skype book clubs with my friends, probably three-ish hours; however, that's more because I *liked* the subject than because I literally had to spend that much time on it. xD 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

Two words: book clubs. Seriously. If you take my advice and take this class, PLEASE put all the effort you can into organizing and staying in good book clubs with people you enjoy book clubbing with. There's nothing that can beat reading Shakespeare aloud with your friends over Skype and analyzing your favorite characters with people who bring such insightful, thoughtful contributions to the table. I got lucky and ended up in my first book club with a group of lovely people that have brought so much joy to my life ever since, but if you don't end up with the people you click with the first time around, please keep trying! I can say from personal experience that the right book club really can change your life. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I didn't think it was possible to enhance my interest in literature (if you haven't noticed already, I'm a total English nerd), but this course did the job. Mrs. I introduced us to so many diverse and different styles of literature that I found myself appreciating books, like Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, that I would never have picked up on my own.

I also gained a new appreciation for works like Emma and Their Eyes Were Watching God that I already loved, but didn't fully understand before this course. Before AP Lit, I loved Shakespeare; after AP Lit, I've been nicknamed Luciago (Lucie + Iago, after playing him with much vim and vigour in our Skype reading of Othello), have organized and participated in a live reading of Much Ado About Nothing at the AP Party, and am marking up my copy of The Tempest with staging notes in the hope of directing it someday! 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

No. Not at all. It's not like I met my 5 best friends through this course or anything. :/

Sarcasm aside, this is by far THE BEST PA Homeschoolers course I've taken as far as class interaction goes. What started off as participating in a few lively book clubs quickly expanded into chatting on long Skype calls about nothing in particular, editing each other's novels, giving each other relationship advice, becoming mutually obsessed with Shakespeare and inventing our own Shakespearean alter egos (Luciago being one), and finally meeting up in person (yes, all 6 of us, from New York to California to Virginia and all over in between) at the amazing AP Party, hosted by Mrs. Richman herself. Whether or not our plans to have a get-together every summer come to fruition, I'm so grateful for all that these crazy, amazing girls (and the many other brilliant and thoughtful students in AP Lit) have taught me, both about literature and about life. <3 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

Given the caveat about "if you're willing to work hard yadda yadda yadda," I think anyone could do well and have fun in this course! My biggest piece of advice, again, would be to really throw yourself into the atmosphere of the class; there are so many amazing people and opportunities to take advantage of if you only reach out! It's probably possible (although I never tried) to treat this class like just another AP: do the homework, take the tests, hope you get a good score on the end-of-year exam. But it can also be so much more than that. More than any other AP I've taken, what you put in is what you get out. If you're doing your best to be involved, I can promise you that you won't regret it. 

Oh, and one more thing -- I happen to know that the TAs this upcoming year (2016-2017) are total superstars. Alexander Zlokapa contributed so much to the discussion boards last year with his insightful discussion question responses and his thoughtful comments on people's work. And Abby Shaffer and Katherine Ichinose...well, let's just say that (a) they are among my aforementioned 5 wonderful best friends, and (b) I can assure you that class with them as your TAs will never, EVER be boring. xD 


Please just take this class posted by Clara W. on May 24 2016 at 02:12:56

I can't stress enough the impact that this class had, not only on my high school education, but on all parts of my life. As I go off to colllege this year, I'm heading into challenging coursework knowing that I have been given a solid foundation in upper-level English, thanks in large part to this AP class. 

Of course! This class is challenging, rewarding, and so much fun. I learned to work with other people, I made new friendships that will last outside the bounds of this class, and I worked harder on this subject than I ever have before. My point is, this class is so much without the AP exam. However, this class is fantastic preparation for the AP exam. I went into the exam actually excited to see the questions and how they would compare with what we had studied over the year. I was thrilled to see how prepared we were. 

It completely depends on the week. When we were writing literary analysis papers, I was probably spending about five hours a day on my work. However, in a reasonable week with nothing  out of the ordinary happening, I would estimate that I spent about two hours a day on the coursework. However, the work is so fun and you're surrounded by so many enthusiastic people that it really doesn't feel like hard work. 

Over Spring Break, we had a Literary Salon, where we assumed the roles of characters and got into mock fights, parodied music from Frozen, and prepared for the exam. I've never laughed so hard at my schoolwork. 

I also loved the book clubs. They are one of the most unique and important aspects of this class. I made close friends and learned the value of analyzing literature in a community. Oh, and I used Skype a lot. That Skype loading sound became the soundtrack of my senior year. In AP Lit, I could discuss a wonderful book with people who were just as enthusiastic about it as I was. 

Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! I've always been a person who loves English, but this class enhanced my interest exponentially. It also gave me the final push to embrace an English major in college. 

This is one of the most interactive PA Homeschoolers classes I've been in. Students are kind, supportive, and (sometimes overwhelmingly) intelligent. I've even started a blog with a few of the students from this class. On our blog, we talk about many of the same things we discussed in this class. I'm also a part of an extremely active Skype group (and I mean active...I appear on Skype an hour after I left and find 500+ notifications). In class, Mrs. Inspektor encourages constructive criticism and some of the classwork revolves around responding to other student's ideas. 

Hard work is absolutely required. I am wholeheartedly an English-lover, and I was an English-lover coming into this class, but future students should be aware that they will be pushed more than they ever have in an English class. I remember feeling discouraged after the first few mediocre essays. When I look at my writing at the end of taking this class, I'm amazed at the progress I made in substance and in style. Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent teacher and I can promise future students that, if they work hard, they will finish this class with a phenomenal English education. 


Take this class! posted by Megan Pollon on May 11 2016 at 16:06:03

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes!  We did a ton of practice tests and essays.  I felt very confident in what I was expecting and how I was going to write each essay.  Obviously, you can't know what prompt you're going to receive, but Mrs. Inspektor discusses what to do when you are lost and don't understand something on the exam.  I felt like I did well on the exam, now I just need to wait for the score to see for sure:)  In addition to the actual exam part, Mrs. Inspektor also prepares you for being nervous and how to deal with your nerves.  I went into the exam feeling pretty calm and I was able to use any nerves that I had to help me focus.  

How many hourse of work per day did you generally put into the course?

I put in about 1-2 hours per day.  There is work due almost everyday, so set aside 1-2 hours to do it each day.

Are there any particularly Favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really liked the Novel Comparison Essay.  This allowed me to pick two of my favorite books and go into depth with them.  It was great exam prep too.  This assaignment was structured enough that I wasn't worried about what to do, but it also made me think really hard about the books I was reading and draw a lot connections.  

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!  I already loved to read, but I think I now understand why I love to read.  AP literature gave me so many skills for understanding novels and drawing greater meaning from them.  I now have so many more things that I want to read this summer.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, I particularly enjoyed the discussion question interaction that we had.  It was really fun to see other people's insights on the works that we read.  I was also fun to argue about differing points of view.  I found my classmates' feedback on my essays to be very valuable as well.

What sort of student would do well in this course?  

Anyone who is willing to put a lot of work into it.  This class is not easy. Getting the assignments done isn't too hard, but doing well on them is difficult.  You have to be able to try new things in your writing and persevere when it just doesn't come out in your grades.  Also, I recommend taking AP English Language first.  That course helped me with my writing, so I didn't have to focus on it as much in this course.  I think it would have been incredibly difficult to start with Lit, but I know some people do that, so it can work.


<3 <3 <3 posted by Katherine Ichinose on May 11 2016 at 15:03:54

I didn't think I could love any class more than AP Lang, but boy, oh boy, was I wrong. 

But this class. There's no class that can beat this class. (Unless Mrs. I starts a Shakespeare class? *hint hint* xD) This class is challenging, enriching, enjoyable, encouraging, and just generally a beautiful thing. I couldn't have asked for better classmates, teachers, TAs, assignments, etc. Not only that, but the environment of the class is so stimulating. Everyone is encouraging, making it easy to share your ideas and I've never met a more talented and kind group of people. 

Oh, very!! I'm a very anxious person in general, but I know I was fully prepared for the exam. The exam itself may have been the easiest part of this class! Mrs. I prepares the class thoroughly and I walked into the exam room knowing what to expect and knowing I had every reason to be confident on the exam. 

Honestly... as many spare hours as I had after the rest of my schoolwork was done. xD You could get by with working one to two hours per day (depending on what assignments are due and what you're currently reading), but I loved this class so much I could have spent days on it. 

Oh goodness. I LOVED getting to write a short story, and the discussion questions were always very fun and enriching. I have to say, though, that the book clubs take the take. Through the book clubs, I got to connect with wonderful people who I am now friends for life with. Not only that, but the book clubs were FUN. We put together live video-call dramatic readings of Shakespeare plays, which not only was insanely fun, but also helped SO much with comprehension of the plays. I can honestly say, though, that there was no assigment in this class that was not valuable and did not enhance my understanding of literature. 

Yes! I didn't think I could become more interested in literature, because I already loved it so much, but this class has encouraged my to appreciate works of literature I would never have enjoyed without this class. I've come to really understand Shakespeare, to see the witty humor in Jane Austen, to delve into ambiguous morals in Heart of Darkness, and I've defended characters that other students have found frustrating. *hugs Laura Wingfield protectively* I've always loved stories and characters, but this class has pushed me to love stories and characters that are hard to love, to see beauty in darkness and to appreciate the meaning of tragedy. 

*glances at Skype thread of AP Lit students now called "Beautiful Hobbits Writers Club"* *glances at waffle necklaces on my dresser* *glances at literature blog I have started with my classmantes* *glances at my countdown until I get to meet my classmates at the AP Party* *glances at all-caps conversations about the most random things* 

... erm. yes. very interesting. xD 

This group of students are some of the most talented people I've ever met. They have caused me to look at things from a completely different perspective, they've pointed out things I would have never seen before, and they've been there to help me through frustrations and have celebrated in triumphs. I've forged lasting friendships through through this class and I can't say how grateful I am for that. 

So when (WHEN, not IF) you take this class, please talk to people and make friends. You can't imagine how wonderful I will be. 

I can assure you that any class willing to invest effort in this class will be well rewarded for their hard work. My brother does not share my love for literature to say the least, but he still did very well in this class. Mrs. I is very encouraging and can work with people of all different interests and talents. She will bring out the best in you as long as you're willing to do your best. PLEASE, PLEASE take this class. I promise you will not regret it. 


If you love writing... posted by Matthew Coile on July 17 2015 at 18:33:40

...why in the world are you waiting to sign up for this class?

I received a 5 on the exam, thanks to this class. My writing definitely improved, as did my appreciation for literature. Not only does Mrs. Inspektor offer helpful feedback on your writing, but she also uses the internet very effectively in organizing the class. I think the highlight of the class, however, is the interaction with fellow English nerds across the world. Discussion questions, book clubs, comments on each other essays... unbelievably helpful. Yes, it was harder than organic chemistry, harder than calculus, harder than anything else I've done, but it's also one of the best things I've ever done. 

If you relish a challenge and wish to improve your writing, sign up for this class right now!


This class taught me so much – take it! posted by Jackson Min on June 08 2015 at 14:54:29

I really enjoyed this class. Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic instructor who has a way of teaching that is interesting and informative. She is engaging, fair, and makes the work enjoyable 


AP English Literature posted by Nathan Emery on May 16 2015 at 24:17:22

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely! The practice essays throughout the year and discussion question responses all helped me prepare analysis and critical thinking about literature, which helped me on the exam essays. Those skills also translated to multiple-choice, so I felt very prepared when I was taking the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I spent about an hour and a half most days, although that varied when I was working on one of the three long papers or doing review. Generally, though, I spent about 8-10 hours a week on the course.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I would say the three big papers–a short story, an analysis of Mansfield Park, and a novel comparison analysis–were the most valuable. Though I am not a story writer, writing the short story was challenging and valuable, and the two analysis papers challenged me to analyze deeply and gather specific evidence from the texts. The skills I honed in those papers were valuable in class, on the exam, and will continue to be valuable as I read literature in the future.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes! Before I began the course, I enjoyed literature and engaged in some analysis, but this class pushed me to analyze more deeply, evaluate more critically, and ultimately engage more fully with novels and poems than before. This all gave me more appreciation for literature.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, they were certainly valuable. Students' comments on my essays were always thoughtful and helpful, and the points they added and discussed in response to the discussion questions were almost always well-developed, well-supported, and added to my understanding of some part of the text.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Being willing to work hard is necessary, as with any AP course. Additionally, to do well, a student must be willing to put in effort to accept suggestions and feedback and apply that to essays and analysis. Since this course is not so focused on material as is, for example, a history course, students must always be willing to attempt new techniques, challenge themselves, and voice and support their own ideas to gain the full benefits of this class.

I would certainly recommend this course! Although it is challenging at times, even for students who are naturally writers or avid readers, the skills I gained are certainly valuable. Additionally, this class gave me new perspectives on literature and poetry, as well as deeper appreciation, and those are things I hope everyone could gain. 


awesome class! posted by Natalie on May 07 2015 at 14:26:17

Mrs. Inspektor did an absolutely fantastic job, not only making me extremely prepared for the AP exam in every aspect, but teaching me skills that I will definitely use in college and in life. This class has, quite honestly, dramatically changed my reading experience. Before this class, I just read to get the basic plot summary in the shortest time possible; typical Natalie style is to rush through tasks as effectively as possible- in the shortest amount of time. Reading was one of those tasks that I did just to to do before this class. But once I realized that I was missing a lot of deep analysis compared to the rest of my classmates, I started to read not only more slowly, but more deeply, and consider the significance what I'm reading. My experience with literature is much more enjoyable, and I feel like I've found a new world to explore. I spent an average of an hour on this class per day, mostly writing or reading. I would recommend this course to students that are willing to work hard and don't want to take a passive approach to literature anymore. 


Definitely Recommend!! posted by Catherine Marlin on May 07 2015 at 12:38:03

Definitely! Sometimes I thought that there were too many assignments, but that's what an AP class is- if you feel you aren't doing enough in the class, you probably aren't! Every single assignment helped me to learn how to analyze different kinds of literature and poetry. Even outside of the AP exam this class taught me so much about literature.

It generally varied. On a typical week I usually put in about an hour and a half a day give or take. On busier weeks when we had big papers due or book clubs, it was definitely more. The fact that there were many assignments each week also taught me to manage my time - a definite plus!

As much as I thought writing essays was tedious, this part of the class seriously helped my writing both on the AP exam and in general. Now writing papers don't seem like such a huge task!

I've never actually planned on doing anything with liturature in college, I'm more of a science person. But I know I'll need to take English classes in college anyway, and this class is probably the best preparation I could have hoped for. Seriously. And if you're someone who loves liturature, you'll probably like this class even more!

Yes! Book clubs were awesome. It was so fun getting to discuss books with other people, especially since a good portion of my school classes have been with just me, being a homeschooler and all! It was also good to have feedback on what you wrote from people your age since they were going through the same assignments.

If you are willing to work hard, go for it! But this class is not for the faint of heart. The assignments focus on making you a better writer and analyzer, so go in with a mind to improve. It is also a highly rewarding class, especially with all the help you get from Mrs. Inspektor, TAs, and your fellow students. Highly recommend in all ways possible! :D


A Wonderful Class posted by Megan Crutcher on May 07 2015 at 12:02:12

Mrs. Inspektor's class prepared me very well for the AP exam. I felt confident with the material and my skills in analyzing literature grew immensely. I grew from getting 3s and 4s on essays to getting 8s and 9s throughout the year. This is a testament to Mrs. Inspektor's helpful comments and the AP practice she gives her students. I highly recommend this course. Anyone who is diligent and likes to read will do well in it.


Excellent class!! posted by Georgia Murray on June 23 2014 at 23:25:31

Yes.  For sure.  The AP English exams (I took both the lang and lit exams, although I only took the AP Lit class) are rather different from any other AP I have done in that they don’t really have a specific body of information that they cover.  For this reason, there isn’t much text-book style learning in this class.  Instead, Mrs. Inspektor prepped us by having us write many FRQs throughout the year and also having us complete discussion questions on our readings as we went.  This helped really secure the novels in my mind and forced me to look for a level of depth I wouldn’t normally search for – very helpful come exam time.  She also had us complete quite a few MCQ tests and made us analyze our mistakes, so we were well prepared for that portion, as well.

Maybe two on average?  It’s kind of hard to say, because when you are reading a novel, it depends largely on how fast you read, etc.

As many others have mentioned, the frequent essays were very helpful.  In the spring, Mrs. Inspektor also assigned a longer novel comparison paper, where we had to choose two novels/plays and compare/contrast them with regard to a specific prompt which we chose with her approval.  I did The Great Gatsby (my favorite book from the assigned reading list!!) and Heart of Darkness, and I really felt like I gained a lot from the exercise in terms of how to approach literary analysis when given more than 45 minutes.

Hmmm.  Not sure how to answer this.  I’ve always loved literature, but it isn’t something I plan on studying in college or anything.  One thing I will say, though, is that this course forced me to branch out in my literary taste, for which I am very appreciative – neither Heart of Darkness nor Wuthering Heights were novels that I was ever likely to read on my own.  The former was hands-down one of the best written works I have ever read (way more intense then I usually go, but whatever), but I never would have known that had I not been exposed to it through this class.

Very much so.  I mentioned the discussion questions earlier – well, those are very interactive by nature, because you have to respond to the posts that come before you.  We also did six-ish book clubs, where you had to discuss whatever book you had selected with your partners

One who likes literature for literature’s sake and who wishes to expand his/her experiences therein.  For me, I have a few authors whom I just love – Shakespeare (but I prefer to see the plays on stage rather than to read them), Jane Austen, Tolkien, sometimes Dickens, etc.  I also have stuff that I just don’t generally read, no matter how many times someone tells me it is a classic – like Frankenstein, for instance.  However, this class really helped me try other stuff, and while I still have very decided preferences, they are at least more informed judgments.  Plus, I got to add Oscar Wilde to my list of beloved authors (for his witty plays, not for Dorian Gray, which goes on the list of things I refuse to read despite obvious literary merit).  I also learned to appreciate works that aren’t my normal thing – for example, Crime and Punishment, which I did for our social commentary book club,is rather darker than my usual genre, but not only do I appreciate its literary merit, I honestly loved the whole thing.


Great Course! posted by Tim Seida on May 29 2014 at 13:51:10

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. Mrs. Inspektor’s course gave us all the tools we needed to be prepared on the AP exam. The practice essay prompts that we did throughout the year were especially helpful in preparing for the exam.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I had already liked literature before this year, but Mrs. Inspektor’s class made it more fun and exciting.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

The class was very interactive, and my classmates’ thoughts on readings and discussion questions were always very thought-provoking and fun to read.

Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would recommend Mrs. Inspektor’s course to anyone who wants to increase their ability to enjoy literature, do well on the AP exam, and have fun.


Wonderful class! posted by Michaela Miller on May 17 2014 at 19:52:56

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes! Mrs. Inspektor had us read books that would be useful for us on the third free-response question of the exam, so there were no worries about that. The discussions we did as well as the essays we wrote throughout the year prepared us to answer all of the free-response questions, and we did plenty of multiple choice questions for practice. There was also a chat to discuss one of the multiple-choice passages, and though I wasn't able to attend it, I found reading through the transcript of it really helped to answer my questions about why certain answers were correct and others weren't. This was definitely one of the exams I felt the most prepared for.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I think I probably put about ten to fifteen hours into this class each week from the beginning right up until the week before the AP Exam. I have to be honest, I fell behind in my work more than once during the course of the class, so the large amount of time I spent may be partially due to the fact that I was trying to both keep up with new assignments and complete past ones. The workload of this class is by no means overwhelming, but combined with the other things I did this year, it ended up being a little bit much for me.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Yes! The novel comparison paper! Though at first I felt that this assignment was a little bit unrelated to exam preparation, I quickly realized that it was the best thing that Mrs. Inspektor could have assigned us. This paper required that we do extensive research into two books of our choice, find a way to compare and contrast them, and then support our assertions with specific references from both the text and several literary criticisms. Though it was hard work, I was both very proud of my finished paper and also had enough knowledge of two different works to easily write about either one in response to any free response question three prompt that might be thrown at me. I actually did use one of the books I wrote about in this paper on the exam, and I'm sure that my essay would not have been nearly as in depth as it was without my having completed this assignment.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! Before this class, I was intimidated by the idea of studying literature and I felt that too often people try to find meaning in a work that the author never intended to be there. However, after only the summer reading assignment I had become thoroughly interested in analyzing works of literature and by the middle of the year I was absolutely in love with this subject. I have been so inspired by this class that even though I already have all four English credits I need for high school I have decided to take British Literature next year just for fun.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Absotively posolutely (I'm running out of ways to say "yes" haha)! MY classmates were always willing to provide helpful, kind, and encouraging feedback on my work. I am certain that without them my writing would not have improved nearly as much as it did this year and I would not have enjoyed this class as much as I did. Their ideas made discussion very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading their varying points of view on the poems, books, and passages we read.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

As long as you are willing to work hard, I think you will do excellently in this class! I would especially recommend this class to students who aren't doing a lot of other AP classes or who don't have an otherwise busy schedule. I LOVED this class, but I feel I wasn't able to get all I could out of it because my busy schedule prevented me from fully participating in discussion and turning in some of my work on time.


