AP Class Reviews

English Language and Composition taught by Molly Richman Inspektor

by Students and Parents

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Great Preparation for College-Level Writing and the AP Exam posted by Jonathan Williams on June 01 2012 at 03:52:40

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

The course definitely did prepare me for the exam.  There were no serious surprises to me since our frequent practice multiple choice tests and essay prompts equiped me with the confidence and knowledge to handle the main challenges of the test.  Come test day, it was a matter of sticking to the plan that I had practiced so many times on the past practice exams in class.

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

Work times varied with the types of assignments (papers, practice essays, discussion questions, etc.), but most weeks required me to put 15-18 hours total.

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

The Peace Essay Contest was the most challenging and one of the most valuable assignments we had all year.  It required us to research two foreign conflict environments and present recommendations for how new media can be used to promote peace in the world.  Despite the many challenges of researching and writing this paper, I gained much knowledge of foreign conflicts and global peace building than I would otherwise, and I was required to think critically about realistic, effective ways of promoting peace in the world. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I still don't plan to major in English, but the class discussions we had definitely increased my awareness of and appreciation for the many discussion points and subtle meanings found while analyzing texts.  I also came to enjoyed some of the creative writing assignments, which forced me to write more discriptively and think more imaginatively. 

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

Communication with other students was particularly valuable during discussions and paper revisions.  In class discussions, seeing other students' opinions on different topics from our readings helped me reconsider or change my own opinions.

For essay drafts (particularly during the Peace Essay Contest preparation) student feedback was very helpful while making revisions and polishing up final drafts. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

At the beginning of the year, one of the most intimidating things for me about AP English Lang was the timed essay portion the exam.  I knew I wasn't very good at writing or planning essays in time limits.  But, by the end of the year, we had done enough practice and prepared enough in advance that I felt ready for the challenges of the exam.

Overall, its ok to not feel ready for the exam at the beginning of this course.  However, if you complete the different assignments throughout the year and consistently invest time to master the strategies and concepts, you will be ready by the time of the exam.


BEST. CLASS. EVER. posted by Hannah Kovscek on June 01 2012 at 02:49:13

Mrs. Inspektor’s Lang class is beyond exceptional, and has definitely been my favorite class of high school so far. :)

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

A student willing to work hard, and who has sufficient time to complete the assignments. When the peace essay roles around, especially, be prepared to forego food, sleep, and socialization as you battle the assignment—which, ironically, is focused on peacebuilding. ;)

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

A solid background in grammar and English mechanics, a literate repertoire with an introduction into the world of classics and different writing styles, and the basic knowledge required to write an essay is excellent preparation. However, Mrs. Inspektor does a fabulous job preparing the class for the exam, so nothing special is required to significantly prepare for the class itself.

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

I normally spent about 8-10 hours a week on the class, which comes down to about an hour or two a day. During PEC (Peace Essay Competition) time, however, I’d spend multiple hours a day researching or writing my paper.

To what extent was this class interactive?

Ohmygoodness, very interactive. Each weekday morning, Mrs. Inspektor posts a Morning Message on the class board which normally requires a response. These MMs are always fun to read (and sometimes include pictures of Mrs. I’s adorable daughter!!). :) Classmate interaction is just as (no, even more!) prominent. For one thing, the class forms monthly book clubs that normally meet weekly through Gchat or Skype. However, you can go beyond “assigned” interactions and actually become super, super good friends with your classmates. I chat with classmates every single day, even though the class has been over for several weeks.  I’ve made so many friends in this class, including one very special best friend. <3 I seriously feel like I know all 35 of my classmates!

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

Mrs. Inspektor’s feedback on our work is incredible, in both content and timeliness. Comments on our work are encouraging, yet constructively critical. By the way, Mrs. Inspektor read AND commented close to 1,000 class essays over the year. On top of that, she has another AP class, and a newborn baby! She amazes me. :)

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

I have so, so many memorable assignments. The Peace Essay: the biggest project I’ve undertaken yet. Never would I have dreamed of entering that contest outside of this class… and never would I have dreamed that so much work would go into it. Everybody put so much heart and soul into PEC, not only in their papers alone, but in the words of encouragement that were posted on the WWWboard, on draft comments, in emails, even Google chat statuses. I’m so excited that a third of the class placed in the competition!! ProjW: Project Walden made me grow so much as a person. It was a fantastic way to wrap up our reading of Walden. The Place Essay and the Literacy Narrative: two personal assignments that I adored. The former focused on a specific “place,” the latter basically focused on how we each became literate.

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

Never did an assignment NOT prepare us for the exam, even if it didn’t seem like it at first. DQs honed our essay writing skills, text book readings sharpened our analysis skills. Of course, there were obvious steps taken to directly prepare us for the exam. We wrote multitudes of essays similar to that on the actual AP exam, and also took 6 or 7 practice MCQ exams.

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

TAKE IT. You will not be disappointed. :) I LOVE this class, this teacher, the TAs, the classmates. I don’t want this to be goodbye… and although I’m so excited for my summer, I seriously can’t wait for September and AP Lit MMs from Mrs. Inspektor. ;)

 

Now what are you waiting for? Go sign up. I'll wait.


BEST CLASS! TAKE IT! posted by Tejal Sarbaugh on June 01 2012 at 01:48:40

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

  Yes! My first essay was very low, and, for many months, I struggled interpreting the passages required in the exam. By the end of the year, I felt confident that I could properly analyze and write any prompt on the exam. In fact, on exam day, I was not that nervous. This course prepared me emotionally and intellelectually for the exam. 

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

   At first, I spent about 15 hours per week or 3-4 hours per day. However, as I became more accustomed to the load, I could spend about 12 hours per week and still feel prepared with a good amount of work done. Just for future students, additional time was put in for especially big (yet rewarding) assignments such as the Peace Essay!

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

  First off, there is the Peace Essay! It was the hardest paper I ever had to write! At first, I really, really hated it. But after about a month, I began to see how rewarding it was. I learned how to write a college level paper, and how to do it with good time management. 

  As for the creative writing, my favourite assigment was the Place Essay! I poured out so much emotion into that paper, my paper was almost wet with tears! It was really emotional and really close to my heart. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

  I already loved writing, but now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! In fact, I'm considering majoring in English in college. 

 

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

The friendships I've made in this class are priceless! My classmates are so encouraging, fun, and helpful. Communications with them outside of class as well as within class made the experience so much more rewarding. 

 

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!)?

 

    Students who love writing would definitely do well in this course! No matter what your level is in the beginning, you are bound to improve in this course.  As long as you have determination and are willing to work hard, you will excel in this course! 

I would recommend this course to ANYONE! (Everyone, if more people were interested;P ) It's one of the BEST CLASSES EVER!!!

 

 


Fantastic Teacher = Fantastic Class! posted by Ryan Snell on June 01 2012 at 01:20:00

The AP English Language class offered by Mrs. Inspektor is both challenging and rewarding.  If you are the type of person that cannot stand writing, this class will give you the experience you need to be successful on the AP exam.  In addition to the exam, it will also improve your writing (and reading) skills tremendously, which will certainly help when it becomes time for college applications.
There are certainly areas in the class that will be difficult for everyone.  I personally found it hard to communicate all of my thoughts through the internet, but some students may find this easy.  One of the most helpful assignments in this class is the Peace Essay Contest, commonly abbreviated PEC.  The PEC is a several page essay that answers a prompt given by the United States Institute of Peace.  There is a lot of planning that has to be done, including reading and citing many news articles, but it is a very rewarding essay.  I believe almost a third of our class received awards for this contest.
Again, this class will certainly prepare you well for the AP test, but it is also a great class to get exposure to writing, which was extremely beneficial to me because I only write for classes when I am told to do so.  If you are up for thirty-two weeks of rigorous preparation for the AP English Language test, this is a great class!


AMAZING!!!!!!!! Three things you need to know in this review: TAKE THIS CLASS posted by Breeze (Brianna) Wronko on May 31 2012 at 23:42:45

I have been procrastinating on writing this...because I don't know how I can explain how AWESOME this class is!  i will try to answer the bullets--but I warn you--this is so amazing I don't know if I can stick to bullets!

And at the end, I have to say a great big THANK YOU to Mrs. Inspecktor.  She is an AMAZING teacher.  I don't think I could have accomplished this without her tips and extremely detailed comments.  I've taken a few online classes before, and NOTHING comes close to this one.  
If you like writing, or even if you don't, this class is for YOU!  
So in the style of Kaplan Prep books (ok, I'm sorry you probably don't want to hear about AP Prep right after all those AP's, but...) three words you must know: TAKE THIS CLASS!


An Excellent Expirience posted by Gavin Gill on May 31 2012 at 19:27:40

This course was amazing. You do not need to be a master to begin, but you will have grown so much stronger as a writer by the end of the course that you might not recognize your own writing. This  class is challenging, but the rewards for working hard and doing what you are supposed to are beyond valuable. Mrs. Inspektor is an exceptional teacher that worked hard every day to ensure that our time in her class was productive and interesting. We all learned so much thanks to her, and any who take this class will. Any student who is dilligent and has a passion for learning will grow and enjoy becoming a better thinker and writer.


Great class, great teacher, great classmates posted by Kelly Hughes on May 31 2012 at 17:27:32

Any student that is willing to work hard would benefit from this class. Mrs. Inspektor excels bringing your writing to the next level. She assigns (and guides us through) a wide range of assignments from the creative to the academic research. Likewise, she assigns a wide variety of reading. Overall, you will come out of this course a well-rounded writer and reader.

The student should be basically familiar and comfortable writing. They should know basic grammar, etc.

I personally spent 5-7 hours a week; however, I write and read very quickly. I spent much more during the Peace Essay contest although it was well worth it. 

Very interactive. Beyond assigned peer feedback, we had monthly book clubs in small groups and  mc groups. I made some lasting friends in this class, and we continue to talk on skype daily.

I received great feedback. Mrs. Inspektor always gave detailed, helpful comments that helped us to refine our writing. Additionally, I got great feedback from my classmates. We always went beyond what was required, swapping drafts and really supporting each other. Frequently during major assignments, we would  e-mail or skype each other for quick feedback.or to offer encouragement.

I definitely appreciate non-fiction now. Before, I used to think it was dry and lifeless. Now, I enjoy it as much as fiction. Additionally, the book  clubs really helped me to further dive into literature as well. You get to choose your own books so you can pursue your interest in literature as well as challenge yourself.

For me, the main challenge was the creative-type assignments. I’m much more comfortable with academic, research writing. However, by the end of the year, I became just as familiar with creative writing and learned to enjoy them.

The Peace Essay! Although daunting, this assignment truly honed my writing skills. I learned to analyze my writing and strengthen it.  The tight word limit required me to reconsider every single word until I could explain the reason and purpose behind every sentence.  After cutting from 2300 words to 1477 while adding a whole conclusion, I learned to fine-tune my writing and the value of rewriting. Overall, I truly enjoyed this assignment, and it has made me reconsider my major in college to focus more on research writing.

Mrs. Inspektor did a great job directly preparing you for the class. We took a ton of multiple choice tests and practiced multiple real AP essays. During the beginning of the year, we start with unlimited time to really understand the format of the essays. By the latter half of the year, we have learned to produce the same quality essays in less than 40 minutes. On test day, I felt confident and well-prepared. That said, Mrs. Inspektor does not merely “teach to the test.” Instead, she focuses on assignments that cause you to grow as a writer beyond the AP test. 


A fantastic teacher and class! posted by Cody Min on May 31 2012 at 16:15:02

After taking AP Lang, I have learned to appreciate literature so much more. Everything I read -- from pamphlets to classic novels -- is now read with a more educated and critical mind. Thanks to Mrs. Inspektor’s teaching, I find myself thinking about language and how the world is shaped by words. While I thought some of the assignments were boring (I have to be completely honest!), I now understand why they were assigned. If I wasn't forced to read Hunger of Memory, I don't think I would have learned about language and how others view language and culture. In a sense, this class has helped me to understand language and composition, but most importantly, I have developed a broader mindset. 

Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher and absolutely prepared me for the exam. In fact, I felt most prepared for the AP Lang exam than any other standardized tests that I’ve taken so far. While on the surface, the class itself doesn’t involve a huge amount of hours, it requires a high level of thinking that could become time consuming. I spent about 10-15 hours a school week on average, but that obviously fluctuated depending on the week.  

I really enjoyed the Walden project and the photograph analysis assignments. Additionally, while the Peace Essay is known as the biggest and most draining project of the year, it was still rewarding and interesting.

If you are a student who wants to learn more about literature, enjoys challenges, broadening your view on the world, and enjoys having a fantastic teacher, then AP English Language and Composition is absolutely the right class for you. 


How many times can I say this class is SO worth taking? posted by Alaina Woodford on May 30 2012 at 16:54:20

Potential students should be self-motivated, interactive, and willing to invest their time in the class. They should also be open to some constructive criticism (although it’s always positive and encouraging).

I’d say students should have fairly good time management, at least some experience with writing essays, and a strong grasp on basic grammar and spelling. You don’t need to be a veteran user of the active voice, or know the various uses of anaphora before you even start the class. If you work hard and listen to Mrs. I, you’ll learn everything you don’t yet know; in the meantime, you’ll do just fine with the knowledge you bring to the table.

It varies a lot with assignment—there are some things you’ll be able to whip through, and some that you can get hung up on, and some you’ll just spend more time on because you want to make it as good as it can be. I’d say on average, I spent about two hours per weekday, for 10-ish hours a week. Weekend essays can add an hour or two on to that total. On assignments like the Peace Essay, the amount of hours increases dramatically; but, ask anyone, you will survive it.

Extremely interactive. I got to know my classmates so well, thanks to book clubs, multiple choice discussions, and reading their writing for months. Getting to know them was one of my favorite parts of the class, too! Your classmates are your greatest resource; they’ll review your work, they’ll discuss with you, and they’re going through exactly what you’re going through. You should take full advantage of their presence, and be available for them so they can do the same!

I couldn’t believe the extent to which all the feedback I received was simultaneously uplifting and helpful. Everyone’s comments are equal parts constructive and enriching, and they observe everything from apostrophe misuses to overly informal tone to stiff syntax. You will get lots of feedback on your work, and it’ll be an all-encompassing variety that includes the finer details and the grander points.

I’ll admit that I was not the biggest fan of “classic” literature before this class. I wasn’t the most analytical reader, either. My classmates would start discussing the pros and cons of Jane Austen or F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I’d get a little lost. But once we delved into book clubs, I discovered how fun it was to furrow out a book’s meaning, or question its character development. I even picked up The Great Gatsby just for the heck of it, and read it on my own (and loved it!).

My most memorable assignment was the Peace Essay. It broadened my ideas about the world, taught me how to write the hardest research paper of my education thus far, and developed my interest in issues I hadn’t considered. I think (and I think most of my classmates would agree) that it was the most difficult assignment of the class, but also the most valuable. I’m eternally grateful that we had this assignment, and that we had Mrs. Inspektor to guide us through it.

How many different ways can I say yes? This class went above and beyond in preparing me for the AP exam. Not only was I confident on exam day (exceeding all my expectations) but I even became excited while writing, and found myself enjoying the process of crafting the essays. I’m still waiting on my score, but I know I had a huge advantage over the hundred-odd high schoolers in the testing room.

We took multiple practice exams and discussed our way through every aspect of the exam. As a class, we explored the various ways to get 9’s on our essays, practiced applying the finer points of crafting memorable essays, and held study groups to pick apart and discuss multiple choice passages. Personally, I think it was the best preparation I could possibly get for the AP exam.

You may be feeling hesitant about taking this class, but trust me: you will not regret it. It’s the perfect blend of helpful, challenging, and fun, and it’s probably the best class I’ve ever taken. Also, if you’re thinking your writing skills aren’t going to blow anyone away—DON’T FRET. Your assignments, your classmates, and Mrs. Inspektor are all going to turn your writing into a thing of beauty. Above all, enjoy this class—it is beyond worth taking.


MRS. INSPEKTOR IS AMAZING! (and so is her cute little daughter) posted by Nina Camillone on May 29 2012 at 24:36:39

I learned SOOO much in this class! I feel like I didn't even know what good writing was, let alone how to attempt to do it myself, before this class. I have improved sooo much as a writer in being less wordy and repetitive. And, on top of the awesome time I've had all year, I was pretty much as prepared for the exam as I think was possible for me. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to recommend a class more highly than I recommend this one. :)

Here's a summary of what I did in this class and some of the significant things I learned:

The Peace Essay Contest, which had 3 official drafts and seemingly infinite revisions in between, definitely taught me he power of editing and he importance of revision (as well as the fact that I can survive what at first glance looks like an impossible task :P). Our rhetorical analysis Discussion Qestions and practice essays taught me how to really probe for what attitude an author's really conveying (I read so much deeper into things now!). Project Walden (which was one of my favorite assignments! ^ . ^ We made changes to our lifestyles for a week.) got me up before six in the morning and going running every day for a week straight. I absolutely loved writing our literacy narratives and place essays and getting everyone's feedback and reading everyone else's--I also definitely learned the value of peer-review. This class is VERY interactive and I made several good freinds through it! (Although I haven't met any of them in person yet.) Also, bookclubs are amazing--we form smaller groups and read AP-level literature and discuss it via Skype or email. 

 

On most days, I spent 1 to 2 and a half hours on the homework, except it was much more during the PEC (Peace Essay Contest) with all the research (which was interesting). It depends on how much you want to interact with your classmates, though. For the major assignments, we would often swap drafts and give feedback, which was invaluable in the revision and polishing proccess, and that would require extra time and effort. It definitely brought my essays to a higher level, but our extra commenting was all optional. Also, interaction on the WWW board is partially optional as well as some other interaction, so it would be more or less time depending on how much you talk to your classmates.

Three other things you probably should know: 1) Although work isn't due quite every day, there is work assigned every day. The schedule was somewhat flexible, and we were told most of the work 2 weeks in advance so we could work ahead if we needed to, and some days if there was a lot of reading I would break it up and finish it the next day, but in general we don't make our own weekly schedules. 2) Everyone reads your writing and you read everyone else's writing. Discussion and peer review are huge parts of this class, and I love it. :) (Of course, Mrs. I gives detailed comments as well.) 3) More and more through the year, you get the feeling that preparing us for the exam isn't Mrs. I's only goal. For example, after the PEC she challenged us to do something to actually get involved and help our case study countries by writing letters or raising money. And for Project Walden, she challenged us to improve our lifestyles to be healthier or more productive or otherwise better. As far as test prep and learning go, Mrs. Inspektor is super super super nice and very understanding and always straightforward about what is required of us, giving clear and reasonable guidance for us to improve in our skills. But she also tries to go beyond that to give us an opportunity to live better and more educated lives and to understand our world and communicate with it more effectively. Also, she's friendly and funny and posts pictures of her beyond-cute baby daughter to inspire us to keep going. :) This class was without a doubt a lot of work, but it never became a drag because you knew you had a mini community of students, teacher, and child supporting you.

Bottom line:

take the class.


Class Review posted by Bryan Diem on May 29 2012 at 19:45:39

AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was definitely an enriching experience. I think that anyone up for equal part challenging, rewarding, engaging, and even enjoyable work would be able to agree with me fairly easily. There will be days when large amounts of time may have to be sacrificed; but even then, you will be able to tell that these sacrifices are for a great cause. Also, a potential student must realize that to truly be benefit from this class, they will have to interact a hefty amount. Hopefully this will be no issue, and they’ll be able to love their fellow students as much as I do. Feedback on work is readily given, and is always constructive.
While there will be considerable obstacles throughout the year, there will be even greater assistance along the way, and even daunting tasks such as the Peace Essay become conquerable. If there were only one thing to take to heart when taking on this class, it is that interaction is vital. Without all the criticism, comments, and concerns from other classmates, this class wouldn't have been nearly as beneficial nor rewarding. It will prepare you for the exam, just as long as you have to put your time and effort into it fully at points.  But don’t worry, it was worth all the work and worry.


Class Review posted by Bryan Diem on May 29 2012 at 19:45:17

AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was definitely an enriching experience. I think that anyone up for equal part challenging, rewarding, engaging, and even enjoyable work would be able to agree with me fairly easily. There will be days when large amounts of time may have to be sacrificed; but even then, you will be able to tell that these sacrifices are for a great cause. Also, a potential student must realize that to truly be benefit from this class, they will have to interact a hefty amount. Hopefully this will be no issue, and they’ll be able to love their fellow students as much as I do. Feedback on work is readily given, and is always constructive.
While there will be considerable obstacles throughout the year, there will be even greater assistance along the way, and even daunting tasks such as the Peace Essay become conquerable. If there were only one thing to take to heart when taking on this class, it is that interaction is vital. Without all the criticism, comments, and concerns from other classmates, this class wouldn't have been nearly as beneficial nor rewarding. It will prepare you for the exam, just as long as you have to put your time and effort into it fully at points.  But don’t worry, it was worth all the work and worry.


Go for it :) posted by Katie Kerlen on May 22 2012 at 24:45:13

AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was an adventure. It was my first AP class and it was great. I don’t like to read. This is an English class. But I had no problem at all with the assignments. It never was too overwhelming or made me feel like I couldn’t do the assignments. Mrs. Inspektor is really helpful and flexible and gives awesome assignments. (Except for the Peace Essay... But in the end, you’re glad you did it.) 

Oh that’s one thing I would warn prospective students about-- the Peace Essay. Now, coming into this class I had NO idea what that was. The TA’s kept telling us it wouldn’t kill us, but I still never knew what this possible death threat was. (Could be due to the fact that I don’t like to fully read things a lot of the time...) Anyway, the Peace Essay is basically just a big research paper in the middle of the year that has to do with some kind of political, peace-related topic. Not my first choice of assignments, but I am super glad Mrs. Inspektor made us do it. It’s a great experience, especially if you don’t write that many research papers. 

Other than the peace essay and a few other smaller projects, the day to day assignments are very manageable and usually kind of fun. We read a variety of different literature and got to discuss what we thought via discussion questions. Most of the stuff we read I never in a million years would have picked up, but honestly, in the end, I really enjoyed reading the majority of it. Aside from those types of assignments we had to write an essay from a previous AP test prompt most weekends which was great prep for the test. 

One thing I would say is that you have to enjoy writing to take this course, or at least be open to improving your writing skills. You do a LOT of writing. (Which I personally loved, but writing, in general, is fun for me.) This is suuuper helpful because 2 hours worth of your test is writing 3 consecutive essays. 

The interaction in this class, honestly is up to you. Mrs. Inspektor gives you plenty of opportunities to work with different groups of your classmates for different things. So if you’re in this to make friends you totally can! At the same time, though, you can also basically just do your own work and interact as much or as little as you want. It’s really up to you.

As much as I am not a fan of reading or school work in general, this class was really valuable and helped broaden my literary horizons. So, I’d say go for it :) 


You should take this class! posted by Luke Olsen on May 22 2012 at 18:34:20

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

I would recommend this class to a student who is willing to work hard and wants to learn a lot. It might also be good for a student who wants to take an AP English class and is not fully confident in their analysis or writing skills. Science/math minded students may also find the straightforward nature of AP Lang more appealing than AP Lit which requires interpretation and analysis based on sometimes fuzzy "rules."

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

Students should be able to read and write well. Honestly, I think any student who is willing to work hard will benefit from this class. The Peace Essay Competition is a difficult research paper so students who are unfamiliar with research techniques, MLA formatting, etc. may need extra help/preparation outside of class. That said, Mrs. Inspektor does a great job guiding her students through the process and there are always many classmates who are willing to work together.


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

This is tough because during the Peace Essay this number increased dramatically. On average, though, when I wasn't working on a major project or paper I'd say I spent about 8 hours a week on AP Lang.


To what extent was this class interactive?

This class is highly interactive. Students respond to morning messages every day and are also required to participate in class bookclubs (of their own choosing) that increases participation. As a senior this year I wasn't able to interact as much as I did in Mrs. Inspektor's other class (AP Lit); however, I still emailed other students, responded to DQs, discussed books over skype in bookclubs, and responded to their essays. You will develop friendships in this class.


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

I received feedback on many of my assignments. On all of the discussion questions I answered (and many of the essays I wrote) I received helpful feedback from other students. On my essays and paper I also received in-depth criticism and comments from Mrs. Inspektor that were amazingly helpful. I also received help and comments from TAs (especially during the Peace Essay) that helped me immensely. 


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

Coming into this class I was familiar with fiction; however, this class exposed me to the power and influence of good nonfiction writing. From speeches to essays to entire treatises I was invited to interact with various authors and analyze their thoughts while seeking to study and understand their methods of communication.


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

The most memorable assignment this year is, hands down, the Peace Essay. The work required from this was incredible; however, the accomplishment of finishing it and the insight gained is well worth it.

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

I felt very well prepared for the exam after taking this course. Mrs. Inspektor has students take many practice tests and write many essays. You will know, well before the exam, what track you're on and how you're doing. You'll also be given many opportunities to improve and work on your own problem areas as they arise. I seriously don't know how I could have been much better prepared. This class doens't just teach you what you have to do for the test, it teaches you how to think for the test. It teaches you how to approach and effectively think through difficult texts so that, on the test, whatever the topic, you'll be completely prepared. 

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

If you're hedging I'd say go for it. This class is an excellent preparation for college level writing and critical thinking. I just registered for my first semester clases yesterday and I'm feeling very confident about entering into several advanced classes because of what I've learned from Mrs. Inspektor. 


Best class EVER!!! posted by Priya Stepp on May 22 2012 at 17:44:16

I’ve been putting off writing this review because I have so many good things to say about it that I was sort of afraid to get started, lest I leave out a huge aspect of the class or write it on a day that I felt grouchy. :P Before I answer the specific questions, let me just say that I LOVED THIS CLASS!! It was AMAZING. Wonderfully descriptive word, I know. I never really look forward to classes with huge workloads, but (most days) the amount didn’t matter. Each morning I’d eagerly log on to the computer and read the daily morning message and immediately start on the day’s work. Later in the year I actually bribed myself with my AP Lang work. I couldn’t stand Precalculus and always procrastinated on it, so I started telling myself, “Okay, Priya, you can’t do AP Lang until you do your Precalc work!” I didn’t like it, but it was sooo effective. ;)

To what kind of student would you recommend this class? You definitely need to be willing and able to pour a lot of time into this class. As I was told upon entering this class last year, you get out of it what you put in. At the time I was thinking, “DUHHH!” but it is so true. The workload is pretty intense at times (especially during the Peace Essay months – oh my goodness!!!) so you need to be willing to work hard, NOT procrastinate, and be self-motivated. From choosing to do optional assignments – such as the bonus two-week unit this past fall or extra essays – to swapping drafts with classmates, the more you invest in this class, the bigger the benefits will be. You also have to be willing to participate. Yep. There is a LOT of interaction in this class (see the question further into my review about classmate interaction). When I first started the class I thought it was a waste of time but boyyy is it NOT! The interaction is extremely important, and commenting on others’ work improved my own immensely. Basically it all boils down to being willing to work hard, put effort into responding to classmates, and having an open mind.

What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? I don’t think you need any “special” preparation before taking this class. Ever since elementary school I did a standard English curriculum which included grammar, writing, diagramming, etc and then as I got older separated my English textbooks from essay writing. It really helped me to have had previous rhetorical analysis experience, since that’s a huge part of the course, but that’s not really necessary. You’ll learn as you go. Other than that, you really don’t need much preparation – Mrs Inspektor will teach you what you need to know and tell you what habits you need to drop IMMEDIATELY haha. Of course, you should have some experience writing essays but you certainly don’t need to be the best essay-writer. I mean, that’s why you’re taking the class, right? To improve your skills? When I entered the class I felt okay about the essays I had written in 9th grade. Now that I’ve taken this course I want to stick out my tongue and go “BLEHHH!” at them. :P  I’m definitely not an *amazing* essay writer but I’m amazed at the progress Mrs. Inspektor drilled into me. ;)

How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? Ohhhkayyy. Hmm. The amount of time I spent on Lang EACH DAY varied immensely. Some days were very light (just responding to a morning message and commenting on classmates’ essays or DQs) while others were crazy, with me responding to an MM, commenting on students’ work, reading/analyzing several chapters of a book, writing DQs about it, and working on a larger project. But both types of days were somewhat rare – normally the workload would be definitely enough to justify it being an AP course but not so crazy as to make us jump off cliffs tearing our hair. ;)  On average (which is sooo hard to say since it varied!!) I spent 2 to 2 ½ hours on Lang a day. Of course, during Peace Essay time I devoted at least 5 hours a day to Lang haha. Ahhhh the PEC – good times…I also did some Lang on weekends, especially when we were getting ready to submit a “big” assignment such as the Literacy Narrative or the Place Essay. So I’d say I spent about 15 hours a week on the course, except during Peace Essay time when who knows how long I did Lang for. :P

To what extent was this class interactive? I think I’ve covered this a lot already. SO INTERACTIVE!! Responding to the daily morning messages, commenting on students’ essays, challenging others’ views in discussion questions, participating in book clubs, posting in the creative writing portion of the site, swapping drafts, and answering fellow classmates’ questions, to name just a few – and I’ll be honest, at the beginning of the year I felt like I was wasting so much time with all the interaction. “Really,” I’d think to myself as I read the Weekly Update in the first month or two, “Comment in detail on FIVE students’ essays?! WHAT?! That means I have to read five essays AND take the time to respond. PLUS I have to respond to the morning message and work on my Literacy Narrative, which means swapping with people I barely know!” The interaction is extremely important, and commenting on others’ work improved my own immensely. Because of all this interaction I’ve made some AMAZING friends in this class. Our interaction isn’t confined to the WWWboard…we email, skype, chat, everything. I’ve met one classmate and hope others will follow! ;) These friendships have led to 2am discussions, email chains with over 1000 emails, conversations about everything from weddings to mad scientists to kittens and badgers. Good times. :) You’ll walk out of this class with so many amazing, genuine, AWESOME friends!