BEST. ENGLISH. CLASS. EVER. <3 posted by Lillian Ji on May 15 2014 at 04:52:07

Okay, this class is a must. Not just for people who love English, people who love reading, and the like, because we all need to be equipped with skills for communicating ourselves and understanding the communication of others. This class is by far the best English class I've ever taken, and one of my most beloved classes ever. It's a very close second to APUSH with Mrs. Richman (just saying, I severely underrated my APUSH review last year in my post-exam daze and I will never forgive myself, so I can't let that happen with this review). Taking this class brought my analytical skills to a whole new level, and I discovered a passion for studying literature which will carry on with me through the rest of my life. Guys, if you love knowing that there's other people out there who feel the exact way you do, if you love seeing the world through new eyes, and if you love studying life, you'll love this class. Not only is AP Lit fun and enriching in and of itself, but it also helped me in other areas of my life. For instance, the skills this class gave me help me better understand the Bible, which contains more symbolism and metaphor and irony than anyone imagines (I mean, duh, it's the best work of literature in history for multiple reasons). Additionally, learning about syntax helped me comprehend the complex wording of legal documents and other...dry material we debaters sometimes sift through. So AP Lit gives you real-life skills and lets you ponder life and is fun. AND Mrs. Inspektor is such a wonderful teacher: she tells me exactly what needs to be worked on and how to improve. Also, she understands how crazy schedules and life in general can be sometimes. And not only is she funny and encouraging, but she's also quite open-minded and understanding. Ah, what's not to love about this class?

YES, absolutely! I'm the type of person who is horrendously paranoiac when it comes to exams and other stressful situations. However, I was incredibly calm the days leading up to the exam. This was primarily due to the excellent preparation Mrs. Inspektor gave us. We wrote about two to four essays a month, which significantly sharpened analytical and writing skills. We were given excellent instruction about analyzing poems, short stories, novels, and plays, and participated in lots of fascinating discussions. By the end of the year, we had viable options for the open question (in which you choose a work of "considerable literary merit' and analyze one specific aspect/motif and connect it to the "meaning of the work as a whole") and had the skills necessary to understand literature and defend our interpretations of meaning. I'm thankful that the exam went very smoothly for me. Due to numerous practice tests and essays, I was very comfortable with the exam format and content. I had fun taking the exam(:. Another reason the exam was so low-stress for me was because AP Lit is slightly more skills-based than knowledge-based. Once you have the skills necessary, no cramming is necessary: a light review of terminology and the works we studied is all that's needed. So the subject *and* the class is awesome :D.

Approximately 1-2.5 hours a day were sufficient to complete the assignments. Generally, I'd spend 7-15 hours a week, with the average being roughly 10 hours. We'd have a morning message to respond to (it might be composing a sonnet of our own, discussing the interpretations scholars have about the works we were currently studying, or reading the background of a play), and then an additional assignment for the day which could be an essay, responding to fellow students' work, responding to discussion questions, and such. How much time spent really depends on the individual's levels of ability and interest.

I'm pretty sure I enjoyed every single assignment. So many to choose from, hahaha :P. I really loved the novel comparison paper. We analyzed two works of our choice in depth (which we had previously studied in class) and compared and contrasted them, while focusing on a common theme, like identity or home or betrayal. I loved how the assignment was rather like a culimination of all that we had learned throughout the year. Plus, I got to know two of my favorite works better (Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby). I highly enjoyed re-reading the works (or parts of them) and tracing common themes and looking for the overall significance behind the motifs presented. The assignment greatly enhanced my understanding and love for the two works I chose. The fall semester short story assignment was super fun too! After we finished the short story unit, we could write an analysis of three short stories or write our own short story. I picked the latter and had a blast! Reading literary criticism (and arguing for or against the interpretations presented) was also fascinating! It was cool seeing what the "pros" came up with(:. 

Without a doubt, yes! I've always loved reading, but I never really understood books beyond the plot. However, this course changed that, and I've come to fall in love with the meanings of works (rather than the character ;]). I've discovered that I highly enjoy studying literature, and I hope to continue this study in college xD.

Definitely! My classmates were awesome. I loved the book clubs we did together, in which we formed groups to study works of our own choosing (with approval from Mrs. I, of course), and I really enjoyed listening to different points of view and other ideas! My classmates were also helpful in often providing feedback for my work. We were able to encourage and help each other along! The discussion question interactions were just fabulous. I loved how we responded to each other and added our own individual ideas, building upon each other's analysis and answering the question with this whole lovely patchwork of ideas x). Also, I had this awesome friend, and we would exchange papers (and encouragement) throughout the year. It's wonderful how Mrs. I made this class highly interactive. I had the time of my life thinking, discussing, and sharing with my classmates.

A student who loves reading and writing would love this course! More importantly, the type of student who would do well in this course, whether or not they love English, would be the type of student who's self-motivated and not afraid to ask questions and think outside the box. This course is a lot of work, but it's very do-able! It's just that it's difficult to catch up if you fall behind. Self-motivation helps the student who's on track stay on track, and the student who falls behind (which is inevitable sometimes) get back on track. It also pushes a person to go above and beyond expectations and to truly strive to give the best that can possibly be given. Moreover, not being afraid to ask questions and think outside the box would help a student in this class, because part of AP Lit is about not being scared to get your feet wet, discovering your own interpretation of a work and uncovering the deeper meaning behind a symbol or character...and making the meanings a part of yourself. Because we study literature to study life, and literature is a view into reality and the world around us (and I love the irony of using fiction as a gateway to reality xDD). We feel for the characters, and we see the same traits and meanings reflected in our own lives. There's just something so chilling about Kurtz's last words in Heart of Darkness ("The horror! The horror!") because we ourselves have experienced a harsh glimpse of reality and of the depravity lurking within our hearts. There's something so understandable about Catherine from Wuthering Heights and her struggle between stability and freedom and with herself. And we feel for Nick and Gatsby, because we too have been disillusioned with the reckless, meaningless ways of the world. I've adored exploring the meanings of life within literature this year, and yes, I'm pretty sure you can already tell that I unequivocally recommend this class.

Oh, it's been such a great year! I'm incredibly thankful that I had this opportunity to learn and grow with my classmates and teacher.

(And thank you for forgiving my verbosity and love for superlatives and adverbs.)


Class Review 2014 posted by Lilly Sweitzer on May 12 2014 at 23:19:00

This is an amazing class! I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a class in preparation for the AP Lit/Comp exam or even someone who is just looking for a literature class. 

This class is amazing preparation for the exam--by the month of the exam, I felt so prepared that I didn't even need to cram any more studying in! This is not, by any means, because I am simply an awesome student. No, it had a lot more to do with Mrs. Inspektor's teaching style and course work. The discussion questions, morning messages, essays, reading, practice tests and other site interaction caused me to focus on literature and literature analysis for an hour to three hours each day. Although this work may have seemed tedious at times, it not only prepared me for the exam but also for english courses in college. 

Some favorite parts of this class have been: 

And finally, the classmates are great. I'm really disappointed that I can't attend the get-together this May, because I have gotten to know my students through our discussions and book clubs, and it would have been great to meet them and the teacher! 

All in all, yes. Take this class. If you are willing to work hard, take this class.


Diving In posted by John Baert on May 12 2014 at 13:13:44

This class only works under one condition. Nobody forces you to do anything in this class. Sure, there are required assignments and of course the teacher wants you to hand in everything on time. But, this is a class that requires dedication and total commitment to the subject. If you don’t love the subject, you will have to learn to. If you don’t wake up early, you will have to start. If you don’t read for pleasure and keep a journal, you will have to. I guess if this review isn’t speaking to you yet, we are different types of people. But let me rewind a little.

When you picture Mrs. Inspektor, you should really imagine someone like George Patton. She is the Harry Parker (the renowned Harvard rowing coach) of literature. It didn’t hit me until I was already a good bit into this class how much she wanted me to do. Every week was packed with assignments that she didn’t expect me to take light heartedly. In fact, she wanted me to push myself every day of this class to succeed in the subject. What I also learned was how much she wanted me and the other students to thrive.

It is 6:45 am. I schlep over to my computer screen. I begin reading the Morning Message. Fifteen minutes later I wish I hadn’t read it because I now have an enormously intimidating assignment hanging over me that will continue to hang over me until I complete it. Hey, who cares? I’ll blast through it now and just get it done. Twenty minutes later I finish reading Perrine’s textbook. No idea what I just read. How could I? I didn’t hardly pay attention. Yeah, but no one really expected me to and if they did they must be out of their mind.

Eight minutes later I click submit. I had just stuttered my way through a horribly general morning message response. Great! This would still be hanging over me. Forty minutes later I had finished all there was to do for today for this class. I was somewhat happy with myself because I usually took forever. At least I did what I would ordinarily do in four hours in less than two. So there was my first improvement. But at that point I was literarily tone deaf. I couldn’t hear myself and even if I could I knew better than to wait for the song to finish. I quickly clicked closed my lap top.

I kept that up for about three months before I let the frustration start to show in my responses. Don’t get me wrong, I tried and I had been trying harder than ever before and looking back I wouldn’t be where I am today without pushing myself in every area. But I thought I had arrived. In reality, my essay grades were nothing short of novice and my DQ and MM responses where nothing more than rushed, unfocused attempts.

Then it hit me. I don’t remember when. It hit me gradually, I guess. Half the year had passed and I had begun to accept my work. Rather than thinking that the assignments never asked the right questions I realized I was just giving the wrong answers. I felt slightly relieved. At least I knew now that I wasn’t a literary genius and could work for the rest of the year to become familiar with this abstract subject. So, in little ways, I attempted to better myself.

I started reading more. I kept up my journal writing. I kept rising early in the morning for the morning messages. The only difference was that I was coming to the computer knowing that I needed to know what was inside the morning message. I came to the screen now looking for help in everything Mrs Inspektor would assign. I began taking the assignments not as a constant evaluation of my skills but as a chance to practice them and improve them. Test day wasn’t the only day to go all out. Today was the day and every day.

Mind you, I don’t quite know what Mrs. Inspektor had in her mind about me at this point. But I wasn’t anything new either. She had seen dozens of me before. Only the other me’s were probably more receptive. Little by little things started improving. It was starting to get easier. I could still do the work in two hours but they were so much more valuable than before. It became addictively fun to learn. Mrs. Inspektor was letting us write poetry. She was letting us write short stories. My! What opportunities! Everything became a chance to improve.

Two weeks ago I received the last two week syllabus. It was the last class update I would ever receive. Wait! I had just started. To me the class was only beginning. I was finally getting the grades I wanted and the confidence in my writing voice that I wanted. Click. Click. Click. It was all clicking. Beep. Beep. Beep. 6:30 am. It was test day. I was overjoyed and sad. I thought for an extra moment this morning. A thought settled into my mind after some rustling around in the brain. Yes, I was happy with what I had learned this year. But all the credit went to Mrs. Inspektor who didn’t budge on my grades until I budged. All my usual fake it till I make it tricks hadn’t worked.

That’s also when I had the Patton revelation; pearl handled pistols and all.

So, now that I’ve possibly dissuaded you from taking this class, bear with me a little longer. This class is one big opportunity. You would be unwise not to take it. This class is a chance to look deep into yourself and find what’s really there and also find what wasn’t there that you thought had been there. It is also a chance to learn: to write, to read, to think, and to improve. Go on, take it and don’t look back. This is a new frontier with unchartered waters, pirates, storms, possibly cannibals, and maybe even rogue whales. But don’t let that scare you. Dive in.


Please take this class! :) posted by Janessa Hughes on May 10 2014 at 19:59:35

First, this is such an amazing class, and Mrs. Inspektor is a phenomenal teacher! All year she invested so much time and energy into helping the class excel, and I have grown so much in both my appreciation of literature and my ability to communicate my interpretation. By the time the AP exam came around, I felt so prepared and didn't feel the need to cram or stress out. That's not to say that this class is not hard work. It definitely is! I typically spent about 1.5-3 hours a day completing assignments. But even though it at times felt tedious, I am so thankful that I persevered. *Everything* she assigned helped me grow so that I could be confident for the exam (and for analyzing literature in the future).

My favorite assignments this year were probably the numerous timed essays. I enjoyed the challenge of analyzing under time limits, and it was encouraging to see my writing develop as the year progressed. Another aspect of the course I really appreciated was interacting with the other students through discussion questions and book clubs. I am also so grateful for Mrs. Inspektor's communication. She gave such helpful criticism to my work, and was always encouraging.

I definitely recommend this course! Don't think that you have to be a really great writer, or an experienced poetry analyst. If you are willing to work hard, stay on pace with the schedule, and learn from Mrs. Inspektor's advice, then you will definitely do well. Good luck! :)


+Recommended! posted by Nicole Strittmatter on May 10 2014 at 01:52:45

First of all, I want to thank Ms. Inspektor so much... she definitely puts in an outstanding amount of time and effort into her teaching and her students. For anyone looking to take a serious online AP course, I strongly recommend taking this one.  Out of all the AP classes/online courses I have taken, this one was honestly one of my favorites (if not THE favorite). After completing this course, I felt even more prepared than I did when I took AP Language in private school last year. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the assignments we had… I think they were fairly graded and truly insightful. With Ms. Inspektor, I never got a grade that I was confused about, and even if I was initially surprised, she always followed up with comments about why I received the grade and how I could improve in the future.  If you are looking for an “easy A”, this is not the class for you. However, if you are willing to work hard to increase your knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for English, I would recommend this class. Even if you don’t consider English to be your favorite subject, I can see where this class would give you great experience. It was interesting to read certain novels/works with the whole class, but also have the opportunity to discuss other books in small group discussions. Overall, I really did enjoy English this year, and if you choose this course, I hope you will too.


This is an amazing class! posted by Nicholas Emery on May 09 2014 at 22:50:52

Definitely. Although there were maybe one or two literary terms I had forgotten on the exam, otherwise, I felt completely prepared. I can say that, if I missed any questions, it was my own fault, not a result of not being prepared enough.

I spent anywhere from 1 to 2 hours per weekday on the class, with an average of 1.5 hours/day. Usually the only time I had to work on weekends was when I had a paper, such as the novel comparison paper, due. And of course, I put more time into some book clubs than others.

I found the novel comparison paper (essentially literary analysis comparing one aspect of two novels) very helpful. As we only were to submit one draft, in addition to greatly improving my analysis skills, I learned to pace myself (especially since I had tons of college visits the week before the due date). I also found Mrs. Inspektor's "Poetry Mondays" extremely helpful. As my previous English courses didn't include much poetry, I felt these poetry analysis days extremely helpful in helping me become a better reader and analyzer of poetry.

Well, I always loved literature, but I'd say I like it even more now :). As I can now better analyze literature, I'm able to gain more enjoyment from novels and poems. I also have a greater appreciation for poetry. Before AP Lit, my not-so-great poetry analysis skills made me look with a bit of foreboding on poetry assignments, but now that I'm much improved in this regard, I gain far more enjoyment from poetry.

Definitely! This class is much more interactive than many other AP's I've taken. As a result, I've gained valuable insight on my essays from my fellow students. As well, their posts in discussion question threads pushed me to take my analysis deeper than I would have on my own. And, finally, doing book clubs with classmates was a fun way to discuss works and just enjoy ourselves.

I'd say any student willing to work hard (one of the many things you'll learn in AP Lit: include a few terms from the prompt in your AP essays to make sure you are staying on track :)) and who is willing to approach literature with an open and eager mind will do well in this class. Although I didn't agree with every work, I was still able to analyze and appreaciate the rich depth of nearly all the poems, plays, and novels I encountered. Also, you must be able to pace yourself on your assignments but also be willing to compromise with classmates on joint assignments. The novel comparison paper at the end of the year is perhaps the best example of this--you only submit a single final draft and must schedule the assignment yourself and update progress on the website.

Basically, if you like literature (or even if it's not your favorite), consider this class! I really enjoyed learning from and interacting with Mrs. Inspektor, classmates, and the course material to take my analysis and appreciation of all forms of literature to the next level.

Nicholas Emery


Truly Phenomenal English Class-You Won't Regret Or Forget It! posted by Justine Staub on May 09 2014 at 21:53:11


AMAZING Class! Take this! posted by Sarah Becker on May 09 2014 at 21:06:36

I LOVED THIS CLASS! I've taken many online classes, but this one is definitely near the top of the list. Mrs. I is an amazing teacher, and I'm sad that AP Lit is over already! I learned so much in this class: how to analyze poetry, how to analyze prose, how to analyze novels, how to write about different types of literature, how to discuss literature with a group, and, most importantly, how to LOVE literature! That's what I'm taking out of this class--the realization that literature can be a powerful way to convey truths about humanity, and the desire to read more of it! I made so many great classmates, got to read some great works, and had many opportunities to have deep conversations about literature.

This course definitely prepared us for the AP exam. Throughout the year, we wrote many exam-style essays that were extremely helpful. You won't necessarily get 9's the first time you try (I got a 3 on my first essay!), but that's the whole point--you'll see yourself improve!

Mrs. I had two major assignments--a short story (or you could write an analytical paper as another option) in the fall and a novel comparison paper in the spring. These assignments were amazing; I wrote a short story I'm extremely proud of and I was able to dive *very deep* into the two books I chose for my spring paper. I now feel confident to enter a college literature class--Mrs. I has given me the tools and skills in order to succeed in future literature classes!

Going into the class, I can't say that I was a big fan of reading... it's still not my favorite hobby, but I now see the powerful, powerful themes found in literature. I see literature in a different light, and I approach it in a different light.

Another thing I enjoyed about the class was the book clubs Mrs. I had us participate in. Not only were these great ways to get to know my classmates, but I was able to pick a book I wanted to read and then discuss it with others.

Bottom line: take this class! You'll love Mrs. Inspektor, and you'll learn so many things--through every discussion question, Morning Message, essay, and novel you read. This is a phenomenal, thorough, well-developed class, and Mrs. I has so much experience. This has been one of the best parts of my high school years so far, and I hope it can be one of yours, too!! 


Only thing better than this class? Mrs I's Lang class and maybe Mrs R's APUSH... ;) posted by Priya Stepp on June 28 2013 at 01:18:52

Before I answer the actual questions, let me just say that this was an AMAZING class. You need to take it. End of story. I’ll also try to make this review shorter than my review – which was actually more like a novel – for Lang last year, so maybe someone will actually read this. :P Like I said in my title, the only class better than this was Mrs. I’s Lang class and perhaps Mrs. Richman’s APUSH class…see a trend? Mrs. I is an awesome teacher who really understands her students and while pushing them hard to do their best, stretch themselves, and exceed the standards expected on the AP exam, also keeps in mind their crazy school schedules, unexpected events, and their human-ness I suppose. ;) And, well, I guess Mrs. I learned from her mom, right? ;) This past year I had really challenging family circumstances that most people don’t go through, and Mrs. I was amazingly understanding and was always ready to talk with me about anything I was concerned about in class and my actual, “non-school” self. If you take this class I guarantee you that you will NOT get a teacher who is distant, cold, or unfair…after two years of being her student and a year of TAing, I can tell you that she’s about as far from those characteristics as Gatsby was from despair. Yeah, bad analogy. But c’mon, Gatsby and Heart of Darkness ARE my two favorite books I read in this course...so give me a little break. ;)

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Um, a capital YES YES YES. I went into the AP exam soooo confident, and that rarely is the case for me, as I’m by nature a worrier and I’ll fret about allll my tests, even the ones I’ve spent months studying for. While I was a bit concerned about what topic Question 3 on the exam (the open-ended question in which you need to choose a book to answer the prompt) was going to be on, I was pretty confident on all the analyzing MCQs and the essays. Throughout the year we’d write 1 AP essay a week – at least – with that number increasing in second semester. We also had to take 5-6 practice MCQs, and do little exercises afterwards to make sure we learned from our mistakes. Oh, and as a side note – this course won’t JUST help with AP exams but also for the SAT and the SAT subject test in Literature…I got 800s on both my critical reading SAT and the Lit subject tests and I’m 100% convinced that if I hadn’t taken Lit and Lang that would not have been the case. So take this class!!!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

That’s a toughie…it really depended on the week and even the day. Yeah, I know that’s not much help. The assignments in Lit are daily, so it just depended on what was assigned…some days I’d spend four hours reading the assigned pages, responding to the morning message, and writing the required number of discussion questions, and other days I’d just respond to the morning message and edit a paper or respond to classmates’ essays for maybe two hours. In general though, I’d say in a typical week I’d spend a total of 16-18 hours a week on Lit.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Um, YES. Mrs. I had us writing FRQs even like the third week of class, so that was sooo helpful, having feedback on “real” AP essays quite literally the entire year. Also, in each semester we had one “big” project. First semester was a paper on several short stories and second semester was on two novels…and both papers, but especially the spring one, were immensely eye-opening. I was able to analyze The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby SO in-depthly (yup, I invented a word, like any, uh, good AP Lit student…) and after reading Gatsby a total of probably 5 times over the past school year as a result, I love the book soooo much :D And it also helped me dig deeper into those two books and gave me two very viable options for Question 3 on the exam.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Once again, a definite, definite YES. The very nature of the course revolves around LOTS of student-student interaction, which I just loved. I have some now-very-nearly-best-friends whom I met in Lang and who were with me again in Lit, and I met some new people too. There’s something amazing about having amazinggg friends scattered throughout the States, many of whom (who didn’t go to the AP Party – shame!!) I’ve never met, yet who understand me better than and are there for me more than my friends here in Maryland. Most of my AP friends are heading to college this year, while I’m a rising senior, but we are keeping in touch like crazy…the relationships you’ll forge in this class if you interact and go beyond the required interaction will amaze you. :)

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I tried to keep this short, much shorter than my probably-several-thousand-word review for Lang last year. :) If I could repeat a year in Mrs. I’s classes – which, believe me, they were such awesome classes that I truly wish I could – I could probably pick Lang, just because of the amazing way my classmates and I just gelled and the specific assignments that were more up my alley slightly, but Lit is downright amazing, head and shoulders above 90% of the classes I’ve taken in high school. TAKE THIS CLASS. You’ll be so glad you did. :) 


Everyone deserves TEA* posted by Nina Camillone on June 10 2013 at 24:49:51

Disclaimers: You might not want to take this class. It will shake up, turn upside down and inside-out, poke, prod, and polish your view of short stories, novels, drama and poetry. Possibly it will strengthen your literary analysis skills to the point where you can't just plain read anymore without seeing symbolism, irony, suspense, and other techniques of their cohort haunting you at every corner, and maybe half-recognizing a few characters from previous adventures. You might find yourself surrounded by crazy classmates who don't even sing normal words to songs half the time because they write their own, and they might convince some of you to wear ridiculous costumes or speak in a strange voice to act out scenes from a play you're reading for the course. Weigh these costs carefully.