What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? Hmmm. I’ll start by saying that Mrs. Inspektor is an AMAZING teacher. Her comments always pushed me to take my writing up a notch (or ten…) but they were never discouraging or belittling, even when I submitted a draft that just plain stunk. I won’t forget the time I submitted a synthesis essay identifying a fallacy committed in one of the sources, and in analyzing it I myself committed that fallacy. Mrs. Inspektor pointed it out (very NICELY haha) and ooohhh…talk about embarrassing!!! :P But seriously, every comment she made on my work was constructive criticism – if she hadn’t pushed us all so hard we wouldn’t have improved! Oh, and she also had a baby this year (LOVE YOU NITSAH!!) and only took a whopping two weeks off! As soon as she returned she was back to grading essays and answering questions – many times while balancing a sleeping baby girl on her lap!

Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. Oh my goodness, so many were amazing and memorable!! This is HARD. Well, I enjoyed writing the Place Essay SOOO much!!! We had to choose a special place and write about it. And this wasn’t your typical middle-school “Choose-a-place-and-describe-it” essay, oh no. We had to pour our complicated (teen-girl haha) emotions into our essays and describe our places at a deep level and weave themes through them. I picked a place that means so much to me and it was pure joy (though it was quite hard to get started!) to write about that place. :) I also enjoyed Project Walden, which was a weeklong assignment that changed our lives – for a week. Literally. After doing our unit on Walden (which, by the way, is a very odd book – some chapters I’d be underlining every single line, scribbling in the margins “ <3 <3 <3 <3” and others I’d have to force my eyelids open…) we had to implement some large change in lifestyle (whether one thing or several) for a week and write about our experience. It was amazingggg. But the huge project of the year was the Peace Essay. *gasps* *chokes* *dies* No it’s not that bad. It only demanded over 6 hours of my time per day for several weeks. We entered the US Institute of Peace’s Peace Essay contest  and wowww it was an unforgettable experience. SO many hours of hard work – choosing case studies, deciding on recommendations, writing draft after draft, begging TAs for help at 2am, swapping drafts with classmates – but it was so worth it. Besides teaching us all how to write “true” research essays, many of us have used our knowledge in other aspects of school (I used one of my case studies from it in one of my “real” AP exam essays). It’s a lot of work but it is SO rewarding!

How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? Mrs. Inspektor had us write released AP exam essays from previous years about once a week (more as the exam neared), even in the fall. We also did MANY multiple-choice AP practice tests. Many morning messages were devoted to teaching us how to write top AP essays. We also had great practice for the rhetorical analysis essay on the AP exam (there are 3 different types of essays on the Lang exam) by reading, analyzing, and discussing tons of books, passages, and essays throughout the year. Mrs. Inspektor prepared us very well for the exam.

Whew this has gotten really long so I’ll wrap up haha ;) This was my FAVORITE CLASS EVER, out of all my middle school and high school courses. I’m by no means one of those students who LOVES school – at the time I’m writing this review I’m actually quite sick of it and summer can’t come soon enough – but I can say with 100% honesty that I LOVED this class. Bottom line: TAKE THE CLASS! You’ll be glad you did. :)


posted by Jessie Martin on May 22 2012 at 16:03:00

1. I felt like this course prepared me very well for the AP exam. When I went in to take the exam, I felt totaly confident because I knew exactly what to expect on the test. We had done so much practice in both of the areas that were tested, I felt totaly confident in my ability to do well.

2. I probably put in about an hour to an hour and a half per day.

3. I felt that the creative essays were really valuable and fun for me to do. The first big essay that we wrote was on something that had impacted us, and I loved that essay! We also did one on our favorite place. It wasa nice to be able to use our creative nature and write something different then what we had been.

4. Yes, it very much did. It made me reconsider my science major and wonder if i should go back to my original plan: writing.

5. Yes, I did. It was not only helpful to get feedback from students, but to learn how to critically read others papers and comment in a way that explained the good aspects as well as those that needed improvement.

6. I would recommend this to a student who is already pretty skilled in writing, one who loves the subject, one who has lots of time, and one who is hard woring and able to work through tough situations both mentally and with their writing. 


Just.....WOW. posted by Sarah Kane on May 22 2012 at 12:13:56

I can't rave enough about this course, the teacher, or the other students! It was PHENOMENAL! I worked harder, spent more time, ripped up more papers, and complained "IT WILL NEVER END" more often than I have for any other class. And the odd thing is....it's my favorite class. Ever. All this year, all of last too. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed my middle school classes! Which is crazy, because I've never hated school.

I felt sooooo incredibly prepared for the exam. I actually...gasp....enjoyyyyeeeddd it. I felt confident and really really excited. I'm in agony waiting for my score. :P

A week with Mrs. I....well, it definitely required time and THOUGHT. The reading material is quite hefty, and skimming is not enough to really get involved with class discussions. I found myself spending around  an hour a day between the morning message and discussion questions, not including the reading. An average night would be about an hour-hour and a half, sometimes two. I enjoyed the work a lot of times and didn't rush at all for discussion questions. In fact, as annoying as they were to have to do ALL THE TIME, this is a BRILLIANT plan. It's the most involved I've ever been with other students! This class is probably 50% social, be it grading essays, leaving comments on paper, participatng in discussion, replying to MM exercises....For everything we write, we read and comment on someone else's, or MANY someone else's papers. I loved this approach, I MADE FRIENDS! 

Bookclubs....brilliant. The assignment is so free, and I made fabulous friends. The girls in my first bookclub are some of my closest buddies today! We talk all the time and I hope to meet one of them this summer. :) We also want to keep bookclubs going over the summer! And we don't just read and email, no, dude, we CALL. WE DO VIDEO. BooYAH, this is really cool. :)

I will take away so many pieces of writing I am PROUD of. Literacy narratives....the bane of my existence for a week or two, but....I absolutely LOVED that assignment. I don't know if I have ever spent so much time EDTING! I never used to edit. This class has DEFINITELY taught me how to edit. I've even started liking refining my work! I loved pretty much any free response essays that we did this year. The Place essays were phenomenal to read and to write. Mine is very special to me. And getting feedback, honest, HONEST feedback was fabulous. I'll never forget the guy who wrote "eew" all throughout my first draft. :) I promise the second and third drafts got better! 

Haha, I love the list of questions above: "Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?" DID I. Hahahahaha, do we even need to go here? YES! Don't ask me how this works....but my friends in this class are seriously FRIENDS. They are not random people I know names of. Class is over and I still talk to one of them constantly and several of them daily, at least. These students are FABULOUS! Our messages are filled with <3 <3 <3 <3 s, and it's pretty acurate. I really care about these people. SO much. :)

Okay, confession time. I almost dropped out of this class....twice. It's my first year homeschooling for highschool, and it's definitely been the toughest year of my life. Also, my home has been in upheavhal. The last thing I wanted was a tough AP class. So in the fall I tried to leave. Literally, I just stopped doing the clsss. The first time, Mrs. Inspektor dragged me back kicking and screaming, but the second time, right after Christmas break.....tragedy had struck, and I was an absolute emotional wreck, having lost a very important person (this wasn't a breakup, and it was a hundred times more traumatic than one) and being in no mind at all to continue class, I honestly DID NOT CARE ABOUT APS. Or anything. Or anyone.

And emails started coming in from classmates, TAs, Mrs. I....the instant I got a facebook I could have sworn there were 22 new friend requests from my AP friends. They posted about it on the WWW board: "where's Sarah? Did she leave? Come back!!!!!" And hey...when a really nice guy hundreds of miles away breaks his curfew so you can cry--er, type your troubles to him...and tells you he has been praying for you before you even told him what was going on....well, I was kind of sort of devastated (in a good way) by all the caring going on. I left my other online classes and no one cared. But here...dropping out is LAME-O and they wouldn't let me. And I am SO GLAD they didn't! I made more friends, got back into the work, wrote hard, wrote well, took the exam, and DID NOT FAIL. This I know. :)

I would say you have to be super motivated to be in this class, but it's kind of not exactly true. I'm veryyyy unmotivated and veryyyyyy undisciplined. I get overwhelmed easily and I panic with longterm goals. But this class was marvelous. If a student is willing to trust Mrs. Inspektor for the day to day (by the way, the daily workload is HEAVEN, not Hell!) work and reading, those longterm goals happen easier than you can imagine.

And make the most out of the people. Hey, these are some pretty cool guys and gals. Who would have thought I'd be excited for NEXT YEAR so I can take Mrs. I's class again?! I'll be keeping these friends, all my fabulously proofread writing, and my GREAT EXCITEMENT about the AP exam with me. :) God has blessed me bigtime with this class and the people in it, and you know....the end of this class is so worth the tears, guys. *sniff*

Good luck to anyone taking AP Lang and Comp with Mrs. Inspektor. YOU WILL LOVE AND BE LOVED. That is my utmost warning. Oh, and you'll ace the exam, get college credit, and start writing poetry all the time just so you have an excuse to email classmates. ;) 

Okay, I'll stop.... :P

 


This is the best class I've ever taken. posted by Michaiah Hughes on May 21 2012 at 22:39:30

Hi everyone!

At the beginning of this class, I was entering my sophomore year of highschool. I had no AP experience at all, I was accustomed to literary analysis, and I thought essays were boring, drab, and dull. This class was awesome. Splendid. Fabulous. Incredible. Marvelous. Okay, I'll stop showing off my synonym skills now and get to the part you really want to read... :)

Definitely. I think I was actually overprepared for the test. (Is that even possible? Oh well, it was definitely a good thing.) Mrs. I did an absolutely outstanding job of preparing us for the test – we began writing practice test essays in October and kept up an intense essay-prep pace throughout the year. We also got fabulous, specific comments on our essays (from Mrs. I, the TAs, and our classmates) about how we could improve the rough drafts. During the year, we studied important vocabulary, worked through numerous multiple-choice practice tests, and wrote tons of practice essays as well. I’m ALWAYS nervous before tests…but I wasn’t nervous at all before the Lang exam!

On average, I probably spent between ten to fifteen hours a week on this course. However, I both read and write abnormally quickly, so this time estimate may not be accurate for everyone. (If you struggle with either reading or writing, completing the assignments will require much more time. Oh, and typing quickly is a very important skill for this class, as all communication happens through the computer.) During the entire month of December (Peace Essay time!), I probably put in an average of three and four hours every day as I was revising my own paper, teaming up with some classmates to comment on their papers, and just working my tail off, basically. :) Completing the assignments took me a while at the beginning of the class, when my time management wasn’t as strong and I was still figuring out the class structure. However, as I handled my time more efficiently and the Peace Essay assignment was completed, I spent less time - probably between 5-8 hours per week.

Honestly, I loved the Peace Essay. Even though this project was so labor intensive (I sweated and slaved over this paper like I never have before), it broadened my perspective on world events and made me think critically about how to build peace. I also learned how valuable the revision process can be if you’re dedicated to revising deeply. My essay was better than I thought possible, thanks to Mrs. I’s critiquing and encouragement – and of course, I couldn’t have completed the assignment without my classmates’ help!

This isn’t necessarily an “assignment” per se, but I’m going to write about it anyway. I loved any and all assignments where we had class discussions. Honestly, this class felt like our own academic version of Facebook – I was always checking to see who commented on my essay or reading the posts following my discussion-question responses. (In fact, I had to ban myself from the site in order to focus on my other subjects that weren't as fun and interactive as this class!)This feeling made learning fun and also built our class community.

Most definitely. I was relatively confident in writing before I took this class, but now I am absolutely confident. Additionally, I didn’t realize that there were so many different ways to write an essay. I was only familiar with dry, dull literary analysis, but we were introduced to personal narrative essays, historical event essays, autobiographical essays, etc. This class definitely developed my interest in writing.

Hahaha, don't even get me started. When I signed up for this class, I couldn't even believe that we would be able to have online discussions. After all, if you never actually meet each other, you can't be friends, right?

Wrong! I have made a ton of friends in this class. Mrs. I. encouraged class participation every day, so even during the toughest assignments, it was encouraging to know that 35+ other people were sweating over the same challenges that you were facing. Then there was the social aspect…we have talked about everything from the literary merits (or lack thereof) in The Hunger Games to the health benefits of living gluten-free to the difficulties of gmail-chatting when your fingers are freezing during a Michigan winter. The daily interaction helped me to make friends very easily. It was awesome.

Besides the socialization and the feeling of community, the communications were so valuable academically as well. Mrs. I. wanted us to comment on each other’s work, which helped us to think critically about writing (and by editing our classmates’ papers, it was easier to see  mistakes in our own work), made everyone improve as we received multiple sources of feedback, and ultimately drew our groups of students closer together.

The type of student that has enough time to really work hard on the assignments and do their best in everything will do well. This isn’t a “gimme” AP class that you can take for a quick and easy credit…prepare to work your tail off (especially during Peace Essay time). You simply can’t get full benefit out of this class if you don’t have the time to participate and to improve your writing skills.

I was planning to just answer the questions, but I have to tell you prospective students about the sheer awesomeness of Mrs. Inspektor. This lady is an amazing teacher. In October she had a baby girl (who proceeded to be our “class mascot” during the class/exam), but Mrs. I. took only two weeks off, then jumped right back into class. She literally held the sleeping baby and graded our papers at the same time…you have to be a fabulous teacher to multitask that way!

She is also mixes encouragement and critique so beautifully – I never felt “put down” (actually, her words made me want to improve and succeed) but her feedback was so extraordinarily helpful. I have grown so much as a writer and as a person through her encouraging critiques, and I’ve also picked up a few ways to be a better mentor/teacher through this class. She is the best teacher I’ve ever had (EVER), and I am so excited for you to experience this class as well.

What are you waiting for? Stop reading this, you silly student! Go sign up! NOW!


Take Mrs. Inspekor's class. You won't be sorry! posted by Suzanne McLendon on May 21 2012 at 17:09:24

To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
 
This class was a challenge because, though I had some experience writing, it
wasn’t on the same level. Especially at the beginning of the year, it took
extra time to learn the basics and move up from there.  I would recommend
people who have some experience writing essays and an interest in literature
to take this class.

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

This is a difficult question to answer because I never calculated the exact
time, but at least two hours on each week day, and depending on the
assignment, more hours on the weekend.

To what extent was this class interactive?

The online class environment consisted of a website that contained all the
information, assignments, and places to post on it.  It had the feeling of a
web forum or a social media site.  All your work is visible to Mrs.
Inspektor and everyone in class, but your specific grades are only
accessible to you.  Having the class environment was wonderful, because a
major part of the course was commenting on classmates’ work. As you read and
critique your classmates’ work, it teaches you what to do differently or how
to learn from writers better than you.

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

Mrs. Inspektor strives to give you feedback that will improve your writing
techniques. She normally gives feedback on essays or other major
assignments, while classmates and sometimes TA’s will give feedback on every
assignment. Mrs. Inspektor teaches us how to give positive feedback and
constructive criticism in our comments so that each student can learn the
most.  Mrs. Inspektor also helps with grammar, especially in the beginning
of the year.

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

Monthly book clubs helped me to think more critically about literature.
There is flexibility in the book club choices, because you can join any book
club or give your own suggestion. Discussion of literature in groups was not
something I was familiar with, so it was a great learning experience.

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

Keeping up with the heavy work-load while not letting it run my school life
was the major challenge I faced in this class. It became easy to let other
schoolwork slide as different projects in this class arrived. Time
management was an aspect of this class difficult for me, but I learned
setting goals for myself was important.

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

The Peace Essay Competition was the most challenging and memorable
assignment in class.  It consisted of researching and picking two countries
for case studies, then writing an essay on them in reply to the year’s
prompt on the United States Institutes of Peace website.  I thought it would
get easier once I picked two case studies, but I was wrong. It gave me
experience writing a college-level essay.  Estimating, I think I worked near
fifty hours on the assignment altogether. The project sounds overwhelming,
but Mrs. Inspektor guides the class through each step of the process.

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

If you are considering taking an AP English Language class, take this one!
My experience in an online class environment with my other classmates and
Mrs. Inspektor was wonderful. Mrs. Inspektor is with no doubt, a gifted
teacher.


If you are considering this class, you should really try to work it into your schedule somehow. It will be worth it. posted by Jessica Olsen on May 21 2012 at 15:48:04

I have to admit, I've been procratinating on this class review. Not because I didn't want to review it, I don't think I could recommend a class any stronger, but because I really don't want to not do this class justice. So, first of all, this class is amazing! I had really high expectations going into it, and all of those expectations were exceeded!
 
How did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam?

 Perfectly! Going into the AP Lang axam, I had very little test anxiety. I'm usually pretty god at stressing myself out for AP tests, and tests in general, but I don't think I've ever been that relaxed for a College Board exam. I was very confident that Mrs. inspektor had given us the tools we needed to succeed. SHe also had us do so many practice MCQ sections and practice essays that I felt like I had already taken the test successfully. All that to say, YES. I definitely felt prepared. 

 

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

This is harder. I had some days that were lighter, and some days, like during the Peace Essay, that were heavier. I think it would be safe to average it out to 2 hours a day. I found that the workload of the course was very manageable. Because Mrs. Inspektor assigns homwork daily and not weekly it helped me pace myself so I didn't end up spending all of one day on AP Lang. This also helped the class feel more manageable, and helped me study in smaller segments so that I could retain more. 

 

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

This is a horrible question! I really can't choose. I can say that it was fun for me to look back at the assignments Mrs. Inspektor gave because I could really see a purpose in each assignment. While some assignments may have seemed unrelated directly to the exam, each assignment had a clear purpose in building the skills we needed for the exam. The Discussion Questions were fun because we got to debate with eachother, but they were also like a live version of the argument and rhetorical analysis essays we would have to write on the exam. They were just more i nteresting, challenging, and engaging than writing even more essays. The Peace Essay was wonderful preparation for the Argument Essay, even though it seemed unrelated at the time. I guess the bet answer to this is that every assignment built on the previous ones. I really didn't feel like there were any "extra" assignments or busy work. Everything was so valuable. 

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I can't give a radical sotyr about how it changed my major for college, although I do know some people that could. But it has definitely enhanced my interest in the subject and I look forward to continuing my reading this summer with a deeper understanding of how to analyze and really understand the root of what the author is trying to say. 

 

Did you find your commmunications with other students interesting or valuable?

YES! I made friendships this year that will continue beyond this class. Those relationships also helped immensly during the year because we were able to act as support for eachother and give advice during some of the more challenging, and totally rewarding, parts of the class.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

YES! I am constantly recommending this course to friends. I feel like everyone should have to take a class from Mrs. inspektor before they graduate. This was such a good class, and I can see such an improvement in my writing ability from when I began the class. 


AP Language and Composition: Great Experience posted by Justin Yen on May 18 2012 at 13:04:54

I think a student applying for this class should realize that this is a community based class. You should be honest in the work that you give, but also with the work you critique. It is SO important not to sugar coat your comments an analysis, as to accurately give the other students the amount and areas of places they need to improve on. Also be willing to meticulously comment on people's essays/discussion questions. It's not that commenting is the worst part of the class, but it can get tedious at times, and when one treats it lightly it take away from your learning experience and that of the other. Expect to come into this class leaning on other people and helping others and yourself learn. This commenting aspect of class takes up a lot of time, but holds an important position to education and exam prep.

Frankly, that part of the course frustrated me at times. For me, I'm not one to interact with 30 other students trying to care about their work, but the fruit of it is priceless. So even if you are more of an independent person, come here and learn more than just AP English Language and Composition, but you'll learn some life skills as I did. There is so much to glean from this class.

The course load is not extremely large, but with the little given, you need to take full advantage of those small assignments and do them well. If sufficently completing these assignments, one will have a much easier time studying for the exams. Some of the reading gets overwhelming during the second semester, but the analysis aids with the AP essays as they require detailed analysis.

I think the most memorable part of this class was the Peace Essay. This few month long project resulted in my work having to be ripped apart a few days (a week?) before I had to submit this essay. I essentially had to rewrite this essay. I thought I had understood the prompt correctly, but a lesson learned: ASK QUESTIONS! The slightest thing can cause disaster. Of course don't ask obvious questions, read the Morning Messages and updates, but realize that again, there are 30 students plus more than a couple TAs and the teacher there to help, take advantage of it! 

Take advantage of the time given to write essays. I did not, and my essay scores clearly reflected my lack of focus on the essays. A good writer is not one who gets the first draft down. A good writer writes multiple drafts if not dozens. I tend to write my essays in one day, if you are one of those people, finish it 3-4 days before you have to submit and fix it for 10-20 minutes. It does not take long, and you will improve your writing ability drastically. 

Good Luck!

Justin Yen


AP Lang was amazing! posted by Hannah Rears on May 18 2012 at 12:46:00

I know this sounds crazy, but by the time our class reached exam day, I was incredibly excited to take the exam. Throughout the year, all of us progressed from barely being able to write passable essays in 40 minutes to being able to write 4-5 paragraph essays in that same amount of time. I can honestly say that when I got to exam day, it felt like the exam itself was very predictable. We had done so many practice essays and multiple choice passages that the exam didn't seem as scary as I thought it was at the beginning of the year. I don't have a particular amount of time I put in every week. I generally found that I spent a lot more time on English when I had a major paper due that week. 

The Peace Essay (for the United States Peace Institute's national high school competition) was incredibly scary at first, but it paid off so much. Mrs. Inspektor was very understanding and helpful throughout the whole process. I remember I switched case studies about 3 times in the span of 2 days, and she was very patient throughout my furious brainstorming. This leads me to how great a teacher Mrs. Inspektor is. I wasn't crazy about other people reading my writing when I entered the class. I didn't truly know the meaning of revision and taking feedback and incorporating it into my work. The first paper I wrote, the literacy narrative, was a struggle, but in retrospect, I'm so glad that Mrs. Inspektor gave us her honest feedback. I truly think it made the difference between staying the same writer and becoming a better writer. 

The other students were amazing. Everyone was super supportive, and I think everyone grew from other people's writing and opinions. It also made the actual exam seem a lot less daunting since all of my friends were taking it too. Skype book clubs, Facebooks chats, and posts on the class website really helped us grow closer as a class and support each other through rough assignments and ultimately the exam.

If you're scared of writing, don't be afraid to take this class. It changed my outlook on writing, and now I'm actually considering an English major in college (the class was that good!). If you love to read and love language, and you're looking to improve your writing, this class is worth all of the hard work and the stressful moments. Plus, the feeling of finishing a particuarly hard essay or paper is very rewarding :) I definitely recommend this course to anyone who's willing to work hard, take feedback, and ultimately grow as a writer.  


Hard, but Totally Worth It!! posted by Rachel Venable on May 18 2012 at 12:22:35

Someone who has a desire to write...if you don't, you're either doomed to hate this class, or convert to a writing lover. Also, someone who wants to know what, why, and how, an author is exerting something like his point of view. If you don't want to know what you're reading, again, you're bound to want that by the end of the year.

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHY YOU'RE TAKING THIS CLASS.

I seriously can't stress that enough. Honestly, at the beginning of this class, I hadn't an inkling of what I was here for except to write, but by April I realized that I needed to get my hiney into gear and start seriously studying on that AP exam! If you know that this class' purpose is to help you pass the exam, you won't have a problem. I wasn't completely aware of this before hand, and I regret that. I wish I had been an avid studier from the beginning of this class. Key word: study.

Hmm, well the last few weeks we were all independent studiers so that's hard to compute, but the weeks before those were somewhat intense. I'd say that I spent at least an hour and a half per day each week. Many times on weekends I'd be sitting at the comp, beating myself up for waiting so long to finish homework. If you finish all your work by Friday, you must really love yourself.

Immensely. I have, at least, 35+ new friends! Everyone was so friendly and patient...honestly this class' size was overwhelming at first, but I know the personalities of each person despite the fact that I've never met them in person! There were book clubs that almost everyone participated in and those are a bunch of fun, and you get to know each other better. The teacher, students, and TA's were all extremely helpful whenever I had a question. Never had I asked a question where it took forever to get responses. I started emailing groups with many of the students and we're all pretty close now! Crazy.

Everyone always gave me the feedback that I needed, and, for the most part, it wasn't sugar coated. I always knew what needed to be fixed in my essays from the feedback. The comments were spot-on; usually points on things that I hadn't noticed myself. In short, the feedback was awesome.

Well, ancient literature (Walden's Pond) would've killed me if I hadn't known how to disect the syntax to reveal the hidden meanings, which I learned to do in this class. Although I'm not admitting to liking the book, I'm just saying it was easier to read because of Mrs. Inspektor. I don't particularly enjoy literature much more than I originally had, but I definitely have more respect for it.  

I almost dropped out. I was dangerously close to leaving this class during the Peace Essay Contest because of the rigorous work it required, but you know what? My sister convinced me to stay because of how brilliant I would feel after I had submitted the essay, and she was right! I remained a student in this class and recieved an honorable mention in the contest (3rd place for the state of Maine). I'm so proud of that piece of work, and I truly believe it was THE hardest thing I have EVER done.

Without a doubt, it was the Peace Essay. I've never worked so hard and long on an essay in my entire life, and I'm not sure I ever will again. That essay is my joy and pride. Another assignment that I really loved though, was the Project Walden. That was fun and difficult to stick to as well, but it was an enjoyable experience.

A million practice tests. Literally. Mrs. Inspektor assigned plenty of sample essay questions and multiple choice questions throughout the year to prepare us for the actual exam. She gave us a ton of tips and pointers from eliminating MCQ choices and impressing the essay judges. Let me tell you, during the exam yesterday, I took a little comfort in the fact that I knew what I was doing. Ok, a lot of comfort. I know that the kids I took the test with won't be getting as high a score as I am, because they finished writing their essays in an hour while I took the full 135 minutes to complete mine. Mrs. Inspektor taught me to be selfish with the time limit, and darn it, I was.

Be prepared to make a ton of friends (whether you want to or not) and to love your teacher. She's awesome. I know that the TA's will be awesome as well; they were in my class this year! Everyone's great, the assignments won't kill you - I promise - the book clubs are cool... so don't worry about being stuck with a mound of smart homeschooling geeks, cause they'll all be awesome. I mean we're all smart - ahem - and if anybody's a geek, he or she WILL make it known. They don’t like to hide it. Believe me, I was worried for a second when I saw that plenty of the students were grades ahead of me, yet the same age, but hey. Don’t be shy.   

 


Best. Class. Ever. 'nuff said ;) posted by Amber Emerson on May 17 2012 at 19:57:21


I can't think of a good and original title. posted by Matthew Buonanno on May 17 2012 at 16:23:19

 

  • To what kind of student would you recommend this class? Any student interested in broadening his/her view of the world (Peace Essay, yep), preparing for the AP exam, or improving his/her ability to interpret and analyze essays written by an array of authors.

  • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? If the student has taken an annual English course up until the grade he/she enters the class, is focused, is engaged, and is willing to work hard, I think he/she will be able to succeed. 

  • How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? It would depend on the week; I guess an average of seven hours or so is accurate. 

  • To what extent was this class interactive? The class was extremely interactive. 

  • What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? I often received comments from more than one person on my work. This was really helpful for differing perspectives - it allowed me to see what different people wanted, which in turn allowed me to revise using my idea and the ideas of others on what consititutes a good essay.

  • How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? I got to read a few books over the course of this year that I've wanted to read for a while, which was really nice. Besides that, I wouldn't say my perspective has changed too much - but I was brought up with a pretty wide range of books, and this class definitely sustained that, so I think it still did a good job in this respect.

  • What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? It was my first online course and I'm enough of a goofball that figuring out how to interact with students whom I had never met was pretty interesting/challenging.

  • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. I think I liked the Place Essay the most - in it, we had to discuss a place that brings complex emotions to mind. My essay was definitely in a different style than my standard scientific tone, and writing it was strangely cathartic.

  • How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? Haha - I probably couldn't list all the ways. Mrs. Inspektor did an awesome job of assigning work that prepared us for the exam without letting it become monotonous. We had relevant daily messages (often related to skills needed for acing the exam), bi-weekly (or so) essays, semi-frequent multiple choice mini-tests, and regular discussion groups. 

  • Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: Work hard, but don't be afraid to goof off a bit. A friend and I took this course together this year, and over the year we developed some really cool friendships with other students (due in part to our insane and quirky senses of humor, which apparently the rest of the group had never before encountered, tragically) - and that's honestly one of the most valuable things you can take away from a course, besides that whole get smarter thing. Also, eat lots of bananas. Bananas are good. Good source of potassium!
  •  

     


    The most helpful, challenging, and fun class I have taken! posted by Evan Booher on June 01 2011 at 20:21:42

    Any student who is hardworking and desires to become a writer must take this class. Many of the students who take this class rank in the top percentiles of high schoolers nationally, but Mrs. Inspektor's teaching is so good and the atmosphere of the class so encouraging and stimulating that anyone willing to work can succeed.

    I had taken two years of high school English and had done a fair amount of writing and felt highly prepared for the class. While challenging, this class does not require students to be great writers before they can take this class. Really the best preparation is to read good books - critical reading skills are necessary for AP English success. Then just have familiarity with basic English terms and rules and some experience writing argmuent-type essays and you're ready.  

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

    Generally I spent one and a half to two hours per day on AP English, so from seven to ten hours a week. In January and February, while preparing for the Peace Essay contest, it was more like four to five hours some days.

    It was highly interactive. I really feel like I know many of my classmates through interaction in book clubs and discussion questions and just posts on the WWW board. We also grade each others papers a lot - really there is something interactive every day. All the kids in my class were really great people and students - the interaction was fun and always encouraging.

    On discussion questions, all the responses were student-produced but still helpful; anyway, these questions are more discussion about arguments or points the students have made than about English mechanics. For all the essays, other students graded and commented and Mrs. Inspektor gave comments and a grade. Mrs. Inspektor's comments were always so helpful, pointing out what was good and what needed to be improved. Mrs. Inspektor also gave suggestions in reponse to my emailed questions about my peace essay. The student comments about my peace essay were also so helpful and detailed; one student even wrote me an email giving comments above what was required. Most of the students did comment not only to complete assignments but because they did care about helping others improve. Mrs. Inspektor uses her reponses to students' work as one of the two main ways she gives direct instruction (the other is through the Morning Messages).  

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

    I already had a great love for reading and this class only increased that feeling. In this class I read  a great variety of literature, from Dickens and Homer to Richard Rodriguez and Thoreau. I now enjoy a broader range of literature types than before this class.   

    Maybe the beginning of the class was the biggest challenge, just getting accustomed to it and adjusting to the course load. The peace essay was the biggest project of the year, so it probably was the biggest challenge.

    I can still remember every AP essay I wrote during this class, with certain ones still being my favorites. I remember the first nine I scored and Mrs. Inspektor's comments on it. But the most memorable assignment would have to be the peace essay. I was a state winner and will travel to Washington DC for the weekong awards seminar. I am sure that will be one of the most amazing weeks of my life, and I can experience it because of Mrs. Inspektor and this class.

    I felt completely prepared for the AP exam and was hardly nervous when I took the test. We took several full-length practice tests and had been practicing the essays all year, so I felt very confident and secure.  

    Take this class!!! The AP credit is great, but this class is so much more than an AP-prep course - it has turned me into a very strong writer and critical reader/thinker. Don't be intimidated or get discouraged if it's difficult at first; Mrs. Inspektor really knows how and what to teach and will help you succeed.


    You NEED to take this class! posted by Hannah Newman on May 31 2011 at 13:14:18

    At this point I have taken both AP English Literature and AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor.  They were both in my top three favorite classes of high school thus far, and I really can't rave about them enough.  I learned more about writing, literature, and our world than I ever could have imagined.  In addition to learning so much, I also had a ton of fun!  Hopefully the following questions and answers will be helpful to you in your decision about this class!

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

    Absolutely!  Mrs. Inspektor begins exam prep early in the year (October, I believe) so that we can really hone our skills that directly pertain to the exam and format of the test itself.  We wrote numerous essays to prompts from former exams, and took 5 practice multiple choice sections throughout the year.  Mrs. Inspektor also gives extensive feedback about what you need to work on in your essays, and helps you along in figuring out a strategy that works for you on the multiple choice section.  If you work hard in the course and complete the assignments, I think you are practically guaranteed a good score on the exam!

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

    On average, I would say that this class took me 1 hour per day.  There were a few days that were shorter, and some that were longer.  For a challenging assignment that required outside research, I spent a couple hours on the weekend finishing the assignment.  For a weekly average, I would say the course was 5-7 hours of work.

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

    I loved the literacy narrative assignment at the beginning of the year.  The purpose of this assignment was to bring to life an experience that shaped our view of literature, writing, or education.  This assignment allowed for some creative expression, which actually ended up strengthening essay writing, in my opinion.  The word limit of 1500 words made certain that we chose words that counted, and that were direct; this later helped me in writing essays, and in making sure that those essays were not vague in their language and word choice.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    I have always loved English, but yes, I think that this course did enhance that love even further.  This course also gave me reassurance that English is the right path for me to pursue in college!

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

    Yes!  It is amazing how much you can learn about the other students without ever meeting them in person; I felt that we bonded through our responses to each others' essays, through our book clubs, and through casual interaction on the WWW Board.  And my classmates were a great source of help during our major assignments, particularly during the Peace Essay assignment.  I exchanged papers with a fellow student, and we gave each other feedback on what could be improved, and then revised our essays using both this information and the feedback from Mrs. Inspektor, and the feedback from others in the class who had responded to our essays on the site.  We all bonded in our struggles to become better writers, and I know I learned a lot from my classmates.

    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!)?

    Students who are good at or who enjoy English would obvioulsy do well in this course.  However, I don't think that loving English is necessarily a prerequisite to this class.  Before this year, I read very little prose or essay writing.  When I first saw the essays we were going to read, I thought they looked boring, and I wished we could read fiction.  I was so wrong!  This class basically introduced me to a whole new genre of writing, and I will most likely read many essays from The Writer's Presence this summer on my own.  I would most definitley recommend this course to other students, but I think it is imperative that you work hard.  You want to get the most out of this class as possible, so that you can learn a lot (and get a good score on the exam).  It won't be worth it if you aren't willing to give it your all.  As long as you come into the class with a good attitude, how much you love English upon entrance doesn't matter; you will have a great year!

    I can't emphasize enough what a great class this was; and as many before me have said, Mrs. Inspektor is an incredible teacher, and she will help you so much throughout the class. 

    Go ahead and sign up now! :)

     


    AP Lang Class Review posted by Clayton Ferrazzo on May 26 2011 at 13:41:14

         This year, I believe I felt more prepared for the AP Language exam than I have ever felt for any other exam. I spent anywhere from 1 to 3 hours per day working on the assigned homework. I found as the course went on that the homework was not difficult, it was challenging and took dedication to complete. Perhaps my favorite assignment from this class was the Place Essay which I enjoyed due to the "creative writing" nature of the piece. I must confess at the beginning of the course, I really did not have much of a heart for writing. I did it because it was assigned, not because I enjoyed it. That attitude and experience carried on through a greater part of the first semester with ups and downs in between. But by the time second semester rolled around, Mrs. I had instilled in my a love for writing that no other instructor has given me before. Her dedication to the class and her devotion to writing out Morning Messages and sharing them gave me an appreciation for writing.
         The other students in this class have been a major help in enhancing my experience. Almost every single student writes often for the joy of it, and the comments I received in response to essays or discussion questions were most edifying and helpful. The class interaction was spectacular as compared to some other courses I have taken online. Other students were willing to discuss the daily news one day and then swap essays for correction and editing the next day.
         A student who is willing to work hard on essays and able to read and respond daily to messages from the teacher is probably qualified. I would recommend this class to the student who wants to do something substantial for his or her writing course. I would also recommend this class to the student interested in becoming a well-rounded writer.


    Take this class! posted by Caroline Harper on May 17 2011 at 02:00:11

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

    Most definitely. At the beginning of the year I was nervous about having to write three timed essays all in a row on the exam, because even one essay seemed difficult! But we started off slowly, and Mrs. Inspektor gave great feedback on the practice essays. By the last few months we were writing an essay a week, and by the time we took the practice exam, and the real exam, I felt comfortable and confident with my writing. Also, the practice multiple choice sections we did were very helpful.

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

    No less than an hour a day. Every day, we responded to the Morning Message, which sometimes included a small exercise or grammar lesson, and then completed that day's written assignments. On particularly hard weeks, like when we were working on the Peace Essay or Project Walden, I spent more time, sometimes up to 18 or 20 hours a week.

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

    I liked the Place essay and the literacy narrative. These were creative writing assignments that let me focus on capturing exactly what I wanted to say and using my words wisely. Another favorite assignment, but one that was a LOT of work, was the Peace Essay. It was like no other paper I've ever written before, because it focused on current issues and politics and I had to analyze lots of different sources. Everybody gave great feedback, though, and so it was easier to finish and polish my paper than if I had had to write it all on my own.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Yes. I've always liked writing, but I've never been a fan of the "essay style" of writing. Now, I realize that an essay can be just as interesting as a creative writing paper, and that it doesn't have to be a struggle to sit down and write a coherent essay in 40 minutes. This course has definitely sparked my interest in reading deeper, too, and discovering what the author really meant beneath all the fluff and wit.

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

    Yes. If you are worried that there will not be student-to-student communication in this course because it's a distance learning online course, worry no more. Even though I have never met any of my classmates face-to-face from this year, I feel that I know each one of their personalities just through our conversations on the WWW board and through the book clubs. Everybody was so helpful when responding to essays and papers, and we got some really interesting conversations going on the discussion questions!

    What sort of student would do well in this course?

    Any student who is willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on the assignments will do well in this course. You also have to be open to suggestions and constructive criticisms, because there is a lot of revising and rewriting involved in any writing course. The amount of work Mrs. Inspektor assigns is manageable, but only if you stay on top of it. It is very easy to procrastinate, especially on the weekends, when assignments aren't due until Sunday. So if you are focused and willing to put in the time, you will definitely see it show in your work.


    You must take this course! It's worth it! posted by Mary Hill on May 16 2011 at 12:25:24

    Dear Student,

    Please read the following questions and answers, and you willl discover if this class is for you!

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

    Definitely. Everything from writing a TON of practice essays, to vocabulary studies and "thousands" of exam tips. The layout of the course was perfect; it started out slowly, giving me a feel for the difficulty ahead of me, and then it moved a bit faster as we all dove into exam study.

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

    Most often, I worked about two hours a day. A couple times I put in more than this; it really all depends on the assignments. Everyday there is a mini assignment, and a larger assignment.  I really learned how to manage my time in this class, because most of the time I wasn't able to study in solid, two-hour blocks.

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

    I was never good at writing research papers, so (though my fellow classmates may gasp to see me say this) I really appreciated the Peace Essay assignment. Through it, I learned the ups and downs of writing a research paper, and the importance of writing a proper, convincing argument.

    Other assignments that I found helpful were the ones that referred to an essay we had read. These also really prepared me for the exam because they taught me to look critically at my reading, and to search for complex meanings behind the words. This is a great talent you will need for both practice essay and the actual exam.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Absolutely!  Before this course, I didn't think looking for double meanings could be fun! I now "dissect" pages, covering them with marginalia. My understanding of the structure of the English language was definitely broadened.

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

    Yes! The communications were valuable in the way that my classmates were always encouraging and suggesting ways that I could improve. We all helped each other. And in the long run, by helping each other we helped ourselves because we challenged our own knowledge of language and grammar. We also had interactions with each other in more casual settings through book clubs.

    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 considering taking this course, you have to be willing to work hard, manage your time, and even step out of your comfort-zone at times. Creativity and having fun doesn't hurt either. ;) With these requirements in mind, I believe that whether you have a slight interest in writing, or it is your passion, you will benefit from taking this course. Are you willing to step up to this exciting challenge? Yes? Go for it! :)

    Get ready to be changed....

    ~Mary


    Challenging but definitely worth it. posted by Virginia Davis on May 16 2011 at 01:32:52

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

    First of all, there's no way I would have even survived that exam had I not taken this very course. But this class did more than just get me through the exam--it enabled me to feel confident and prepared for it.

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

    The Peace Essay really broadened my capabilities regarding research papers. I felt so empowered after submitting my essay even though I had no expectations of being a finalist. I was so much more aware after researching, and writing about my case studies helped me feel like I was doing more than just an assignment for class. The Peace Essay gave me such a connection to international tragedies and corruption; I'm so much more interested in that type of thing now!

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

    I got a ton out of being able to communicate and share ideas with my classmates. I especially loved the book discussions we organized every month or two. Even the non-live discussions Mrs. Inspektor posted for assignments quite often were very stimulating. I was able to get a glimpse of other ideas I had never considered before on interesting book passages. These communications definitely kept my mind open to other opinions and observations.

    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!)?

    A student really has to have the ambitions to succeed if he or she wants to do well in this course. It's so challenging, so the student must be willing to always keep the end goal in mind. If he or she does that all the hard work will be worth it.

    P.S.

    You really couldn't ask for a better teacher. Mrs. Inspektor is truly a blessing.

     

     


    AP English Language and Composition posted by Courtenay Klauber on May 14 2011 at 03:26:01

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
    Students who are willing to move beyond their comfort zones will ultimately get the most benefit out of this class. Whether that means working harder than you would in normal English classes (which will definitely happen!), coming across differing viewpoints in the readings, or writing in a new and unfamiliar style, you will be definitely be stretched in some sort of way. There is everything from a research paper to creative writing, so there will likely be something you are not comfortable with! However, I often found that the most valuable assignments were the ones I was most uncomfortable with.

    What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
    As I mentioned before, be prepared to be stretched. On a more practical level, it’s good to know the basic mechanics of writing and good grammar. You won’t be utterly lost if you can’t write without many errors, but it will be a lot harder to complete assignments well. Also, working on neat handwriting will definitely help you later on! One more thing to consider is to look at the prompt for the Peace Essay now, and familiarize yourself with the current conflicts going on to search for case studies. It won’t hurt to be looking right now for sources and get into a habit of reading BBC articles and watching CNN for that essay. :)

    How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?
    I averaged 2 hours a day most weeks, not including time reading and discussing for the book clubs. During the Peace Essay (December and January) I definitely spent more time each day.

    To what extent was this class interactive?
    This class has been substantially more interactive than many of the classes I take at co-ops. Even if you do the bare minimum, you will still likely be posting many little things each day whether they are essay responses, Morning Message response, or Discussion Question responses. Mrs. Inspektor has wonderful and timely Morning Messages that often require responses so if kind of feels like we get a mini-lecture or pep talk each day. Mrs. Inspektor is also really good about answering questions. Of course, you can always make things more interactive as well. The book clubs are great ways to get to know your classmates and you are free to post on the board about things. (I will say that as a student on the West Coast, it is kind of annoying that assignments are due at midnight EST and therefore 9 PM Pacific, but you get used to it.)

    What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?
    Mrs. Inspektor’s essay responses are pure GOLD. She does a really great job of identifying strengths and weaknesses of the students. I often read through her comments on my classmates’ essays because her comments were that good and helpful for my writing too. For pretty much every essay and discussion question reply we wrote we were required to respond to a certain number of each other’s work. Everyone’s feedback was super helpful, but it was also enlightening and helpful to give feedback to other people.


    How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
    I think I am more conscious of how the written word is delivered, instead of usually being solely focused on content. Content is extremely important, but I definitely realized that most of the effectiveness of writing comes with the way in which it is presented. Not only am I now able to recognize how other people use rhetoric and such, but I am also able to incorporate it into my own writing.

    What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
    I am a perfectionist, and therefore I stress out about assignments, end up procrastinating and then get super freaked out about producing something good when time is running out. If you are a procrastinator or a perfectionist, this class will be hard for you. Sometimes I had to relax and just allow myself to simply submit what I thought was sub-par work for myself. I may be a little extreme about this. I would freak out about having perfect Discussion Question responses and first drafts of major essays. I would say it is good to be a perfectionist on final drafts, but don’t be too hard on yourself on working drafts. It will save you a lot of heartache. By then end of the year, I was budgeting my time better and just doing my best instead of trying to make everything perfect.

    Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
    The Peace Essay was an incredibly hard, but rewarding and valuable experience; however, my favorite assignment of the year was definitely Project Walden. After we read Walden by Henry David Thoreau, we each embarked on our own experiment for one week. We wrote about the project each day, trying to include metaphors like Thoreau and other things. Some of the projects were waking up really early or abstaining from Internet or television, and many other fascinating and creative ideas. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it was to complete and then write about this experiment. Everyday we commented on each other’s posts, encouraging each other to keep it up and getting all philosophical about everything. This assignment was valuable because it showed the applicability of language in a tangible situation. In an AP class it sometimes is hard to see beyond the AP test, and Project Walden definitely was great to see how language can affect real life. As I wrote each day, I could control the dramatic quality, or the comedic aspects of my work. Oftentimes, my writing wouldn’t just be inspired by my project, but my project would be inspired my writing.

    How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
    We did many multiple choice tests and wrote many essays taken from old tests. The English exam is interesting because it’s not like you have to memorize facts or memorize equations; the only way to succeed on the test is to be familiar with the format and the possible questions. We definitely became very familiar to the format of the test; however, it never really felt like we were just studying for a test until the last couple weeks.

    Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
    If you are on the fence about this class, get off and just take it! Seriously, I have never had a better teacher (other than my own mother!) than Mrs. Inspektor. I recently compared this class to the English 101 class my sister was concurrently taking at a university and I was definitely was the one learning more and having more fun! It’s a lot of work and very challenging, but it is so worth it.

     


    Best English Class EVER! posted by Jill Stabolepszy on May 13 2011 at 24:13:58

    First off, I just want to say that if you are struggling with writing and sincerely want to improve, take this class. That was my position at this time last year. My writing lacked much of what it needed to truly be effective and I wanted very badly to improve. I had many fears about taking an AP class, especially in a subject I had learned to detest, but all my fears were relieved. :) By the end of the year I was in love with this English class due mostly to the fact that Mrs. Inspektor did an incredible job of coaching me along. She knew (I'm sure) that writing was not my forte but never told me so outright and continued to be very encouraging with her comments. I learned countless valuable lessons both about life and English through the various assignments I was required to complete. To make this class review a bit easier to work through I'll answer a series of questions below:

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    Any student who has the desire to learn. Even if you don't particularly like English you can go far with a good attitude. If you are really into English this course is right for you, too! All the book clubs, challenging assignments (Peace Essay), and class interaction could only help a true English student along.

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

    The only prep I would recommend would be extensive reading of good-quality classics. Reading good writing is the first step to writing good writing, in my opinion. Also, taking every opportunity in school to write on interesting and creative topics that will really engage both your reader and yourself is a great idea.

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

    Since this class was very challenging for me I probably spent anywhere from 8 (on an easy week) to 20 hours per week on this class- but it was totally worth it!

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    It's all up to the student. Each student has the opportunity to get very involved with his/her classmates but it's just as easy to keep to yourself and ignore the interaction going on under your nose. I think the more involved you get the more fun the class is! There is a constant stream of commenting on each other's writing which I found immensely helpful. There's also the famous TPB game - you'll have to take the class to find out what that is! :)

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

    Generally, very honest, constructive, and encouraging feedback. I never got one nasty comment- always truthful (which sometimes meant telling me I totally missed the point of the essay) but always with a spice of encouragement which made revising and learning much easier.

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

    I learned to expand to more genres of classics. I read books I would have never considered before, like Walden or Lord of the Flies. Analyzing them with the class is what made the ideas stick- a great exercise! This class inspired me to add a few more classics to my summer reading list.

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

    Constantly writing essays. The first time I was assigned a timed essay I nearly cried. I didn't know where to start! I'd always taken my time on essays and had never been forced to buckle down and organize myself in 40 minutes- a great exercise in thinking clearly!

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

    Definitely the Peace Essay! I have to say I thoroughly disliked the assignment at first. It was HARD. But, after I started my research and really delved into the topic I learned to love reading up on current events in foreign countries. I still pay more attention to that section of the Wall Street Journal and tend to ignore the US... not sure this is a good thing :) I learned the valuable art of research and using sources to support my arguments and ideas - a skill I hope to never forget.

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

    Extremely well. I felt very confident while taking the exam (after the butterflies left) and didn't get panicky or desperate once. I knew how to pace myself after doing so many practice essays and multiple choice sections which was a priceless skill. Looking around me I realized just how well Mrs. I had prepared us all. I will be ever grateful- no matter what my score is!

     

    I hope my review convinced you to take this course (if you feel like you fit the description). It really is a great opportunity to learn, but you must be ready and willing- just like anything else. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't spoon-feed her students but rather takes them to the edge, pushes them off and tells them to fly. Good luck in your AP endeavor!


    Epic class posted by Meredith Pochily on May 13 2011 at 19:51:06

    If you're reading this, you're probably wondering what AP lang is all about and whether or not it's a course you want to add to your already hectic life. For me, this is the end of two amazing years of AP English with Mrs. Inspektor. I've enjoyed them immensely and I'm pretty sure if you decide to take AP lang, you won't regret it.

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    Someone who is hard working, willing to learn, and open to new ideas and perspectives will get a lot out of this class. Ultimately, you get out what you put in, and sometimes doing a little bit of extra work or engaging in a discussion with a classmate can really take your understanding to a whole new level.

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

    It's helpful to have basic writing and composition skills. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't spend a lot of time going over the basics, though there are a few morning messages on grammar and that kind of thing. Most of what you'll need beyond basic skills, though, Mrs. I will teach you.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    This is a VERY interactive class. Daily responses to morning messages often involve interaction with classmates (there's a good amount of activity on the board daily, at least). We give each other feedback on discussion questions and essays, sometimes very extensively. Additionally, we form book clubs once every 4-6 weeks and discuss a book with classmates off the class website. It's so much fun to receive feedback from classmates and sometimes there are a few jokes carrying over from book club or OT discussions that go along with comments, which really helps us get to know each other as people with lives and interests of our own. Everyone is supportive, encouraging, and seems devoted to helping you improve. The interaction does take extra time, but it's really something that makes the class more enjoyable. I've learned an incredible amount from my classmates this year and we got into some really thought-provoking discussions. As in any class, you become more connected with certain students, but the class really is a big group of friends and I know I will be keeping in touch with a lot of my classmates over the summer and beyond.

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

    In addition to the feedback we got from classmates, Mrs. Inspektor graded and commented on nearly all of our work. Her comments were detailed and REALLY helpful. She's really dedicated to helping you improve, and if you put in the time, you will.

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

    On average, I would say I put in 1-2 hours a day on AP lang. It took me longer to complete the work for AP lit, and I'm not sure if that's because lit is more difficult or if I just wasn't as good at managing my time last year. Either way, plan to leave 2-3 hours a day at the beginning of the year until you get into the flow of assignments. There is usually an essay or some kind of writing assignment to do over the weekend (due Sunday night) and often some reading, too. The weeks (ok, months) when we were working on our peace essays, I DEFINITELY spent more time on lang, at least 5 or 6 hours on some days. That said, there were certainly days when I only worked on lang for 30 minutes.

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

    The Peace Essay. It was by far the most challenging and most memorable assignment of the year. Each of us worked to submit an essay in the National Peace Essay Contest sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace. While the essay itself was limited to only 1,500 words, I ended up with I think 47 endnotes and a long list of works cited that included government documents, speeches, and news articles. The range of skills I learned through the project was amazing; I not only conquered MS Word's obstinate endnote formatting, but also learned how to really dive into a subject I knew next to nothing about, educate myself, and apply that knowledge in an effective way. More than that, the peace essay taught me to look at the world in a new way. We did a role-playing activity to better understand the issues we were writing about and I worked outside of the class to edit essays with several classmates, which was a great way to get to know them better. Everyone was so eager to help everyone else succeed. During the time we were writing our peace essays and polishing our submissions, we followed some of the on-going global conflicts. I realized that this assignment went way beyond our classroom and way beyond the contest. We were very successful in the contest, though, and I'll be traveling to DC to meet six of my other classmates for a week-long awards program through USIP.

    I also really enjoyed reading Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez and exploring nonfiction works. It wasn't something I'd ever done on this level and discussing the works and their content with my classmates was great.

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

    I took the exam yesterday and went in knowing exactly what to expect. At the beginning of the year, it may seem crazy to write a coherent, insightful essay in 40 minutes, but by exam day, you'll have done so many practice essays, the real thing won't feel any different. Mrs. Inspektor assigned us six multiple choice sections and at least fifteen essays for practice, and she gives really helpful comments to help each of us improve. She also posts morning messages on multiple choice strategies, terms, and the "inner workings" of each essay question on the exam.

    (For those of you who do decide to take this class next year: don't panic if you're having a hard time with the MC sections in CliffsAP (our study book). The questions are generally MUCH harder than the ones on the real exam. And, go over your wrong answers after you take the practice tests. I didn't do it enough last year in AP lit and my MC scores were pretty stagnant throughout the year. This year I took the time to analyze each of my wrong answers on every practice test and I really noticed improvement. It's completely worth the extra time.)

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

    Take. It. Yes, it's a lot of work, and yes, there will be days when you're completely overwhelmed (peace essay...). But you will learn so much, gain a whole new level of confidence in yourself, and meet a group of amazing people. Mrs. Inspektor is the most caring, understanding, dedicated, and completely epic teacher you could ever ask for. In so many ways, she makes the class what it is and it's largely because of her that it impacts so many students in such positive ways. One of the most noticeable (and probably valuable) things I've learned in my two years of AP English with Mrs. Inspektor is how to really dissect and edit my work and others' work. I have a new understanding of what makes writing good, and how writing really works.

    Best of luck in your decision. I couldn't recommend this class more highly.

    ~Meredith


    A great class that really developed my writing skills posted by Dustin Nelson on May 13 2011 at 18:36:59

    Yes, the course definitely prepared me for the exam. 
    At least one hour a day, maybe more maybe less depending on the workload that week and the day. 
    The first assignment of reading the Strunk and White grammar book and having to take notes on it helped immensely with my grammar and I enjoyed writing the Literacy Narrative because it pushed me to explore my past and be truthful about it. I also thought the research paper for the National Peace Essay Contest was very edifying; it was extremely hard, but I had never written a research paper of that magnitude and my siblings said that it was about as hard as they get in college. Lastly, the readings we were assigned from The Writer's Presence were fantastic and made me more aware of popular authors, their points of view, and their writing styles. 
    I am a better writer, but I definitely would not want to do it as a career; it's too stressful. 
    It was good to here other classmates opinions and feel like you are not alone when an assignment is particularly hard. Although, personally I did not like having to comment on other classmate's assignments.
    Any student who is willing to work hard and wants to learn how to write from a great teacher should definitely take this course!


    AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor--Definitely worth taking!! posted by Thomas Nath on May 13 2011 at 17:57:07

    I would recommend this class to any hard-working student with the desire to improve their reading and writing abilities and have a great time doing it.  
    I do think students should be prepared to read long, sophisticated, and sometimes difficult nonfiction texts.  Over the course of the year we read everything from Thoreau's Walden to Richard Rodriguez' Hunger of Memory, with many shorter essays from The Writer's Presence as well.
    It varied greatly depending on the assigned work for that day; some days, we just had to read a short (7-8) page essay or so or write a couple responses, which doesn't take more than an hour.  Before the Peace Essay contest, however, I spent multiple hours going to the library and researching my case studies.  There is usually an essay per week, almost always due Sunday at midnight.  I guess on average it was 1-1.5 hours a day, but you can work more or less depending on what you want to put into it.
    This class is extremely interactive, and that was amazing.  During the year, students form their own book groups and then meet via chat to discuss the book.  Each morning, Mrs. Inspektor posts a Morning Message which the majority of people respond to.  In my experience with the class, the WWW board was used frequently to ask/answer any questions--it was really helpful.
    Mrs. Inspektor gives detailed comments on all formal essays, and students comment on each other's responses and essays as well.  We received comments on all our drafts as well, which really helped me learn how to edit my own writing.
    I think learning to write the various essays on the AP exam, such as a rhetorical analysis essay, took a while to get used to, but Mrs. Inspektor gives you tons of practice.
    Definitely the Peace Essay assignment.  Several of our class members won their respective states and get to go to Washington, D.C. this summer for a conference for state winners.  It was an incredibly difficult assignment that required a lot of research, but it was well worth it.  
    Throughout the course, we wrote multiple past essays from the AP exam, many of which were timed.  We also practiced multiple choice questions from an AP prep book and took several practice exams.  I know that I personally felt extremely ready for the exam.
    Take it!  Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher who pushes you to work harder and makes you improve your reading and writing abilities.  