If, despite these grave and dire warnings, you decide to take this course . . . one last word of advice. BEWARE of an absolutely fantastic, caring, attentive, and patient teacher who WILL push you to do your best, answer your questions, help you hone your essay-writing and literature-analyzing skills, motivate you with pictures and/or videos of her adorable daughter, and maybe even write college application recommendation letters for you.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

*TEA = To Excel at AP English. Lame, I know. But take this class!! And again, don't say I didn't warn you. :)


AP Lit is awesome! posted by Jack Novack on June 06 2013 at 18:53:32

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam, the student interaction and the active TAs/teacher really helped me in studying and understanding the material from Perrine's Lit. There is an excellent forum system on the class website, and any questions or confusions were always answered very quickly. 

I worked about two hours per day on this course, so about 10 hours per week. Not an incredibly difficult load of work. More so considering that the majority of our homework was written essays, which, if approached with the right attitude, are fun. 

My favorite assignments were the AP essays that we wrote multiple times per week. Writing them and reading/reviewing those of others really helped me understand the difference between a boring essay that restates the question and a powerful essay that argues a point. 

"Did the course enhance my interest in the subject." Well... I certainly find reading classical (and even commercial) fiction more interesting, and I can pick up and recognize a lot more literary devices now. So yes, this course brings you to a new level of reading comprehension. IF this question, however, is asking whether or not I would consider an English major because of this class... no, not for me.  

The communications between myself and the other students in the class were excellent. There is a very well organized and easy to use forum on the main page of the website, so class interaction is very frequent. We are also required to respond to the essays, papers, and comments of others, so we not only meet other people but get to learn a LOT from them. 

A student with a background in literature will excell in this course. If you already know a good format for a paper, how to use adjectives, and how to makes sentences relatively smooth, you will very quickly grasp the connection between writing beautifully and writing a beautiful argument. Like all AP courses, you will have to work hard in this class, and occasionally you will open the WWW Board in the morning to discover a challenging assignment you know will take a long time, but if you a resilient this class will pay off. By the end of the year you begin to understand everything, and the class as a whole becomes very enjoyable.

Many of you may know this from reading the reviews and course description, but Mrs. Inspektor has not had a student score below a 3 on the AP test in something like two or three years, so rest assured, she is an excellent teacher who will do her best to teach you the information you need to know to pass the AP test.


Well Worth the Time It Took! posted by Bethany Gardner on June 06 2013 at 03:48:21

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?


Yes. We went into this test confident (and often far more prepared than the students at the school where we took our exams!).

AP English tests aren't the sort of thing you can study for overnight; they test skills more than factual knowledge. You need to know basic rhetorical devices and poetry terminology, as well as a good range of books for the open question, but beyond that, it's analysis and writing skills that you can't cram in a week of frantic studying. But we learned these things throughout the year and will take them beyond the exam.

As an added bonus, AP Literature multiple choice questions make the SAT critical reading a stroll in the park (although you'll take SAT essay prompts) and the SAT Literature Subject test very doable.


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Since you're often reading two books at once (one for regular assignments and another for your book club), this class does have a heavy workload. I believe I averaged around 12 hours a week, including reading on the weekends. Be prepared to live and breath your novel comparison paper books for three weeks and to start quoting or referencing your literature books as much as you can without your friends/family yelling at you.

However, this class is well worth the time it takes! The reading, though dark and depressing at times (the best books show humanity for what it truly is, and, well, humanity's rather terrible), is fascinating. My critical thinking, analysis, and overall writing improved tremendously this year, and I made wonderful connections with my classmates.


Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?


The novel comparison paper. Yes, it ate up my "spring break." Yes, I got yelled at for quoting Crime and Punishment excessively. Yes, I spent at least 8 hours finishing and perfecting this paper the day it was due.

But I turned out what is currently my finest piece of writing, and I loved living in those books.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, but I was already planning to be an English major or minor.


Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?


Definitely! The book clubs are the runner up to the question before last. We usually met via G+ hangouts, and the live discussions allowed us to synthesize our ideas and work through difficult questions and concepts together (as well as have hilarious sidetracks).

I had the pleasure of meeting 1/3 of this class at the AP Party, and it was awesome. Nonstop book references, exploring the Richman's whimsical house, finding poetry Mrs. Inspektor wrote at the age of 6, Paradise Lost and AP exam parodies of popular songs, and sleeping in a cupboard that looked like the attic passageway in The Magician's Nephew.

Based on my experience in this class, I'm looking to apply to a selective or honors college in the attempt to find classmates like these--bright, motivated, interesting, and diverse. They made it worth being in a class.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?


If you are willing to devote the time, I would highly recommend this course!

"Over-thinkers"--people who read between the lines and analyze everything--seem to enjoy AP Lit and high-level literature classes in general. I've also found the propensity to make sometimes-unorthodox connections (between parts of a novel, a prompt and book, or two different books/poems) is helpful.

This course focuses on ideas more than actual writing, so it is assumed you are fairly comfortable with essay writing, grammar, and mechanics beforehand.

 

Other:

AP Lang or AP Lit?


There are people who did very well in AP Lit without having done AP Lang, but the general consensus is that you are better prepared if you do AP Lit second. This is because AP Language focused much more on style, helping you develop a clear writer's voice and construct sound arguments (without those, even the most insightful analysis falls flat). Also, the analysis in AP Language tends to be at a different level-- more of how language conveys a meaning or effect, instead of what that effect it.

Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher!

People were saying that they felt more connected to her half-way around the world than to the college professors the saw every day. Mrs. Inspektor has a gift for continual encouragement and constructive criticism.


Absolutely Fantastic! The best class ever! posted by Tejal Sarbaugh on May 29 2013 at 23:35:46

     This class has been the best literature class I have ever taken! Though the work was tough at times, it was never more than we could handle at a time. I definitely felt prepared on exam day. Not only that, but I also feel a lot more confident about the papers and work I will have to face in college. The level of work presented in this class improved my writing skills, analysis skills, and fed my love of literature. 

     The interactions in the class with Mrs. Inspektor, the TA's, and the students were phenomenal. Never during the year did I feel discouraged when it came to my work. Rather, I felt motivated by their constructive criticism and unfailing support. I would recommend this class in heartbeat! I've already mentioned it to a few friends who were interested in taking an AP English course. If you're hard-working, ambitious, and are interested in any form of writing or literature, TAKE THIS CLASS! 


Definitely take this class! posted by Suzanne McLendon on May 25 2013 at 14:47:09


Seriously amazing class. posted by Hannah R on May 21 2013 at 02:29:17

I felt very prepared for the exam. We did a LOT of timed essay practice, so by the time I got to the exam I was writing 4/5 pages of essay in 40 minutes (the AP Englishes will do that to you :) ), and so that part of the exam felt fairly routine/easy. Multiple choice is always a little tricky, but Mrs. Inspektor did an awesome job of helping explain the different strategies to deal with that part of the test, and she also provided us with a wide variety of assigned readings such that I wasn't very phased by any of the styles of passages on the exam. 

It honestly varied. Some days I'd put in about 30 minutes. The typical day was probably about an hour though, maybe a little more. During the two major assignments, the short story mini paper and the novel comparison paper, I spent WAY more time on the assignments. For the novel comparison paper, which we did in early-ish April, I probably spent about 30-40 hours over the course of a week working on it. So while it may seem like a deceptively light workload at times, don't let it fool you--the major assignments fully make up for those days where the assignments only take a few minutes :) But the two papers we worked on were so much fun and so awesome that the time spent working on them was well worth it. 

The novel comparison paper was just a fantastic experience. It's this 10 page paper, and the premise behind it is to take a past AP prompt (or create your own prompt like I did) and answer it using two novels by comparing and contrasting them. I used Frankenstein and Dracula, and overall it helped me not only have a fully understanding of the two books, but also forced me to think about writing larger papers. It was a bit of a challenge getting it to all flow coherently, but it was a very rewarding paper and a really great way to wrap up the class. 

Oh, definitely. Although I'm entering college next year as an intended engineering major, I decided to apply to one of my school's residential programs (a living community within the dorm), which is focused on bringing together people interested in literature and culture. I'm very much hoping to be a part of that next year since discussing literature has grown on me very much this year. 

Yes! This (along with AP English Language) was one of the most interactive online AP classes I've taken. I felt like I got to know all of my classmates even though we hadn't actually met. I'm really hoping to meet a bunch of them next year in person, and I can't wait. :) 

I would recommend this course to anyone who is passionate about reading, who wants to improve their skills as a writer, and who likes to have discussions with people of all different opinions. This was my second course with Mrs. Inspektor, and I can honestly say that after being in her class for 2 years, I feel thoroughly prepared to jump into college English classes. Her classes not only helped prepare me for the respective AP Exams, but also helped me with writing various essays for my college applications. They truly were invaluable, and I found this class to be just so informative and so interesting because it taught me so many things about literature that I previously overlooked. You don't have to be the best writer to take this class--Mrs. Inspektor will guide you along the way, and I think her constructive criticism has helped the entire class gorw together in their abilities. I also just want to say that the TAs this year were absolutely fantastic, and gave us a lot of good tips and feedback over the course of the year. Overall, if you're willing to work hard and you truly have an interest in literature, take this course. It will change the way you view literature, but in a good way :) 


Contained Herein: AP Lit, Squirrels, and one Sorting Hat posted by Olivia Cockley on May 20 2013 at 22:49:03

AP lit is an excellent course and it is ultimately very rewarding, although it is not for the faint of heart!  There were times throughout the year when I was absolutely in LOVE with the class and other times when I never wanted to think about it EVER AGAIN!   But, if I had the choice to do it over again, I definitely would. 

I felt very well prepared for the AP exam.  I wasn’t panicking like a squirrel in the middle of a road, not sure which way to run because of the essays  trucks bearing down from both directions.  I was scared, yes, but part of that fear was dread of going to a high school, DURING SCHOOL HOURS, to take the AP exam.  (I guess you could say I have publicschoolophobia.  But then again, what homeschooler doesn’t, right?)  We wrote essays responding to AP level-prompts taken from the Collegeboard website every other week and in the second semester started taking timed multiple-choice tests taken from previous exams.  Even when we weren’t writing actual essays, we were analyzing some EXCELLENT books (Wuthering Heights <3<3) and responding to discussion prompts.  I felt quite prepared and so will you, if you take this class. 

As far as how many hours I put into this class each day, I’m not sure of an exact total.  However, the assignments are usually not something you can dash off in 30 minutes.  You’ll have to be prepared to put time and effort (and sweat, tears, and possibly even blood!) into this class, but IT’S ALL WORTH IT!  This class will stretch you in so many ways that some days you’ll feel like a limp piece of elastic, but you’ll learn soo much through it.  (And your brain will regain its normal shape.  I promise.) 

I do have one regret about this amazing class: I only did one bookclub.  Bookclubs involve choosing a book to read and meeting through Skype or Gchat to discuss it with several classmates.  Because of various forces beyond my control such as the amount of other schoolwork I had this year, I was only able to do one bookclub.  It was really fun and don’t be like me; DO BOOKCLUBS!!  Anyway, chatting with other students is important and I really wish that I had done more of that.  It would have been fun to do more bookclubs and it’s always helpful to have someone to swap practice essays with. 

This class is fun, but it is not for everyone!  I know some of the reviews say that this is a class for everyone, that everyone should take it.  I’m not going to say that.  If you like literature, want to challenge yourself as a writer, or enjoy writing, then go for it!  However, it is a lot of writing and reading.  If you struggle with writing or plan on majoring in Outdoor Education in college, then this class is not for you.  Choose wisely; there is no AP class sorting hat to choose for you! 

Over all, I would highly recommend this class to you guys.  It’s a great class, I think you’ll enjoy it, and I KNOW you’ll learn a lot.  Mrs. Inspektor is a WONDERFUL, SUPER-HELPFUL teacher who goes way beyond EVERYTHING to be helpful and supportive.  Over the course of this class, you will fall in love (wonderful books!), party with a mysterious rich dude, discover ultimate darkness, and possibly murder your wife with a pillow!  Hang on to your hats, folks, it’s quite a ride!  


A Class Anyone Interested in Literature Should Take posted by William Jepma on May 20 2013 at 14:56:49

As a student who plans on majoring in Writing, I knew I would be taking AP Literature courses throughout high-school, but really, I had no idea I would learn as much as I did from Mrs. Inspektor's class. It was a lot of work (I do mean a lot) but it was so worth it. I probably put in an hour or two a day on average, more than that when we were studying for the exam or preparing for a big paper, but even though I worked hard, I never really felt over-worked. The many assignments Mrs. Inspektor assigned us were daunting at first, but because she gave us plenty of time to work on them, and detailed guides on how to go about writing the papers, I never turned in an important project late, or felt that the finished work was anything less than my best.

There were so many parts of this class that I loved. From the essays I had to write (which were influential in preparing me for the exam) to just chatting with my fellow classmates, this class was an experience I won't soon forget. It showed me a side of classic literature I never knew existed, and I've discovered my passion for stories goes deeper than just heroes and heroines. Because of books like The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, I've not only found out that literary fiction is not always dull, but that literature can be so much more than just fantasy.

I've made friendships in this class that I hope will last a lifetime, learned things I will never forget, and discovered a part of myself I didn't really know existed. Yes, the class worked me, it challenged me, but when it finally came time to take the final exam at the end of the year, I can honestly say I've never felt so confident. I really was prepared for it, and couldn't be happier about how I feel I did on the exam.

If you're somoene who enjoys reading literature, take this class. If you want to learn how to get more out of reading, take this class. If you want to challenge yourself to be a better writer, then definitely take this class. I don't regret taking it, and I don't think you will either.


a great class for anyone posted by Hannah Huynh on May 20 2013 at 14:30:14

As a math/science inclined student, I was very apprehensive about this class.  I was a pretty wide-read student from previously literature classes, but analyzing prose and poetry was just very challenging to me.  Mrs. Inspektor was an amazing instructor who provided us with many opportunities to develop those analytical skills particularly in her discussion question assignments.  I felt prepared for the exam in knowing many techniques to use to score high on the MCQ and many great books to write my essay on.  I spent about 10 hours a week on this class.  The daily assignments itself took maybe 7 hours total each week but we also did book clubs and that was my absolutel favorite.  We students would form our own groups and finish reading and analyzing a book in several weeks.  I really liked the weekly Google+ hangouts arranged with my classmates in discussing themes, motives, symbols, etc. from the book because that really helped my analytical skills and helped me appreciate literature more.  The wwwboard was a great place to communicate because Mrs. I posts daily messages so everyone has to respond daily.  That means every student is checking the website daily so if you have a question that's posted, there are many people who are willing to answer.  I was very fortunate my year to have three amazing TAs who would read over my two large essay assignments.  To succeed in this class, you have to do the assignments daily instead of cramming all in one day, but Mrs. I gives you everything you need to be successful.  So, though I was initially worried about this class, I worked hard and was able to do well in the class.


Take this class if you want to learn why classics are classics. (And much more.) posted by Sarah Kane on May 17 2013 at 24:33:32

I'll admit it, before this course I was COMPLETELY dubious about taking ANY AP literature course. 

I am (cough, cough *WAS*) not a classics person. I liked some books I'd read over the years for school, like Jane Eyre . . . that is, the parts I'd chosen to read instead of skim over. That was eigth grade, though, at a prestigious private school where they didn't really care if we'd actually read the books, only that the titles were on the class syllabus and that we carried our Penguin Editions around with pride.

I was really bitter about this.

I wanted to read experimental fiction thrillers and things I actually ENJOYED. Shoot me. Also note that at the time I was extremely proud of this fact and possible maybe sort of had a reputation for being that person with the guts to write "WHY AM I READING THIS" on the front cover of Julius Ceaser. I didn't see any point to reading Austen if you didn't want to--I mean, yeah, awesome story but I don't want to write essays on it and blah blah blah, I'm sure my classmates wanted to strangle me every time we got a new book and I started my rant on classical education and how phony and boring it all was. For multiple reasons, I ended up leaving that school. =P

THEN came Mrs. Inspektor's lang class (this is a review for lit, but my praise starts with lang!) which completely stopped me in tracks with everything school related. Oh my word, that class....changed EVERYTHING! I adored it, I feel like it taught me how to write....but still, I was loathe to take her lit class because I still didn't see any point to classics, and I'd read most of them anyway and theeeyyyy wwweeerrreee boooorrriiiinnnnggggggg.....but thank goodness I have a mother who doesn't let me choose all my classes based on what sounds good.

I took lit, and yes, the books were hard, the workload was intense, the time I spent blew private school lit class out of the water, but NO--

THEY WERE NOT BORING.

I honestly don't know what it is about Mrs. Inspektor's classes, but she can make even the snobbiest, anti-literature person get through these tough, tough novels and enjoy them in the process. Heart of Darkness, my own personal enemy, actually turned into something I spent hours dwelling on after the book, talking to people about, googling at two in the morning, and re-reading. YOU HEARD ME, *RE-READING*....I read Gatsby twice, too. And GOSH, I feel like I got so much out of these novels. I don't think I can go back to reading summer romance novels again. Heck, I don't think I can even WRITE romance again. Unless it's a simmering soul-fest like Wuthering Heights, or a culturally enlightening commentary like The Great Gatsby, which, though I HATED in eigth grade, I love now. Love. I haven't even seen the movie yet because I'm worried they will have missed the entire point of the book, because they didn't take Mrs. Inspektor's class! 

****ACTUAL REVIEW OF CLASS BEGINS HERE****

Mrs. Inspektor IS PHENOMENAL! The most kind, encouraging, involved, real, funny, and smart teacher ever. It's impossible to believe she's thousands of miles away....I feel like I know her AND her cute baby better than any of my college professors from this year. Her daily updates are crucial for keeping an easily distracted person like me on track, and the deadlines, which may seem very numerous, are also a really helpful part of the class set up.

The books are great. Read them. Read them again. 

The PEOPLE...oh, the peope that take these classes. Maybe I've just been blessed with incredible classmates for the past two years in Mrs. I's classes, or maybe being soooo nice is one of those things Mrs. I specifically requires in a student. Let me tell ya, there's more comraderie in these classes than in ANY I've taken before. Bookclubs are fabulous, fun, and a great way to get to know people in a really casual way. It doesn't ever feel like "school" when I'm skyping with a bunch of awesome people and we're all drinking tea and discussing Frankenstein. I got to actually MEET one of my classmates this year (wwwoooooaaahhh!) and we went to see a play together-one we'd studied in lit! It was AWESOME. 

So, should you take this class? 

I don't know, are you awesome? THEN YES! Do you like classics? THEN YES! Do you hate classics? THEN AN EVEN BIGGER YES! It's just a WIN for you. There's a lot of work, but every minute of it is ENTIRELY worth it. You'll cry when class ends because you'll miss it so much. I loved Mrs. Inspektor's class(es). And I'm not a school person. But in lit, you'll do more than school. You'll get to use your brain, enjoy discussion, enjoy people, and see RESULTS. It will change you! 

TAKE THIS CLASS! Put on a cape and send in your application RIGHT NOW! It will be so worth it. If I could take this class again, I WOULD. And there are very few (like, no other) classes I would say that about. OKAY I'LL STOP BEING MUSHY, JUST TAKE THE DARN CLASS ALREADY.


Just Take the Class. Go. posted by Alexandria Sewell on May 17 2013 at 12:33:28

Absolutely! We explored and analyzed a wide array of books, and I can definitely tell my writing has gotten better. 

The morning messages varied day to day, but usually, it was a hour a day. Though, certain assignments required more work. 

Since this course introduced me to one of my most favorite books in the world now (The Glass Menagerie), I guess all assignment related to this play was my favorite. 

Mhm! I'm considering majoring in Comparative Literature in college. 

Interesting! These guys are best. :)

If you want to work hard, read awesome books, and have the cutest mascot ever (Mrs. Inspektor's baby Nitsah is just too adorable), take this class!


Sign Up!!! (aka, I'm jealous of you since you can take this class and I've already finished but want to take it again) posted by Abby Casey on June 01 2012 at 15:16:27

Before I launch into this review, I have a question for you, the prospective student:  What do you want from this class?  Mrs. Inspektor is the most amazing teacher I have ever had.  By the time you finish this class, she will have equipped you with the vocabulary, analysis skills, and critical thinking skills to approach the test with confidence.  More than that, if you determine to put everything you've got (excuse the imprecision) into your writing, Mrs. Inspektor will teach you to cultivate your writing to a point where your style is recognizably, uniquely yours. 

Every one of my fellow students had some similarities that I think are crucial in someone looking to take Mrs. Inspektor's class.  You'll have to be willing to work hard on every project.  While some of the assignments are easier than others, they're all important to your understanding of literature.  You will have to be dedicated.  You'll have to participate in class assignments (they are so much fun).  And you have to love to read.  And write.  Honestly, this is a class for dedicated students who want to expand their writing and analysis, and who desire an amazing teacher to guide them on their way.

I spent 2 hours per day on class work, both reading, and completing daily assignments. However, as the year progressed, we wrote a lot of essays (sometimes 3 per week), all of which take 40 minutes each.  That added on to my homework and weekend studying.  In addition, there were extra bookclubs, and reading and writing I assigned myself in order to better prepare.  I will say, though that sounds like a lot of work, it was so much fun, the time flew.

HUGELY!  All of my classmates were amazing, and taught me through both their own work, and their kind criticism of my own.  Some of these kids have definitely become my e-mail buddies.=)  Also, anytime I had a question, it was almost immediately answered by either the amazing Mrs. Inspektor, the superbe TAs, or a knowledgeable classmate.  For our bookclubs, we used several different methodsp (Skype, g-chat, e-mail).  I definitely feel as though I know my classmates, although I never met any vis-a-vis.

I always got feedback on my work both from Mrs Inspektor and my classmates, which not only helped me hone in on rough spots in my writing technique but helped to develop my thinking.  Mrs. Inspektor's comments are always kind, and very encouraging - as were the other kids' in class.

I never thought I'd read Heart of Darkness or the Great Gatsby.  Not only did I read them (several times), I ENJOYED reading them.  I've also found that even though I might not like a book (I still don't LIKE Heart of Darkness, sorry Eva-Marie), there is always something worthwhile to learn from reading it.  And that's just one example!  Even books I'd already read and loved became fresh and inspiring as I learned the subtleties and nuances of their details.  So, to answer the question, how did my perspective on literature grow this past year:  exponentially!

Time management.  I loved the class so much I didn't want to study anything else!  I really did have to discipline myself to study less, um, fun, subjects, such as Calculus. =) 

All of them!  I actually can't pick.  That reason they were all so fun was simply because of the attitude of the class. Everyone is so excited to learn and share their thoughts, that every Sunday, when I received assignments for the week, was exciting!  I will say though, I particularly liked the final, Spring Semester paper.  It was fun to take all those analysis skills and flesh out my observances into something longer than just a 3 paragraph essay.

I found that though the course is focused on exam prep, Mrs. Inspektor prevented the course from becoming dry or repetitive.  In fact, she really focuses on your overall knowledge of literature and builds your skills all around.  This in itself prepares you perfectly for the exam.

Sign up!  This was a great class with great kids and a great teacher.  I love it.  And you will too! =)


Great, challenging class! posted by Mark Olsen on May 22 2012 at 16:08:15

Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class is a great challenge. While I took me an hour or so a day to complete assignments, most of the challenge came through the content of the work. Reading tough books and writing numerous essays and papers definitely prepared me for the exam. Mrs. Inspektor does a great job of pushing her students to do/be more through fun and engaging assignments like the spring Novel Comparison Paper. After taking the class, I definitely have a great appreciation for literature. I've always enjoyed it, but now I love it on a deeper sense. Now, I don't just appreciate what a book says, I appreciate what it is.

Communicating with other students is extremely important in this class. While the choice is yours, I found that the students that communicate and interact with each other did better on essays and papers. If you like literature, reading, book, challenges, and (yes) fun, then you should certainly take this class.


An absolutely amazing course! posted by Thomas Nath on May 21 2012 at 15:55:32

Yes, I felt extremely prepared.  I felt incredibly confident on the exam.

Maybe 7-8 hours a week--about an hour a weekday.  There's usually a response to a Morning Message, some reading/writing work, and maybe an essay at the end of the week, so it's very manageable.  What's great about the course is that there are absolutely zero unnecessary assignments; everything is very well designed so you get the most out of it.

Probably the novel comparison paper or our literary themes paper.  The first required a comparison of two novels (2500 word limit) and the second was an outline of a particular author and the themes in his/her work (1500).  Both were incredibly fun to write, and prepare you for the rigors of a college-length paper.

I loved literature already, but the class definitely exposed me to areas of literature I hadn't previously enjoyed, and I ended up loving everything we read.  I'm a major proponent of the short story style now.

Yes.  You meet a ton of people through this course and interact daily, which I loved.

I recommend this to absolutely anyone.  Mrs. Inspektor is a FANTASTIC teacher who will prepare you for the exam, but more importantly give you an understanding of literature that is extremely comprehensive and thorough. 


Tales of an Enlightened Lit Survivor posted by Matthew Fonken on May 18 2012 at 20:52:25

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

All students! Coming in as a science/math geek thinking I really didn’t need AP English, I learned to enjoy the complexities of our language and how it is much more than a single dimension of words.

 

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

Get ready to work your hardest and more importantly, get to know your own creative, closet-poet self.

 

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

~10+/-5 hours, it really depended on the week and I did get a ton faster as we went.

 

To what extent was this class interactive?

Responding to responses of responses. We really got to know each other through guided and free discussions, and personally through book clubs. With something everyday, this class was very interactive.

 

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

With everyone glimpsing various facets of the same assignment, the feedback was usually eye-opening critique and support. Mostly, my issue was that I tried writing so complex that it didn’t make any sense and so sometimes criticism was on the verge of harsh but other times optimistic, and always helpful.

 

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

I learned to respect poetry and creative writing in general much more as I learned how much goes into it. Although I don’t plan to become a Lit major, I’ll always appreciate great writing and maybe just writing something of my own.

 

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

It’s a tie between time and fear. There were days I took me an hour or two to write a paragraph, but that also sprouted from the fear of writing something wrong. Once I got to know my classmates, I let my creative side take over whether or not it was ‘orthodox’ or not. By the end, overcoming that fear carried over into overcoming the test, barely being nervous at all.

 

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

I’d have to say the 10 page spring paper. It was actually very fun to dig out every single symbol and secret of each book. Even though I chose Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies, depression central, I enjoyed letting my creativity shine.

 

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

Mostly reading AP books like Cliffs and lists of words, and telling myself I’m totally ready.

 

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:

This class is a hard journey, one you take with a handful of classmates, friends, just like you. If you let you out, you’ll learn to flourish practically as a writer and reader and creatively as a thinker and dreamer. It’s worth every minute. 


Amazing, strenuous class! posted by Taylor Reynolds on May 18 2012 at 18:20:30

Toward the end of Junior year, I began thinking about AP classes for Senior year.  Part of which was to chose between AP Lit and AP Lang.  After being told Lang was geared more toward my strengths, I thought I would take it, but ended up choosing Lit.  I cannot say I have never regretted it; however, it has been an amazing class and one of my favorites from high school.  This class has stretched me more than all (save one) classes I have taken. 

 

Having said that, TAKE THIS CLASS! :)  It has been an absolutely amazing experience, and one from which I have gained exponentially.  It prepared me extremely well for the AP exam.  Mrs. Inspektor is a great teacher and obviously loves her work.  I spent on average 2.5 hrs a day, but this was because I did several book clubs each month instead of the requited one.

 

My favorite assignments were writing a letter to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about how his poetry had influenced my life, and our monthly book clubs.  The book clubs were where I learned the most about analysing literature.  By discussing the elements within great works we were able to glean from each other to form a more complete view of the work.  Specifically, my book club for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead stands out as exceptional.  It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my high school career.  In reading it, I was able to profit from and enjoy a writer and work with which I strongly disagreed. 

 

I have always loved great books, but this course helped me to analyse them and poetry which more skill.  It also helped me to see the value of more modern works such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

 

All my classmates in PA homeschoolers classes have been amazing, but this group was nigh unto extraordinary!  We had an amazing year, and our interaction went far beyond profitable.  Whether it was proofreading each others Spring Lit papers 20minutes before the deadline or doing an extra book club just for fun, we had a great experience and worked well together.

 

I would say any student who is moderately interested in Literature, hard-working and curious about life would do well.  It won't be easy, but what we gain too easily we esteem too lightly.  It is a magnificent class, and you won't regret taking the class.


Amazing class, teacher, classmates... everything!! posted by Marisa Chow on May 17 2012 at 19:19:39

I'm going to repeat what everyone before has said: take this class!!! It's given me such a better understanding of and love for literature. Some English teachers find reconciling the concepts of teaching students how to decipher lit and the need to teach to the AP exam at the end of the year, but Mrs. Inspektor does both... flawlessly! I not only walked into that exam room completely ready for any multiple-choice question or free-response question, but over this year I've also grown in my writing skills and love for literature. 

ABSOLUTELY! We write... around 15 FRQ essays over this year, which might sound like a lot, but isn't. It is just the right number for a student to not be overwhelmed with essay writing, but also develop a comfortability that comes with practice. When you sit down in May with that AP Lit exam booklet in front of you, you know what to do. I wasn't even that nervous about the essays because we'd had such great practice. Of course, Mrs. I also prepares you for the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) by posting "Discussion Questions" on the website. Not only will you know how to answer questions, but you'll be able to decipher high-level literature. 
I generally put 1-2 hours into AP Lit every day. There are daily assignments. Of course, if you have a large project due, then that time increases (as with all classes). 
Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the Spring Semester Paper Assignment most... for that assignment, we compared two works of literature according to an AP Lit prompt. I spent a lot of time on it, but I ended up writing one of my best English pieces because of it. Plus, you really learn these two works, so by the time the exam rolls around, you've already got two high-level works of literature prepared.
Absolutely! I've always loved to read, but this year I learned how to actually read a piece of fine literature... and extract the hidden meanings behind words. This doesn't dampen the experience, but rather enriches it. I don't know what I'll do in college, but I know I'll always enjoy literature. 
Skype and GMail chats were extremely helpful this year! The book clubs that we form are... irreplaceable -- both interesting and valuable. I learned much from Mrs. Inspektor, but I also learned tons from just listening to my extremely smart classmates. :) They picked out things that I wouldn't have noticed, and I'm sure I might have returned the favor now and then. When you're in a group of intelligent readers, you become more of one yourself. (Iron sharpens iron, etc.) 
You do have to work hard. AP Lit took up a lot of my time. Although it's definitely manageable to get work done every day, beware of falling behind as work adds up quickly!! I'd recommend this course to students who are at least a little interested in literature (or are willing to become interested) and can manage their time well... Of course, if you hate reading and writing, this isn't the class for you. My advice: be a willing participant. Actively discuss literature with others and don't be shy about asking questions! 
In conclusion: take this class!!!! It's absolutely worth your time and effort. You'll not only come out of the class with a better understanding of how to decipher literature, but also a confidence in conquering future Lit classes. :)


A review of AP English Literature (creative, right?) posted by Anna Mitchell on May 15 2012 at 20:07:22

- Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

YES! When I walked into that exam room, I knew I was as ready as I’d ever be. By 8:00 on May 10, I’d taken four practice tests, written two lengthy literary analysis papers, read many great books that I knew I could use for the open question prompt (AKA "the Beast"), and practiced my writing skills with the nearly weekly essays assigned from past AP prompts. I felt no need to cram the last week or so before the exam because I knew that every bit of work and all the systematic review assigned throughout the year had prepared me completely.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I’d say about 1-2 hours per day (though I was really only working four days a week because I had co-op on Friday, plus an essay, usually about an hour long, due Sunday night that I would complete over the weekend) for the required assignments - discussion questions, reading, responses to Mrs. Inspektor’s daily “Morning Messages,” etc. Beyond that, though, Mrs. I also required us to participate in book clubs with our classmates - we’d form groups to discuss a book, then meet over Skype, Google Chat, or Google Docs to talk and document our discussions. So there was the extra time commitment of reading at least one extra book per month and meeting to discuss - it would all depend on how long the books were.

- Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

One of my absolute favorite parts of this class was the book clubs! I loved meeting academically-minded teens from all across the country (haha, coordinating with time zones for book club meetings could get frustrating!) - I met some awesome people with whom I will definitely keep up my friendships. A few times we read plays aloud together over Skype, with each person taking a character or two. The book clubs allowed us to apply our literary analysis skills we were gaining in class to books of our choice (as long as they had literary merit, of course - no Twilight in AP Lit!), and also prepared us for the test by widening our repertoire of books that we could use for the open question. 

Another valuable assignment (though I can’t say I loved writing it) was the spring novel comparison paper. Mrs. Inspektor required us to choose an AP prompt and pick two novels to compare and contrast based on the prompt. The paper had to be 7-10 pages of in-depth analysis, and we also had to incorporate real literary criticism. The paper honed my writing skills, furthered (and sometimes tried) my patience and perseverance, strengthened my knowledge of MLA, and also made me very familiar with The Great Gatsby and Othello, the two works I chose. (On the test, I ended up using The Great Gatsby to answer the open question prompt, and I was able to write a detailed essay on it and even include some word-for-word quotes that I remembered from my paper!)

- Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, definitely. Until this class, I always knew I was missing something when I read the classics. Now, though, I feel so prepared to tackle harder books (and reread some I read before the class): understanding the deeper meaning behind the superficial plot, grasping symbolism, appreciating vivid word choice, and questioning the theme. I also have a MUCH greater appreciation for poetry, which I had pretty much neglected for the past few years. We studied some poems in this class that were practically gibberish for me at first, but then, with Mrs. Inspektor’s advice on rereading and her excellent discussion questions, they slowly began to make sense. I learned that poetry is such a powerful art form because it can communicate meaning in such a small, poignant package - every detail counts in a good poem. I’m not much of a creative writing/poetry/fiction person - my interests lean more towards economics, politics, math, and science - but this class definitely enhanced my interest in literature. I’ll definitely be doing some fiction reading over the summer, and maybe even meet again with my study group to discuss a book or two over Skype. 

- Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

YES!! I covered this earlier, but I’ll say it again: meeting all the awesome people in AP Lit was one of my favorite parts of this class. We chatted on the WWWBoard, about all things from music to Peeps to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. (Of course, we did actually talk about literature, as well.) Besides book clubs and WWWBoard discussion, a few of my classmates and I, inspired by the example of students from the previous year, formed a study group. We met every week to go over prompts, review books and practice tests, study terms, and, inevitably, joke around. Also, when we were reading Othello, several of us met on Skype to read it out loud, which turned out to be not only educational, but also a lot of fun - good memories include trying (and failing) to get one classmate to sing the “Willow” song from that play. :-) 

- What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

One of the things I think many of us realized through the year was that you don’t have to be some genius literary critic to do well in AP Lit. You just need to have a good work ethic (get all your work done and submit it on time!), follow instructions, and try hard! Some of my classmates were brilliant writers and they always got excellent grades, while I (not exactly the literary genius) kept chugging away, trying to write clear and concise analysis, and also received top scores. I was disappointed at, and humbled by, my first essay score - I’d been expecting much higher! - but as I followed Mrs. Inspektor’s advice (including her personal comments on my essay and also Morning Messages on topics like essay introductions, essay structure, and other helpful instruction), my essays began to improve greatly. I would certainly recommend this class to students who are willing to work hard, because it will greatly benefit their writing. 


One of the best online courses you can take posted by Hannah Andrews on May 15 2012 at 15:12:47

I've taken several online classes a year since 7th grade (none with PA Homeschoolers), and I can honestly say that this was my favorite! Mrs. Inspektor is extremely knowledgable, caring, and challenging, so my experience was just what I needed to focus and tune my study of English, writing, and literature.

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes!! I went into the test feeling SO prepared, because our constant regime of practice multiple choice sections and practice essays gave me the security of knowing exactly how it would go. Mrs. Inspektor also did a great job of commenting on our essays and helping us understand what the AP exam graders are looking for.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

This is hard to generalize, but I would usually spend about an hour to an hour and a half per day responding to the Morning Message and doing the assigned homework. I did like that everything was due by midnight on the day it was assigned, because it didn't leave me any room to procrastinate! This class is definitely hard work, especially with the academic bar that the other students set, and I spent more time on it than on any of my other dual-enrollment college classes.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

More than I ever imagined in August. My mom suggested this class, but I was apprehensive because I haven't had a lot of experience with creative writing, fiction, or formal English literary analysis. I have always been the one spending hours and hours on a research paper and picking up nonfiction at the library every time I go there! This course shifted my perception of literature, because it gave me the tools to succesfully analyze and dig into what I was reading.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Wow, another YES! (Is this getting repetitive yet?) My classmates are some of the most genius and hardworking people I know, and we had so much fun getting to know each other. I will bring away lots of good memories from the class, especially reading Othello on skype in the proper dramatic flair, critiquing each other's papers, and spending hours discussing a book in our assigned book clubs. The other students inspired me to always give my best effort and never stop thirsting for knowledge, mostly because we had so much in common though hundreds of miles apart.

Advice to prospective students:

Take this class! Take it if you love literature, but also take it if you're a little hesitant about studying literature and analyzing it. You will need to have strong basic English and writing skills, because those are the basis for all the essays we practice. I was a little shocked to get lower grades on my first few practice essays, because I have always been very successful in English classes, but the experience was the challenge I needed. Be prepared to spend time geeking out with your classmates about the search for justice in Frankenstein or the portrayal of the American dream in The Great Gatsby, because you will never regret it!


SIGN UP NOW! posted by Hannah Che on May 14 2012 at 22:31:49

This is honestly the best class I have ever taken.  And I've taken a lot of online classes, trust me.

Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class will stretch your mind and sharpen your skills in ways you've never thought possible. When I came into this course, I thought I was a pretty great writer and an equally great reader.   

Lets just say that I was a tad bit disillusioned.  By the end of the course, I had learned what truly great writing and literature is.  I learned that writing needed to be not only smooth and organized, but also concise, precise, insightful, and enthralling.  And this class taught me the tools to transform my writing. I was disappointed and quite confused by my low grade on my first essay, but Mrs. Inspektor's comments on that essay and on subsequent essays caused both my writing skills and love of writing to increase tremendously.  Having to write two massive papers took away my fear of writing massive papers (ha) and taught me how to relentlessly examine my work and edit with specificity and purpose-- my first paper dropped 1000 words after a week of focused (and very painful!) editing.  Analyzing poetry and learning about such things as iambic pentameter and assonance gave me an appreciation and understanding of poetry, something I had never really taken seriously.  Studying literary criticism, discussing novels in book clubs, and learning how to write four paragraphs analyzing a sentence of Heart of Darkness taught me that there is ultimately no end to the depth and material that can be analyzed and drawn out of a work of literature.

 My literature consumption previous to this course had consisted of an assortment of small, quite-easy novels, but by the end of the course, I had picked my way through multiple plays, complex novels, and the gritty Heart of Darkness. And...my understanding of literature went beyond the authors' use of literary devices-- I learned how to analyze the deeper meanings and overarching themes that were subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) communicated through each passage and chapter. Needless to say, this class taught me to LOVE literature, not just read it.