    A Great Class posted by Mark Olsen on May 12 2011 at 24:02:36

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

    Absolutely. Mrs. Inspektor does a wonderful job of preparing her students for the test. Her valuable feedback and comments help steer you in the right direction.

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

    I spent between 7 and 8 hours a week per week. During the Peace Essay, an extremely fun project, I spent more.

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

    There were three larger projects during the year that were fun. The Literacy Narrative, Peace Essay, and "Place" Essay were extremely fun. They provided a "break" from the focused test studying.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    This class definitely increased my interest in the subject. Not only did I learn more about rhetoric and the english language, I learned about its applications.

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

    Communicating with other students was both valuable and fun. The communications help ease the natural awkwardness that can surface when you don't see your classmates face to face. They're also a great way of studying.

    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!)?

    A student interested in writing would do very well in this class. Personally, the class has helped my writing style, technique, and speed. I would absolutely recommend this class to others!


    I'm glad it's over, but I'm glad I took it. posted by Grace Garner on May 12 2011 at 23:03:50

  • To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
  • The kind of student who is willing to work like crazy. I did not want to take this class. At all. But I decided to anyway because I knew I needed to work on my writing skills. I enjoy creative writing, but other kinds? Blah. This course was incredibly challenging, and every single week, usually every day, sometimes more than once a day, I would chant in my head, "I HATE this! I HATE this!" However, I would like to make it clear that this is only because of the person I am: I just don't like the material. I was taking a very difficult class on a subject I didn't enjoy. However, Mrs. Inspektor is an incredible teacher, and I actually did find myself enjoying the assignments every once in a while.

  • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
  • The more experience you have in critical reading and writing, the less overwhelming it will be. However, it is not necessary to be an expert in this area. Mrs. Inspektor will be able to teach you, no matter how bad at reading and writing you are, so long as you're willing to put the work in! I knew the basics of essay-writing, and I read a lot, and this course was still very hard.

  • How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? 
  • That varied. Sometimes it only took me an hour, but frequently it took me two or three hours a day, or even longer (especially when working on our Peace Essays...OH. MY. WORD.). In general, I would say it averaged out to about 10 hours a week, sometimes as much as 15.

  • To what extent was this class interactive?
  • I don't have any other AP courses to compare it to, so I'm not sure. However, we were frequently commenting on each other's work, making recommendations, and each student participated in book clubs. It also was not uncommon for a student to post a random thing on the message board, from an article slightly related to a recent assignment, to posting funny videos. (This was not distracting, as it only happened every once in a while. I just thought I would mention it because it shows how we all became friends in this course.)

  • What kinds of feedback did you receive on  your work, and how were they helpful?
  • We always got comments on our essays from other students. It was encouraging to see how they went through the same things and to get suggestions about how they overcame the problem, or visa versa. And then of course Mrs. Inspektor commented and graded on almost everything as well.

  • How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
  • I think I'm better at absorbing and lightly analyzing things as I read them now, though I still prefer to just plunk down and read the thing, absorbing what I can from them without thinking about it too hard. I will be able to use marginalia when need be, though.  

  • What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
  • Oh goodness. The main challenge? Everything. I had practically zero experience in this kind of writing before this class. The essays were frustrating--it took me a long time to get out of my automatic informal voice. And the multiple choice tests? Yikes. I have always hated those. I tend to think differently from other people, and I was always getting these things wrong. Discussion questions? My worst nightmare. I elaborate below.

  • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
  • This may sound strange, and I think many of my students will probably say the Peace Essay contest, but for me, the most memorable happened way back at the beginning of the year. Mrs. Inspektor instructed us to write our own discussion question.

    TERROR.

    PANIC.

    MAYHEM.

    I burst into tears. I'm usually not the emotional type, but I actually ended up throwing the dignified (I hope) version of a two-year-old FIT. I was actually screaming (quietly) and pounding my fists on the bed. I had ALWAYS had trouble with discussion questions before. I attend a Literature Discussion Group, and I always had trouble contributing anything. I could take someone else's idea and elaborate it, but come up with my own? Never.

    This is memorable, because I don't blink twice at writing and responding to discussion questions now. At the most, it'll take me two minutes to come up with one. Usually it's more like twenty seconds.

  • How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
  • Everything in this class helped prepare me, because I was so pitifully unprepared. I was bad at almost everything (except the two creative-type essays we wrote. Woot woot!), and I was thinking I would be extremely lucky to get a four on the exam. Now, I'm expecting at least a four, and I'm fairly confident that I'll get a five. And this is a score on a subject I do. not. enjoy.

  • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
  • No. Not at all. It did make me enjoy the material more though. Yes, there is a difference. This enjoyment comes from the fact that I actually can do this. It's always more fun to do something when you know what you're doing, as opposed to doing it when you're just guessing.

  • Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
  • Mrs. Inspektor is wonderful. I unjustly got mad at her several times in the year, simply because of the challenging assignments she posted that I didn't feel like doing. But like the first DQ I wrote, these challenging assignments prepared me, and I'm so glad she assigned them. (I'm also glad this class is over now...FREEEDOOOM!) I sent her several emails throughout the year, sometimes asking specific questions about something I had trouble with, and sometimes just to complain and rant and beg for help. She always answered me with tips and encouragement, and she usually answered me quickly. (Living halfway across the world, sometimes the questions I sent in the afternoon got to her in the middle of the night, so I wouldn't get her answers until the next day. But that's hardly her fault.)

    Do you desperately need to get better at this? Or do you just need to enhance the amazing skills you already have *pointed look at select classmates*? Take this. It works both ways!


    posted by Moriah Glady on May 12 2011 at 19:16:22

    I spent up to two hours most days, at least five days a week.

    The most valuable assignment for me was definitely the Peace Essay.  This essay pushed me out of my comfort zone and dramatically expanded my world view.  

    I walked into this course with a strong dislike for writing, but left with a definite appreciation for it.  Mrs. Inspektor completely transformed my perspective by showing me how powerful words can be.

     

    I was constantly intrigued by the various insights of my classmates.  I learned nearly as much from the other students as I did from the course itself!

     

    I would recommend this course to students who are very motivated to boost their writing and analytical skills.  This course incorporates more writing than any other english class I’ve taken, but certainly does not exclude students who struggle with writing.  


    Mrs. Inspektor is a superb teacher, period. posted by Rachel Garner on May 12 2011 at 16:01:28

    I've taken both of Mrs. Inspektor's classes (AP English Literature and AP English Language--and yes, I did them backwards because I'm weird like that), and I can't remember why I didn't post a Lit. review last time. Probably procrastination.

    Anyway, both years I had a fantastic time. I think AP English Language was easier (I certainly spent far less time on it EXCEPT for the intensive Peace Essay time) than Lit, but I'm not sure if the contest was actually easier, or if I liked it better, or if I was just used to taking online classes, and online classes from her, so I budgted time better. I'd say it took one to two hours a day on the heavy days, and then even less than that a couple of times a week. I did often go into Saturday or Sunday for assignments, but that was my procrastination at work again.

    During some of the weeks while we were doing the peace essays (a fabulous assignment, by the way) I spent several hours over weekends working on it. I didn't realize how MUCH I needed to do until sort of late in the game, though, so it CAN be spread out a little better. Here's my advice on that: THE PEACE ESSAY IS A BIG DEAL. START STUDYING EARLY!! That should just about fix that issue for ya.

    I write novels, so critical essay writing isn't exactly my strong suit (I basically took my first crash course in how to write an essay, period, when I took AP Lit). I liked how Mrs. Inspektor incorporated some more creative assignments into the syllubus, like the location essay and literacy narrative (my personal favourite). I also liked that though we DID drill for the exam (you write a *lot* of 40-minute essays!), we also did some things (like the peace essay) that were a little more slow, thoughtful, and realistic. (I mean, how often in real life do you have to write an essay in 40 minutes?) Because of the mixture of the fun (creative) the really thoughtful (peace essay, discussion questions) and the drill both of the classes I've taken have both grown me as a student and prepared me for the exam. The realistic application part is really good for me, because I HATE doing things without practical application! (WHY study for a stupid standardized test when real life is never like that?! AGH!!! See, told you I was weird.)

    I really need to cut the parenthesis here...

    There was a pretty big difference in class interactions, I thought, between my year in Lit and my year in Lang. I'm not sure if this is always the case, but Lang had about 15 or 20 students more and that really changed it for me. I got close to lots of my fellow Lit students (I think it did help that there were a lot of novel-writers in that one), but didn't really start connecting with Lang students until the last couple of months.

    The reason for this, though: book clubs. I LOVE the book clubs (they're in both classes, too!). I just had a great last one, where we read Shakespeare aloud and then discussed it. It was a ton of fun, and educational too. (Well, I hope. Still haven't gotten my grade on that documentation...) So, though the class was friendly and helpful, the way to really get close to other students in this class beyond simple name recognition is through the book clubs.

    There seemed to be all sorts of students in this class, but I'm sure that the ones who did well really did work hard. It was easier for me than Lit, but it's definitely not a fluffy class.

    I also had a bit of a rough/exciting year, and had to leave town a lot and play catch-up with assignments, but Mrs. Inspektor was very gracious about it all. I wasn't quite the more stellar-like student that I (think) I was in Lit, but she worked around me and my schedules and still taught me a lot; I really appreciate that. That said, I DON'T suggest falling behind. It could get messy quite fast!

    I did come into this class knowing I was interested in things like politics and economics, but I think the peace essay assignment highlighted this as well...I liked how this class talked about deeper issues than Lit. It's hard to explain, but it comes down to practical application again. After several months of Lit I was about to go batty with how closely one looks for symbolism and stuff in literary works, and just about fed up with "literary works" in general. In AP Lang, it really hit the broader ISSUES, the real stuff that actually can matter and change lives: worldviews, politics, rascism, government, that sort of thing. I really enjoyed this aspect. I really liked just about everything we read, as well.

    And, of course, the exam. I mentioned it before, but I went into this very confident. Not exactly that I would get a 5...but that I had been prepared extremely well, and would do the best that I could do on the exam. Hardly any nerves!

    I think anyone who takes either of these classes (I really do have to plug AP Lit. Great class!) really can go into the exam extremely prepared...but also a fuller, more thoughtful person. It's not JUST exam prep, but you have plenty of it. Great combination.

    I can't think of how to sign off of this, so I'll just say...this is a great class, but mostly because of its great teacher, which of course makes her other class great as well. I'm sorry that she doesn't have any classes for me to take next year!


    Research and Peace Essays and AP Lang exams, oh my! posted by Justin Banda on May 12 2011 at 15:17:49

    I loved this class! I would recommend this class to the student who loves writing but wants to hone his or her skills. A student interested in taking this class should be well-read and familiar with more advanced words. In my own preparation, I spent about seven or eight hours a week (on average; sometimes more, sometimes less) on coursework, so it is somewhat time-intensive.  

    I found Mrs. Inspektor's class to be very interactive (perhaps more interactive than 'real-time' classes), and the students were engaging and talented. We (the students) grade each others' work and offer suggestions before we submit our final drafts. These critiques are both helpful and insightful in that they offered the advantage of a fresh perspective that the original writer might not have had. 

    Throughout this class, we read from famous and not-so-famous writers such as Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Richard Rodriguez, and Henry Thoreau, and this helped us grow in our understanding of language and how it relates to the world at large. This tied in to my main challenge in this class, which was understanding why we use the English language in the ways that we do. 

    My most memorable assignment from this class was our Peace Essay assignment, in which Mrs. Inspektor guided us for two months in the creation, writing, and perfection of our entries into the USIP's annual Peace Essay contest. This year, thirteen of Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang students placed, and seven of us took top honors (including me). The sheer length and effort required by this assignment astonished me; it is for this reason that I will always remember this assignment when looking back on my time in Mrs. Inspektor's class. 

    I suppose the more pressing question a reader might want to know is how this class prepared me for the AP Lang exam. Having taken the exam yesterday, I can guarantee that this class will help boost your (or your child's) preparedness. When I went into the testing room, I overheard a great majority of the students in the class talking about how the test was so intimidating; later, after the test ended, many of those same students were complaining about how difficult it was, and some even mentioned that they had 'thrown' the test (that is, not finished or put any effort into it). 

    I, on the other hand, felt perfectly at ease because unlike the other students in the room that day, Mrs. Inspektor had been drilling us with complete tests from previous years. Thus, when I saw the actual test, I actually thought to myself, "Hey, I know this!" It was a wonderful feeling of preparedness that only comes from hard work beforehand.

    In conclusion, if you're willing to put forth the effort this class requires, you can succeed. However, if you aren't willing to work hard, there isn't much this class (or any other class) can do for you. Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher, and she will do everything in her power to make you ace the exam and the Peace Essay contest (which she makes us do from November through January). If you work hard, you'll end up having a lot of fun. I loved this class, and I highly recommend it.


    Highly Recommended posted by Grace Hall on May 12 2011 at 13:57:40

    I would recommend this class to a student who can work really hard. They need to have a lot of self motivation and be willing to sacrifice a good chunk of time per day.

    Students don't need that much preparation. They just need to have an understanding of the English language and be able to write and read at college level.

    Hmmm, it depended. When we did the Peace Essay I swear I worked like 30 hours or more.

    It's pretty interactive. Students grade each others work. Mrs. Inspektor makes the classroom, well like a real classroom.

    In the beginning I needed to work a lot harder to get the grade I wanted. The feedback was helpful, but you must be able to take it that way. If you take the feedback the wrong way, and feel attacked by Mrs. Inspektor's critiques you'll never improve. She's a tough grader =).

    I definitely understand literature more this year than I ever have. Mrs. Inspektor was able to teach us certain strategies authors use and helped explain to us why they were used and how to use the strategies ourselves. The satire essay comes to mind.

    The main challenge I faced while taking this class was being able to manage my time. Sometimes you just have to turn something in not so perfect because there is never enough time to make it perfect.

    I loved the place essay. It was a more creative assignment where we were able to choose a place to describe, but the place also had a second meaning. I had so much fun crafting it, and it showed because I got my first and only perfect score on an essay....well besides my bio and Strunk and White Notes at the beginning of the year (but those don't really count).

    Mrs. Inspektor gave us a lot of review. We had to write so many practice essays, it was helpful though because it showed me what I needed to work on for the AP English Exam. We also did a lot of multiple choice practice, however I just have to say that the Cliffs AP questions are so much more confusing than the actual College Board M.C. questions.

    This class was really helpful. You could tell Mrs. Inspektor was dedicated to her work throughout the entire year. She's a great teacher. I recommend this class to kids who are willing to reach high. Don't think of this class as just another class I have to take to get into college or to get college credit. Think of it as an opportunity for self-improvement. Remember you only get as much out as you put in.


    Wow! posted by Evelyn Baert on May 12 2011 at 11:59:56

    Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher. Enough said. I entered this class with a vendetta against writing, and in hope of changing my opinion. I was well aware that many of my fellow classmates would already have a love for writing, and it was my plan to feed off their energy and develop my own relationship with it. Needless to say, the transformation occurred somewhere between September and May. The effort Mrs. Inspektor put into making us better writers is evident. The Peace Essay (although I despised it the time), the weekly essays, and, of course, the wonderful DQ’s, all contributed to my transformation. I can now honestly say that I love writing. I still can’t believe these are my own words.

    I am still in awe that I didn’t kick and scream during the learning process, but I really shouldn’t be. While I didn’t spend more than twelve hours a week working on the assignments, I am sure Mrs. Inspektor put in many more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I breezed through this class, but I certainly wasn’t bogged down by the work load. In fact, Mrs. Inspektor’s setup makes this class a perfect first AP. It was mine, and I now feel ready to move onto more.

    My classmates also made this course a blast. Although, I am convinced that we’d still be pretty distant if it weren’t for the numerous book clubs. Interacting with many of the students over Skype or G-chat brought the mere names on the screen to life. For the last book club of the year, I was a member of really great group. We got to know each other a little too well, but the best part is that we’ll all be together next year in Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class. It’s incredible how bonds of friendship can develop in an online course. Everyone keeps each other going.  

    By the time the AP Exam rolled around, the motivation was electric. We all seemed to know that we were more prepared than prepared. This test was simply going to be like another one of the practice exams. For the first time, in my life, I was not overly nervous for an upcoming event. Of course I still had some jitters, but they were more excitement related. Without a doubt, I would recommend this course to any student with an interest in English language or with a desire to become a better writer…like me.  


    Well, student... posted by Matthew Kilgore on June 01 2010 at 15:03:33

    Hello student,

     

    If you are reading this, you probably want to know whether or not Mrs. Inspektor’s AP English Language class is right for you. Naturally, I am going to argue that it is. What may surprise you, student, is that I will not do so via words—I will do so via a silly animation:

     

    ‼ERR: UNRECOGNIZED FILE TYPE‼

     

    Hmm… Perhaps a different medium is in order. *brainstorms* Ah-ha! Here is a small quiz that will determine whether or not this class is right for you:

     

    1) Do you want a teacher who ____?

    a) gives you undivided attention, encouragement, and help

    b) gives you some attention

    c) ignores you

     

    2) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) trains you extensively with countless practice essay

    b) lets you take the exam without knowing what a synthesis essay is

    c) tricks you into taking the exam without knowing what an essay is

     

    3) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) reads and then discusses classic literary essays such as George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”

    b) assigns dull readings from an old English textbook

    c) assigns even duller readings from an old English textbook

     

    4) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) reads and then discusses classic literary books such as Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life

    b) discusses modern literary books you’ve never heard of

    c) assigns no readings

     

    5) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) teaches you how to skillfully pass the MCQ portion of the exam by taking six practice sections

    b) lets you take the exam without knowing that there is an MCQ portion

    c) doesn’t even tell you there’s an exam

     

    6) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) has you write a contemplative essay for the National Peace Essay Contest

    b) has you write dull essay prompts

    c) has you write dull essay prompts AND gives your computer a virus by sending you to unsafe websites to retrieve said prompts

     

    7) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) ultimately prepares you for the AP Exam

    b) barely prepares you for the AP Exam

    c) gives you a heart attack from pre-test anxiety

     

    If, student, you mostly chose a’s, Mrs. Inspektor’s AP English Language class is right for you! If you did not, reassess you values!

     


    Excellente! posted by Sara Jo Luecke on May 31 2010 at 20:06:43

    Absolutely! Before taking this class, timed essays were a nightmare to me! However, the many practice essays we did, along with other assignments, thoroughly prepared me. By the time I was sitting in the exam room staring at the essay prompts, I didn’t even feel stressed! (Which is major for me! :))

    To any student interested in improving their reading/writing skills, and who is willing to work very hard!

    I probably spent around 1-2 hours a day on English – more when we were working on a big assignment.  It probably took me more time initially, because I tend to be a very slow writer (not to mention a worry-wart! :) However, the weekly DQs really helped me with this, and as I became more familiar with what was expected and more comfortable with developing and communicating my ideas, I found that I was able to write much more quickly!

    This class was VERY interactive! Nearly every day I responded to either a Morning Message or to my classmates’ writing. In fact, this aspect was one of my favorite parts of the class! The opportunity to discuss ideas with other students was invaluable, and getting to know all my classmates was just plain fun! :) Everyone was very respectful and helpful – I really couldn’t have asked for a better class atmosphere!

    Feedback from both Mrs. Inspektor and my classmates was extremely helpful! I think it takes a little time to get used to giving other students feedback (at least it did for me!), but you get more comfortable with it. The feedback I got from other students was pretty much always very positive, but at the same time they often pointed out ways to improve that were very helpful. Mrs. Inspektor’s comments, however, were beyond helpful – they were always SO encouraging (she never forgets to tell you what you did well!), while at the same time pointing out very specific ways to improve and giving extremely helpful advice! I learned SO much about writing just through her comments on my own writing!

    I’ve always been a very avid reader who enjoys reading classics and literature. However, I had a tendency to just devour books as quickly as possible, rather than taking the time to really digest them and understand the full meaning.  I especially enjoyed the book clubs we did throughout the year – I learned to really analyze what I was reading, and the opportunity to read other students’ ideas and perspectives was very valuable (and enjoyable!)!

    I would say the toughest part is the time commitment. Mrs. Inspektor packs an incredible amount of material into this course, and assignments are typically on a daily basis, so it’s a lot to keep up with.  However, Mrs. Inspektor is very flexible about students working ahead or making up assignments, and the time investment is definitely well worth it!

    I would say the National Peace Essay assignment was the most memorable – and most difficult! The time involved in researching, compiling, writing, (and then condensing what I wrote!) was extensive, and I stressed over it quite a bit. However, it was definitely worth it, as I gained invaluable skills and experience in the process!

    The most “direct” preparation that we did for the exam involved taking MANY timed practice tests (both multiple choice sections and essays), which really helped me, as they made the time constraints on the actual exam seem MUCH less daunting! However, I really think that pretty much every assignment we had in this class helped prepare me for the AP exam! For example, I became much more comfortable with reading and analyzing different types of essays, and the weekly discussion questions that we did really helped me with learning how to answer a prompt or question clearly and logically (and – relatively speaking-- quickly!).

    In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this class, and learned SO much from it! If you take this class, I think it’s pretty much a given that you too will learn more about reading and writing than you ever thought possible -- and probably enjoy it, too! ;)

     


    Review of a superb English class posted by Adam Booher on May 31 2010 at 13:44:58

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

    Yes, I felt grounded in the basics of language, rhetoric, and argumentation, and I also felt quite comfortable with the test format. On the actual exam that I took, the multiple choice section was a good bit easier than the Cliff’s practice sections that we used in the class (this seems to be a general trend when comparing AP English exams and Cliff’s), although I was surprised that the essay section was almost as difficult as the Cliff’s. The only aspect of class exam preparation that I feel could have been improved was for more of the practice essays to have had a strict time limit (however, this could just be a reflection of my need to speed up my naturally slow and thoughtful pace of writing).

     

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

    At the beginning of the course, I found the assignments quite challenging, and I sometimes put in three or four hours of work per day, but that time was quickly reduced after the first few weeks.

    In a normal week, I usually spent 1.5 to 2 hours a day on English, although if there was a big assignment, I might spend 3 hours. I put in a lot of overtime work on the Peace Contest essay but the extra time was worth the enjoyment and knowledge that the assignment brought.

    In general, I found the amount of work to be heavy but manageable, although it was sometimes hard to complete each daily assignment on the day it was assigned.

     

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

    I especially enjoyed reading so many great essays and books. We read many short essays by numerous well-known writers and we also read works like Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life or Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Another favorite assignment of mine was the book clubs where groups of students would choose a book to read and discuss over the course of about 5 or 6 weeks. Not only did the extensive readings help develop our critical reading and thinking skills, but they also exposed us to a wide variety of literature that we might not have otherwise been exposed to.

    Discussion assignments in which students interacted on the site were enjoyable and valuable—everyone was kind and thought-provoking in their responses, and discussing readings or topics with other students led to a broader understanding of the subject than if one student had thought about it by himself.

    There were also some fun essay assignments. We wrote creative essays about literacy and creative essays about different places, we wrote an introduction/review to Keller’s autobiography, and we studied extensively on nonviolent protest and wrote research papers to enter into the United States Institute of Peace essay contest. Each of these essay assignments was a growing experience that encouraged us to develop in various ways as writers while also requiring us to think about relevant topics or issues.

     

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Definitely! I did not really like writing before I took this course, but I now enjoy expressing myself through words, and I care about continuing to develop as a writer. I credit Mrs. Inspektor and this course with awakening a dormant love for writing that I didn’t realize I possessed.

     

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

    The online communication was completely new for me. Although I had never interacted online other than via email, though, I really enjoyed the camaraderie that developed between the students. All of the classmates were great: everyone worked hard and was encouraging, thoughtful, and helpful. It was really neat how a group of diverse students from all over the country bonded so well together and helped each other grow as thinkers and writers.

     

    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 course to everyone! However, only the students with a strong work ethic and desire to learn will find the course useful or enjoyable. The students in this class work hard and get results. Mrs. Inspektor is tough, but she personally cares for each of her students and wants to see everyone succeed. Although the environment is quite rigorous, it is an environment in which learning and growth are prioritized and achieved.


    posted by Sarah Comeau on May 31 2010 at 11:31:19

    Pennsylvania Homeschoolers’ AP English Language and Composition course not only prepared me for the exam, but also equipped me with writing skills which will prove invaluable in college. I learned how to analyze literature, craft strong arguments, and improve the style and structure of my writing. The writing assignments were varied and challenging, which stretched my writing experience and ability to write using different techniques.


    posted by Elliot Taylor on May 21 2010 at 13:14:30

    AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor was one of the best classes I have ever taken. By the time May came around, I could not have felt more ready for the AP exam. The assignments I did in the class was practice for everything on the test. Even though I had never seen the test before, it felt as though it was familiar. All the practice exams and essays made the real thing seem like just another assignment. That said, this class is not for the faint of heart. The assignments are completed on a daily basis unless otherwise noted. Also, sometimes assignments have follow-ups the day or two afterword. So there is little room for slacking in completing work on time. In the case of being behind, Mrs. Inspektor was very generous about handing in assignments late. Taking this course will be a very large time commitment. The assignments are numerous and difficult; not something that can be completed quickly. However, if you are willing to put time and effort into the class and be dilligent about it, the rewards will be great.


    To take AP English Language and Composition with Mrs. Inspektor or not to take it? posted by Connor Perkins on May 19 2010 at 23:19:33

    To take AP English Language and Composition with Mrs. Inspektor or not to take it? That was the question running through my mind last spring, and it probably is the question running through yours now. Fortunately, I went with the former choice, and I hope you will too.

    If ever there was a course to take that will prepare you completely for a corresponding AP exam, this is it! While this subject matter comes somewhat easily to me, at the AP level simple knack isn't enough. Due to Mrs. Inspektor's amazing class, the AP Lang exam was about the easiest test I've ever taken. This course thoroughly prepared me for the AP exam, and combined with a little bit of effort, AP Lang success is within reach of all.

    An interesting facet of this course that I wish I had recognized before I took the class is that this class is based on daily, rather than weekly, assignments. Occasionally this was problematic for me, but Mrs. Inspektor was fabulous in allowing me to work ahead or catch up a day or two later. I think I probably spent an average of an hour a day on this class--6 hours a week on average with a couple exceptions for larger projects--until maybe a couple days before the test, when I did a few more practice tests. Really, though, I didn't have to do a ton of studying outside assignments.

    My favorite assignment was the research paper we wrote and submitted to the United States Institute of Peace for its national peace essay contest. Perhaps this is too much a retrospective opinion, as I won the state of Missouri and will be going on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., along with a couple of my classmates, for the national event. But even without this reward, the experience was invaluable. I had the opportunity to research international affairs and connect different ideas and methods of thinking that I had never thought through before. The process of writing this essay was by far the highlight of my year in the class.

    I have always loved English, and this course heightened that interest. The several in-class book clubs gave me the opportunity to pursue reading fiction that I may not have chosen to read otherwise but that I greatly enjoyed.

    The other students in AP Lang 2010 were terrific. I had a lot of fun with them--it was a class with quite a sense of humor--but it was also genuinely kind-hearted. A regular assignment was posting responses to others work, and such responses were almost invariably kind and beneficial. My classmates were excellent at speaking the truth in love.

    If you are willing to work hard, take this class! Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful teacher. At the end of the year, my classmates put together a list of adjectives to describe Mrs. Inspektor; just a few of those that I would echo include motivating, supportive, patient--a very noble trait for an English teacher grading 30 essays a week--and, ultimately, awesome. I greatly appreciate the sacrifice Mrs. Inspektor made for me in this class, and I would urge anyone and everyone who is willing to work hard to take AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor!

    How then can there be any question in your mind as to whether to take this class?