This class was also the most interactive class I've taken.  Everyone in our class was so awesome.  We'd have heated Skype meetings, group readings of Shakespeare, book club discussions over Google Doc, spontaneous threads on the WWWBoard (one in particular was a debate about marshmallow Peeps and chocolate and their representation of commercial and literary fiction), paper critiquing groups, email debates, etc. etc. etc.  This class was a ton of fun, now that I think about it. 

Now for practical statistics.  This class was one of the heavier (work-load wise) courses I took, and I generally put in around 1- 2 hours per weekday.  Mrs. I's daily Morning Messages and assignments were very helpful in preventing me from procrastinating and leaving everything to the end of the week (which I have done many times in other classes, I will confess).   

As for the all-important question concerning the AP exam... I was totally and unquestionably prepared for it by the end of the course.  This was actually one of the few APs that I didn't have to consciously review/cram for the week before the exam, since everything was covered so thoroughly and intensively throughout the course of the entire year.  The feeling of confidence I had as I walked into the exam room in May made all the hard work in this course really worth it.   

So if it isn't obvious already after reading this lengthy review...

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CLASS.  

Trust me, you won't regret it.  You'll not only leave fully prepared for the AP exam, but maybe become more in love with writing and literature than you previously anticipated.

-Hannah


posted by Evelyn Baert on May 14 2012 at 18:50:50

I read more books this year (22 in one semester) due to this class. I though they were spread out between class reading, book clubs, seperate book club, and reading requirements for Euro, I still tackled the bulk of me because of APlit. I am convinced this is also the result of APlang from last year, but I experienced the difference this year. Nothing will ever beat the drastic changes I've watched myself go through in reading and writing in your classes, Mrs. I. Whatever happens on the exam tomorrow, won't ruin how much APlit has benefited me. Thanks, Mrs. I!


I command thee! TAKE THIS CLASS! posted by Tynan Stewart on June 01 2011 at 02:14:24

Greetings student from the future!  Or, if I have my way, “Greetings student taking AP Lit with Mrs. Inspektor from the future! 

Even though you’ve almost certainly read plenty of informative, emotional and extremely helpful reviews from my classmates and past students, I’m going to treat you to my own humble class review.  I sincerely hope that it will assist you in the difficult task of balancing your coursework for next year!

So pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.  Grab a cold glass of lemonade if it suits you. I’m going tell a little tale.  It’s a tale that takes place in a land of wondrous adventure—a land known as Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class.  It’s a story of symbolism and success, trials and triumphs, alliteration and allegory.  And most of all, I hope it is a story so enthralling that you immediately sign up for AP Lit with Mrs. Inspektor!  So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…

We begin our journey through this magical land with a little round of Q and A.  Starting with, perhaps, your most pressing question…

Yes.  Absolutely, certainly, unquestionably yes.  I walked into that AP exam with a smile on my lips and the knowledge that, whatever those essay prompts and multiple choice questions were, Mrs. Inspektor had prepared me to ace ‘em!

Hmm, that’s difficult to figure.  As far as time per day goes, I probably spent, as an average, an 1 and ½ to 2 hours a day on assignments.  However it was usually quite more than that, because, quite frankly, Mrs. Inspektor’s class is the type of class that drives you to put the best into your work.  Had I declined to enter into the stimulating discussions with my fellows, I could’ve halved the time I spent on AP Lit.  But trust me on this: the interaction with amazing classmates and the building of friendships were key to the class.  Whether it was adding my thoughts to a heated debate or just bantering on the message board, it was all time well spent.

Another toughie—since I think that all of our assignments were valuable.  Add that to the fact that virtually all of them were my favorites and we have a bit of a dilemma.  Hmm…  If I had to pick, I would go with the “Novel Comparison” paper we did during the spring semester.  Basically, we were supposed to each pick two books and weave them together in a complex and nuanced analysis while also relating each novel to a particular AP prompt (of our choosing).  To me, that assignment represented the core of what Mrs. Inspektor taught us to do: to delve deeply in the murky depths of complexity and meaning and to think about, analyze and attempt to understand and articulate what we find there…

Although that was probably my favorite assignment of the year, I’d like to mention in passing a few of my runner-ups.  Discussion Questions (known affectionately as DQs) were definitely in my top three for the year.  These Mrs.-Inspektor-chosen-questions were not only always interesting, but also thought-provoking and, most exciting of all, given to sparking, er, heated discussions.  As I remember, our class split (with all proper civility, of course) over the difficult issue of picking the protagonist of Othello…  About 20 discussion posts later we reached (to most people) a reasonable consensus.  These types of interaction were DEFINITELY one of my top three favorite parts of class!

I don’t know if I’ve made this  point clear yet but YES!  One of the absolute most important things I gained from class (more important than whatever the College Board, in its infinite wisdom, decrees that I earned) is a fresh new way of looking at literature.  Shakespeare is not to be feared—he should be embraced!  Heart of Darkness is novella of infinite possibility—not a headache.  The Glass Menagerie is more than just a soap opera about a dysfunctional family—it’s a window into life and its struggles.  Mrs. Inspektor has done more, much more, than “enhance my interest in the subject.”  She has taught me to love literature; it’s as simple as that.

Interesting or valuable?  No, that’s a bad way of putting.  Now if the question said: “positively, absolutely, stupendously, and superbly awesome!!!” then yes.  All gushing praises aside though, my classmates were wonderful, absolutely wonderful this year.  I can say with all certainty that I would’ve been lost without my brilliant cohorts in discussing and analyzing.  Literature is just one of those things that can’t be fully appreciated without others; what’s the fun of noticing some awesome detail about Gatsby’s character and not having anyone to share it with??? (Even if they do decide to contradict you.)

“Would I recom”—well, what have I been doing this whole time???  ;)  In all seriousness though, I would recommend Mrs. Inspektor’s course to any student who is both able and willing to make hard thinking part of their daily routine.  This class is in no way easy, but therein lies the power.  If you’re willing to learn, work and keep learning and working—even through setbacks and disappointments—you will excel. 

And thus ends our chapter of this tale!  I think it would be a fitting point to say: “And they all lived (and kept reading) happily ever after!”


Take the Class! posted by Nathaniel Chaverin on May 28 2011 at 22:26:53

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely. I don't know if I would have come close to passing the AP Lit test without this class. The class taught me not only the knowledge required for the Multiple Choice section, but how to put complex literary ideas into my own words for the writing section. The curriculum (and of course our great teacher!) did a brilliant job of readying everyone for a tough test.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The final assignment paper took me to the next level of in-depth thinking about my chosen books. I really appreciated the challenge of analyzing and then integrating the messages of two very different works in supporting one message. That was probably the most mentally demanding (and fun) assignment. It also taught me a lot about writing and putting ideas together.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes it did. This class has really reminded me of the power of great literature. I'll admit I was nervous at first, but the work made me concentrate on the meaning instead of explaining it for me, and that really stretched me and took my mind off my fears. Now I'm much more into literature--I read two famous works in the first week after the class (I think I'm hooked on lit now...)! My interest in literature has been greatly enhanced by this class, and I'm probably going to take a minor in English Lit in college.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Of course! All of the students were extremely friendly and helpful, and lots of great ideas changed hands during the course of the class.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes, be ready for hard work. I would recommend this class especially to students with a good grip on English language and grammar, with at least a basic knowledge of English literature, and who are diligent and honest. I think that many students will find something to enjoy in the course and I recommend it unreservedly.


GO SIGN UP NOW, MRS. INSPEKTOR IS AMAZING!!! posted by Calvin Gross on May 26 2011 at 18:32:39

Hello there fellow AP Student! If you’re thinking about taking Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class, here’s my advice: TAKE IT. I’m sure you’ve read piles of gushing reviews by now, and this is another one of those wonderfully complimentary reviews: I can say with no hesitation that this is the best class I have ever taken, and Mrs. Inspektor is the best teacher I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some good ones!). Last year, I took AP Lang with her, and it was excellent too. Any class taught by Mrs. Inspektor is one you should take!

Yes, I definitely felt prepared for this exam. We wrote timed essays from nearly the beginning of the school year to the end of it, and we did a lot of multiple choice sections during the second  semester. But beyond this, I felt like I knew the material itself extremely well. Analyzing poems, passages, and books presented no problems for me. When exam time rolled around, I knew exactly what to do.

This is a fairly demanding class: I usually spent 2 hours or so on my work each day, often more, for a total of about 10-15 hours per week. Our assignments each day varied, but we always had a Morning Message from Mrs. Inspektor. In it, she’d give her take on the day’s material, and assign some kind of response to it. This was often something like reading and analyzing a poem, or writing some thoughts on a professor’s review of a work. Our main assignments were varied: We read sections of our text, short stories, poems, and novels throughout the week. Discussion questions were the staple of our analysis: We responded to ones written by Mrs. Inspektor, wrote our own, and responded to our classmates’ responses. The time for this varied, but it generally took between one and two hours. Almost weekly we wrote timed essays from CollegeBoard prompts, and this took about an hour.

My favorite assignment was one from a Morning Message: Mrs. Inspektor asked us to write intentionally horrible poetry. It was a bast! All of the class enjoyed using horribly awkward iambic pentameter and rhyming words like “mania” with “Bavaria.” I’d love to include my own magnificently awful poem, but I probably shouldn’t. On a more serious note, I really enjoyed writing my first lengthy paper in the class. We had to choose an author and three of his or her short stories and analyze the works in light of the author’s life. I chose Poe, and I found the entire process to be not only illuminating but actually… fun! I really enjoyed reading some of the works we studied, especially The Great Gatsby, Othello, The Glass Menagerie, and The Heart of Darkness. The book clubs were also excellent. For six weeks or so, we had to read and discuss a work with a group of other students apart from the rest of the class. This was one of my favorite parts of the class. I enjoyed griping about Invisible Man (save me!), reading scenes from King Lear, debating the main character’s fate in Oedipus Rex, and debating the future reality of A Brave New World. It gave me a great opportunity to get to know my classmates better, and I truly enjoyed the experience.

 

Without a doubt. I’ve always enjoyed reading for reading’s sake, but Mrs. Inspektor has certainly heightened my enjoyment. There are a lot of non-fiction books I’d like to read, but I have so many more literary works I’d like to read that I don’t think I’ll ever get around to it!

This is one area where I think this class could not have improved at all. I was constantly inspired by my classmates to work harder and produce better results. There were times when I wanted to write a halfhearted one-paragraph discussion question but couldn’t because I knew my classmates were working hard. But perhaps surprisingly, I didn’t think this class was particularly competitive. There was no sense that we had to “beat” each other; instead, it was a superb atmosphere of support and encouragement. Responding to my classmates’ discussion questions was always enjoyable. I couldn’t wait to see what unique insights they had about works. The same was true of reading their essays: I enjoyed giving feedback on theirs and the comments I received from them were always helpful. We had a great deal of simple fun together too. We’d have spontaneous discussions on the website about things like whether we associated the letter “e” more with green or yellow. I already mentioned the books clubs, and I found them to be particularly helpful. I was much better able to understand complicated works like All the King’s Men when discussing them with other students as opposed to reading them on my own. During the second semester, a group of students and I decided to meet together weekly via Skype and read plays out loud together. We started with Othello and next read Tartuffe together; later we critiqued early drafts of each others’ final papers. During exam review time, we met together and reviewed the works we’d studied earlier in the year. The group truly heightened my experience this year.

As I’m sure you can tell by now, I HIGHLY recommend this class to any student, as long as they’re willing to work hard. Don’t worry if you’re writing skills aren’t the best; that was the case with me when I took my first class with Mrs. Inspektor, AP Lang. To her it mattered more how much I improved and how hard I worked. She met me at my level and helped me to improve. By the end of the class, I was completely confident about my skills. Mrs. Inspektor makes you want to work hard and better yourself, and somehow, she makes this fun.

Everything about this class worked together to make it successful: My classmates were superb, the works we read were enjoyable, the format itself worked well, and Mrs. Inspektor is a true master of teaching. I’ll be going to Princeton this fall, and I can confidently say that I would not have gotten in without Mrs. Inspektor. She has essentially taught me how to write, and I’m incredibly grateful for her contribution. Go sign up now!!!

 


Take this class! posted by Luke Olsen on May 23 2011 at 15:36:25

As a fellow AP student I've read plenty of class reviews while attempting to decide what class I should try to fit into my busy schedule. I know what kind of reviews are helpful and what kind of reviews are less than helpful (OH MY GOODNESS, I LOVE THIS CLASS, MRS. INSPEKTOR IS THE BEST TEACHER IN THE WORLD, YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!! :-) :-0 =)). With that in mind, I'll try to avoid gushing here and will attempt to write a review that is helpful to you future students. I will also try to avoid excessive use of emoticons, rants in all caps, and copious exclamation marks.

Absolutely. This was my first AP class and I felt rather nervous going into it. Although testing is always stressful, I felt very prepared for the exam after taking Mrs. Inspektor's class. Mainly this is because I felt like I knew how to take the test because I knew how to think and respond to literature. Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit does not just teach you how to take one specific test (although it certainly does that too), rather, it teaches you how to respond to literature in a way that is both meaningful and critical. By the time you take the exam, it doesn't matter if the passage is by Homer or Hemingway, you know how to digest and interpret literature. This is, perhaps, the most valuable thing I've taken away from the class, and ultimately, means more to me than my exam score. You recieve an education in Mrs. Inspektor's class, not just preparation. 

This is a tricky question. There are different levels of participation in Mrs. Inspektor's class which determine what you get out of the class. Usually, I would put in 1 to 2 hours a day; however, this was often because I was doing more than I needed. This is key to Mrs. Inspektor's class, though. You get out of it what you put in and extra time spent building relationships with other students in disucssion truly makes this class exceptional. So, ignoring the major projects that took more time, I usually spent around 7-10 hours a week; however, I could have done less-- although you won't want to. 

This is another tricky question. You do a lot of work in Mrs. Inspektor's class and you do it in such a way that you own it. When you submit your paper you feel like your publishing a work and you wait in anticipation to see how other esteemed literary critics (your classmates) will respond to your brilliance. In Mrs. Inspektor's class you don't write papers for her, in the same way that you don't read books for her or interpret poetry for her. In AP Lit you do this for yourself, you're the one who will ultimately benefit from an understanding and familiarity with literature. Because of this you develop an ownership of your work and it's difficult to pick one or two that stand out. However, to help you out, I'll say some of my favorites were the Author Mini-Paper (in which you research one author and attempt to understand how his/her worldview and life experience molded his/her literature) and the Literary Criticism Paper (in which you get very involved with two texts you've studied in the year -- I picked the Great Gatsby and the Heart of Darkness-- and attempt to answer a question 3 prompt in relation to these two works). 

Absolutely, this is another place where this class has had a lasting impact on me and has left me with much more than test preparation. I've always liked to read; however, with more and more reading required for school, I began to lose interest. Books were something I did for school and occasionaly read during the summer when I felt guilty about how much time I spent on my computer or video games. AP Lit this year has reintroduced me to the wide, beautiful world of literature and I can honestly say I've fallen in love. This class teaches you so much more than how to be succesful on the exam, it teaches you how to interact with literature--- how to accept the ambiguities and how to embrace the complexities. This summer I'm reading Les Miserables with a group of students from my AP Lit class... before this class I'm not sure I would have seriously considered tackling Les Mis, I highly doubt I would have enjoyed it; however, this class has changed it. (I don't think I mentioned my love of poetry yet either... I have Mrs. Inspektor to thank for that too). This class does not represent my first real interaction with literature; however, it has forever changed the way I look at it and has dramatically increased my capacity to enjoy and appreciate it. 

Absolutely. I can honestly say I had two teachers in this class, Mrs. Inspektor and the other students. I looked forward to, truly appreciated, and trusted their comments on my papers and essays. Furthermore, although a teacher can do her best, classmates truly set the intellectual tone and create the learning environment. My classmates pushed me to work very hard and challenged me to look at literature in many different ways. 

Students must be willing to work hard. A self-motivated student will have the best experience in  this class, as you get out of it what you put in. Strong readers and writers will find the class easier (as there is a lot of both); however, Mrs Inspektor does a great job of pushing students wherever they are and keeping the workload doable for students at all different levels (we had some very strong writers and some not so strong writers in our class; however, all benefited greatly and, I believe, all will do well on the exam.) 

Also, a degree of humility is needed for this class. Learning is, by its very nature, a risky business. Literature, where there is often no right answer, is even more so. I had days where I thought I was brilliant and my classmates saw it differently, I had an essay where I thought I was getting a 9 and it ended up being a 4 (in hindsight, I see the reasons ). Homeschool students taking AP level work may be very used to being the biggest, brightest, and sharpest. Students must be able to trust their classmates and be willing to put themselves out there as they struggle wtih difficult books. They must also be willing to recieve some negative feedback, pick themselves up and try again. Although you will almost certainly get some bad scores... one thing you won't ever get is left without help. Whenever Mrs. Insepktor (and most of the students for that matter) give a low score, there is always information provided on how to make it better. Students who are willing to work hard to make themselves better will benefit greatly from this class. 

In conclusion, I hope this review will be helpful. I would highly (I didn't say I wouldn't use bold) recommend this class. It gets a 10 on a 0 to 9 scale. It gives you the tools you need to be succesful on the AP exam, but, more importantly, it sets you up for a long-lasting, deep, and meaningful relationship with literature and poetry. Take this class!


There aren't enough adjectives in the English language to adequately commend this class to you! :) posted by Sara Jo Luecke on May 13 2011 at 22:19:15

Dear potential AP Lit student,

By this point, you’ve probably read so many enthusiastic, gushing reviews for this class that you’re wondering why you didn’t sign up for it last year already! However if, for some reason, you’re still not quite decided and need to read a tad more, allow me to throw a few more praises into the mix! ;)

Oh my, yes! By the time I sat down to the actual exam, critically reading passages and poems (and writing analysis) had become so familiar that the test went very very smoothly. Not in the sense that it wasn’t challenging or that I didn’t hit questions I was unsure of, but that the process of working through tricky spots felt almost routine, and I was very relaxed.

Hmm, I probably averaged a couple hours a day, though it really does depend. I’m sure I spent more time than was strictly necessary at times (read: often) – I would get caught up in analyzing some particularly interesting passage, or re-thinking something I had written previously, or getting involved in informal discussions, without necessarily realizing how much time had passed. However, you definitely get out of it what you put into it – I found the informal discussions just as valuable as the formal assignments!  And of course when we were working on longer papers or had book club meetings or something like that it took more time. However, I can vouch that every single ounce of effort (and minute of time!) put into this class is more than worth it!

Honestly, I can’t think of a single assignment that wasn’t in some way enriching and valuable. I guess that’s not very helpful though... ;) Hmm…I found the regular Discussion Questions (and informal discussions) that we did especially helpful – they made a big difference in learning to read critically and write clear analysis, and discussing the things we were reading with my fellow classmates was always very thought-provoking and enjoyable. “Poetry Mondays” (when we focused on specific aspects of poetry and analyzed poems) were also particularly helpful, especially since I hadn’t really done any study of poetry prior to this class. My favorite specific assignment was probably the spring semester paper that we had to write, where we compared two novels or plays we had read during the year. It was a challenging paper, but it was extremely rewarding (like everything else in the class!) – it was SO fascinating to compare and contrast two very different works in-depth, and it felt like the culmination of everything we had learned.

Ohhh my, so much so! I’ve always loved literature and reading, but my appreciation for the richness of good literature increased exponentially while taking this class – I can honestly say that I love analyzing literature, it’s absolutely fascinating! The more I learned, the more excited I became about it, and I don’t think I’ll ever approach a book the same again. (In fact, I now want to go back and re-read a lot of books I had read previously, because I know I missed so much!) Mrs. Inspektor doesn’t just teach her students “how to read,” but she teaches us how to think critically, to see the complexities and not oversimplify things.  And she does it all in a way that I’m pretty sure makes it virtually impossible to not get at least somewhat excited about it! :)

Understatement of the year – the interaction was amazing! I learned so much from my fellow students, whether from reading their essays and responses or from discussing literature together. This kind of class is different from, say, a math or history course, in that you’re not memorizing facts, but rather learning how to think critically and read analytically – so discussion with other students is especially valuable. We all bring different perspectives and approaches, and it forces you to really think carefully about your position or dig deeper into a specific passage. Book clubs were especially awesome, where we discussed our books by g-chat or through Skype...being able to just “talk” as well as discuss literature adds a really personal element, and beyond the intellectual benefits, we made some amazing, genuine friendships through these discussions. :)

I highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY (get the point? ;) recommend this class! Yes, it is  a lot of hard work, but you definitely get out of it what you put in – and so much more! Mrs. Inspektor is an absolutely amazing teacher (understatement!) – her feedback is always SO helpful and encouraging, her Morning Messages are very thought-provoking and interesting, and she does an excellent job getting her students excited about literature and thinking deeply. Even if English and literature is not really your thing, or you're unable to participate in much extra interaction, I'm 99.9% positive that you will still find it a very enriching and stimulating experience, and you will be challenged in so many ways and learn SO much! However, I feel I should warn you: the awesomeness and enthusiasm of this class is very powerful, and the chances of you being able to avoid being sucked in by it are slim at best. Consider yourself warned. ;)

~Sara Jo~


Why are you even bothering to read this review? Sign up for English Lit right now! posted by Erica Weston on May 13 2011 at 03:24:54

Hello fellow homeschooler! Are you at all interested in reading, writing, or critical thinking? Do you have any motivation to work hard? Do you enjoy awesomeness? If you answered yes to all those questions (and I seriously hope you did) then you should absolutely take Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class! And all joking aside, I mean that. This was an absolutely wonderful class for me, and I didn't even consider myself a very interested in writing before I took it. Mrs. Inspektor is a fantabulous teacher, and the assignments are thought provoking and stretching without being overwhelming. You do have to put in the work of course; I spent approximately 1 to 2 1/2 hours every week day on the assignments, and sometimes more just because I wanted to participate in extra discussions on the WWW board. By the time I took the AP exam I felt completely prepared--over prepared even. The exam was a breeze after all the essays I'd written and feedback I'd received.

However, that's not even the greatest benefit of this course: I've always loved reading, but this course helped me discover so much more about analyzing and understanding books on a deeper level. Also, because of this course I can now confidently articulate my thoughts on these books. To me, this is an amazing, even liberating achievement. Honestly, this was my favorite high school class, and I'm sorry it's over.

Before I took an online class I assumed it would just be me, sitting at a computer writing an essay, and that would be it. I was so wrong. The classmate interaction was amazing--that was my favorite part of the whole class! I loved getting to read my classmate's writing and receiving their encouraging critiques was incredibly helpful in enhancing my writing and ideas. By going back and forth in discussion questions, we went deep into analyzing every book we were assigned, and I loved that. But it went well beyond that: I made some amazing friends through this class! No really, halfway through the year a few students started meeting every week on skype to read the book we'd been assigned (Othello) out loud to each other to get the feel of the play. That was so much fun that we continued meeting the whole year to have book club discussions and chat. We're even continuing to meet this summer because we've become such good friends!

I sincerely hope you decide to take this course and that you will enjoy it as much as I did!


In love with Literature, and even more in love after taking this class.... posted by Maggie Baert on May 10 2011 at 10:40:12

Hello there, future students!

I risk echoing all of the high praises that have already been given to this class and our wonderful teacher Mrs. Inspektor but I can't help it. There's just no way to adequately describe and convey the everything I'd love to say about this class in any amount of words.

But let's start with the basics, the questions you're probably asking as you consider this class.

Did I feel the course prepared me for the exam? Absolutely! There is no doubt about it. That's probably the most superficial fact that could be said about the entire class. It's more than an AP class prepping you for an exam, it's an in depth course that involves analyzing literature to the utmost extent . Mrs. Inspektor teaches and guides each person the whole way through making it a very personal class.

How many hours of work per week/day did I put into this course?  That is hard to say. If you're doing the minimum requirements then I guess no more than 1-2 hours per day. If you're like me and like to talk and interact and do everything possible... then it depends on each day and what the assignements are. From 2 hours or up to 4, it's really up to the student how much time they want to dedicate to the course. But I will tell you this, if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into it, you'll get so much more than you EVER imagined out of it, even if you don't like literature or have difficulty analyzing, Mrs. Inspektor is an excellent coach and is there every step of the way to help.

Favorite assignment? (Is there even a way to answer that?!) Honestly, I loved every single activity we did. Morning Messages are very helpful. Reading literary criticism was amazing as well, even if I had fun disagreeing. It really provokes you to think. Some assignments incorporate more work than others but everything is balanced; nothing is overboard. Bookclubs were really a highlight. We sort of gave a new meaning to bookclubs as we incorporated Skype read-alouds (during out drama unit and then we carried that over into bookclub discussions.) That really gave a new meaning to this online class. We became more than just classmates; we got to know each other and became friends.

However, there was one assignment, I really, really loved. Mrs. Inspektor decided to give us a new kind of paper instead of a mini-poetry paper. It was designed to let us really analyze in depth without word limits or 40 minutes to discuss a novel.  We took an AP prompt and expounded on 7-10 pages discussing two novels. It was allowing us to apply everything we learned and let it all flow out of us. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when we took our practice AP exam, the essays felt only easier after that paper. It really was the perfect finishing touch to the entire year.

Did the course enhance my interest? (I think that's an understatement) I loved reading and analyzing before coming into this class. It is definitely one of my passions. The class only made my love for literature much stronger and Mrs. Inspektor really was a wonderful influence. My classmates were also influential as having a supportive and enthusiastic group really makes a difference. We challenged each other in many ways. As I enter my senior year, I know that I want to do more of this in college and share my love for learning with others in the future.

Did I find my communications with other students interesting or valuable? It was so much more than that... Having a group of classmates just as enthusiastic as I was and willing to put up with my looooong responses and tell me that things did not make sense, or on some occasions the opposite. I really learned a lot from them, from their writing, from everything they did. (I took Lit. without having taken Lang so sometimes I felt a bit behind with my writing skills. They were a great source of encouragement in that area and now I'm on my way to take AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor!) Essay feedback from them is really helpful and because literature analysis is such an interactive topic, it's essential to communicate with your classmates in order to refine your thoughts and observations on books, plays, and poems. You don’t necessarily have to be the most interactive student but what you put in, you will get out.

All in all, I was the kind of student who was on the interactive side. That being said I pretty much did about 2 hours a day or so (depending on the assignment and how much I talked on the wwwboard that day). I love reading, truly I do. This class did more for me than just make me like reading and analyzing more, it was a wonderful inspiration and Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful example as a teacher you can look up to. Even if you’re not the interactive type, just make sure you stay in tune with what Mrs. Inspektor wants and you’ll be just fine. Though, I don’t think it would hurt to get involved a bit with other students, it’s both educational and fun.

I hope you deeply consider taking this class. While it is hardwork because Mrs. Inspektor won’t hand literature analysis to you on a silver platter, if you’re willing to put your heart into it, you can only get good things out of it.

~Maggie Baert~


Best Class Ever! posted by Shannon Mcnally on May 09 2011 at 17:52:32

Hello possible AP Lit. student,

You have come to this section to read about what us students think about Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit. class and I am sure that you will be unable to find one negative thing about it. If you’re considering this class I will assume that you like or are at least interested in literature and therefore this class is for you! Sometimes studying literature can be tedious and boring, but not in this one! Mrs. Inspektor has made it fun and enjoyable through challenging DQs, fun papers, and interesting Morning Messages. Even though sometimes the material we had to read (Heart of Darkness and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock) was difficult I learned to enjoy analyzing it once I got into it. I will admit that sometimes I thought I would never be able to understand some things, but through the help of Mrs. Inspektor and other students I was able to understand and analyze it causing the works I once dreaded to become some of my favorite. I used the once abhorred book Heart of Darkness in my most memorable assignment: the spring semester paper analyzing two books with a specific question. This was one of my favorite assignments because I was able to use all of what I had learned this year and apply it.

One of my favorite aspects of this class was the interaction. It was highly interactive and I’ve made some awesome friends! Through book clubs, DQs, and fun with literature (yes that is feasible) on the WWW board we got to know each other and we had a blast studying literature together! However, this does not have to be the case. What you put into the class, you will get out of it. I was able to interact a lot in this class but even if you are unable to do so you can still gain a lot without it. This class can be for both highly interactive students and others who do not interact as much, both will gain a new appreciation for literature and learn so much.

I spent about 2 or so hours a day on my AP Lit. work depending on the assignments, but I’m the kind of person who does their work a little bit slow and tries to do it carefully. This is my first and only AP class as I am a senior this year and I felt prepared to take this class because of all that I had read in past years. It is very beneficial to have read some classics and poetry before entering the class but I wouldn’t say that it is necessary if one is willing to learn and adjust to more difficult reading.  I had the most trouble with adjusting my writing to a higher level, but with excellent feedback from Mrs. Inspektor and classmates my writing has improved.

Not only has this course prepare me for the exam through learning how to analyze literature in the fall semester and many practice essays and multiple choice questions in the spring, but it has helped prepare me for college and has changed the way I look at literature. I no longer throw a book or poem to the side because I can’t understand it or it’s boring, but I enjoy analyzing it and gleaning its literary value.

If you are willing to apply yourself to learn and understand literature and to have a fun time while doing it, search no further my friend, for you have found this class, the one you need to and should join! :) Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher and you will not regret taking this class!

 - Shannon McNally


This class is the most awesome high school class - ever posted by Miki Kwek on May 08 2011 at 10:35:00

Greetings, prospective AP Lit student!

 

I’ll get straight to the point – you should totally take this class.

 

English has always been my strong point and I’ve taken other English Literature (both honors and standard) throughout my four years of high school. However, taking AP Lit with Mrs Inspektor challenged me and stretched my mind in ways other classes never really did. Mrs Inspektor is possibly one of the best English teachers out there. Her daily messages are always encouraging and her passion for literature is infectious. The interactions with the other classmates are the best I’ve had in all the online classes I’ve taken. You learn a lot from the other classmates and you come out with a lot of good memories.

 

Be prepared to read – a lot. There’s a considerable amount of summer reading and, in addition to the assigned reading (which might alternate between poetry and prose), we formed book clubs throughout the year. There will be several points where it feels like you have no idea what’s going on. I have to admit that there were some points during the school year where I got really tired of this class, especially when we were going through a difficult book. (The period where we studied Othello and Heart of Darkness were especially mind-numbing for me.) However, at the end of the day, you come out with this class not just a more well-read person but also with greater critical thinking and analytical skills.

 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, very much so. I was very relaxed in the last week before the exam. This is the sort of course that you cannot cram for – you have to work consistently throughout the school year if you want to do well for the exam.

 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put in about 1 hour to 1.5 hours each day. If you are a student who, as I was, am living overseas (I live in China), you might need to work a little later at night as that is when Mrs Inspektor posts the daily messages. (Don’t worry if that doesn’t make any sense. Don’t let the time difference discourage you from taking this course! I survived and so will you. :)

 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Each semester, we each had to write a longer paper on either an author or different books. Don’t get me wrong – those papers were very, very challenging and at times frustrating to write. But I feel like they’ve definitely prepared me for the kind of papers I’ll need to write in college. Better to suffer through it now in the safety of high school than get a rude shock in college.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes! Absolutely. One of the majors I am now considering for college is definitely English Literature. And even if I don’t study Literature in college, I know that because of this class, I will never look at books the same way again. (And shouldn’t the point of education be more than just exam-preparation?)

 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, very much so. The most awesome part about this class was that we all came from different backgrounds and lived in different parts of the States/world, yet we all found many things in common with other students. Mrs Inspektor encourages us to critique each other’s essays, which not only helps you in your essay-writing skills but also enhances your critical reading skills.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I think that if you’re a student whose critical reading skills are strong and you enjoy reading, you should do pretty well in this course. Any student who also loves English language itself would enjoy this course immensely (especially the poetry section). Other factors would be self-motivation and a desire to excel. Although Mrs Inspektor as a teacher is there as a sort of accountability, this course really is the sort where you have to push yourself to want to do well.


Great English literature class! posted by Daniel Luckenbaugh on May 06 2011 at 18:53:39

Dear prospective AP Lit student,

Mrs. Inspektor's AP English Literature class is wonderful!  I took her AP Lang class and really enjoyed it (and scored a 4 on the AP exam), so choosing this class was an easy decision.  You get to read great works of literature, including Othello, Frankenstein, and The Great Gatsby (which was my favorite work).  I believe the course absolutely prepared me for the AP exam.  Mrs. Inspektor assigned us plenty of multiple-choice practice and many essays, including essays from past AP exams.  And there is great interaction between classmates, and not just regarding English literature :).  We did have humorous, friendly interaction.  My classmates also gave me valuable advice for improving my essays.

Before you decide to take the class, I suggest you read some famous works of British and/or American literature.  And ask yourself if you enjoy poetry or not; we studied a lot of poetry.  We also were assigned book clubs, where we divided ourselves into groups and read high-quality novels or plays and discussed their meanings.  So this class involves a LOT of reading.  Also consider your schedule for the school year; this class does require a lot of time.  Significant effort is necessary if you wish to earn an A or A-.  The exact amount I spent varied from day to day and from week to week, but I probably spent 2-4 hours per week most weeks on this course.  And do you enjoy writing?  Writing is integral to this course and the AP exam.

Even though I found deeper meanings in works of literature and enjoyed decoding books, I did have one big problem: how I think does not work well with literary analysis, especially poetry.  I found prose more enjoyable and easier for finding meaning than poetry.

As a final thought, my favorite assignment was our spring mini-paper.  For that, we chose two works and compared them in regard to one aspect.  We could make up our own prompts or respond to past AP exam prompts.  I chose to respond to a past AP exam prompt about the importance of the past and chose The Great Gatsby and The Glass Menagerie (my favorite play from the course) as my works.  Digging deep into these two works was fun, as was comparing them.

So, if you are willing to put forth the time and the effort, and if you enjoy reading great works of literature and finding meaning in them, sign up for Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit course!


One of my favorite highschool courses . . . posted by Jessina Leonard on June 03 2010 at 16:05:22

Dear future/prospective AP lit students,

I do not exaggerate when I say that Mrs. Inspektor is one of my very favorite teachers and this course and it's sister course (AP English Language and Composition) are two of the very best courses I took in my highschool career and the two courses that I feel have prepared me the most for college. As with all of the classes I've taken through PA Homeschoolers, this course is professional, organized, and challenging. I couldn't recommend it highly enough!

To what kind of student would you recommend this course?

I think any student who has some interest in reading and writing and who understands the basic concepts of essay writing (thesis, etc.) would do well in this course. Of course, some self-motivation and a desire to learn is always helpful, as well. And as a side note, while it's not a set down rule, I think most people generally tend to find it best to take AP English Language and Composition before taking AP English Language and Literature. (But again, it's not necessary. There are many students who take the literature section before taking the language section.)

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

I think a basic understanding of grammar, punctuation, literary terms (metaphor, simile, etc.) and essay-writing skills (thesis, etc.) is really the only preparation a student would need before taking this course. Sufficient experience with reading and analyzing literary novels would also be helpful, but not absolutely necessary. While a good writing and reading background is necessary, Mrs. Inspektor provides all the other tools a student needs to succeed in this course and on the AP exam. For example, if you've never written a timed essay before, don't worry that you are not prepared enough. Mrs. Inspecktor gradually helped us become more and more comfortable with writing essays within time limits, even if we had never written an essay in 40 minutes before. Also, do realize that this course requires a good deal of time, effort, and self-motivation. Be prepared to work hard!

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

It depended from week to week, but I would say I spent on average 5-8 hours a week completing assignments for this course. The scope and sequence of this course is extensive, but certainly not overwhelming. By nature, I think AP Literature is one of the easier AP courses. For example, a week's worth of work would generally look something like this: Mondays we would have to read and analyze a poem, Tuesdays we would be assigned some reading from a novel (usually around 40-50 pages), Wednesdays we would answer 2-3 discussion questions based on Tuesdays's reading, Thursdays we would respond to one another's discussion questions with more thoughts and analysis, and Fridays we would be assigned an essay. Of course, assignments changed from week to week, but this was the general structure.

To what extent was this class interactive?

This is definitely one of the most interactive online AP classes that I've taken. Much of our required work each week is interacting with one another, whether it be reading and grading one another's essays or responding each other's discussion questions. Also, Mrs. Inspektor would post a "Morning Message" every weekday morning before 8am and we were generally required to respond to this in one way or another. This often led to discussion between students as well.  There was also quite a lot of interaction and discussion unrelated to the course. I remember one or two long discussion threads on the WWW board about college decisions or our favorite books.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

Throughout the year, we received feedback on our essays from both Mrs. Inspektor and from the other students in the class. While other student's feedback is always helpful and encouraging, I think it is Mrs. Inspektor's feedback that is the most valuable. Her feedback is always extraordinarily extensive and she is very careful to both encourage you in what you do well and to offer good advice and constructive criticism to help you improve your work. I can't imagine the time and effort that she puts into grading so many essays each week! Also, at one point I was a but unsure about some of her feedback concerning one of my essays and so I e-mailed her with a few more questions. She graciously and promptly responded, answering all my questions and clarifying her feedback. I think it has been Mrs. Inspektor's feedback that has primarily served to help me become a better writer in the past two years that I've taken courses with her . . . and I think her personal tutelage to each of the students is one of the main reasons I'd encourage anyone to take this course. She is quite seriously an amazing teacher.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during this class?

While I have always enjoyed literature, I've honestly always been much more of a non-fiction reader than a fiction reader. I'd generally prefer a memoir over a novel. And while that still is partially true, APLIT definitely instilled in me a greater love and appreciation for the short story, the novel, and poetry. And I've certainly come to a deeper understanding of the underlying symbolism often found in literature. And one of the other most valuable aspects of this course, in my opinion, is the way it opens up to the students differing viewpoints, as all of the literature we read is not necessarily from your worldview. While never asking us to read anything inappropriate, Mrs. Inspektor does encourage us to read novels and poetry and short stories that we might not usually read ourselves, and she encourages us to read this literature with an open mind. I found that this course not only gave me a new perspective on literature, but also a new perspective on life. And really, that's more valuable than any knowledge of literary symbolism in such and such a novel.

What was the main challenge you faced in taking this class?

Probably not procrastinating! But actually, even procrastination wasn't that much of a challenge as Mrs. Inspektor guards against this by having daily due dates rather than weekly due dates (as other online AP courses have). But really, other than that, I can't think of any huge challenge I faced in taking this course . . . well, except for reading Hamlet, which wasn't necessarily my favorite book of the year. :-)

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

My favorite assignments of the year were probably the two research papers we were assigned to write. Our first research paper during the first semester was based on a short story author of our choice. And our second research paper during the second semester was based on a poet of our choice. I loved having the ability to choose the work of an author/poet that I especially enjoyed and then being able to really delve into and study his or her work in a more intense way.

I also really enjoyed the Letters About Literature contest that Mrs. Inspektor assigned us to enter. We all wrote letters to a favorite author about the way in which the novel of the author had influenced us. It was a fun exercise that broke up our ordinary weekly essay routine.

But probably my favorite assignments of the year were our weekly Poetry Mondays. Mrs. Inspektor would give us a short poetry lesson Monday morning in her Morning Message and then we would have to read a poem and answer questions analyzing that particular poem, using the terms we had learned in the morning message. It was a wonderful exercise that was really fun (for someone who loves poetry like me!) and that greatly enriched my understanding of poetry.

And while I'm at it, I'll mention one last favorite assignment . . . book clubs! This year, Mrs. Inspektor had all of us participate in monthly book clubs. We could choose any book that we wished to (as long as it fell under the umbrella of literary fiction) and we could then form a book club with other students in the class and discuss the book with them OR we could read the book ourselves and write a little book review on it. This not only helped me feel extra prepared for the exam, but it was also a fun addition to our weekly work.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

Mrs. Inspektor is one of the most intentional teachers I've had for preparing her students directly for the exam, which I really appreciate. Early in the year she outlines the test for us so we already know what to expect. Several morning messages were completely devoted to explaining how the exam is formatted and how we should be preparing for it. Mrs. Inspektor had us complete several practice exams and she was always giving us suggestions for how to improve our scores. Of course, the weekly essay writing is probably the most directly helpful preparation for the exam. Mrs. Inspektor graded our essays on the same scale as the AP exam graders do, which was always helpful for knowing just how we should be improving our work. Also, one week, Mrs. Inspektor had us be "exam graders for a week," and throughout the whole week we had to grade on the AP exam scale about 20 student essays. By the end of that week, I certainly had a clearer idea of what the exam graders are generally looking for in an essay!

In conclusion, I really cannot say enough good things about this course or Mrs. Inspektor. While I am excited to be heading off to college this fall, I'm also quite literally sad not to be signing up for another one of Mrs. Inspektor's courses. So if you're interested in learning more about literature and are up for a challenge, I encourage you take the opportunity and sign up for this course. Good luck!

always,
Jessina Leonard


If you are even considering taking this class, do it! posted by Hannah Newman on May 30 2010 at 14:33:26

I enjoyed this class 100 times more than I thought I would.  The title “AP” always scared me, but I felt that an AP English class would be a good next step in my education, no matter how scared of it I was.  As it turned out, I loved the class, and although it was time consuming, what I have gained from it greatly outweighs the time spent.  