    Connor G. Perkins


    The Best English Class Ever!!!!!!!!!! :D posted by Linea Piraino on May 19 2010 at 13:27:09


    Class Review posted by Sarah Wittenberg on May 19 2010 at 12:00:10

    This was a terrific class!  When I got to the exam, I knew exactly what to expect on the test, what to do, and what top essays look like/require.  The practice tests Mrs. Inspektor had us take were espescially helpful.  When she first assigned a practice test, it was quite daunting at first.  But by the end of the year, composing timed essays became next to second nature to me. :)  Also, I found the readings Mrs. Inspektor assigned us over the year to be all very interesting and insightful!  Though they varied, they each have inspired me to keep striving to be better in my own writing.  Depending on the week, I put in between 5 to 10 hours per week for this class.  So if a student is willing to put in the time and effort, this class would be beneficial in many many ways!  They should also be prepared to meet lots of new and exciting people! :D --I loved getting to know my fellow classmates; it's so much fun to meet students from all over the globe, which is why I love online classes!


    Class Review posted by Zach Wittenberg on May 17 2010 at 12:40:46

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

    I believe Mrs. Inspektor can take any kind of student out there, whether they enjoy English or not.  Her class environment will help you excel to places in English you never dreamed possible.

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

    My guess is my credentials weren’t as great as some of my fellow classmates.  I think the greatest preparation that a student can have entering this class is the willingness and drive to complete all of Mrs. Inspektor’s assignments and belief in the system of teaching she uses.  Even though some small things may seem pointless initially, looking back on the school year as a whole, you see how each of those small individually components made a complete masterpiece.

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

    I ranged from 7-15 hours a week depending on our course load that week. Even though it sounds like an immense amount of work, those hours spent weren't a drag at all. 

    * To what extent was this class interactive?

    This class is VERY interactive.  There is a great deal of interaction between Mrs. Inspektor and her students along with students interacting with each other as well.  Every morning we would interact with each other in what is called the Morning Message.  Pretty much the morning message is Mrs. Inspektor’s lesson for the day.  Perhaps what I felt was the greatest source of interaction though was fellow students giving feedback to each others’ discussion questions and essays.  This allowed for a wide range of feedback to help you critique your writing in a variety of ways since many people were viewing your wor.

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

    As I said up above, the feedback was very helpful because it wasn’t just one person giving you feedback.  We were all giving each other feedback.  And one thing that was great was that there was no negativity towards each other.  All the students wanted to make each other better.

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

    It gave me an appreciation for the wide variety of literature there is out there!  Mrs. Inspektor gave us a wide array of pieces of literature from many different eras and the different styles in those respective eras.

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

    I have a very busy extra-curricular life, so by far and away the toughest challenge was staying on top of the assignments.  There was a period where I did fall behind in my coursework, but Mrs. Inspektor was very accommodating and came up with a personal schedule to help get me caught back up.

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

    My most memorable assignment was the synthesis essay assignment.  Mrs. Inspektor introduced us early on to this kind of essay since it is one of the three essays on the AP Exam.  But for the assignment itself we got to pick our controversial topic and then we had to collect our  own sources to support our claims.  I wrote my synthesis essay on the college championship bowl series (BCS) and all the controversy surrounding it.

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

    The last 2-3 months of the class we focused on preparing for the AP English Language exam.  We initially just became used to the nature of the AP Exam.  We were slowly building up and getting used to the different kinds of essay questions and multiple choice section, and then we started placing time constraints on ourselves.  And when I took the AP Exam, I felt like I was totally prepared for it.

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

    Fabulously run class!  Mrs. Inspektor is very organized and knows how to teach this class.  I can’t give her enough praise!

     


    Awesome, great class! posted by Daniel Luckenbaugh on May 16 2010 at 15:35:45

    Dear fellow English student,

    Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang class is wonderful!  It is quite interactive and prepares you well for the AP exam.  A lot of essays, most of them from past AP exams, improve your writing skills to AP level.  (You might have to practice on your own; I did over spring break, and it paid off).  We also completed the multiple-choice tests from all 6 full-length practice tests in CliffsAP's AP Language and Composition book.  If you are willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on this class over the course of the whole school year, you should be a good fit.  Be prepared for lots of reading and writing.  Oh, and sharpen your discussion/debating skills, as we did a lot of discussion.

    I did not spend as much time on this class as I did AP U.S. History (APUSH).  Time is a big factor in deciding what AP courses to take.  If you are also dual enrolling at a college, consider that.  On average I probably spent about 8-9 hours a week on this class.  Piece of advice: start long reading assignments on the weekend.

    Was the class interactive?  Oh my word yes!  It was my favorite class of the year.  My classmates were friendly and humorous :).  (For example, I started a thread asking how many of the New Englanders are Patriots fans, being a fan myself, and it became a funny discussion among the whole class).  If you want an interactive online class, this could be for you.

    Feedback I did not pay much attention to, but nevertheless your classmates can help you.  Pay attention to Mrs. Inspektor's feedback, as she is the teacher :).

    My most memorable assignment might be the National Peace Essay Competition, but I also enjoyed the Simulation activity.  That was probably also the funniest time of the whole year :).

    Finally, think about your plan for your classes before deciding on this class.  However, this class doesn't take up much time on a daily level (there are exceptions, like for long reading assignments).  If you enjoy a lot of reading and writing, or at least are willing to do a lot of it, then seriously consider this class.  You'll be well prepared for the AP exam, so you'll have a good chance of earning college credit.


    Awesome, great class! posted by on May 16 2010 at 15:35:35

    Dear fellow English student,

    Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang class is wonderful!  It is quite interactive and prepares you well for the AP exam.  A lot of essays, most of them from past AP exams, improve your writing skills to AP level.  (You might have to practice on your own; I did over spring break, and it paid off).  We also completed the multiple-choice tests from all 6 full-length practice tests in CliffsAP's AP Language and Composition book.  If you are willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on this class over the course of the whole school year, you should be a good fit.  Be prepared for lots of reading and writing.  Oh, and sharpen your discussion/debating skills, as we did a lot of discussion.

    I did not spend as much time on this class as I did AP U.S. History (APUSH).  Time is a big factor in deciding what AP courses to take.  If you are also dual enrolling at a college, consider that.  On average I probably spent about 8-9 hours a week on this class.  Piece of advice: start long reading assignments on the weekend.

    Was the class interactive?  Oh my word yes!  It was my favorite class of the year.  My classmates were friendly and humorous :).  (For example, I started a thread asking how many of the New Englanders are Patriots fans, being a fan myself, and it became a funny discussion among the whole class).  If you want an interactive online class, this could be for you.

    Feedback I did not pay much attention to, but nevertheless your classmates can help you.  Pay attention to Mrs. Inspektor's feedback, as she is the teacher :).

    My most memorable assignment might be the National Peace Essay Competition, but I also enjoyed the Simulation activity.  That was probably also the funniest time of the whole year :).

    Finally, think about your plan for your classes before deciding on this class.  However, this class doesn't take up much time on a daily level (there are exceptions, like for long reading assignments).  If you enjoy a lot of reading and writing, or at least are willing to do a lot of it, then seriously consider this class.  You'll be well prepared for the AP exam, so you'll have a good chance of earning college credit.


    Awesome AP English Language class! posted by Kendra Lady on May 16 2010 at 14:35:03

     


    The Best AP English Class in the World! posted by Allee Keener on May 13 2010 at 10:44:52

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    This class is superb for any type of student but especially those who love the English language. In this class, you’ll be challenged to think and write critically as you analyze new concepts and compare notes with your classmates. Students who love a challenge but also love to have fun—this is your class! :)

     

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

     

    Before taking this class, I’d recommend that students have a history of loving to write. You write a lot! ;) Also, it would be beneficial for prospective students to have read a few classics.

     

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

     

    Hours varied depending on the week, anywhere from five to fifteen hours. Fifteen hours may seem daunting, but the material is very interesting. The material that we worked with was intriguing. I looked forward to working on my AP homework each day.

     

    To what extent was this class interactive?

     

    This class is very interactive! Every morning, you interact with your classmates on the WWW Board; and each week, you are reading and responding to your classmate’s work. Peer interaction is the foundation of this course.

     

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

     

    My classmate’s were very helpful in encouraging me to continue writing. Their comments motivated me to improve my drafts on each project. The most helpful comments I received, however, were from Mrs. Inspektor. I’ve never had a teacher who was so thorough in her comments. She carefully reads and critiques each student’s work and helps each individual become the best writer he can be. I appreciated Mrs. Inspektor’s enthusiasm about my work. Her positivity and intelligence spurred me to improve and increased my love for writing.

     

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

     

    This course gave me a greater appreciation for literature. I’ve discovered that literature is intriguing and surprisingly diverse. Learning about each author’s voice, tone, and style has helped me to understand each book that I read in greater detail.

     

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

     

    The greatest challenge I faced during this class was the National Peace Essay Contest. I specifically focused on the Madagascar Presidential Elections in 2001 and the Iranian elections in 2009. Researching these events and synthesizing a conclusion based on my findings was difficult and time consuming, but completing the assignment was one of the most rewarding projects all year…and great for college applications. I received an Honorable Mention for New York State. My parents and I were very happy about that. ;)

     

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

     

    The assignment I found most memorable was actually the first essay we completed in September. Mrs. Inspektor asked us to write a creative essay about why we write. Why do I, Allee Keener, write? This essay forced me to question and discover my purpose and voice as a writer. It laid a foundation for the rest of my work throughout the year.

     

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

     

    Mrs. Inspektor did a fabulous job preparing us for the AP exam. Writing and reading throughout the year challenged me and increased my understanding overall. Also, we completed an extensive and more focused preparation for the exam, practicing timed essays and critical reading passages and questions. I felt more than prepared for the AP exam in May.

     

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

     

    This class is so much fun! Yes, you will learn A LOT, and you will work hard. However, we have fun. Mrs. Inspektor always surprised me with unexpected humor and surprises that kept me on my feet. I would highly recommend this class. This has been the most beneficial class I’ve taken in high school.


    My Experience with AP English Language posted by Dane Keil on May 12 2010 at 17:28:28

    This course absolutely prepared me for what I faced on the exam.

    I'd say I put approximately ten hours into the course each week, probably more.

    I enjoyed every assignment that I was tasked, specifically the essays.

    I was already interested in the subject before the class, but the class certainly heightened my skill at writing.

    I was very happy with the comments and communications that I received from the other students.

    A student who has a passion for writing and is willing to work hard would excel at this course and the exam.


    AP English Language posted by Alec Miller on June 03 2009 at 14:42:58

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

    Yes. Throughout the year, Mrs. Inspektor gave us many multiple choice and essay assignments similar to questions on the AP exam. For example, one assignment we did in the second semester was the Multiple Choice Huddle. We were assigned a reading passage and multiple choice questions that came from previous AP exams. In groups, we had to discuss why or why not certain answers were correct. This really helped me think through my answers and was quite beneficial when I eventually took the AP test. Also, there are many, many essays assigned that are just like the ones on the AP test. As a result, I felt well prepared for that portion of the exam.

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

    On average, I usually spent around 1-2 hours a day on the class. Of course, some days it was more and some days it was less. Mrs. Inspektor usually assigned reading on Mondays, and usually that could be completed in an hour or less. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were usually devoted to discussion questions on the reading as well as reponses to other students’ answers. These assignments usually took longer than the reading. Fridays usually had an essay assigned and the time required depended on whether or not the essay was timed or not.

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

    My favorite assignments were usually the readings that we were assigned. There were several interesting essays that we read throughout the year, and my favorite assignments were the ones involving these essays.

    What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

    I would recommend this course to other students if they were hard-working and willing to put a lot of effort into the course. I think that this class would be best for students who really enjoy doing a lot of reading and writing. However, this is the sort of class that would be good for any hard-working student.


    Why you should take this class...in all of 825 words! posted by Heather Meehan on June 01 2009 at 24:12:44

    Last year, when I first decided to apply to an AP class or two, I looked through the PA Homeschoolers Online AP courses website and immediately felt a little bit overwhelmed. There were so many courses that looked interesting to me. My mother encouraged me to take an English Language course, and it made sense—English has always been one of my favorite subjects, and one I excel at. I clicked on the “English Lang” link only to find that there were three different teachers to choose some. I looked through the descriptions and decided to apply to two of the teacher’s classes, than decide later which one I wanted to take. I somehow missed the link below Mrs. Inspektor’s course for an application, and I sent her an email requesting one. The next day, I received two emails in reply—one from each of her email addresses. She gave no mention of my error, and was very concerned that we got in touch—she wanted to make sure she got through to me, since sometimes she had delivery problems with one of her email accounts. The emails in themselves did not matter, but what did was the concern that shown through. I had not even applied to her class yet, let alone been accepted, but she still was still very sincere in her consternation. I decided right then that hers was the class I wanted to take. I am glad I made that decision, because this class turned out to be the perfect fit for me. I can’t speak for all of my fellow students, nor all of you applicants out there, but I have an inkling that this class is a “one-size-fits-all” in a very positive way. After all, what makes this class special is that you will gain something from it no matter your level of interest or expertise in the subject matter. Every single person in my class made huge improvements. This was not only due to personal effort but also to the fact that Mrs. Inspektor refused to rest until every single student was as well prepared as they could be. We all felt secure in the days leading up to the exam, in spite of our earlier anxieties, because we knew that we were as prepared as we could possibly be. The bottom line is that no matter who you are you will benefit from this course. So if you’re considering applying, don’t hesitate. It’s a good choice. Since I now hope you are convinced, I will offer some miscellaneous advice having to do with coursework so that you can know a bit about what to expect. Work was assigned on a day-to-day basis, so that we had assignments due every day of the week. While this may sound like a heavy load, it actually worked well because I knew what was due each day and could plan my schedule accordingly. The weekly schedule was pretty uniform, so that I eventually fell into a pattern over the course of the year. The actual load varied depending on what stage of exam preparation we were in; for example, during much of the Spring semester we had essays due by the end of each week, as well as a Multiple Choice quiz each Thursday. I started out the year with abysmal MC scores, but I improved dramatically with each quiz, so that by the time I sat down to the exam, I felt completely confident about the MC portion. Getting back to the schedule, this course does require some careful planning and a certain amount of time management. But I think you’ll find that it is easier to keep up with than in other classes where assignments are more general and less delegated. Plus, Mrs. Inspektor tends to be very understanding about schedule constraints. As long as you do your best, she is very forgiving. Our reading list was composed of four enjoyable and thought provoking books, as well as a number of essays and excerpts from longer works. I would advise that you take your time with the reading, since many of these works have the potential to be life-changing if they are digested in the right way. I loved that we got time to meaningfully discuss our reading in class—and this was not the only way I got to socialize with my fellow students and move beyond the territory of strict AP exam preparation. While this class will provide with an excellent, focused preparation for the AP exam, it will also give you a broader perspective, and an opportunity to expand your horizons of reading and writing. I never found that my learning was limited to what would get me past the test—rather, I felt that the goal of this course was to hone my skills of reading and writing and to help me become more creative and diligent. If that’s not a worthy goal, what is?


    You Think You Know How to Write posted by Matthew Diem on June 01 2009 at 18:19:09

    Coming into this class last year, I thought myself more than capable of handling it without much difficulty (based on the descriptions); I could probably write, I thought, at nearly AP level. Confronted, however, with an actual essay prompt toward the beginning of the year, I realized this would be harder than I thought. The essay I wrote was awful: I had an idea that this was so then, but now I am certain of it (and that's just from what I can remember of it!). But that was the purpose of the class--to prepare me for the AP exam. It teaches you how to write at a college level, and I did improve greatly. The work-load at the least met my expectations more: an hour or two per diem (or as much as five hours, once, but that was because I hadn't had time for one big assignment until the day it was due--but that's another story). This was also the first online course I'd ever taken, so I wasn't entirely certain what to expect, but I found it preferable to studying completely alone and also at times to being in a physical class inasmuch as I could post on my own time rather than at a set time of day. And communications with other students were certainly worthwhile. This course is definitely only for students who like to write. I suppose this should be obvious from any description, but for anyone who does not have some sort of definite affinity for writing, this course would be torturous--so ye who fear the pen, beware! ye know not what ye enter into in taking this course. To put it more plainly, you will think this course boring and pointless if you hate writing, but for you who do, this is an excellent, highly-informative course.


    AP English Language and Composition posted by Carla Worley on June 01 2009 at 16:21:16

    After taking this course, I felt very prepared for the exam. I was ready for any kind of question, and any kind of essay. We worked alot on different styles of writing, including satire, which ended up helping me alot on the exam when one of the essays was satire.

    I generally put about 2 hours a day into this course.

    One of my favorite assignments were the mutliple choice huddles, in which about five of us would work together on finding the absolute correct answers to a set of multiple choice questions. It was enjoyable and we were able to practice good teamwork. There were a couple of essays we wrote in class that I especially appreciated because they required thinking way outside the box.

    Working for this class helped me to appreciate all different kinds of writing and to see that I enjoyed experimenting with different styles. We were exposed to some excellent works of literature. One of these was Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, which I fell in love with and enjoyed immensely.

    Throughout the course, Mrs. Inspektor required us to comment on other student's essays. Everyone had good pointers for improving eachothers essays, but neither the students or Mrs. Inspektor ever failed to be encouraging or supportive.

    This is a great course to take to learn to read and write good literature and study it more intently. Its best though, before signing up for this course, to consider your own abilities to keep up, especially if you are taking multiple AP courses or have an extremely busy schedule. This course is fun, but its not meant for the faint-hearted or laid back. It requires lots of hard work and dedication every day.


    posted by Erin Fuhr on May 31 2009 at 23:32:50

    This AP English Language class was a great experience for me.

    First of all, I felt the course prepared me for the AP exam. The analysis of literature we did, the timed essays I had practice with, and the practice multiple choice quizzes all helped me be prepared for the exam.

    I typically spent two hours per day on course work (including readings). I spent more time when the exam date got nearer, so I probably ended up spending 3 hours a day in the months of April and May.

    I had quite a few favorite assignments. I loved reading The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller and responding to questions about our readings. I found the readings in that book inspiring and Keller's writing beautiful. I also loved writing the "Evocation of a Place" essay that we did during the second semester. I enjoyed recalling details that evoked a place that my reader was not familiar with.

    This course did enhance my interest in English, mostly because of the feedback I received both from Mrs. Inspektor and from all my classmates. I felt that, through this course, I was finally progressing (whereas in other courses, I had no feedback and didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. This made me not like English as much).

    My communications with other students was what made this course my favorite. Being able to interact with high schoolers who are doing the same coursework as I am made the course so much more fun. I loved being able to see others' opinions on reading, compare struggles, and get helpful feedback from them on my essays. It was wonderful to feel a part of a class instead of working on my own.

    I would recommend this course to other students who are willing to work hard, who enjoy reading and analyzing literature, and who are looking for a learning experience that allows you to interact with others. I had fun all year in this course and I cannot express enough how much I have been able to take away from it.


    AP English Language posted by Jessina Leonard on May 31 2009 at 18:52:20

    Dear future/prospective APLANG students,

    Before I dig into answering these questions, I want to say—whether you’re considering applying to this course or have already been accepted and want to know what to look forward to—that this class is marvelous. As I look back over the year, I realize how much I have learned and how far I have come as a writer. I highly recommend this class! And hopefully my enthusiasm for this class shows through my answers to these questions:

    ---

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    I would recommend this class to a student who has some previous training in writing or to someone who simply enjoys reading and writing. Although, I would also say that even if you don’t enjoy either of those topics, you could still make it through the class. While certainly challenging, I think by nature this is one of the easier AP classes.

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

    I think I can really only talk from experience here: I took a pre-AP writing class two years before I took this class, and I think that served me very well in preparation for AP English Language. But I also think that as long as the student enjoys reading and knows how to write a structured essay (thesis, etc.), he or she would be well prepared for the class.

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

    I probably spent an average of 6-8 hours on this class per week, probably around an hour and fifteen minutes each day (excluding weekends). The class is organized so that generally Mondays are spent doing some sort of reading; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we were usually assigned some discussion questions on our readings and then had to reply to each other’s discussions questions; Fridays we generally had an essay or some longer writing assignment due. Because of this, I probably spent more around 2 hours doing my work on Fridays.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    While perhaps not quite as interactive as my AP US History class last year, the students in this class were fairly talkative, I guess. Of course, there was a lot of interaction with other students as we read and responded to each others discussion questions and essays. And I did have a few e-mail or Facebook messages with some of my classmates, which was always fun as we talked about topics unrelated to school.

    But one of my favorite aspects of this course was how interactive Mrs. Inspektor was with each of us. Each morning, she posts on the class website a “morning message” with some sort of English-related lesson or helpful link or whatnot, which we could then reply to (and sometimes we were required to reply to this). This added a more “personal touch” to the class and, I think, helped us feel more like a class, rather than individual students spread throughout the country (and world, if you count Mrs. Inspektor in Israel!). I think this also helped in relating to Mrs. Inspektor, too, because she would often add a little note or two about what she was up to in Israel—whether it be a show she was performing in or just news about a holiday they celebrate in Israel but not in America. I loved reading her notes each morning!

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

    I received a lot of encouraging and constructive feedback on my work throughout the year. And while other students’ feedback was helpful, I found Mrs. Inskeptor’s responses to our work to be especially helpful, naturally. Mrs. Inspektor is very good at showing you what you do well, but also pointing out specifically what you need to improve on. And her comments are always very detailed. For one assignment, the “peace” essay, she replied to all of us with extremely detailed paragraph-by-paragraph comments that were really very helpful (and, I am sure, played a part in two of the students in our class winning the “peace” essay contest in their states!).

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

    I know whenever I read these class reviews, I always want to know what some of the assignments are for the class. So I’ll list and explain a few (and these are just a few, mind you), and then choose my most memorable one:

    --Early in the year, we were assigned to write a literacy narrative. Basically, we read some excerpts of literacy narratives by famous authors (such as Fredrick Douglass) and then had to write our own.

    --We did a study on satire for a few weeks and had to write our own satire—fun assignment!

    --In the spring semester, we did a short study on descriptive writing, and then had to write an essay describing a place—any place that we chose.

    --But probably the most memorable assignment for me was the National Peace Essay Contest. At the end of the fall semester/beginning of the spring semester, Mrs. Inskeptor assigned us all to write an essay to enter into the National Peace Institute’s essay contest. We spent several weeks studying genocide (and no, this didn’t turn into a history class…we sort of just studied genocide through the lens of writing). And while honestly it was quite depressing, I also learned so much through this unit study, not only about the nature of genocide itself, but also about research, analytical skills, and precise writing. This was the most memorable writing assignment for me and definitely the most stretching assignment of the year! It required a lot of work and time, but it was also very rewarding. As I mentioned above, two of the students in our class won state awards for this contest and 4-6 others won honorable mentions. I think we were all very grateful that Mrs. Inspektor had us compete in the essay contest!

    How did this course prepare you for the AP exam?

    Although I listed a lot of the fun assignments above, many weeks we were just assigned a timed essay from a past AP exam. These assignments, though not my favorite, were invaluable in preparing me for the exam. Mrs. Inskeptor also had us do multiple choice practice exams and a full length practice exam over our (two-week!) spring break. Having practiced so much, I felt very well prepared for the exam.

    ---

    As I said at the beginning, I highly recommend this course! It is a professional, organized, challenging, and fun class with a wonderful teacher who is just-strict-enough and sincerely cares for her students. If you’re interested in becoming a better reader and writer and are up for a challenge, I whole-heartedly recommend this course to you!

    --Jessina


    Class Review posted by Avery Lapan on May 28 2009 at 14:37:39

    This is a great class for students that that love English and are willing to work. A love for reading and writing is a definite motivation when the workload becomes heavier. I spent about nine to twelve hours on this course each week. Feedback from classmates and Mrs. Inspektor was always helpful and supportive. Looking back over the numerous papers I’ve written this year, I can’t help but notice that it has improved more than I had hoped for over the weeks and months. A year ago I went through the same thing you are doing now; I searched for a class that I thought would fit me. The workload sounded huge to me since I had never taken an AP class before, and I was a bit more than skeptical. Still, I loved literature and English, so I gave it a try. What happened? I spent months reading, writing, and researching for the best class I have ever taken! This class has definitely opened up a whole new side of English for me. Does this class require hard work? Yes. Dedication? Yes. Time? Again, yes. I would suggest that someone who takes this class should want to learn the material, understand what it will require of you, and be ready for a great time in this class! Mrs. Inspektor is a great teacher who is constantly demonstrating how much she wants her students to succeed. With the help of her, your classmates, and your dedication, you are in for a great year! :)


    posted by Mary Ball on May 27 2009 at 23:19:32

    AP English Language and Composition will help anyone improve their writing and analytical skills. However, I would more strongly recommend this class to students who enjoy reading and writing, and students who are hard workers. Now, these two things are not absolutely necessary for a student considering taking the class, they are just aspects that many of my own classmates shared. Liking reading and writing will just allow you to enjoy the class more. If you like reading you will not consider the, sometimes extensive, reading assignments so hard. If you enjoy writing, it will allow you to really see where you stand as a writer, and it will help you to mature in your writing. I would not recommend this class as a beginners writing course. If you are not necessarily a hard worker coming into the class, by the end, you will be. This class really forces you to be scheduled and disciplined in your work. Getting a head start on some of the assignments is always a good idea, though I found that, when needed, I could usually finish the daily assignments in a day without too much trouble. On average, I would spend about two hours a day on the class assignments. That’s just an average, because, depending on the assignments, often I would spend only an hour or half an hour on a certain day, but maybe more than two hours on another. It’s a pretty heavy workload, but not impossible! One of the greatest advantages of this class is the opportunity for peer review. Nearly every day the students are responding to one another’s writing assignments, or to each other’s responses to questions. The class is very interactive, and it provides a great opportunity to get pretty objective advice about your writing from lots of peers. That interaction was especially helpful for me as peer review is often lacking in homeschool. The feedback that you receive from both classmates and teacher is vital in improving your writing. I often got responses that included corrections on grammatical errors, or I would receive answers that advised me about the content of my writing, the flow, or the style. The interaction was always helpful because it gave you so many different views of your writing—the diversity in the class always lead to my receiving responses about subjects or styles that I had never even considered. The interaction between students provides a way to consider all the possibilities that are applicable, not just the one you choose. AP English, above other things, helped me to think critically. Whether I was reading a book assigned in class or one of my classmate’s writings, it became second nature to be asking questions, to be underlining, to be considering the writing analytically. . My analytical skills were definitely helped along by the many questions we were asked to answer about the reading assignments. After a few months, I learned to be looking for things in the book that we might be asked questions about. This really helped me to read more thoroughly, something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Throughout the class, I feel that my writing skills have most improved in their conciseness and general coherence. The class really helped me to organize my writing better so that I wouldn’t just be writing whatever came into my head. The class definitely helped me to hone my writing skills so that I can write with specificity and clarity. I really enjoyed AP English, but it was also a real challenge. For me, the biggest challenge was really just the workload. Being a bit of a procrastinator, I sometimes found myself not doing the best I could on an assignment because I hadn’t given myself enough time. This, the biggest challenge, also became one of the things I appreciated most about the class. I was able to train myself to do something bit by bit. This scheduling came in very handy when we were presented with what was my favorite assignment of the year. A research paper. However, it wasn’t just a research paper. We were assigned to join in a Peace Essay contest. I chose to write about child soldiers. The research I had to do for the paper and the paper itself really made me understand the military situations faced in so many countries around the world. This assignment helped me to see how helpful things like research papers can be. I was learning about current affairs, not just writing a paper. Now, the AP exam. Honestly, I would not consider the exam the most important part of this class. We did a lot of stuff in preparation for it, that, although it helped me prepare for the exam, really taught me how to analyze passages and write good essays quickly. On exam day, I felt completely prepared, and I was never presented with something during the exam that we had not covered during the class. The most helpful preparation for the exam for me was organizing your time during the essay section. Writing an essay in forty minutes isn’t very easy, but during the class I learned how to separate my time so that I could spend the most amount of time on the things that I had trouble with, or that were more necessary for my essay writing style. If you are considering taking the class, I recommend it for any student. This class can and will challenge and surprise you. I hope you are able to take the class, and good luck!


    Excellent class for those who are willing to work hard! posted by Caroline Byrd on May 27 2009 at 13:11:58

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

    I would recommend that any student taking this class have a genuine interest in writing. Though Mrs. Inspektor constructs the class so that beginning students are eased into the work, the work requires a good deal of effort and consistency. If, however, the student has a true interest in writing, he/she will relish the challenge and the invaluable skills gained. Prospective students also should be aware that the class requires a significant amount of time, and should consider this carefully if anticipating a heavy school year. • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

    As mentioned above, Mrs. Inspektor does a good job of easing students into the course, so an extensive background in English is not required. Naturally, a basic knowledge of English is needed.