 

          To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

I would recommend this class to any student who loves to read good literature, and who is willing to discuss their thoughts on this literature.  I don’t think it is essential to go into the class with an already developed love for literary analysis; that’s something the class gives you.  Frankly, I flat out didn’t like analyzing literature before this class, but over the course of the year I found myself enjoying discussions and essays more and more every day!  I think that when you have the opportunity to get really comfortable with literary analysis, it becomes much more pleasurable.  This is just a roundabout way of saying that you don’t have to love analyzing literature right from the start, in my opinion; it’ll come as you go.

 

  What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

You should feel pretty strong in the basics of writing before taking this class, basics such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  It also doesn’t hurt to have read a fair number of “classics” before you begin the class, so that you know you can follow the plot and at least partially understand higher level books.

 

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

I spent anywhere from 1-2 hours a day on this class, which averages out to 5-10 hours per week.  Occasionally it was more, if we were writing a paper, and occasionally it was less, if I got ahead in my work.  On average, I probably spent 1-1 and a half hours per day on it.  For an AP class (or from what I have observed, since this is my first and only one!), I think that this is the perfect amount of work per day to prepare you extremely well for the test, without eating up your entire school day.

 

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

Mrs. Inspektor was very helpful in all of her feedback.  She gave us comments on almost every essay (and there were a lot!), and wrote extensive comments on our mini-paper rough drafts earlier in the year to help us revise to the best of our ability.  She also gave comments on our mini-paper final drafts, discussion question responses, and often on our Morning Message responses.  (The Morning Message is a little lesson of some sort that Mrs. Inspektor posts daily, and that we respond to in different ways, depending on what she tells us for that day.)   She was always very encouraging without being soft; her feedback was also very consistent, so that each individual student could see and work on the same weaknesses in their writing for the entire year, so that those weaknesses was improved in every aspect of their writing.

 

 How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

The range of books that I enjoy reading and will read of my own accord in the future was definitely widened.  I really never used to read any 20th century literature, because I was scared off by its often confusing and/or boring nature.  Now that I can deeply analyze literature, that has changed, and I can recognize the wealth of deeper meaning in all kinds of books.  My perspective on what I consider “good books” has been drastically expanded this year!

 

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

I had two main challenges really: balancing the workload with my other schoolwork and pushing myself to read novels in a new way.  First of all, I did struggle this year with balancing my other classes with this class (which actually had deadlines!).  Things got better after I realized that Lit needed to get done first or else at 11:00 at night.  Also, it was certainly a challenge to change the way you read books.  I needed to get out of the “lighter” reading frame of mind and into a more analytical attitude towards the books we read, so that I could discover the symbolism and deeper meaning they contained.  This isn’t to say that you can’t analyze and read for fun at the same time, but it just means that I had to learn that this was possible, but only if I focused!  (I hope that makes sense!)

 

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

We wrote countless essays over the course of the year that were either taken from past exams or practice exams issued by the College Board.  This resulted in feeling actually confident for that daunting essay section on the exam itself.  If I had done this a hundred times, what was there to worry about?  We also completed about 6 multiple choice sections that were either from past exams or from the Cliff’s AP book.  As it turned out, most of the class (including myself) thought that the multiple choice sections from Cliff's AP were harder than the real, College Board-issued practice exam we took; this prepared us for the worst, so that the multiple choice section on exam day seemed much easier than what we were used to.

 

Hopefully you can tell by now that I loved this class, and that I think you should take it too!  It was so rewarding, and it taught me things that will be impacting my reading and writing for the rest of my life.  And if you’re worried about how much time it will take up, don’t be:  It’s a good investment of your time, trust me!


posted by Hannah Newman on May 30 2010 at 13:47:04


Worth the Effort posted by Bethany Youngblood on May 24 2010 at 22:20:28

When I started this class I thought I had literature and its inner workings all figured out. I was very, very wrong. This class had so much more to offer me then I had thought. The knowledge and experience I've gained from it are well worth the time and effort.

If a student is willing to commit his time and brain power to studying and understanding the material discussed, then I think they should give it a try. Also, it helps if the student already has a love for reading and writing, because they'll do a bunch of it during this class. The student needs to be ready to accept constructive criticism and ready to say they may have been wrong in their interpretations.

I personally spent close to two hours each weekday working on this class, with some odd hours spread through the weekend. That makes and average of 12 hours weekly. I know to a student who's new to AP courses that may sound like a lot, but I barely finished everything on time even with all those hours. I spent those hours in two different ways. The first was the assignments themselves. The second was interacting with my fellow classmates, either on the WWW Board, email book clubs, or discussion questions. Every day I was comparing thoughts and writings with these students, and I believe that was the main thing that made this class so memorable. Everyone was very polite to each other. On every assignment turned in the class exchanged feedback with each other. The feedback is fair and only meant as constructive encouragement from one student to the other. I received feedback that plainly pointed out my errors, and showed me effective ways to learn from my mistakes.

The main challenge I faced in this class was putting my knowledge into effective practice. I may have known the material, but I sometimes had problems putting that information into good essays or question responses. Because of this class I hope I am moving past that. I remember enjoying most every assignment because I knew it would help me learn. They also helped me greatly in preparing for the AP Lit. Exam. All the hard work, practice, and repetition payed off. Each assignment highlighted vitally important subjects in understanding and delivering good literature. My teacher took us through the lessons step by step, pointed out our flaws, and encouraged us to do better.

At times I may have been confused over the material and the ins and outs of doing college level work, but I'm extremely grateful for the experience now. The personal and academic rewards from this class are amazing if a student applies themselves.



~Bethany Youngblood~


This is an incredible class! posted by Erin Curtis on May 12 2010 at 15:05:01

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
First and foremost, I highly recommend this class to anyone who already loves reading! Also to diligent students who are willing to learn and work hard, open to honest criticism and willing to participate in class interaction. If you like writing, or are leaning toward a career as a novelist, playwright, or some other form of creative writing, this is an invaluable class to take!

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
 Having read several literary classics like Great Expectations or The Chosen and analyzed them is, I think, the best preparation possible honestly, as that's what this class is all about. Also, this class requires a good deal of writing, so solid writing skills are necessary. Not that they have to be spotless, but they should be clean enough to allow analytical and expressive writing—there is a lot in this class!

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?
On average, I would say 10-15 hours a week, including work over weekends. In general, it was 2-4 hours of work a day for me, because I often read slowly or went back and analyzed what I'd read. The workload is intense and can be overwhelming, but it is manageable and the amount varies from day to day, which helps. :)


To what extent was this class interactive?
It was VERY interactive. Roughly a third to a half of class assignments was involved interaction. We all grew immensely as we discussed and argued ideas together, and became friends in the process—despite the fact we were scattered across the nation. This was a wonderful facet of this class.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?
The feedback I received was always honest, gracious, and motivating, whether it was from Mrs. Inspektor or from classmates. Mrs. Inspektor’s criticism is always intended to help her students succeed. She never lets a mistake slide, yet she cushions her comments with sincere graciousness and praise. She set the standard for our responses to each other's work. Also, often we bounced our personal thoughts, ideas, or opinions off of each other’s work, which was very enriching.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
One of my fellow classmates pinned it for me perfectly: “my love of literature absolutely EXPLODED!” I can't say it better.  And also, I once dreaded poetry and felt bewildered by it, but now I love it and enjoy it as much as books, if not more for its own merits.   

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
 I think it was being able to write analytically. I struggled with that a lot and still do to an extent, but my abilities and powers of analytical thinking grew tremendously, I am certain.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
I think my favorite was our spring semester mini-paper, where we selected one poet, eight of his poems to analyze, and drew connections between the poet’s biography and his writings. I chose T.S. Eliot, whose poems once daunted me as I struggled to understand them. But after this class I understood them--to my great excitement. I drew so much personally from his poems that I could have written another paper on what I gained! Writing that paper was a wonderful experience; it showed me what I could do in analyzing literature and how far I’d come.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
I don’t know how else to put this except, it did! Every single minute prepared me! I was extremely comfortable taking the exam, and went in confident that I could do well. Throughout the year we took several multiple choice practice exams and wrote many practice essays (my hand still hurts). We made flash cards of literary terms, read works from varying eras and genres in class and in book clubs (informal monthly discussion groups dealing with one work). Every assignment dealt with learning literary techniques and analyzing them: exactly what the exam covers.

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
This class is one of the greatest experiences of my life. Even though our goal was to study literature to prepare for an exam, my worldview and my identity was shaped. I gained a sharper understanding of human nature and condition and even myself through the books we read; my abilities to think deeply took wing; even my faith in God grew. Now when I open a book, I feel like I’m opening up a treasure chest packed with “jewels”: devices and techniques that give the book’s meaning its potency, and my reading experience reaches another level of richness and enjoyment. My goal to be a novelist has become firmer and my writing has taken new life as I’ve begun experimenting with literary techniques. And Mrs. Inspektor is the perfect teacher to encourage all this in her students. She is fun and bright, eager for her students to succeed and to pass on her passion for literature--which she has done successfully.
 

This has been the greatest class I have ever taken (obviously, you say, as I have rambled and gushed about it for 878 words! Unless you skipped down to the end *for shame!*) :) But it is a ton of fun and enriching, even if you aren’t a literature nerd like me! I promise you, you won’t go away feeling like you wasted your time in APlit.

~Erin


Class Review posted by Nina Lanctot on May 10 2010 at 12:37:11

This is an incredible class and is valuable for almost any student! Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderfully encouraging, creative and organized teacher, who gives assignments that are directly connected to exam prep, but also that help you grow as a person and as a student.  I love words, but have always been a painfully slow and overly careful writer.  I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to essay exams and before this class, felt horribly unconfident about writing essays within a time limit.  This class has helped me greatly in this regard :).  I feel I am now able to get an essay together quickly and effectively, for the most part.  This class pushes constantly (but in a really kind and fun way!).  I was not overwhelmed, but really inspired to move forward.  APLit also demands that students read extensively.  Again, Mrs. Inspektor manages to organize this part of the class in such a way that you don’t feel overwhelmed, just challenged and competent.  I know that my literature literacy has increased phenomenally because of this class and I am so grateful.  Students not only really love this class, but they profit greatly from it!


Amazing Class! posted by Caleb Ference on May 10 2010 at 11:09:56

Though more analysis than writing, being someone who's hoping to eventually become a fiction writer of some form, this was still an amazingly helpful class. The analysis we did of classic literature showed me both how to regognize literary devices in literature, as well as teaching me how to better use them. I've also gained a new appriciation for both literature and poetry, and feel much more prepared to study and apply themes in works I may read.

The class was amazingly well-organized with a fairly straightforward syllabus, and I was able to find out what I had to do each day without a lot of trouble. The group disscussions were one of my favorite parts; I had the oppertunity to both grow in my understanding of the material, and to help others with thier own. Both the class and the teacher were a lot of fun getting to know as the year went on, and we quickly found out how much a lot of us had in common with each other, and how much diversity we still had in personality and skills.

Probably my hand down favorite aspect was, though, was the creativity of the assignments. The class certainly wasn't boring, because Mrs Inspektor would sometimes add a creative twist or interesting alternative to the usual Morning Message or discussion assignments. From inventing alternate versions of stories we've studied, to writing creative poems, to deciding what some characters might act like if they were placed in a modern-day WalMart, we were able to have fun with some of what we studied and share it with other classmates.

Overall, this is an amazing, but still challenging, class for anyone who wants to better understand literature and poetry.


Amazing Class posted by Alex Mellen on May 09 2010 at 15:03:17

I loved this class and everything about it. Mrs. Inspektor is very knowledgable about English and about the AP test, and she's lots of fun too. Often, my favorite morning messages included creative writing assignments or some other fun activity.

Taking numerous practice tests was my best way of preparing for the test. The AP Lit essay is so different from any other kind of writing, but it's actually quite enjoyable and makes you think more about literary techniques and what the author meant. Mrs. Inspektor often explained to me how I could better do these things, and with her help, I improved my scores.

The poetry study was very thorough, and I liked looking for the overall feel of the work instead of just studying the meter or rhyme scheme. The two mini-papers helped increase my ability to analyze literature on my own and write compellingly about it.

The class took my about eight hours a week to complete, with more work in the first semester and less in the second. Some days it got overwhelming, but the variety helped. I already knew a lot about literature, but I learned so much more.


887 Words About Why You Should Take AP Lit posted by Camille Gross on May 07 2010 at 12:12:17


AP Literature with Mrs. Inspektor posted by Carmen Paddock on May 07 2010 at 10:42:12

AP Literature is the third course I have taken through PA Homeschoolers over the course of two years, and it is the second one I have taken with Mrs. Inspektor as the teacher.  The fact that I came back for a second year should speak for itself as testament to her incredible teaching!  She is encouraging, dynamic, and fun, all while being very demanding and not letting her students get away with anything.  I feel that without her gentle encouragement, attention to detail, and her occasional shoves in the right direction, my writing, reading, and analyzing skills would be nowhere near where they are now.  

The course itself is amazing.  The students read four novels, two plays, and numerous poems and short stories in the class.  Additionally, one reads about six or seven novels throughout the year as part of "Book Clubs" - informal book discussion groups.  The class is very interactive, and all my classmates were incredibly helpful as well as just being amazing people and fun to chat with online.  At the end of the year, I felt very well-prepared for the AP Literature exam - there were no surprises or questions that I did not know how to deal with on the test.

Any student who loves reading fiction, writing, and critically thinking about what he or she reads would love AP Literature.  It is not an easy course - I put in anywhere from one and a half to three and a half hours a day, with occasional work on weekends - but it is an environment where the challenges are not only met but embraced with gusto.  I cannot recommend this class highly enough!


This class is amazing!!!! posted by Meredith Pochily on May 07 2010 at 08:40:14

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Definitely. I actually found myself looking forward to the exam and approaching it as a kind of challenge rather than a test. I knew exactly what to expect and felt like I had a really solid understanding of what we had covered during the year and could use that to my advantage on the actual exam. I had quite a bit of trouble with the practice multiple choice tests, but I felt like I understood pretty well what I had gotten wrong, and Mrs. Inspektor was great about answering questions and giving specific advice to help me improve my scores. We did plenty of practice essays (in general one a week from January/February to the exam) so I felt well-prepared for that section of the exam as well.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I spent in general 1-2 hours a day on work for this course. Some days it was more than that and others it was less (the weeks when our mini-papers were due were particularly busy). Mrs. Inspektor always put out the assignments two weeks ahead of time, so we were able to work ahead on reading assignments or other work if necessary.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class and explain why. I really enjoyed poetry mini-paper we wrote comparing and contrasting eight poems by one poet. I'd previously never been much of a poetry person, but studying the work of John Keats' in depth really gave me a new appreciation for it. I also really enjoyed the book clubs we did with our classmates each month. They provided a good opportunity to read new literature and get to know my classmates.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work and how was it helpful? Getting feedback from both Mrs. Inspektor and classmates was something I always looked forward to. At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Inspektor responded to our discussion questions, but as the year went on, the discussion became entirely student-based and we would respond and comment on each other's work. Mrs. Inspektor graded and gave specific, detailed comments on each of our essays, and we also graded and critiqued one another's essays, which was really helpful in determining what makes a good essay. Mrs. Inspektor's feedback was always detailed and positive; she always had something good to say about our work and something to point out for us to work on next time. Her structured feedback really helped me to improve my essays from January to May.

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? For me, it was definitely time management. The first few months of class I had a really hard time balancing this class with my other subjects, sports, and music. However, I noticed that by January I had become a lot better at managing my time, I could complete assignments faster, and wasn't overwhelmed by the coursework. So while time management was a challenge for this class, I think I came away much better at it.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Yes, without a doubt. I've never been opposed to classic literature, but was never entirely gung-ho about it either. Similarly, I disliked poetry before taking this course. However, this class gave me an entirely new perspective on both novels and poetry. It armed me with the tools I need to really understand what I'm reading, whether prose or poetry, on a deeper level. I feel like now I can sit down with a novel and at least take a stab at identifying the various elements. It's really a fun kind of challenge now that I have a place to start. This class has really changed the way I read and write and that's going to stick with me.

To what extent was this class interactive? It was a very interactive class. I was really surprised that, despite the fact this is an online class, I felt like I really got to know my classmates. Assignments with interaction, like multiple choice huddles (teaming up to work out multiple choice questions) and grading one another's essays were highlights of the class for me. Everyone was eager to learn and share their knowledge and we had some really good class discussions and debates. Also, the book clubs were a way for us to get to know our classmates outside of the class itself and during our discussions of the books we read I felt like I really got to know my classmates on a new level. So interaction was really a huge part of this class and in a lot of ways helped me to cement my new knowledge and apply it in open discussions. Reading and responding to my classmates' discussion questions was also a way to get new perspectives on what we were reading.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students? This course is a lot of work, but it is entirely worth every minute. Mrs. Inspektor makes the assignments fun and engaging and the sense of community in the class really helps to keep it interesting as well. If you're a student who is a hard worker, enjoys a challenge, likes literature (or is at least open to gaining an appreciation of it), and is willing to have an open mind towards different world views, you'll do great in this class. It's necessary to have basic writing skills coming into the course, and organization skills also help, as there is a lot to keep track of, but as long as you keep up on assignments, you'll do fine. I couldn't recommend this class more highly!

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: This class isn't just about literature, and it's definitely not just about preparing for the exam. What I got out of this class isn't something that one exam can give or take away. A lot of analyzing literature is analyzing the human condition and human nature on a deeper level, and in that way I think this class really changed me as a person and the way I look at life. It's been my favorite course of high school, and I highly recommend it. Mrs. Inspektor is an absolutely wonderful teacher who really cares about her students. She pushes us to do our best and she's understanding and encouraging; your success is hers as well, and her enthusiasm for the subject and the class are very real.

So, in case you cheated and skipped down to the end, you mostly just missed me gushing about how wonderful this course was. What are you waiting for? It's amazing!!

~Meredith


Exactly what an online AP course should be. posted by Thomas Snell on June 02 2009 at 01:46:01

With the devices available to her, Mrs. Inspektor did a wonderful job teaching this class and easily made this class the most rewarding online class I have taken. Mrs. Inspektor had us practicing AP essays from the very beginning so that by the time the test day rolled around we were ready for any curveball the Collegeboard might throw at us. While I did not take the AP exam due to a conflict with the AP German exam, I am confident I would have done just fine. I took the AP English Language test instead, and I felt that the most of the same techniques that I had practiced for Literature also applied to Language, which goes to show that Mrs. Inspektor's course improves English skills in general even though it has an AP focus. To this end, Mrs. Inspektor assigns a term paper on the book of the student's choosing, providing a level of depth not achieved by the AP test. This was certainly the most valuable assignment, and our class produced many excellent papers.

Mrs. Inspektor was very reasonable with her assignments, pushing us along at a good pace but granting the class more time to finish reading assignments on a couple of occasions when the assignments were unintentionally too much. Prospective students should recognize that this an online class; my only gripe with this class (and this gripe is unfortunately common with all online classes) is that the discussions can be frustrating at times due to the lack of continuity that would otherwise be found in a classroom. This is made up for by the excellent responses that students are able to come up with since they are able to digest the material at their own pace. I certainly learned a great deal by reading my classmates' discussion responses. For the student looking for an excellent online AP English Literature class who is willing to work hard (but within reason!) and enjoy seeing the just benefits of this work under an intelligent, capable, and understanding teacher, Mrs. Inspektor's class is the best!


Do I really need a title? posted by Andrew Pershe on June 01 2009 at 19:38:21

I'd recommend the class to a student who can handle an intense course. The course isn't exactly hard, but keeping up with all of the work was definitely a challenge.

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? Just know how to use your time wisely to split up the time between this class and any other classes you may take. That's probably the most important part of the course.

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? I spent anywhere from 8-10 hours on class per week. It varied depending on the assignment (a lot more time for the research paper, less for other times of the year)

To what extent was this class interactive? It was very interactive. We had discussion questions and "Poem of the Weeks" which we had to each comment on several times.

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? We received feedback both from the other students and Mrs. Inspektor in the class, which was helpful.

How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? Hmm, I think that the first book we read "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" was the most helpful here. It enabled me to look at literature differently.

What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? The biggest challenge that I had was applying myself after the Spring Break. After two weeks off, I had a tough time getting back on track.

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. The most memorable assignment was the research paper. I learned a lot about "Gulliver's Travels" and I really enjoyed doing the research.

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? We took several practice AP exams, and did many essays in the 40 minutes you would have while taking the actual test.

Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: This is a great class. You will learn a lot, but will need to leave time for it, and make sure to not get behind.


posted by Alyssa Fillmann on May 31 2009 at 15:57:14

1) For various reasons I did not take the AP exam, , but I feel that if I had I would have done well. I was not at all a strong writer in September, but by May I felt very capable of writing a well-organized essay. 2) Generally, I put in 10 hours a week with this class. The time varied though, depending on the assignments. 3) I really enjoyed the discussion questions. It was nice to see so many different points of view on a particular aspect of a book. 4) I have always enjoyed reading, but I rarely enjoyed writing about it. After taking this course I am better able to put my thoughts on paper, in an orderly way. 5) If you are not a particularly strong writer, but are willing to put in the hours and improve, then this class is for you. I found the class at times to be difficult, but it was also very stretching.