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

    On average, I spent 10 - 12 hrs a week on this class – more on heavy weeks. I tend, however, to work on the slow side, so this average could vary.

    • To what extent was this class interactive?

    It was very interactive. Mrs. Inspektor kept us very involved through the daily Morning Messages and responses to other students’ work. • What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

    Mrs. Inspektor gives detailed feedback on each student’s work. With essays, she gives each one a score and then delves into why she thought the score appropriate as well as what the student can improve on. Along with the almost weekly essay assignments, this weekly feedback allowed my work to become steadily better throughout the year. In addition to comments from Mrs. Inspektor, the comments from other students allow each student to understand common errors or shortcomings in his/her writing.

    • How do you feel your writing and analytical skills grew during this class?

    My skills probably grew by 100%. Almost every week we were required to analyze literature, enabling us to apply effective writing strategies to our own writing. The class also cultivated my own writing style through constant writing and feedback.

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

    Time. I found throughout the year that this class consumes a good deal of time, and at points, I found it difficult to handle. On the flip side, however, this very fact shows that the class is great preparation for college and beyond, where time will always be an issue everyone faces. • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

    It’s hard to narrow it down to one, so I’ll narrow it down to two. The research paper assigned mid-year was the most challenging assignment of the year for me. Students spent nearly a month completing it, and the research and thought involved consumed a lot of energy. At the end of it, however, I was left with knowledge about two subjects that I had never before explored and a very detailed, lengthy piece of work. The other memorable assignment this year was the satirical essay assigned in the middle of the second semester. This assignment – in which students were required to present a problem and provide a satirical solution – allowed each of us to use a more artistic flare in our writing, further strengthening our individual writing styles and abilities. • How did this course prepare you for the AP exam?

    Very thoroughly. For practice exams, Mrs. Inspektor uses tougher material than that used in actual College Board exams, making the actual exam seem less difficult. Throughout the second semester, in particular, Mrs. Inspektor prepared us extremely well for the essay section of the exam by assigning timed, AP exam style essays every week. By the time the exam rolled around, I felt very confident about it and was very relaxed before and during the exam.


    AP Language review posted by Ethan Levinson on May 19 2009 at 17:00:07

    Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? A: Absolutely. I’ve never been so well prepared for an exam in my life. Between practice multiple choice sections and the multiple timed essays, this course rigorously trained me for the exam.

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

    A: Probably 1-2 per day, with variations from day to day, for a total of 7-12 hours a week.

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

    A: I really enjoyed reading Walden, as it was both deeply philosophical and entertaining. The in-class discussion was excellent.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    A: Definitely. I now have a greater appreciation for style and diction, as well as a greater interest for writing in general.

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

    A: Yes, I sincerely enjoyed all the discussion involved in the class. Not just the discussion questions, but the essay responses were all helpful and unique. My overall class experience was greatly enhanced by my interactions with my classmates.

    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!)?

    A: I would absolutely recommend this course to other students. It covers interesting material and has a great teacher. As long as students are willing to work hard and accept criticism, they will do well and greatly improve their own writing skills.

    Besides these questions, I just wanted to add that Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher. With her help, I can guarantee that anyone who takes this class will find that by the end of the year, they will have a greater understanding of the various techniques of writing and a greater love for both writing and the English language. With Mrs. Inspektor’s guidance, students can become great writers.


    If you are interested in improving your writing and argumentative skills, consider taking this class posted by Jonny Woodbury on May 19 2009 at 16:09:16

    After an entire school-year of preparation for the AP language and composition exam, it is interesting to reflect back on the exciting experiences I, and the rest of the class have come through. On our first timed essay, the general score was so low that Mrs. Inspektor did not even post our grades, but as we learned and grew, the average score rose astronomically, until the vast majority of the class was scoring consistently above 6, far above the national average score on such essays.

    Two essays were particularly valuable: our research project and our "place" essay. The first of these assignments followed exactly the guidelines of the National Peace Essay competition, and we were required to study two instances of war crimes from history, and then to formulate a position on what international actors should do to lessen the extent of or to prevent these atrocities. Of the (approximately) 35 students in our class, two took first place for their states--an outstanding achievement--and several others received honorable mentions. This activity taught us how to conduct research, employ it in the defense of an argument, and (at least for me) how to write succinctly (the essay had a word limit of only 1500 words).

    The place essay was a lesser assignment, and came later in the course, but it was invaluable in testing our skills of descriptive writing, as well as the general technique that we had learned throughout the duration of the course.

    The combined affect of these two assignments, as well as the numerous others, was to effectively prepare me for the APlang exam, and also to grow my skills in writing and argumentation.

    Certainly, the class was not easy, but the interaction with the other students, along with the fun of completing Mrs. Inspektor's creative assignments, helped to make this class enjoyable and educational.

    Any dedicated student interested in argumentation, written or otherwise, should benefit from, succeed in, and enjoy this class.


    Class Review posted by Matt Roseti on May 15 2009 at 08:41:53

    I recommend this course to students who have a desire to stretch the syntax of their writing, as well as their knowledge of non-fiction authors. Experienced and non-experienced students would both come out of this class having a well-rounded ability to write powerful non-fiction. Having a solid knowledge of literature and grammar in general certainly would aid a prospective student in preparing for this course. I spent anywhere from 5-11 hours a week working on homework from this class, so being able to handle a demanding work load is necessary. Nearly every posted work received supportive, yet critical feedback from both students and Mrs. Inspektor. This feedback promoted excellence and stretched everyone’s writing abilities, encouraging the positive aspects and weeding out the negative. Perhaps the most challenging part of this course and also the most memorable assignment was participating in the International Peace Institute essay competition. It was not only a challenge to perfect the small details of my essay, but to create a works cited and endnotes page. Ultimately, however, this assignment grew my writing more than any other. Accomplishing this essay gave me a confidence in writing that I had not previously possessed. This course was a perfect balance of intense learning of non-fiction literature and thorough preparation for the exam. While Mrs. Inspektor never overly emphasized the exam itself, she did everything she could to prepare us for the test by requiring multiple practice tests and honing our test-taking abilities. Mrs. Inspektor also had an amazing personal connection with the students; providing support that most students would not find in an online teacher. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing impact this course has had on my writing and personal life; partially as a result of this course and encouragement from Mrs. Inspektor, I have resolved to pursue writing as a career. I strongly recommend this course to any student looking to expand their knowledge and abilities in non-fiction writing.


    AP English is awesome! posted by Nicole Hulsey on May 15 2009 at 03:13:09

    This year, I took AP English Language and Composition, taught by Mrs. Maya Inspektor. It was a really great class, and I enjoyed it. Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful teacher with thoughtful and insightful comments to help you improve. Also, I felt that it really prepared me for the AP exam.

    I would highly recommend this course to everyone. However, you need to have the ability to work hard, since I found myself often putting in three hours a day.

    We did a large variety of assignments, ranging from personal perspectives on books we'd read to essays debating the usefulness of the penny. I highly enjoyed many of them, and the students in this class gave a lot of valuable advice. By taking this class, I feel like I improved my writing a lot.

    If you've read this, I hope you'll want to take this class! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.


    Take this class. It's a good idea. posted by Camille Gross on May 14 2009 at 23:48:03

    Yes, this course definitely prepared me wonderfully for the exam. I felt so confident heading into the exam and on the exam itself. The amount of time I spent on course work varied. I spent a minimum of 30 minutes daily on work and a maximum of 4 hours. For our mid-year assignment we wrote and submitted essays to the National Peace Essay Contest. Writing those papers required a GREAT amount of research and time, but in the end, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The Peace essay required so much research and thought that it made me truly think about what I want to do with my future. The experience impacted my life so much more than just learning how to write a big research paper. Similarly, I cannot even describe the satisfaction I had walking out of the exam and feeling as though I did well. This was my first AP exam, and I'm very glad I decided to take the exam. Being in this class has definitely expanded my interest in English and writing in general. The research papers that we had to do interested me in journalism. The communications with fellow students was very valuable. There was vast diversity amongst the students, so I was exposed to a variety of individuals. It meant lively conversation, intelligent debate, and meaningful relationships. I'm hoping I'll be able to meet several of the students in person over this summer. Students that are willing to work hard will do the best in this course. Students that are continually seeking knowledge and asking questions will definitely enjoy this course. Students should definitely already have a deep love of and interest in writing and reading as this course requires a great deal of both. I feel as though the feedback I received throughout this course helped me grow as a writer in ways I never thought I could. Mrs. Inspektor always provided constructive criticism and encouragement when needed. This class was very interactive. I interacted with other students once a day if not more. The interaction was definitely a positive aspect, as it provided different opinions. I have so enjoyed this class, and I feel so proud of all we have all accomplished. Although I've never met the teacher of any of the students in person, I feel as though I could strike up a conversation with any of them if I did meet them in person.


    Highly Recommended posted by Elise Porter on May 14 2009 at 15:07:27

    This was a great class! If you are a social person, it is great because the class itself was quite interactive. The daily messages had us all checking the site daily and there was much discussion between students. There was always someone to critique your writing and offer advice—usually Mrs. Inspektor, and often fellow students, too! This interaction really helps improve your writing and analytical skills as you discuss and debate on everything ranging from what the author meant by "big winners" to how the way a character said something changes the tone of the scene. It was sometimes challenging to keep up with the assignments since I was so busy with other things, but Mrs. Inspektor is very flexible and helpful in that respect.

    This class really helps prepare you for the exam so that you can go in to it feeling confident. One of my favorite assignments was when we analyzed advertisements and graphics. Mrs. Inspektor taught us how to look at tone, diction, rhetoric, mood, and everything that a writer or speaker employs in order to be able to answer "why."

    To a new student considering this class, I would highly recommend that you be prepared to work hard and have a lot of fun!


    Alex Wolf's Class Review posted by Alex Wolf on May 14 2009 at 13:58:26

    I would recommend this course to any student that is interested in writing, be in fiction, nonfiction, or journalism. I personally would like to write children’s fiction/fantasy someday, and I came into this class expecting to get help with that. At first, when I learned that it was more focused on analyzing and essay writing, I was a bit disappointed. Now I’ve realized that this class really did help me, probably more than a class on fiction would have. My writing has grown astronomically, and I have developed parts of my writing and gained knowledge that I think will be crucial if I ever do go into fiction, and that I would not have developed if I had not taken this class. As for preparation – I did not have much. Sure, I’ve written a bunch of fiction-y stuff on my own, so I guess my writing was kind of developed already. But as for courses, I had only taken standard “Language,” and “Writing,” classes up until 8th grade. In 9th I did a class on American Literature, and then I launched into this class.

    Hours per week varied a bit, depending on whether it was a timed Friday assignment or not. If it was timed, I’d say it was between an hour or two hours a weekday. If it was not timed, I spent more time on the weekends to make my essay/research/revision good.

    It was quite an interactive class – there was lots of talk, and I would have participated much more if I hadn’t been so busy.

    I received a lot of good feedback – I learned a LOT about my writing. Even now, when I look back at writing from a few months ago, I can’t help but point out errors and problems of all sorts.

    My writing skills grew, as I said above. MY analytical skills also took a large leap. I went from getting 5’s and 6’s out of 9 to getting an 8 and 9 out of 9 at the end of the year. I learned a lot about all three kinds of essay that were on the exam.

    My main challenge was probably my lack of enthusiasm for analysis at the beginning and middle of the class. The peace essay wasn’t really up my alley either, but towards the end I began to appreciate the analytical side of writing more. I think realizing that it’s important even I don’t like it all that much was the biggest challenge for me.

    The most memorable assignment in this class was probably the synthesis essay. I had no idea what synthesis even meant before this class. That should give you an idea of how much I learned from that assignment. :)

    This class prepared me very well for the AP Exam. Mrs. Inspektor had some great exam-day tips, and all of the practice and the lessons that she taught really all came together for me at the end of the class. I think I did really well – I finished 17 minutes early on both sections, which gave me time to go back and check a bunch!

    My final thoughts:

    If you’d like to go into any writing at all, take this class. Sure, you might not THINK this applies to the branch of writing you’d like to pursue, but if you think that, you’re probably wrong.

    If you plan on going into a field where you might have to write a lot of analysis or even just regular nonfiction, take this class. Even if you think this doesn’t apply to your prospective job, you’re probably wrong.

    Also, this class isn’t just a writing class. It helps Homeschoolers get more used to deadlines and time limits, and classes graded by and run by people other than your parents, and classes with other kids. That experience alone is invaluable.


    Just the facts...(ok, maybe not) posted by Julianne McCobin on May 14 2009 at 13:28:05

    If you're looking at this, you probably want some details and not just some student gushing. So here goes.

    Facts:

    --I spent about an hour to an hour and a half on assignments daily. However, when I was working on my Peace Essay, I literally spent every spare minute I had that week painstakingly revising it. In other words, you can decide how much work you want to put into an assignment, though they generally will take a good hour each day.

    --This course definately prepared me for the exam. We do multiple full practice exams, and I felt really comfortable with the MC format and the essay prompts. Mrs. Inspektor has great tips on de-stressing on exam day too!

    --We do a lot of reading and writing. Usually, a normal week would consist of a timed essay, a few discussion questions, some peer reviews, and some reading.

    --My favorite assignment was the Peace Essay, which I later submitted into the actual contest. Honestly, it was one of the most challenging and eye-opening experiences of my life, and I learned so much about humanitarian crises and what's being done (and not being done) about them. Often during this assignment, I felt completely inept and underqualified to even try to deal with some of the extremely grave issues involved. However, this too helped me: because it IS my problem, and I need to be helping. I've even considered getting an international relations minor because of this unit, and I feel like I've made a really important step that I need to follow with more steps. That's another reason I loved this class--writing is great, but action is vital. Mrs. Inspektor connected feeling and action, and that's soooo important.

    Opinion (and shameless plug):

    This is a great course, and I loved Mrs. Inspektor as a teacher. Her comments are warm and encouraging, but also helpful. I also really loved interacting with the other students in my class, as we'd comment on each others' essays. They'd see things I never saw before; it was exciting. So, I would definately recommend this course to anyone with a desire to learn how to read analytically, write concisely, and argue well. I mean, this isn't just for English junkies, although they'll love it too of course. What this class teaches is really invaluable and applicable to any interest though. Really, I had a great time and loved so much about this course...I hope you do too! (And I'm sure you will ;))

    ~Julianne


    Why are you even reading this? posted by Andrew Min on May 14 2009 at 13:27:03

    By now, you've probably read about 30 other glowing reviews of Mrs. Inspektor. You should be downloading the application right now.

    However, if you haven't yet made up your mind, read on.

    Last year, I took AP US History with Mrs. Susan Richman. It was the best class I had taken in my life, and I resigned myself to the fact that I'd probably never find a teacher as good as her. Well, I was wrong. Her daughter, Mrs. Inspektor, is just as amazing. When the year started, I was excited, but anxious for it (as with all AP classes) to be over. Now, as the year ends, I'm actually disappointed that the class is finished.

    I'd recommend Mrs. Inspektor's class to anyone. Anyone. In fact, I think I've already convinced two people to take it [Mrs. Inspektor... look for Isaac and Devin next year :)]. But before you take it, it is advised to have some preparation. I would suggest making sure you know basic grammar, spelling, punctuation, and so on. Reading Strunk&White over the summer really reinforced that for me. Also, I'd highly recommend reading some challenging books over the summer: Walden is on a whole different plane from Redwall.

    The course load is challenging, but not overwhelming. It's certainly not easy, but I found myself spending about three hours a weeks during the fall and winter. In the spring, I spent several additional hours a week reviewing for the exam. Additionally, Mrs. Inspektor was incredibly flexible. I'm part of a debate club, and we do a lot of traveling. Every time I asked for an extension (ahead of time, of course), Mrs. Inspektor would graciously grant it. Just ask AHEAD of time :).

    AP Language was the one of the most interactive and one of the most enjoyable classes I've ever been a part of. I felt like I got to know almost everyone in the class fairly well. Maybe that was because of the kids in the class this year. But with Mrs. Inspektor, I'd be shocked if next year isn't just as fun and interactive as this year.

    For AP Language, my impression has been that the essays are really crucial (this is AP Language & Composition, after all). In light of that, Mrs. Inspektor had us write an essay a week, and every week, we could expect comments. Some teachers give out really helpful comments, but do it in a less-than-encouraging fashion. Mrs. Inspektor was not only helpful, she was warm and caring as well. Her feedback, in short, was incredible.

    My writing skills have also improved immensely. When I started this class, I knew a bit about writing and nothing about analyzation. This year, I was part of a debate club, and I think the analyzation part of AP Language really helped hone my debating skills. Meanwhile, my writing skills have definitely improved. I no longer have to second-guess myself on every comma I put in, I no longer put commas and periods outside of quotations, and I've become, overall, a more competent writer.

    The main challenge I had was making sure I analyzed the right thing. I still remember one essay on Richard Rodriguez, where I delivered a killer, off-topic essay. Mrs. Inspektor gave me a lot of good feedback on that one, and in a very positive way. So with her help, I was able to overcome that challenge.

    But that wasn't my most memorable assignment. My most memorable assignment by far was the satire week. It was the most fun, most enjoyable, and most exhilarating writing assignment I had ever been given. The second most memorable and enjoyable assignment was, believe it or not, taking notes on Strunk & White. If you do it in a, er, creative fashion, it's very enjoyable. I know many teachers would have preferred straight, boring, and dry notes, but Mrs. Inspektor was gracious enough to let the right side of my brain take over. Other enjoyable moments included the MCQ huddle (Wild Westerners forever!!!) and any one of the synthesis essays we did.

    The class was more than just enjoyable, though. It was also incredibly helpful for the exam. By the spring semester, you're focusing on writing past AP essays and taking AP-style quizzes every week. Those two combinations really helped prepare me for an exam where it's more reasoning/analyzation-based than content based. Mrs. Inspektor prepped us directly for the exam (we'd read Cliffs, talk about test-taking strategies, and remind each other of the benefits of peanut m&ms). As a result, when I got to the classroom on May 13, I felt as prepared as I could ever have been.

    In conclusion, should you take this class? Well, if you're a homeschooled student between 9th and 12th grade, you would like to improve your writing skills, and you haven't taken an AP English Language class, then yes, you should.

    I have no idea why you're still reading this. You should be downloading the application form right now.


    I love Mrs. Inspektor! :) posted by Taylor Nam on May 14 2009 at 13:17:47

    This course was incredibly helpful in preparing for the exam! Although I was very nervous the night before, I felt confidant that anything I encountered on the test was going to be something I had practiced before. This class would be great for any student who wishes to improve his or her argument essay writing. Any student who is interested in this class should have a fair knowledge of grammar, loves writing, and is prepared to handle more mature topics.

    I never actually timed myself, but I believe I spent (on average) 7 hours a week. Almost every week, we answered at least two discussion questions and discussed them with classmates for an assignment. Besides the actual assignments, I think we really became friends over the year. We had debates on the election, on literature, on foreign policy...it was great!

    I loved receiving feedback from both my fellow students and Mrs. Inspektor. They were tough, sometimes. However, when they liked something, I felt like an Olympic winner! The feedback was usually part-encouraging and part-criticism. And I took the exam! That is a skill in and of itself! I also think I improved my argumentation and essay writing. The main challenge I faced in taking this class were the essays. Many times, I was so close to getting a really great score. That became frustrating, but Mrs. Inspektor was incredible and took extra time to help me out.

    My most memorable assignment from this class was an essay I wrote, describing a particular place that had emotional value to me. I chose my backyard at my old house. My mom cried when she read it and so did my two best friends! This is really a great class! The people are diverse and hilarious.

    Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher! No, really, she is. She is tough and critical and encouraging and gracious. She doesn't take any nonsense. Mrs. Inspektor did not just say "good job" when, in fact, I hadn't done a good job. She was honest. But, when she said I wrote something that was good, then I knew she was telling the truth. Thanks, Mrs. Inspektor!


    Take AP Lang. I mean it. posted by Kathryn Ervin on May 14 2009 at 12:29:51

    Class review:

    If anything, this course is an excellent AP exam prep, and I felt very well prepared and well informed on test day.

    I spent at least an hour with this class each day, and if you are considering this course, you need to be willing to dedicate lots of time and energy...The ideal student for this class needs to be a total grammar geek, and completely obsessed with the concept of writing endless discussion questions! uh...just kidding. But not really.

    I recommend some experience in analytical reading and writing would be helpful coming into this class. The student should also be familiar with basic writing techniques.

    I really appreciated the comradeship shared by the whole class and especially Mrs. Inspector who faithfully responded to all our questions and provided us with guidance throughout the year. Her responses to essays and such were extrememly detailed and helpful. I think she truely helped me to become a better writer.

    The WWW Board provides a forum for interaction and I always felt free to post comments, questions, etc.

    The hardest aspect of the course for me was writing TIMED ESSAYS which is a personal difficulty. But we did quite a few of those, and so I was litterally forced to improve. I think my favorite assignments were the more creative essays we were asked to write including essays such as a "Modest Proposal" (where we crafted our rendition of this famous essay) and the "Place" essay which explored a interesting question about the emotional significance of a particular place. These were both really fun to write.

    Overall (haha, that is our favorite response question word!) this class has certainly enhanced my interest in writing and if this is a subject which you are at all intrigue by, I suggest that you take this class!


    From Terrible Writer to Quite Good posted by Andy Joslin on May 14 2009 at 11:34:43

    I felt that this course fully prepared me for the AP exam. Before I took this course, I was scared of writing any essay, much less one by hand! By the end though, writing a 40-minute essay was a breeze.

    I spent about an average of one hour per day on the course. I'd say my favorite aspect of the course was that of responding and getting responses to any assignment you did. The online environment seems much better than the classroom environment for this kind of class.

    The course slightly enhanced my interest in writing. I used to really hate it, now I view it neutrally (I won't do it for fun, but it isn't that bad! :p).

    Any student would do well in this course, whether good or bad writer. Mrs Inspektor does a great job.


    AP English with Mrs. Inspektor is Awesome! posted by Carmen Paddock on May 14 2009 at 09:34:16

    After taking AP English, I am absolutely in love with the subject - though I have always loved writing and reading, I now understand how to critically analyze a work, not to mention my writing skills have improved drastically! This was one of the most fun courses I've ever taken; the teacher, Mrs. Inspektor, is wonderful! She is fun and engaging, and she gives invaluable feedback. She's encouraged me to grow so much as a thinker and writer!

    This course is the only way I would have been able to take the AP Exam. It prepared me wonderfully, and all the practice tests and preparations were spread out through the second half, so it was not all crammed at the end. By the time I took the exam, following the format and the timing were second nature thanks to the practice and instruction received from this class.

    I put about 8-10 hours per week into this class; per day, it varied from one and a half to four hours. It was a lot of work, but all the activities were very fun and the essays pushed my writing skills. I feel I am a much stronger thinker, writer, and critical reader as a result of AP English and the hours I spent working at it.

    Reading from *The Writer's Presence* was my favorite assignment, and I wish we could have read from it more, because the views expressed in the book's essays were engaging and unforgettable. I read that book much more than AP English assigned exercises from it! Additionally, I loved getting and giving feedback on essays and discussion questions; every one of comments and criticisms I received from my classmates helped me discover (and thus eliminate) bad habits and flaws in my writing, and I hope my comments have helped them as well.

    I would recommend this course to students who love writing, because there's a lot of it (and that's a good thing!). Also, there's an essay due almost every week, so he can't be afraid of time commitments. Any student who wants to score great on and feel good about the AP Exam, loves reading modern classics, loves writing everything from research reports to prompts, and enjoys interaction with fellow students will have a great time taking this course.



    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!

    Great Preparation for College-Level Writing and the AP Exam posted by Jonathan Williams on June 01 2012 at 03:52:40

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

    The course definitely did prepare me for the exam.  There were no serious surprises to me since our frequent practice multiple choice tests and essay prompts equiped me with the confidence and knowledge to handle the main challenges of the test.  Come test day, it was a matter of sticking to the plan that I had practiced so many times on the past practice exams in class.

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

    Work times varied with the types of assignments (papers, practice essays, discussion questions, etc.), but most weeks required me to put 15-18 hours total.

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

    The Peace Essay Contest was the most challenging and one of the most valuable assignments we had all year.  It required us to research two foreign conflict environments and present recommendations for how new media can be used to promote peace in the world.  Despite the many challenges of researching and writing this paper, I gained much knowledge of foreign conflicts and global peace building than I would otherwise, and I was required to think critically about realistic, effective ways of promoting peace in the world. 

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    I still don't plan to major in English, but the class discussions we had definitely increased my awareness of and appreciation for the many discussion points and subtle meanings found while analyzing texts.  I also came to enjoyed some of the creative writing assignments, which forced me to write more discriptively and think more imaginatively. 

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

    Communication with other students was particularly valuable during discussions and paper revisions.  In class discussions, seeing other students' opinions on different topics from our readings helped me reconsider or change my own opinions.

    For essay drafts (particularly during the Peace Essay Contest preparation) student feedback was very helpful while making revisions and polishing up final drafts. 

    What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

    At the beginning of the year, one of the most intimidating things for me about AP English Lang was the timed essay portion the exam.  I knew I wasn't very good at writing or planning essays in time limits.  But, by the end of the year, we had done enough practice and prepared enough in advance that I felt ready for the challenges of the exam.

    Overall, its ok to not feel ready for the exam at the beginning of this course.  However, if you complete the different assignments throughout the year and consistently invest time to master the strategies and concepts, you will be ready by the time of the exam.


    BEST. CLASS. EVER. posted by Hannah Kovscek on June 01 2012 at 02:49:13

    Mrs. Inspektor’s Lang class is beyond exceptional, and has definitely been my favorite class of high school so far. :)

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    A student willing to work hard, and who has sufficient time to complete the assignments. When the peace essay roles around, especially, be prepared to forego food, sleep, and socialization as you battle the assignment—which, ironically, is focused on peacebuilding. ;)

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

    A solid background in grammar and English mechanics, a literate repertoire with an introduction into the world of classics and different writing styles, and the basic knowledge required to write an essay is excellent preparation. However, Mrs. Inspektor does a fabulous job preparing the class for the exam, so nothing special is required to significantly prepare for the class itself.

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

    I normally spent about 8-10 hours a week on the class, which comes down to about an hour or two a day. During PEC (Peace Essay Competition) time, however, I’d spend multiple hours a day researching or writing my paper.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    Ohmygoodness, very interactive. Each weekday morning, Mrs. Inspektor posts a Morning Message on the class board which normally requires a response. These MMs are always fun to read (and sometimes include pictures of Mrs. I’s adorable daughter!!). :) Classmate interaction is just as (no, even more!) prominent. For one thing, the class forms monthly book clubs that normally meet weekly through Gchat or Skype. However, you can go beyond “assigned” interactions and actually become super, super good friends with your classmates. I chat with classmates every single day, even though the class has been over for several weeks.  I’ve made so many friends in this class, including one very special best friend. <3 I seriously feel like I know all 35 of my classmates!

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

    Mrs. Inspektor’s feedback on our work is incredible, in both content and timeliness. Comments on our work are encouraging, yet constructively critical. By the way, Mrs. Inspektor read AND commented close to 1,000 class essays over the year. On top of that, she has another AP class, and a newborn baby! She amazes me. :)

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

    I have so, so many memorable assignments. The Peace Essay: the biggest project I’ve undertaken yet. Never would I have dreamed of entering that contest outside of this class… and never would I have dreamed that so much work would go into it. Everybody put so much heart and soul into PEC, not only in their papers alone, but in the words of encouragement that were posted on the WWWboard, on draft comments, in emails, even Google chat statuses. I’m so excited that a third of the class placed in the competition!! ProjW: Project Walden made me grow so much as a person. It was a fantastic way to wrap up our reading of Walden. The Place Essay and the Literacy Narrative: two personal assignments that I adored. The former focused on a specific “place,” the latter basically focused on how we each became literate.

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

    Never did an assignment NOT prepare us for the exam, even if it didn’t seem like it at first. DQs honed our essay writing skills, text book readings sharpened our analysis skills. Of course, there were obvious steps taken to directly prepare us for the exam. We wrote multitudes of essays similar to that on the actual AP exam, and also took 6 or 7 practice MCQ exams.

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

    TAKE IT. You will not be disappointed. :) I LOVE this class, this teacher, the TAs, the classmates. I don’t want this to be goodbye… and although I’m so excited for my summer, I seriously can’t wait for September and AP Lit MMs from Mrs. Inspektor. ;)

     

    Now what are you waiting for? Go sign up. I'll wait.


    BEST CLASS! TAKE IT! posted by Tejal Sarbaugh on June 01 2012 at 01:48:40

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

      Yes! My first essay was very low, and, for many months, I struggled interpreting the passages required in the exam. By the end of the year, I felt confident that I could properly analyze and write any prompt on the exam. In fact, on exam day, I was not that nervous. This course prepared me emotionally and intellelectually for the exam. 

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

       At first, I spent about 15 hours per week or 3-4 hours per day. However, as I became more accustomed to the load, I could spend about 12 hours per week and still feel prepared with a good amount of work done. Just for future students, additional time was put in for especially big (yet rewarding) assignments such as the Peace Essay!

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

      First off, there is the Peace Essay! It was the hardest paper I ever had to write! At first, I really, really hated it. But after about a month, I began to see how rewarding it was. I learned how to write a college level paper, and how to do it with good time management. 

      As for the creative writing, my favourite assigment was the Place Essay! I poured out so much emotion into that paper, my paper was almost wet with tears! It was really emotional and really close to my heart. 

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

      I already loved writing, but now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! In fact, I'm considering majoring in English in college. 

     

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

    The friendships I've made in this class are priceless! My classmates are so encouraging, fun, and helpful. Communications with them outside of class as well as within class made the experience so much more rewarding. 

     

    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!)?

     

        Students who love writing would definitely do well in this course! No matter what your level is in the beginning, you are bound to improve in this course.  As long as you have determination and are willing to work hard, you will excel in this course! 

    I would recommend this course to ANYONE! (Everyone, if more people were interested;P ) It's one of the BEST CLASSES EVER!!!

     

     


    Fantastic Teacher = Fantastic Class! posted by Ryan Snell on June 01 2012 at 01:20:00

    The AP English Language class offered by Mrs. Inspektor is both challenging and rewarding.  If you are the type of person that cannot stand writing, this class will give you the experience you need to be successful on the AP exam.  In addition to the exam, it will also improve your writing (and reading) skills tremendously, which will certainly help when it becomes time for college applications.
    There are certainly areas in the class that will be difficult for everyone.  I personally found it hard to communicate all of my thoughts through the internet, but some students may find this easy.  One of the most helpful assignments in this class is the Peace Essay Contest, commonly abbreviated PEC.  The PEC is a several page essay that answers a prompt given by the United States Institute of Peace.  There is a lot of planning that has to be done, including reading and citing many news articles, but it is a very rewarding essay.  I believe almost a third of our class received awards for this contest.
    Again, this class will certainly prepare you well for the AP test, but it is also a great class to get exposure to writing, which was extremely beneficial to me because I only write for classes when I am told to do so.  If you are up for thirty-two weeks of rigorous preparation for the AP English Language test, this is a great class!


    AMAZING!!!!!!!! Three things you need to know in this review: TAKE THIS CLASS posted by Breeze (Brianna) Wronko on May 31 2012 at 23:42:45

    I have been procrastinating on writing this...because I don't know how I can explain how AWESOME this class is!  i will try to answer the bullets--but I warn you--this is so amazing I don't know if I can stick to bullets!

    And at the end, I have to say a great big THANK YOU to Mrs. Inspecktor.  She is an AMAZING teacher.  I don't think I could have accomplished this without her tips and extremely detailed comments.  I've taken a few online classes before, and NOTHING comes close to this one.  
    If you like writing, or even if you don't, this class is for YOU!  
    So in the style of Kaplan Prep books (ok, I'm sorry you probably don't want to hear about AP Prep right after all those AP's, but...) three words you must know: TAKE THIS CLASS!


    An Excellent Expirience posted by Gavin Gill on May 31 2012 at 19:27:40

    This course was amazing. You do not need to be a master to begin, but you will have grown so much stronger as a writer by the end of the course that you might not recognize your own writing. This  class is challenging, but the rewards for working hard and doing what you are supposed to are beyond valuable. Mrs. Inspektor is an exceptional teacher that worked hard every day to ensure that our time in her class was productive and interesting. We all learned so much thanks to her, and any who take this class will. Any student who is dilligent and has a passion for learning will grow and enjoy becoming a better thinker and writer.


    Great class, great teacher, great classmates posted by Kelly Hughes on May 31 2012 at 17:27:32

    Any student that is willing to work hard would benefit from this class. Mrs. Inspektor excels bringing your writing to the next level. She assigns (and guides us through) a wide range of assignments from the creative to the academic research. Likewise, she assigns a wide variety of reading. Overall, you will come out of this course a well-rounded writer and reader.

    The student should be basically familiar and comfortable writing. They should know basic grammar, etc.

    I personally spent 5-7 hours a week; however, I write and read very quickly. I spent much more during the Peace Essay contest although it was well worth it. 

    Very interactive. Beyond assigned peer feedback, we had monthly book clubs in small groups and  mc groups. I made some lasting friends in this class, and we continue to talk on skype daily.

    I received great feedback. Mrs. Inspektor always gave detailed, helpful comments that helped us to refine our writing. Additionally, I got great feedback from my classmates. We always went beyond what was required, swapping drafts and really supporting each other. Frequently during major assignments, we would  e-mail or skype each other for quick feedback.or to offer encouragement.

    I definitely appreciate non-fiction now. Before, I used to think it was dry and lifeless. Now, I enjoy it as much as fiction. Additionally, the book  clubs really helped me to further dive into literature as well. You get to choose your own books so you can pursue your interest in literature as well as challenge yourself.

    For me, the main challenge was the creative-type assignments. I’m much more comfortable with academic, research writing. However, by the end of the year, I became just as familiar with creative writing and learned to enjoy them.

    The Peace Essay! Although daunting, this assignment truly honed my writing skills. I learned to analyze my writing and strengthen it.  The tight word limit required me to reconsider every single word until I could explain the reason and purpose behind every sentence.  After cutting from 2300 words to 1477 while adding a whole conclusion, I learned to fine-tune my writing and the value of rewriting. Overall, I truly enjoyed this assignment, and it has made me reconsider my major in college to focus more on research writing.

    Mrs. Inspektor did a great job directly preparing you for the class. We took a ton of multiple choice tests and practiced multiple real AP essays. During the beginning of the year, we start with unlimited time to really understand the format of the essays. By the latter half of the year, we have learned to produce the same quality essays in less than 40 minutes. On test day, I felt confident and well-prepared. That said, Mrs. Inspektor does not merely “teach to the test.” Instead, she focuses on assignments that cause you to grow as a writer beyond the AP test. 


    A fantastic teacher and class! posted by Cody Min on May 31 2012 at 16:15:02

    After taking AP Lang, I have learned to appreciate literature so much more. Everything I read -- from pamphlets to classic novels -- is now read with a more educated and critical mind. Thanks to Mrs. Inspektor’s teaching, I find myself thinking about language and how the world is shaped by words. While I thought some of the assignments were boring (I have to be completely honest!), I now understand why they were assigned. If I wasn't forced to read Hunger of Memory, I don't think I would have learned about language and how others view language and culture. In a sense, this class has helped me to understand language and composition, but most importantly, I have developed a broader mindset. 

    Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher and absolutely prepared me for the exam. In fact, I felt most prepared for the AP Lang exam than any other standardized tests that I’ve taken so far. While on the surface, the class itself doesn’t involve a huge amount of hours, it requires a high level of thinking that could become time consuming. I spent about 10-15 hours a school week on average, but that obviously fluctuated depending on the week.  

    I really enjoyed the Walden project and the photograph analysis assignments. Additionally, while the Peace Essay is known as the biggest and most draining project of the year, it was still rewarding and interesting.

    If you are a student who wants to learn more about literature, enjoys challenges, broadening your view on the world, and enjoys having a fantastic teacher, then AP English Language and Composition is absolutely the right class for you. 


    How many times can I say this class is SO worth taking? posted by Alaina Woodford on May 30 2012 at 16:54:20

    Potential students should be self-motivated, interactive, and willing to invest their time in the class. They should also be open to some constructive criticism (although it’s always positive and encouraging).

    I’d say students should have fairly good time management, at least some experience with writing essays, and a strong grasp on basic grammar and spelling. You don’t need to be a veteran user of the active voice, or know the various uses of anaphora before you even start the class. If you work hard and listen to Mrs. I, you’ll learn everything you don’t yet know; in the meantime, you’ll do just fine with the knowledge you bring to the table.

    It varies a lot with assignment—there are some things you’ll be able to whip through, and some that you can get hung up on, and some you’ll just spend more time on because you want to make it as good as it can be. I’d say on average, I spent about two hours per weekday, for 10-ish hours a week. Weekend essays can add an hour or two on to that total. On assignments like the Peace Essay, the amount of hours increases dramatically; but, ask anyone, you will survive it.

    Extremely interactive. I got to know my classmates so well, thanks to book clubs, multiple choice discussions, and reading their writing for months. Getting to know them was one of my favorite parts of the class, too! Your classmates are your greatest resource; they’ll review your work, they’ll discuss with you, and they’re going through exactly what you’re going through. You should take full advantage of their presence, and be available for them so they can do the same!

    I couldn’t believe the extent to which all the feedback I received was simultaneously uplifting and helpful. Everyone’s comments are equal parts constructive and enriching, and they observe everything from apostrophe misuses to overly informal tone to stiff syntax. You will get lots of feedback on your work, and it’ll be an all-encompassing variety that includes the finer details and the grander points.

    I’ll admit that I was not the biggest fan of “classic” literature before this class. I wasn’t the most analytical reader, either. My classmates would start discussing the pros and cons of Jane Austen or F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I’d get a little lost. But once we delved into book clubs, I discovered how fun it was to furrow out a book’s meaning, or question its character development. I even picked up The Great Gatsby just for the heck of it, and read it on my own (and loved it!).

    My most memorable assignment was the Peace Essay. It broadened my ideas about the world, taught me how to write the hardest research paper of my education thus far, and developed my interest in issues I hadn’t considered. I think (and I think most of my classmates would agree) that it was the most difficult assignment of the class, but also the most valuable. I’m eternally grateful that we had this assignment, and that we had Mrs. Inspektor to guide us through it.

    How many different ways can I say yes? This class went above and beyond in preparing me for the AP exam. Not only was I confident on exam day (exceeding all my expectations) but I even became excited while writing, and found myself enjoying the process of crafting the essays. I’m still waiting on my score, but I know I had a huge advantage over the hundred-odd high schoolers in the testing room.

    We took multiple practice exams and discussed our way through every aspect of the exam. As a class, we explored the various ways to get 9’s on our essays, practiced applying the finer points of crafting memorable essays, and held study groups to pick apart and discuss multiple choice passages. Personally, I think it was the best preparation I could possibly get for the AP exam.

    You may be feeling hesitant about taking this class, but trust me: you will not regret it. It’s the perfect blend of helpful, challenging, and fun, and it’s probably the best class I’ve ever taken. Also, if you’re thinking your writing skills aren’t going to blow anyone away—DON’T FRET. Your assignments, your classmates, and Mrs. Inspektor are all going to turn your writing into a thing of beauty. Above all, enjoy this class—it is beyond worth taking.


    MRS. INSPEKTOR IS AMAZING! (and so is her cute little daughter) posted by Nina Camillone on May 29 2012 at 24:36:39

    I learned SOOO much in this class! I feel like I didn't even know what good writing was, let alone how to attempt to do it myself, before this class. I have improved sooo much as a writer in being less wordy and repetitive. And, on top of the awesome time I've had all year, I was pretty much as prepared for the exam as I think was possible for me. It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to recommend a class more highly than I recommend this one. :)

    Here's a summary of what I did in this class and some of the significant things I learned:

    The Peace Essay Contest, which had 3 official drafts and seemingly infinite revisions in between, definitely taught me he power of editing and he importance of revision (as well as the fact that I can survive what at first glance looks like an impossible task :P). Our rhetorical analysis Discussion Qestions and practice essays taught me how to really probe for what attitude an author's really conveying (I read so much deeper into things now!). Project Walden (which was one of my favorite assignments! ^ . ^ We made changes to our lifestyles for a week.) got me up before six in the morning and going running every day for a week straight. I absolutely loved writing our literacy narratives and place essays and getting everyone's feedback and reading everyone else's--I also definitely learned the value of peer-review. This class is VERY interactive and I made several good freinds through it! (Although I haven't met any of them in person yet.) Also, bookclubs are amazing--we form smaller groups and read AP-level literature and discuss it via Skype or email. 

     

    On most days, I spent 1 to 2 and a half hours on the homework, except it was much more during the PEC (Peace Essay Contest) with all the research (which was interesting). It depends on how much you want to interact with your classmates, though. For the major assignments, we would often swap drafts and give feedback, which was invaluable in the revision and polishing proccess, and that would require extra time and effort. It definitely brought my essays to a higher level, but our extra commenting was all optional. Also, interaction on the WWW board is partially optional as well as some other interaction, so it would be more or less time depending on how much you talk to your classmates.

    Three other things you probably should know: 1) Although work isn't due quite every day, there is work assigned every day. The schedule was somewhat flexible, and we were told most of the work 2 weeks in advance so we could work ahead if we needed to, and some days if there was a lot of reading I would break it up and finish it the next day, but in general we don't make our own weekly schedules. 2) Everyone reads your writing and you read everyone else's writing. Discussion and peer review are huge parts of this class, and I love it. :) (Of course, Mrs. I gives detailed comments as well.) 3) More and more through the year, you get the feeling that preparing us for the exam isn't Mrs. I's only goal. For example, after the PEC she challenged us to do something to actually get involved and help our case study countries by writing letters or raising money. And for Project Walden, she challenged us to improve our lifestyles to be healthier or more productive or otherwise better. As far as test prep and learning go, Mrs. Inspektor is super super super nice and very understanding and always straightforward about what is required of us, giving clear and reasonable guidance for us to improve in our skills. But she also tries to go beyond that to give us an opportunity to live better and more educated lives and to understand our world and communicate with it more effectively. Also, she's friendly and funny and posts pictures of her beyond-cute baby daughter to inspire us to keep going. :) This class was without a doubt a lot of work, but it never became a drag because you knew you had a mini community of students, teacher, and child supporting you.

    Bottom line:

    take the class.


    Class Review posted by Bryan Diem on May 29 2012 at 19:45:39

    AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was definitely an enriching experience. I think that anyone up for equal part challenging, rewarding, engaging, and even enjoyable work would be able to agree with me fairly easily. There will be days when large amounts of time may have to be sacrificed; but even then, you will be able to tell that these sacrifices are for a great cause. Also, a potential student must realize that to truly be benefit from this class, they will have to interact a hefty amount. Hopefully this will be no issue, and they’ll be able to love their fellow students as much as I do. Feedback on work is readily given, and is always constructive.
    While there will be considerable obstacles throughout the year, there will be even greater assistance along the way, and even daunting tasks such as the Peace Essay become conquerable. If there were only one thing to take to heart when taking on this class, it is that interaction is vital. Without all the criticism, comments, and concerns from other classmates, this class wouldn't have been nearly as beneficial nor rewarding. It will prepare you for the exam, just as long as you have to put your time and effort into it fully at points.  But don’t worry, it was worth all the work and worry.


    Class Review posted by Bryan Diem on May 29 2012 at 19:45:17

    AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was definitely an enriching experience. I think that anyone up for equal part challenging, rewarding, engaging, and even enjoyable work would be able to agree with me fairly easily. There will be days when large amounts of time may have to be sacrificed; but even then, you will be able to tell that these sacrifices are for a great cause. Also, a potential student must realize that to truly be benefit from this class, they will have to interact a hefty amount. Hopefully this will be no issue, and they’ll be able to love their fellow students as much as I do. Feedback on work is readily given, and is always constructive.
    While there will be considerable obstacles throughout the year, there will be even greater assistance along the way, and even daunting tasks such as the Peace Essay become conquerable. If there were only one thing to take to heart when taking on this class, it is that interaction is vital. Without all the criticism, comments, and concerns from other classmates, this class wouldn't have been nearly as beneficial nor rewarding. It will prepare you for the exam, just as long as you have to put your time and effort into it fully at points.  But don’t worry, it was worth all the work and worry.


    Go for it :) posted by Katie Kerlen on May 22 2012 at 24:45:13

    AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor was an adventure. It was my first AP class and it was great. I don’t like to read. This is an English class. But I had no problem at all with the assignments. It never was too overwhelming or made me feel like I couldn’t do the assignments. Mrs. Inspektor is really helpful and flexible and gives awesome assignments. (Except for the Peace Essay... But in the end, you’re glad you did it.) 

    Oh that’s one thing I would warn prospective students about-- the Peace Essay. Now, coming into this class I had NO idea what that was. The TA’s kept telling us it wouldn’t kill us, but I still never knew what this possible death threat was. (Could be due to the fact that I don’t like to fully read things a lot of the time...) Anyway, the Peace Essay is basically just a big research paper in the middle of the year that has to do with some kind of political, peace-related topic. Not my first choice of assignments, but I am super glad Mrs. Inspektor made us do it. It’s a great experience, especially if you don’t write that many research papers. 

    Other than the peace essay and a few other smaller projects, the day to day assignments are very manageable and usually kind of fun. We read a variety of different literature and got to discuss what we thought via discussion questions. Most of the stuff we read I never in a million years would have picked up, but honestly, in the end, I really enjoyed reading the majority of it. Aside from those types of assignments we had to write an essay from a previous AP test prompt most weekends which was great prep for the test. 

    One thing I would say is that you have to enjoy writing to take this course, or at least be open to improving your writing skills. You do a LOT of writing. (Which I personally loved, but writing, in general, is fun for me.) This is suuuper helpful because 2 hours worth of your test is writing 3 consecutive essays. 

    The interaction in this class, honestly is up to you. Mrs. Inspektor gives you plenty of opportunities to work with different groups of your classmates for different things. So if you’re in this to make friends you totally can! At the same time, though, you can also basically just do your own work and interact as much or as little as you want. It’s really up to you.

    As much as I am not a fan of reading or school work in general, this class was really valuable and helped broaden my literary horizons. So, I’d say go for it :) 


    You should take this class! posted by Luke Olsen on May 22 2012 at 18:34:20

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    I would recommend this class to a student who is willing to work hard and wants to learn a lot. It might also be good for a student who wants to take an AP English class and is not fully confident in their analysis or writing skills. Science/math minded students may also find the straightforward nature of AP Lang more appealing than AP Lit which requires interpretation and analysis based on sometimes fuzzy "rules."

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

    Students should be able to read and write well. Honestly, I think any student who is willing to work hard will benefit from this class. The Peace Essay Competition is a difficult research paper so students who are unfamiliar with research techniques, MLA formatting, etc. may need extra help/preparation outside of class. That said, Mrs. Inspektor does a great job guiding her students through the process and there are always many classmates who are willing to work together.


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

    This is tough because during the Peace Essay this number increased dramatically. On average, though, when I wasn't working on a major project or paper I'd say I spent about 8 hours a week on AP Lang.


    To what extent was this class interactive?

    This class is highly interactive. Students respond to morning messages every day and are also required to participate in class bookclubs (of their own choosing) that increases participation. As a senior this year I wasn't able to interact as much as I did in Mrs. Inspektor's other class (AP Lit); however, I still emailed other students, responded to DQs, discussed books over skype in bookclubs, and responded to their essays. You will develop friendships in this class.


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

    I received feedback on many of my assignments. On all of the discussion questions I answered (and many of the essays I wrote) I received helpful feedback from other students. On my essays and paper I also received in-depth criticism and comments from Mrs. Inspektor that were amazingly helpful. I also received help and comments from TAs (especially during the Peace Essay) that helped me immensely. 


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

    Coming into this class I was familiar with fiction; however, this class exposed me to the power and influence of good nonfiction writing. From speeches to essays to entire treatises I was invited to interact with various authors and analyze their thoughts while seeking to study and understand their methods of communication.


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

    The most memorable assignment this year is, hands down, the Peace Essay. The work required from this was incredible; however, the accomplishment of finishing it and the insight gained is well worth it.

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

    I felt very well prepared for the exam after taking this course. Mrs. Inspektor has students take many practice tests and write many essays. You will know, well before the exam, what track you're on and how you're doing. You'll also be given many opportunities to improve and work on your own problem areas as they arise. I seriously don't know how I could have been much better prepared. This class doens't just teach you what you have to do for the test, it teaches you how to think for the test. It teaches you how to approach and effectively think through difficult texts so that, on the test, whatever the topic, you'll be completely prepared. 

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

    If you're hedging I'd say go for it. This class is an excellent preparation for college level writing and critical thinking. I just registered for my first semester clases yesterday and I'm feeling very confident about entering into several advanced classes because of what I've learned from Mrs. Inspektor. 


    Best class EVER!!! posted by Priya Stepp on May 22 2012 at 17:44:16

    I’ve been putting off writing this review because I have so many good things to say about it that I was sort of afraid to get started, lest I leave out a huge aspect of the class or write it on a day that I felt grouchy. :P Before I answer the specific questions, let me just say that I LOVED THIS CLASS!! It was AMAZING. Wonderfully descriptive word, I know. I never really look forward to classes with huge workloads, but (most days) the amount didn’t matter. Each morning I’d eagerly log on to the computer and read the daily morning message and immediately start on the day’s work. Later in the year I actually bribed myself with my AP Lang work. I couldn’t stand Precalculus and always procrastinated on it, so I started telling myself, “Okay, Priya, you can’t do AP Lang until you do your Precalc work!” I didn’t like it, but it was sooo effective. ;)

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class? You definitely need to be willing and able to pour a lot of time into this class. As I was told upon entering this class last year, you get out of it what you put in. At the time I was thinking, “DUHHH!” but it is so true. The workload is pretty intense at times (especially during the Peace Essay months – oh my goodness!!!) so you need to be willing to work hard, NOT procrastinate, and be self-motivated. From choosing to do optional assignments – such as the bonus two-week unit this past fall or extra essays – to swapping drafts with classmates, the more you invest in this class, the bigger the benefits will be. You also have to be willing to participate. Yep. There is a LOT of interaction in this class (see the question further into my review about classmate interaction). When I first started the class I thought it was a waste of time but boyyy is it NOT! The interaction is extremely important, and commenting on others’ work improved my own immensely. Basically it all boils down to being willing to work hard, put effort into responding to classmates, and having an open mind.

    What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? I don’t think you need any “special” preparation before taking this class. Ever since elementary school I did a standard English curriculum which included grammar, writing, diagramming, etc and then as I got older separated my English textbooks from essay writing. It really helped me to have had previous rhetorical analysis experience, since that’s a huge part of the course, but that’s not really necessary. You’ll learn as you go. Other than that, you really don’t need much preparation – Mrs Inspektor will teach you what you need to know and tell you what habits you need to drop IMMEDIATELY haha. Of course, you should have some experience writing essays but you certainly don’t need to be the best essay-writer. I mean, that’s why you’re taking the class, right? To improve your skills? When I entered the class I felt okay about the essays I had written in 9th grade. Now that I’ve taken this course I want to stick out my tongue and go “BLEHHH!” at them. :P  I’m definitely not an *amazing* essay writer but I’m amazed at the progress Mrs. Inspektor drilled into me. ;)

    How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? Ohhhkayyy. Hmm. The amount of time I spent on Lang EACH DAY varied immensely. Some days were very light (just responding to a morning message and commenting on classmates’ essays or DQs) while others were crazy, with me responding to an MM, commenting on students’ work, reading/analyzing several chapters of a book, writing DQs about it, and working on a larger project. But both types of days were somewhat rare – normally the workload would be definitely enough to justify it being an AP course but not so crazy as to make us jump off cliffs tearing our hair. ;)  On average (which is sooo hard to say since it varied!!) I spent 2 to 2 ½ hours on Lang a day. Of course, during Peace Essay time I devoted at least 5 hours a day to Lang haha. Ahhhh the PEC – good times…I also did some Lang on weekends, especially when we were getting ready to submit a “big” assignment such as the Literacy Narrative or the Place Essay. So I’d say I spent about 15 hours a week on the course, except during Peace Essay time when who knows how long I did Lang for. :P

    To what extent was this class interactive? I think I’ve covered this a lot already. SO INTERACTIVE!! Responding to the daily morning messages, commenting on students’ essays, challenging others’ views in discussion questions, participating in book clubs, posting in the creative writing portion of the site, swapping drafts, and answering fellow classmates’ questions, to name just a few – and I’ll be honest, at the beginning of the year I felt like I was wasting so much time with all the interaction. “Really,” I’d think to myself as I read the Weekly Update in the first month or two, “Comment in detail on FIVE students’ essays?! WHAT?! That means I have to read five essays AND take the time to respond. PLUS I have to respond to the morning message and work on my Literacy Narrative, which means swapping with people I barely know!” The interaction is extremely important, and commenting on others’ work improved my own immensely. Because of all this interaction I’ve made some AMAZING friends in this class. Our interaction isn’t confined to the WWWboard…we email, skype, chat, everything. I’ve met one classmate and hope others will follow! ;) These friendships have led to 2am discussions, email chains with over 1000 emails, conversations about everything from weddings to mad scientists to kittens and badgers. Good times. :) You’ll walk out of this class with so many amazing, genuine, AWESOME friends!

    What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? Hmmm. I’ll start by saying that Mrs. Inspektor is an AMAZING teacher. Her comments always pushed me to take my writing up a notch (or ten…) but they were never discouraging or belittling, even when I submitted a draft that just plain stunk. I won’t forget the time I submitted a synthesis essay identifying a fallacy committed in one of the sources, and in analyzing it I myself committed that fallacy. Mrs. Inspektor pointed it out (very NICELY haha) and ooohhh…talk about embarrassing!!! :P But seriously, every comment she made on my work was constructive criticism – if she hadn’t pushed us all so hard we wouldn’t have improved! Oh, and she also had a baby this year (LOVE YOU NITSAH!!) and only took a whopping two weeks off! As soon as she returned she was back to grading essays and answering questions – many times while balancing a sleeping baby girl on her lap!

    Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. Oh my goodness, so many were amazing and memorable!! This is HARD. Well, I enjoyed writing the Place Essay SOOO much!!! We had to choose a special place and write about it. And this wasn’t your typical middle-school “Choose-a-place-and-describe-it” essay, oh no. We had to pour our complicated (teen-girl haha) emotions into our essays and describe our places at a deep level and weave themes through them. I picked a place that means so much to me and it was pure joy (though it was quite hard to get started!) to write about that place. :) I also enjoyed Project Walden, which was a weeklong assignment that changed our lives – for a week. Literally. After doing our unit on Walden (which, by the way, is a very odd book – some chapters I’d be underlining every single line, scribbling in the margins “ <3 <3 <3 <3” and others I’d have to force my eyelids open…) we had to implement some large change in lifestyle (whether one thing or several) for a week and write about our experience. It was amazingggg. But the huge project of the year was the Peace Essay. *gasps* *chokes* *dies* No it’s not that bad. It only demanded over 6 hours of my time per day for several weeks. We entered the US Institute of Peace’s Peace Essay contest  and wowww it was an unforgettable experience. SO many hours of hard work – choosing case studies, deciding on recommendations, writing draft after draft, begging TAs for help at 2am, swapping drafts with classmates – but it was so worth it. Besides teaching us all how to write “true” research essays, many of us have used our knowledge in other aspects of school (I used one of my case studies from it in one of my “real” AP exam essays). It’s a lot of work but it is SO rewarding!

    How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? Mrs. Inspektor had us write released AP exam essays from previous years about once a week (more as the exam neared), even in the fall. We also did MANY multiple-choice AP practice tests. Many morning messages were devoted to teaching us how to write top AP essays. We also had great practice for the rhetorical analysis essay on the AP exam (there are 3 different types of essays on the Lang exam) by reading, analyzing, and discussing tons of books, passages, and essays throughout the year. Mrs. Inspektor prepared us very well for the exam.

    Whew this has gotten really long so I’ll wrap up haha ;) This was my FAVORITE CLASS EVER, out of all my middle school and high school courses. I’m by no means one of those students who LOVES school – at the time I’m writing this review I’m actually quite sick of it and summer can’t come soon enough – but I can say with 100% honesty that I LOVED this class. Bottom line: TAKE THE CLASS! You’ll be glad you did. :)


    posted by Jessie Martin on May 22 2012 at 16:03:00

    1. I felt like this course prepared me very well for the AP exam. When I went in to take the exam, I felt totaly confident because I knew exactly what to expect on the test. We had done so much practice in both of the areas that were tested, I felt totaly confident in my ability to do well.