Hard work, but worth it posted by Justine Strickland on May 31 2009 at 12:21:23

1. To what kind of student would you recommend this class? I would recomend this to students who have a free schedual. Even they think that they do make sure that they can write essays till 12 p.m. ;-)

2. What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? They need to have an extensive writing background, have a love for reading and posing questions, and understand what they are getting into. That is as much preparation as you need (besides reading the Summer reading assignment).

3. How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? About 2 hours a day/ 6-16 hours depending on the assignments.

4. To what extent was this class interactive? This class is interactive bassed. If you can't interact and continue a discussion, you won't get a full class or be ready for the AP test.

5. What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? I recieved a lot of constructive criticism from my peers as well as the teacher. This method really works.

6. How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? My whole network of ideas changed concerning Literature. I didn't know that so many classics were left to be read. The summer reading assignment really helped, but we didn't really continue using the knowledge we gained from it. :(

7. What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? My main challenge was finding time to actually do all of the assignments. Ballancing work, this AP class, speech and debate tournaments, and reagular school was very hard.

8. Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. The most memorable assignment was the second to last assignment. There were two different practice tests that we were to take I took the 2nd one before the 1st and everyone was confused, and I was really upset because I thought that I had a very, very bad score, but I was using the wrong answer key! ;-)

9. How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? This course helps the student to be a prepared as possible for the AP exam. Mrs. Inspektor understands our position and really helps us with our preparation.

10. Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: ONLY take this class if you CAN give a lot of your time to it. You MUST have a free schedual! Assignments are hard, so understand that this is a COLLEGE-like CLASS and has to be treated as that. But it is really fun! ;-)


This is a FABULOUS class!!! posted by Julie Inglis on May 29 2009 at 18:16:18

• To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

A student who will take the initiative with getting work done, loves literature, has a strong writing style to begin with, and a willingness to change things (even if the things seem trivial at first) in his writing.

• What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

They need to know how to write a strong essay and how to read rapidly but with comprehension.

• How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?

I spent between 7-10 hours on average per week for this class.

• To what extent was this class interactive? One of the many things I love about Mrs. Inspektor’s classes is that they are always extremely interactive. You comment on classmates’ work and receive comments from them in return. After reading someone’s work over a period of time, you start to become acquainted with that person well—you begin to understand how they think, argue, and write. Mrs. Inspektor encourages getting to know students outside the classroom as well—via facebook, and AIM.

• What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

This class was great because no one was afraid to say when something in an essay seemed undeveloped or just plain weak. And no one would stint on praise if there was something good in an essay. I would get a large amount of feedback on my work—there would usually be some ideas on things I could improve on, but there was always encouragement there as well. Mrs. Inspektor’s feedback was incredibly helpful as well. Her comments were logical and her critiques well deserved. She was incredibly focused in her comments—always telling a student exactly where the student needed to improve. And she was always the first one to notice any improvements between a student’s essays. Her comments never discouraged me—in fact, they always made me want to work harder.

• How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?

This class really made me start thinking outside the box when I considered literature. Before this class I had never really analyzed literature while I read it or considered symbolism in the words. But now, I rarely read a book without considering its figurative language, symbols, characterization, or foreshadowing.

• What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?

The main challenge I faced in this class was the time management issue. I had a hard time with having enough time to finish my essay and go back and edit it. Often there was no time for me to edit my work. But I found that as I wrote more and more essays, it became easier and easier.

• Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

One of my favorite assignments in this class was where I rewrote a short story we had read from a different character’s point-of-view. It really taught me to try and empathize with characters other than an author’s main character. Sometimes when you just consider a side character’s feelings in a situation, it can completely change your thoughts on the story.

• How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?

This course forced me to practice writing strong, timed essays. By the time the test rolled around I was confident that I could answer essay questions without getting sidetracked by the question and within the proper time limit. This course also included a wide variety of novels—any of which could be used on the exam. By having a wide variety of material in my head, I was able to come up with examples and answers on the essay questions extremely easily. I went into the exam feeling confident and calm.

• Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:

I would strong recommend this class!!! Mrs. Inspektor was one of my two top teachers in high school. Her class has completely changed the way I think about literature and the way I write (for the better =)). It’s challenging at times, but rewarding and fun. Mrs. Inspektor is an understanding, wise, and helpful teacher who really cares about her students and wants the best for them. She makes you want to do work hard and do your best and she cheers you on as she notices improvements in your writing. If you take her class, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!!


I improved so much! posted by Eunji Kim on May 29 2009 at 12:51:27

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? About 2 hours a day, sometimes more sometimes less, depending on the assignments and about 20 hours a week total.

Are there any particular favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? All of the assignments really helped me improve in different ways. But to choose one, the essay assignments were especially valuable in that they helped me develop my thoughts deeper and improve on expressing myself.

Did the course enhance you interest in the subject? Yes! I had liked reading and literature before this class, but through this class I learned so many interesting aspects of literature.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? There aren't a lot of opportunities to discuss and share my thoughts with others about literature (especially being homeschooled and living in Korea). So this was such a great opportunity to talk with others and know how other people thought about things.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students(if they are willing to work hard!)? Yes, I would recommend this course to other students. Of course, they would have to work hard, and invest a lot of time into this course too. But the student could learn so much more, and improve a lot also. Students who like literature, reading, thinking and writing would do well in this course. Passion to learn would also be a good quality to have!

I really improved a lot in writing and reading more deeply. I gained more confidence in writing essays than before. This course, though it wasn't all easy, was really helpful and interesting!


Excellent class, really helped on exam and with personal enjoyment of literature. posted by Sebastian Snowberger on May 26 2009 at 22:27:49

When I started this class, I was honestly in no shape for taking the AP exam. I have always liked reading and been okay at analyzing what I read, but until taking this I feel my skills were still severely underdeveloped and I had practically no idea what to do for essay writing. I was given thorough practice and excellent feedback, which I feel greatly helped me on the exam.

With reading, I probably averaged out to 1-2 hours a day put into the course. There were often a good bit of assignments, but there were well-placed breaks and I never really felt overwhelmed.

The assignments that I believe helped the most were definitely the essays and group multiple-choice sections. The essays were just well-needed practice, and getting feedback on my work helped me a lot in figuring out what to work on, and working with other students on the multiple-choice questions really helped me see what kinds of thought processes yielded the most accurate results.

I certainly feel more interested in literature than before taking this class. Being forced to write out my analysis of what I read actually really helped unclutter my thoughts on it and I appreciate many of the books I read, Hamlet in particular coming to mind, much more than I did beforehand.

Like I said, talking to the other students and critiquing their work really helped me by being able to see thought processes outside my own and to gain insight on the material.

I wholly recommend this class to any serious student that enjoys reading and would like to take it to the next level. At times the workload could be a bit overwhelming to some, but Mrs. Inspektor is very understanding and willing to help anyone taking this class succeed on the AP Exam and understand literature.


Take this course!!! posted by Melanie Bertotto on May 18 2009 at 15:17:43

Are you looking for a class full of challenging literature and thought-provoking discussions, an understanding and thorough teacher, and an open forum to share your work and receive feedback? Look no further. Mrs. Inspektor¡¦s AP English Lit class was my second online AP course and I¡¦m so glad to have taken it. I was planning to take my senior year English class at community college, but after taking Mrs. Inspektor¡¦s Lit class I realized she offers everything I want in a college professor, so I hope to take her English Lang class next year.

Having a strong literary foundation is helpful, but not necessary. Mrs. Inspektor definitely opened up my literary world and pulled me out of my non-fiction comfort zone. Although, she¡¦s not a miracle worker and I¡¦ll probably still lean towards non-fiction in the future, but I am much more open to fictional works, and dare I say, enjoy searching for the symbolism hidden beneath the surface.

Be prepared to spend the week reading and answering DQs and time during the weekend writing essays. The research paper was the most challenging assignment, but also the most rewarding to have completed. The DQs, morning messages and peer reviews kept the class interactive and the extra feedback on the essays added a fresh perspective. I felt fully prepared for the exam and hope that is reflected in my scoreƒº. As long as you stay on top of your work and realize this class is intended to be challenging, you¡¦ll have a great year and gain a new understanding and appreciation for literature.


Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit: The key to the treasure chest of literary riches posted by Tiffany Deierlein on May 15 2009 at 17:17:51

Literature has a way of gently forcing us to see the world in ways that we would not otherwise see it. Consequently, I learned about more than literature in Mrs. Inspektor's class; I learned about myself. I spent about eight to ten hours a week digging into the heart of literature and discovering the hidden treasures therein. I had always gotten a thrill learning about literature, and this class most definitely increased by love and understanding of the subject.

My favorite aspect of the course was taking the works we read and their themes, ideas, symbolism, etc. and discussing them with my classmates. I gained a wealth of new perspectives and interpretations that helped me journey even deeper into literature.

Any student who wants to go beyond merely reading a book--who instead wants to come away with thoughts to hold on to--will not regret taking Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lit class. I know I speak for all my classmates when I say that what I learned here I will carry with me far beyond my high school and college years.


I don't know what to call this, but holy cow this class is amazing. posted by Olivia Cline on May 11 2009 at 12:01:38

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. The exam was actually [dare I say] easy, and my essays went marvelously.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It depended on the week. Some weeks when we were mainly reading it would be something like an hour a day, seven hours a week [I read really fast lol] but I'm guessing I was averaging about twelve hours a week. More during the epic research paper week. =]

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Poetry. I'm horrible with poetry analysis and would never have done as well on the poetry essay in the exam without the weekly poems.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, and I didn't think that was possible. English has always been [and I'm fairly sure always will be] my favorite subject [to give you an idea, I'm the type that read War & Peace for fun one summer] but this class was amazing, seriously.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Very much so. I met a bunch of amazing people who not only were great to discuss English with but we had amazing conversations about such wide-flung things as Lord Of The Rings and chictopia.com.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Quite honestly any student, and YES YES YES YES YES. Mrs. Inspektor is amazing, fun, just-strict-enough and basically my favorite teacher ever. [Which is saying something. I've had a LOT of amazing teachers.]


A Class Worth Taking! posted by Hope Pasztor on May 08 2009 at 13:27:07

I think most any kind of student would fit right at home in this class. If you've got a the slightest passion for literature and writing, then Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class is the way to go! I've always loved to read and to wright, and this class only deepend my interest in those subjects. It really depends on the individual week itself, how many hours I spend on this class. When I was working on my big reasearch paper, I spent half the day typing up my essay, but for the most part, I spent about an hour and a half each day in realtion to the class. That's seven and a half hourse each week.

One of my favorite things about Mrs. Inspektor's classes, is how she tries to make an online course into an interactive classroom settings. In adittion to daily Morning Messages, to which we were required to respond, we also discussed a variety of questions in regard to the books we were reading.

Perhaps one of my favorite interactive assignments was when she had us prepare our own morning messages, discussing specific literary terms or styles of writing in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights". We could either compose a Morning Message on our own, or team up with one of more students. I loved getting to know my partner, Melanie through this experinace, and it was fun to collaborate our ideas together into a completed Morning Message.

Near the beginning of the year, we divided into several groups, and each week, a student from that group would post a chosen Poem of the Week. Our task was to respond to the poem in a way that reflected or responded to previous responses-a true class discussion!

In addition to recieving detailed responses from Mrs. Inspektor, we were also required to sometimes critique our fellow students' essays. Both the critique I recieved from my teacher, and from my fellow students, consisted of a fair mixture of postive and negative feedback. No one was every overly harsh in their negative critique, always wording their conerns in a well-mannered way of speaking that was still helpfully critical, yet still remained polite and concerned.

Mrs. Inspektor always made sure to point out the good and the bad in an essay, focusing on minute punctuation details to larger mistakes in our thesis staments or arguments, but always with a postive and encouraging attitude. I've taken both her AP Literature and her AP Language and Composition class, and my writing has only improved in the past two years! During the course of this class, my perspective on literature not only blossomed and grew, but took flight on the wings of hope and renewal. I've always held a great passion for reading, delving into a wide genre of books and novels over the years. This class not only broaded my horizon of literary interest, but also has inputed a form of critique into my brain. Now, when I finish reading a novel, I can look at it with a higher level of critiscism. I appreciate good novels even more than I did before this class, and can recognize flaws more quickly in those not-so-well-written books.

While I enjoyed every minute spent in this virtual classroom, I admit that, in the first semester,I had trouble understanding the essay prompts. In no way is this the fault of anyone but myself. Dutifully, Mrs. Inspektor critiqued this problem in the context of my essays, and I finally caught on towards the end of the first semester. It's so hard to say which assignment was the most memorable! I love creative assignments, such as the do-it-yourself Morning Message.

One of my favorite essays we were assigned was at the beginning of the year, when we were asked to tell the short story, "Miss Brill" from the perspective of someone else other than the title character. I chose to delve into the mind of Miss Brill's fur stole, describing the ocurrences from its point of perspective.

I also loved working of the biggest assignment of the year; the 10-page+ reseach paper. We each had to choose a novel or play of a certain literary quality, and discuss an inner argument stemmed from the beleifs of the author, in addition to finding critical essays on our novel and incorporating them into the body of our essay, arguing for or against what they said in regard to the chosen novel and its argument. I really enjoyed undertaking such a project, and it most certainly helped me understand the argumentive points made in almost any work of literature.

I felt EXTREMELY well-prepared for the exam at the conclusion of this course. In addition to giving us a practice exam, Mrs. Inspektor also based most of our essay assignments from previous AP Literature exams. We also went over a number of multiple-choice passages, sometimes on our own, or working together in different teams. The only nervousness I felt on exam day, was going amidst the notorious "public schoolers". (I took the exam at our local public highschool) To be honest, I was actually able to sit back with confidence and enjoy taking the exam. I know this would not have been the case had I taken this class with any teacher other than Mrs. Inspektor!

First of all, if you're a student considering taking this class, I am increadibly jealous of your position. Think about it: you have the opportunity to participate in one of Mrs. Inspektor's AP classes! My sophomore year, I took her AP Language and Composition class; this past year I was in her AP Literature class. Senior year seems oh so gloomy, as I know I won't be her student. I guarantee that you will have a wonderful experiance by becoming one of her students, and that this class will prepare you 100% for the exam, as well as improve your writing skills and giving you a higher regard to the art of literature. Good luck! =)


Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
... I have enjoyed this class so much, not just for what I have learned, but for the glimpses into your personality that come out in class discussion, or through your updates and responses. As for the class, it has been...invaluable. I can honestly say that this class has been the most rewarding in my high school experience. I have always loved to read, but I had no idea how much I could understand through that quiet pastime. Further I stray from my beloved fantasy books, further into the rich territory of the classics. Yet I go with great relish. I hope you’ll know that, no matter where you are or how far you go, you’ve made a difference in the way I perceive my world. You’ve given me a gift with no equal: a treasure of knowledge that I will carry with me on my path. In return, I can offer only my appreciation, my gratitude, my thanks, in the hope that you will carry that with you as well.
With fondest regards from your Fantasy Convert,
Sarabeth

Mrs. Inspektor, I love your class. To be honest, I was incredibly nervous before I began, since this was my first course with a REAL teacher and REAL deadlines. :) But, you’ve made it not only easy to understand, you’ve made it fun! You’ve challenged me to push myself harder and pulled out better papers than I knew I could write at the beginning. But you’ve never pushed to the point that I felt inadequate or overwhelmed. You always explain everything thoroughly, and are understanding when I’m falling behind because of wisdom teeth extraction, work, trips, or just being plain lazy. :) Thank you for being such a fabulous teacher! I hope you enjoy your new home and your new life!
Thanks, from Lauren

Mrs. Inspektor - I just wanted to add this little note thanking you for a GREAT class! I started this year off very rough, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up with the coursework. You gave me a second chance, and with your help I was able to catch up, and keep up, in the class! I have learned SO much this year, and I have enjoyed it too! (which doesn’t happen very often for me when schoolwork is concerned) I feel like you have really done your best to prepare us all for the exam, and I know that I feel confident. ... Thank you for being such a great teacher!
Kevin

Mrs. Inspektor,
Thank you so much for all you have done for us in AP Literature. You have really helped me enjoy literature more. By directing me to look deeper into my readings, you have helped me better understand the complex themes I have come across. The various projects and assignments have made my study of literature both fun and enriching. I especially enjoyed the Hamlet and Wuthering Heights projects. Thank you again for all the time and effort that you put into the class. Please know that it is greatly appreciated.
Catherine

Hi Mrs. Inspektor,
Thank you for your time and thank you for investing in my future. This course really stretched me and caused me to examine my study skills; to value my time and to ponder my goals. I learned to appreciate writing critically and I gained insight into improving my own writing. I believe that I am a better student after taking this course. I know that I have learned a few tough lessons in your class and I appreciate your constructive critiques of my work as well as my classmates. The book I had to enjoy the most in reading with our class was Frankenstein and I enjoyed reading my fellow classmates poetry and being able to post my own. If your course is a preview of college, I know I’ll be well prepared. Thank you again for providing a challenging academic course; and for being an awesome teacher. Best to you and your husband in your new life in Israel; I hope to visit the holy land one day and it would be great to meet you.
Shalom, Steven

When I enrolled for AP Literature it was my first “real” literature class, and I have to say I’ve loved it! I now understand the difference that a teacher makes, as Mrs. Inspektor’s class has shown me literature from completely new perspectives. I’ve gained insight into the meaning of books—which I always knew was there, but never could seem to find. I never really cared much for poetry, but through walking through it as a class, I’ve gained an appreciation for a different type of art. Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Literature class really has had an affect on how I view poetry and literature, and I’ll always been grateful for what I’ve learned through her class!
Stephanie

Hi Mrs. Inspektor,
I just wanted to say that your class has been my favorite this year by far, thanks to all your hard work. It’s hard to believe that this is your first year teaching online! You’ve been a great at keeping me interested in all of the books we’re reading, at helping me become a better writer, and especially at helping me with my college applications. ...Thanks again for all of your wonderful teaching; I’ve had a great time and learned a lot (you’ve even got me using semicolons). ...
Good luck in Israel and be safe!
Nathan

Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
I would like to thank you for the wonderful year you have given me and all of my fellow classmates in AP Literature this year. I have had such fun discussing the interesting themes and topics we have covered, interacting with you and the other students, and enjoying all of the books that you assigned us to read.

I have really appreciated your thoughtful responses to my work throughout the year. Even when I knew there wasn’t a single element in my essays worthy of praise or notice, you found something to encourage me about and gave me the feeling that I was progressing. I know I have progressed under your careful, detailed instructions and constructive criticisms. I want you to know how encouraging and helpful it has been to have a teacher that truly cares about her students; how motivating it is when her own enthusiasm for the subject shines through. Thank you for everything you have done for me.

I wish you the best beginning to your new life in Israel, and hope that it will be an exciting adventure as well as a comfortable new home. Good luck! :)
Sincerely,
Jacquelyn

Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
We are most sincerely grateful to you for allowing our daughter Lisa to enter your course a full month after it started. Last September (2007), when we realized our mistake in signing her up for a different online AP English Literature course, I earnestly prayed that God would direct us to a more wholesome, yet still challenging program. In my search, I found the PA Homeschoolers’ website and your course. You were so prompt to answer my inquiries, assuring me that your course met our expectations. We couldn’t be more pleased. In your course, Lisa read interesting and challenging works of literature, wrote a variety of essays, learned how to respond to literature, critiqued other students’ work, received their critiques of her work, collaborated with other students on various projects, felt like she was really part of a class by getting to know all the other students in her class, and, because of all of that, grew as an individual, realizing she can meet the high expectations of an AP course. Whether her AP test score is accepted by the college of her choice or not, we are pleased with what she has accomplished through your expertise and direction.
Thank you so very much. May God direct your steps and keep you in His care.
Mary Ellen

I only met you once, but I feel like I know you way beyond that initial meeting. We met at the 2007 Pennsylvania Homeschoolers summer High School At Home Conference. I was so impressed by your opening remarks and your ability to so beautifully tie current educational theory and the homeschooling practices that you had lived through and are familiar with together in a practical and down-to-earth way for the homeschooling families in attendance. I also attended the session that you held on tricks for taking the SATs and felt afterward that I wished I were taking those tests again because now I understood! In general, I was taken with your warm, friendly and knowledgeable presence and I thought immediately that you might be a wonderful teacher/connection for my son via the online AP English Literature and Composition course. I had many questions along the way of enrolling Eric in the course, and you were always there to handle them. Eric has thoroughly enjoyed the class, although this was his first online course and he had many trepidations about taking an online course. ...
Thank you so much for having Eric in your class this year! With warm and sincere regards,
Sharlene


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