    2. I probably put in about an hour to an hour and a half per day.

    3. I felt that the creative essays were really valuable and fun for me to do. The first big essay that we wrote was on something that had impacted us, and I loved that essay! We also did one on our favorite place. It wasa nice to be able to use our creative nature and write something different then what we had been.

    4. Yes, it very much did. It made me reconsider my science major and wonder if i should go back to my original plan: writing.

    5. Yes, I did. It was not only helpful to get feedback from students, but to learn how to critically read others papers and comment in a way that explained the good aspects as well as those that needed improvement.

    6. I would recommend this to a student who is already pretty skilled in writing, one who loves the subject, one who has lots of time, and one who is hard woring and able to work through tough situations both mentally and with their writing. 


    Just.....WOW. posted by Sarah Kane on May 22 2012 at 12:13:56

    I can't rave enough about this course, the teacher, or the other students! It was PHENOMENAL! I worked harder, spent more time, ripped up more papers, and complained "IT WILL NEVER END" more often than I have for any other class. And the odd thing is....it's my favorite class. Ever. All this year, all of last too. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed my middle school classes! Which is crazy, because I've never hated school.

    I felt sooooo incredibly prepared for the exam. I actually...gasp....enjoyyyyeeeddd it. I felt confident and really really excited. I'm in agony waiting for my score. :P

    A week with Mrs. I....well, it definitely required time and THOUGHT. The reading material is quite hefty, and skimming is not enough to really get involved with class discussions. I found myself spending around  an hour a day between the morning message and discussion questions, not including the reading. An average night would be about an hour-hour and a half, sometimes two. I enjoyed the work a lot of times and didn't rush at all for discussion questions. In fact, as annoying as they were to have to do ALL THE TIME, this is a BRILLIANT plan. It's the most involved I've ever been with other students! This class is probably 50% social, be it grading essays, leaving comments on paper, participatng in discussion, replying to MM exercises....For everything we write, we read and comment on someone else's, or MANY someone else's papers. I loved this approach, I MADE FRIENDS! 

    Bookclubs....brilliant. The assignment is so free, and I made fabulous friends. The girls in my first bookclub are some of my closest buddies today! We talk all the time and I hope to meet one of them this summer. :) We also want to keep bookclubs going over the summer! And we don't just read and email, no, dude, we CALL. WE DO VIDEO. BooYAH, this is really cool. :)

    I will take away so many pieces of writing I am PROUD of. Literacy narratives....the bane of my existence for a week or two, but....I absolutely LOVED that assignment. I don't know if I have ever spent so much time EDTING! I never used to edit. This class has DEFINITELY taught me how to edit. I've even started liking refining my work! I loved pretty much any free response essays that we did this year. The Place essays were phenomenal to read and to write. Mine is very special to me. And getting feedback, honest, HONEST feedback was fabulous. I'll never forget the guy who wrote "eew" all throughout my first draft. :) I promise the second and third drafts got better! 

    Haha, I love the list of questions above: "Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?" DID I. Hahahahaha, do we even need to go here? YES! Don't ask me how this works....but my friends in this class are seriously FRIENDS. They are not random people I know names of. Class is over and I still talk to one of them constantly and several of them daily, at least. These students are FABULOUS! Our messages are filled with <3 <3 <3 <3 s, and it's pretty acurate. I really care about these people. SO much. :)

    Okay, confession time. I almost dropped out of this class....twice. It's my first year homeschooling for highschool, and it's definitely been the toughest year of my life. Also, my home has been in upheavhal. The last thing I wanted was a tough AP class. So in the fall I tried to leave. Literally, I just stopped doing the clsss. The first time, Mrs. Inspektor dragged me back kicking and screaming, but the second time, right after Christmas break.....tragedy had struck, and I was an absolute emotional wreck, having lost a very important person (this wasn't a breakup, and it was a hundred times more traumatic than one) and being in no mind at all to continue class, I honestly DID NOT CARE ABOUT APS. Or anything. Or anyone.

    And emails started coming in from classmates, TAs, Mrs. I....the instant I got a facebook I could have sworn there were 22 new friend requests from my AP friends. They posted about it on the WWW board: "where's Sarah? Did she leave? Come back!!!!!" And hey...when a really nice guy hundreds of miles away breaks his curfew so you can cry--er, type your troubles to him...and tells you he has been praying for you before you even told him what was going on....well, I was kind of sort of devastated (in a good way) by all the caring going on. I left my other online classes and no one cared. But here...dropping out is LAME-O and they wouldn't let me. And I am SO GLAD they didn't! I made more friends, got back into the work, wrote hard, wrote well, took the exam, and DID NOT FAIL. This I know. :)

    I would say you have to be super motivated to be in this class, but it's kind of not exactly true. I'm veryyyy unmotivated and veryyyyyy undisciplined. I get overwhelmed easily and I panic with longterm goals. But this class was marvelous. If a student is willing to trust Mrs. Inspektor for the day to day (by the way, the daily workload is HEAVEN, not Hell!) work and reading, those longterm goals happen easier than you can imagine.

    And make the most out of the people. Hey, these are some pretty cool guys and gals. Who would have thought I'd be excited for NEXT YEAR so I can take Mrs. I's class again?! I'll be keeping these friends, all my fabulously proofread writing, and my GREAT EXCITEMENT about the AP exam with me. :) God has blessed me bigtime with this class and the people in it, and you know....the end of this class is so worth the tears, guys. *sniff*

    Good luck to anyone taking AP Lang and Comp with Mrs. Inspektor. YOU WILL LOVE AND BE LOVED. That is my utmost warning. Oh, and you'll ace the exam, get college credit, and start writing poetry all the time just so you have an excuse to email classmates. ;) 

    Okay, I'll stop.... :P

     


    This is the best class I've ever taken. posted by Michaiah Hughes on May 21 2012 at 22:39:30

    Hi everyone!

    At the beginning of this class, I was entering my sophomore year of highschool. I had no AP experience at all, I was accustomed to literary analysis, and I thought essays were boring, drab, and dull. This class was awesome. Splendid. Fabulous. Incredible. Marvelous. Okay, I'll stop showing off my synonym skills now and get to the part you really want to read... :)

    Definitely. I think I was actually overprepared for the test. (Is that even possible? Oh well, it was definitely a good thing.) Mrs. I did an absolutely outstanding job of preparing us for the test – we began writing practice test essays in October and kept up an intense essay-prep pace throughout the year. We also got fabulous, specific comments on our essays (from Mrs. I, the TAs, and our classmates) about how we could improve the rough drafts. During the year, we studied important vocabulary, worked through numerous multiple-choice practice tests, and wrote tons of practice essays as well. I’m ALWAYS nervous before tests…but I wasn’t nervous at all before the Lang exam!

    On average, I probably spent between ten to fifteen hours a week on this course. However, I both read and write abnormally quickly, so this time estimate may not be accurate for everyone. (If you struggle with either reading or writing, completing the assignments will require much more time. Oh, and typing quickly is a very important skill for this class, as all communication happens through the computer.) During the entire month of December (Peace Essay time!), I probably put in an average of three and four hours every day as I was revising my own paper, teaming up with some classmates to comment on their papers, and just working my tail off, basically. :) Completing the assignments took me a while at the beginning of the class, when my time management wasn’t as strong and I was still figuring out the class structure. However, as I handled my time more efficiently and the Peace Essay assignment was completed, I spent less time - probably between 5-8 hours per week.

    Honestly, I loved the Peace Essay. Even though this project was so labor intensive (I sweated and slaved over this paper like I never have before), it broadened my perspective on world events and made me think critically about how to build peace. I also learned how valuable the revision process can be if you’re dedicated to revising deeply. My essay was better than I thought possible, thanks to Mrs. I’s critiquing and encouragement – and of course, I couldn’t have completed the assignment without my classmates’ help!

    This isn’t necessarily an “assignment” per se, but I’m going to write about it anyway. I loved any and all assignments where we had class discussions. Honestly, this class felt like our own academic version of Facebook – I was always checking to see who commented on my essay or reading the posts following my discussion-question responses. (In fact, I had to ban myself from the site in order to focus on my other subjects that weren't as fun and interactive as this class!)This feeling made learning fun and also built our class community.

    Most definitely. I was relatively confident in writing before I took this class, but now I am absolutely confident. Additionally, I didn’t realize that there were so many different ways to write an essay. I was only familiar with dry, dull literary analysis, but we were introduced to personal narrative essays, historical event essays, autobiographical essays, etc. This class definitely developed my interest in writing.

    Hahaha, don't even get me started. When I signed up for this class, I couldn't even believe that we would be able to have online discussions. After all, if you never actually meet each other, you can't be friends, right?

    Wrong! I have made a ton of friends in this class. Mrs. I. encouraged class participation every day, so even during the toughest assignments, it was encouraging to know that 35+ other people were sweating over the same challenges that you were facing. Then there was the social aspect…we have talked about everything from the literary merits (or lack thereof) in The Hunger Games to the health benefits of living gluten-free to the difficulties of gmail-chatting when your fingers are freezing during a Michigan winter. The daily interaction helped me to make friends very easily. It was awesome.

    Besides the socialization and the feeling of community, the communications were so valuable academically as well. Mrs. I. wanted us to comment on each other’s work, which helped us to think critically about writing (and by editing our classmates’ papers, it was easier to see  mistakes in our own work), made everyone improve as we received multiple sources of feedback, and ultimately drew our groups of students closer together.

    The type of student that has enough time to really work hard on the assignments and do their best in everything will do well. This isn’t a “gimme” AP class that you can take for a quick and easy credit…prepare to work your tail off (especially during Peace Essay time). You simply can’t get full benefit out of this class if you don’t have the time to participate and to improve your writing skills.

    I was planning to just answer the questions, but I have to tell you prospective students about the sheer awesomeness of Mrs. Inspektor. This lady is an amazing teacher. In October she had a baby girl (who proceeded to be our “class mascot” during the class/exam), but Mrs. I. took only two weeks off, then jumped right back into class. She literally held the sleeping baby and graded our papers at the same time…you have to be a fabulous teacher to multitask that way!

    She is also mixes encouragement and critique so beautifully – I never felt “put down” (actually, her words made me want to improve and succeed) but her feedback was so extraordinarily helpful. I have grown so much as a writer and as a person through her encouraging critiques, and I’ve also picked up a few ways to be a better mentor/teacher through this class. She is the best teacher I’ve ever had (EVER), and I am so excited for you to experience this class as well.

    What are you waiting for? Stop reading this, you silly student! Go sign up! NOW!


    Take Mrs. Inspekor's class. You won't be sorry! posted by Suzanne McLendon on May 21 2012 at 17:09:24

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
     
    This class was a challenge because, though I had some experience writing, it
    wasn’t on the same level. Especially at the beginning of the year, it took
    extra time to learn the basics and move up from there.  I would recommend
    people who have some experience writing essays and an interest in literature
    to take this class.

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

    This is a difficult question to answer because I never calculated the exact
    time, but at least two hours on each week day, and depending on the
    assignment, more hours on the weekend.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    The online class environment consisted of a website that contained all the
    information, assignments, and places to post on it.  It had the feeling of a
    web forum or a social media site.  All your work is visible to Mrs.
    Inspektor and everyone in class, but your specific grades are only
    accessible to you.  Having the class environment was wonderful, because a
    major part of the course was commenting on classmates’ work. As you read and
    critique your classmates’ work, it teaches you what to do differently or how
    to learn from writers better than you.

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

    Mrs. Inspektor strives to give you feedback that will improve your writing
    techniques. She normally gives feedback on essays or other major
    assignments, while classmates and sometimes TA’s will give feedback on every
    assignment. Mrs. Inspektor teaches us how to give positive feedback and
    constructive criticism in our comments so that each student can learn the
    most.  Mrs. Inspektor also helps with grammar, especially in the beginning
    of the year.

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

    Monthly book clubs helped me to think more critically about literature.
    There is flexibility in the book club choices, because you can join any book
    club or give your own suggestion. Discussion of literature in groups was not
    something I was familiar with, so it was a great learning experience.

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

    Keeping up with the heavy work-load while not letting it run my school life
    was the major challenge I faced in this class. It became easy to let other
    schoolwork slide as different projects in this class arrived. Time
    management was an aspect of this class difficult for me, but I learned
    setting goals for myself was important.

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

    The Peace Essay Competition was the most challenging and memorable
    assignment in class.  It consisted of researching and picking two countries
    for case studies, then writing an essay on them in reply to the year’s
    prompt on the United States Institutes of Peace website.  I thought it would
    get easier once I picked two case studies, but I was wrong. It gave me
    experience writing a college-level essay.  Estimating, I think I worked near
    fifty hours on the assignment altogether. The project sounds overwhelming,
    but Mrs. Inspektor guides the class through each step of the process.

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

    If you are considering taking an AP English Language class, take this one!
    My experience in an online class environment with my other classmates and
    Mrs. Inspektor was wonderful. Mrs. Inspektor is with no doubt, a gifted
    teacher.


    If you are considering this class, you should really try to work it into your schedule somehow. It will be worth it. posted by Jessica Olsen on May 21 2012 at 15:48:04

    I have to admit, I've been procratinating on this class review. Not because I didn't want to review it, I don't think I could recommend a class any stronger, but because I really don't want to not do this class justice. So, first of all, this class is amazing! I had really high expectations going into it, and all of those expectations were exceeded!
     
    How did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam?

     Perfectly! Going into the AP Lang axam, I had very little test anxiety. I'm usually pretty god at stressing myself out for AP tests, and tests in general, but I don't think I've ever been that relaxed for a College Board exam. I was very confident that Mrs. inspektor had given us the tools we needed to succeed. SHe also had us do so many practice MCQ sections and practice essays that I felt like I had already taken the test successfully. All that to say, YES. I definitely felt prepared. 

     

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

    This is harder. I had some days that were lighter, and some days, like during the Peace Essay, that were heavier. I think it would be safe to average it out to 2 hours a day. I found that the workload of the course was very manageable. Because Mrs. Inspektor assigns homwork daily and not weekly it helped me pace myself so I didn't end up spending all of one day on AP Lang. This also helped the class feel more manageable, and helped me study in smaller segments so that I could retain more. 

     

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

    This is a horrible question! I really can't choose. I can say that it was fun for me to look back at the assignments Mrs. Inspektor gave because I could really see a purpose in each assignment. While some assignments may have seemed unrelated directly to the exam, each assignment had a clear purpose in building the skills we needed for the exam. The Discussion Questions were fun because we got to debate with eachother, but they were also like a live version of the argument and rhetorical analysis essays we would have to write on the exam. They were just more i nteresting, challenging, and engaging than writing even more essays. The Peace Essay was wonderful preparation for the Argument Essay, even though it seemed unrelated at the time. I guess the bet answer to this is that every assignment built on the previous ones. I really didn't feel like there were any "extra" assignments or busy work. Everything was so valuable. 

     

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Absolutely! I can't give a radical sotyr about how it changed my major for college, although I do know some people that could. But it has definitely enhanced my interest in the subject and I look forward to continuing my reading this summer with a deeper understanding of how to analyze and really understand the root of what the author is trying to say. 

     

    Did you find your commmunications with other students interesting or valuable?

    YES! I made friendships this year that will continue beyond this class. Those relationships also helped immensly during the year because we were able to act as support for eachother and give advice during some of the more challenging, and totally rewarding, parts of the class.

     

    What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

    YES! I am constantly recommending this course to friends. I feel like everyone should have to take a class from Mrs. inspektor before they graduate. This was such a good class, and I can see such an improvement in my writing ability from when I began the class. 


    AP Language and Composition: Great Experience posted by Justin Yen on May 18 2012 at 13:04:54

    I think a student applying for this class should realize that this is a community based class. You should be honest in the work that you give, but also with the work you critique. It is SO important not to sugar coat your comments an analysis, as to accurately give the other students the amount and areas of places they need to improve on. Also be willing to meticulously comment on people's essays/discussion questions. It's not that commenting is the worst part of the class, but it can get tedious at times, and when one treats it lightly it take away from your learning experience and that of the other. Expect to come into this class leaning on other people and helping others and yourself learn. This commenting aspect of class takes up a lot of time, but holds an important position to education and exam prep.

    Frankly, that part of the course frustrated me at times. For me, I'm not one to interact with 30 other students trying to care about their work, but the fruit of it is priceless. So even if you are more of an independent person, come here and learn more than just AP English Language and Composition, but you'll learn some life skills as I did. There is so much to glean from this class.

    The course load is not extremely large, but with the little given, you need to take full advantage of those small assignments and do them well. If sufficently completing these assignments, one will have a much easier time studying for the exams. Some of the reading gets overwhelming during the second semester, but the analysis aids with the AP essays as they require detailed analysis.

    I think the most memorable part of this class was the Peace Essay. This few month long project resulted in my work having to be ripped apart a few days (a week?) before I had to submit this essay. I essentially had to rewrite this essay. I thought I had understood the prompt correctly, but a lesson learned: ASK QUESTIONS! The slightest thing can cause disaster. Of course don't ask obvious questions, read the Morning Messages and updates, but realize that again, there are 30 students plus more than a couple TAs and the teacher there to help, take advantage of it! 

    Take advantage of the time given to write essays. I did not, and my essay scores clearly reflected my lack of focus on the essays. A good writer is not one who gets the first draft down. A good writer writes multiple drafts if not dozens. I tend to write my essays in one day, if you are one of those people, finish it 3-4 days before you have to submit and fix it for 10-20 minutes. It does not take long, and you will improve your writing ability drastically. 

    Good Luck!

    Justin Yen


    AP Lang was amazing! posted by Hannah Rears on May 18 2012 at 12:46:00

    I know this sounds crazy, but by the time our class reached exam day, I was incredibly excited to take the exam. Throughout the year, all of us progressed from barely being able to write passable essays in 40 minutes to being able to write 4-5 paragraph essays in that same amount of time. I can honestly say that when I got to exam day, it felt like the exam itself was very predictable. We had done so many practice essays and multiple choice passages that the exam didn't seem as scary as I thought it was at the beginning of the year. I don't have a particular amount of time I put in every week. I generally found that I spent a lot more time on English when I had a major paper due that week. 

    The Peace Essay (for the United States Peace Institute's national high school competition) was incredibly scary at first, but it paid off so much. Mrs. Inspektor was very understanding and helpful throughout the whole process. I remember I switched case studies about 3 times in the span of 2 days, and she was very patient throughout my furious brainstorming. This leads me to how great a teacher Mrs. Inspektor is. I wasn't crazy about other people reading my writing when I entered the class. I didn't truly know the meaning of revision and taking feedback and incorporating it into my work. The first paper I wrote, the literacy narrative, was a struggle, but in retrospect, I'm so glad that Mrs. Inspektor gave us her honest feedback. I truly think it made the difference between staying the same writer and becoming a better writer. 

    The other students were amazing. Everyone was super supportive, and I think everyone grew from other people's writing and opinions. It also made the actual exam seem a lot less daunting since all of my friends were taking it too. Skype book clubs, Facebooks chats, and posts on the class website really helped us grow closer as a class and support each other through rough assignments and ultimately the exam.

    If you're scared of writing, don't be afraid to take this class. It changed my outlook on writing, and now I'm actually considering an English major in college (the class was that good!). If you love to read and love language, and you're looking to improve your writing, this class is worth all of the hard work and the stressful moments. Plus, the feeling of finishing a particuarly hard essay or paper is very rewarding :) I definitely recommend this course to anyone who's willing to work hard, take feedback, and ultimately grow as a writer.  


    Hard, but Totally Worth It!! posted by Rachel Venable on May 18 2012 at 12:22:35

    Someone who has a desire to write...if you don't, you're either doomed to hate this class, or convert to a writing lover. Also, someone who wants to know what, why, and how, an author is exerting something like his point of view. If you don't want to know what you're reading, again, you're bound to want that by the end of the year.

    MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHY YOU'RE TAKING THIS CLASS.

    I seriously can't stress that enough. Honestly, at the beginning of this class, I hadn't an inkling of what I was here for except to write, but by April I realized that I needed to get my hiney into gear and start seriously studying on that AP exam! If you know that this class' purpose is to help you pass the exam, you won't have a problem. I wasn't completely aware of this before hand, and I regret that. I wish I had been an avid studier from the beginning of this class. Key word: study.

    Hmm, well the last few weeks we were all independent studiers so that's hard to compute, but the weeks before those were somewhat intense. I'd say that I spent at least an hour and a half per day each week. Many times on weekends I'd be sitting at the comp, beating myself up for waiting so long to finish homework. If you finish all your work by Friday, you must really love yourself.

    Immensely. I have, at least, 35+ new friends! Everyone was so friendly and patient...honestly this class' size was overwhelming at first, but I know the personalities of each person despite the fact that I've never met them in person! There were book clubs that almost everyone participated in and those are a bunch of fun, and you get to know each other better. The teacher, students, and TA's were all extremely helpful whenever I had a question. Never had I asked a question where it took forever to get responses. I started emailing groups with many of the students and we're all pretty close now! Crazy.

    Everyone always gave me the feedback that I needed, and, for the most part, it wasn't sugar coated. I always knew what needed to be fixed in my essays from the feedback. The comments were spot-on; usually points on things that I hadn't noticed myself. In short, the feedback was awesome.

    Well, ancient literature (Walden's Pond) would've killed me if I hadn't known how to disect the syntax to reveal the hidden meanings, which I learned to do in this class. Although I'm not admitting to liking the book, I'm just saying it was easier to read because of Mrs. Inspektor. I don't particularly enjoy literature much more than I originally had, but I definitely have more respect for it.  

    I almost dropped out. I was dangerously close to leaving this class during the Peace Essay Contest because of the rigorous work it required, but you know what? My sister convinced me to stay because of how brilliant I would feel after I had submitted the essay, and she was right! I remained a student in this class and recieved an honorable mention in the contest (3rd place for the state of Maine). I'm so proud of that piece of work, and I truly believe it was THE hardest thing I have EVER done.

    Without a doubt, it was the Peace Essay. I've never worked so hard and long on an essay in my entire life, and I'm not sure I ever will again. That essay is my joy and pride. Another assignment that I really loved though, was the Project Walden. That was fun and difficult to stick to as well, but it was an enjoyable experience.

    A million practice tests. Literally. Mrs. Inspektor assigned plenty of sample essay questions and multiple choice questions throughout the year to prepare us for the actual exam. She gave us a ton of tips and pointers from eliminating MCQ choices and impressing the essay judges. Let me tell you, during the exam yesterday, I took a little comfort in the fact that I knew what I was doing. Ok, a lot of comfort. I know that the kids I took the test with won't be getting as high a score as I am, because they finished writing their essays in an hour while I took the full 135 minutes to complete mine. Mrs. Inspektor taught me to be selfish with the time limit, and darn it, I was.

    Be prepared to make a ton of friends (whether you want to or not) and to love your teacher. She's awesome. I know that the TA's will be awesome as well; they were in my class this year! Everyone's great, the assignments won't kill you - I promise - the book clubs are cool... so don't worry about being stuck with a mound of smart homeschooling geeks, cause they'll all be awesome. I mean we're all smart - ahem - and if anybody's a geek, he or she WILL make it known. They don’t like to hide it. Believe me, I was worried for a second when I saw that plenty of the students were grades ahead of me, yet the same age, but hey. Don’t be shy.   

     


    Best. Class. Ever. 'nuff said ;) posted by Amber Emerson on May 17 2012 at 19:57:21


    I can't think of a good and original title. posted by Matthew Buonanno on May 17 2012 at 16:23:19

     

  • To what kind of student would you recommend this class? Any student interested in broadening his/her view of the world (Peace Essay, yep), preparing for the AP exam, or improving his/her ability to interpret and analyze essays written by an array of authors.

  • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class? If the student has taken an annual English course up until the grade he/she enters the class, is focused, is engaged, and is willing to work hard, I think he/she will be able to succeed. 

  • How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? It would depend on the week; I guess an average of seven hours or so is accurate. 

  • To what extent was this class interactive? The class was extremely interactive. 

  • What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful? I often received comments from more than one person on my work. This was really helpful for differing perspectives - it allowed me to see what different people wanted, which in turn allowed me to revise using my idea and the ideas of others on what consititutes a good essay.

  • How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class? I got to read a few books over the course of this year that I've wanted to read for a while, which was really nice. Besides that, I wouldn't say my perspective has changed too much - but I was brought up with a pretty wide range of books, and this class definitely sustained that, so I think it still did a good job in this respect.

  • What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class? It was my first online course and I'm enough of a goofball that figuring out how to interact with students whom I had never met was pretty interesting/challenging.

  • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why. I think I liked the Place Essay the most - in it, we had to discuss a place that brings complex emotions to mind. My essay was definitely in a different style than my standard scientific tone, and writing it was strangely cathartic.

  • How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam? Haha - I probably couldn't list all the ways. Mrs. Inspektor did an awesome job of assigning work that prepared us for the exam without letting it become monotonous. We had relevant daily messages (often related to skills needed for acing the exam), bi-weekly (or so) essays, semi-frequent multiple choice mini-tests, and regular discussion groups. 

  • Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class: Work hard, but don't be afraid to goof off a bit. A friend and I took this course together this year, and over the year we developed some really cool friendships with other students (due in part to our insane and quirky senses of humor, which apparently the rest of the group had never before encountered, tragically) - and that's honestly one of the most valuable things you can take away from a course, besides that whole get smarter thing. Also, eat lots of bananas. Bananas are good. Good source of potassium!
  •  

     


    The most helpful, challenging, and fun class I have taken! posted by Evan Booher on June 01 2011 at 20:21:42

    Any student who is hardworking and desires to become a writer must take this class. Many of the students who take this class rank in the top percentiles of high schoolers nationally, but Mrs. Inspektor's teaching is so good and the atmosphere of the class so encouraging and stimulating that anyone willing to work can succeed.

    I had taken two years of high school English and had done a fair amount of writing and felt highly prepared for the class. While challenging, this class does not require students to be great writers before they can take this class. Really the best preparation is to read good books - critical reading skills are necessary for AP English success. Then just have familiarity with basic English terms and rules and some experience writing argmuent-type essays and you're ready.  

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

    Generally I spent one and a half to two hours per day on AP English, so from seven to ten hours a week. In January and February, while preparing for the Peace Essay contest, it was more like four to five hours some days.

    It was highly interactive. I really feel like I know many of my classmates through interaction in book clubs and discussion questions and just posts on the WWW board. We also grade each others papers a lot - really there is something interactive every day. All the kids in my class were really great people and students - the interaction was fun and always encouraging.

    On discussion questions, all the responses were student-produced but still helpful; anyway, these questions are more discussion about arguments or points the students have made than about English mechanics. For all the essays, other students graded and commented and Mrs. Inspektor gave comments and a grade. Mrs. Inspektor's comments were always so helpful, pointing out what was good and what needed to be improved. Mrs. Inspektor also gave suggestions in reponse to my emailed questions about my peace essay. The student comments about my peace essay were also so helpful and detailed; one student even wrote me an email giving comments above what was required. Most of the students did comment not only to complete assignments but because they did care about helping others improve. Mrs. Inspektor uses her reponses to students' work as one of the two main ways she gives direct instruction (the other is through the Morning Messages).  

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

    I already had a great love for reading and this class only increased that feeling. In this class I read  a great variety of literature, from Dickens and Homer to Richard Rodriguez and Thoreau. I now enjoy a broader range of literature types than before this class.   

    Maybe the beginning of the class was the biggest challenge, just getting accustomed to it and adjusting to the course load. The peace essay was the biggest project of the year, so it probably was the biggest challenge.

    I can still remember every AP essay I wrote during this class, with certain ones still being my favorites. I remember the first nine I scored and Mrs. Inspektor's comments on it. But the most memorable assignment would have to be the peace essay. I was a state winner and will travel to Washington DC for the weekong awards seminar. I am sure that will be one of the most amazing weeks of my life, and I can experience it because of Mrs. Inspektor and this class.

    I felt completely prepared for the AP exam and was hardly nervous when I took the test. We took several full-length practice tests and had been practicing the essays all year, so I felt very confident and secure.  

    Take this class!!! The AP credit is great, but this class is so much more than an AP-prep course - it has turned me into a very strong writer and critical reader/thinker. Don't be intimidated or get discouraged if it's difficult at first; Mrs. Inspektor really knows how and what to teach and will help you succeed.


    You NEED to take this class! posted by Hannah Newman on May 31 2011 at 13:14:18

    At this point I have taken both AP English Literature and AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor.  They were both in my top three favorite classes of high school thus far, and I really can't rave about them enough.  I learned more about writing, literature, and our world than I ever could have imagined.  In addition to learning so much, I also had a ton of fun!  Hopefully the following questions and answers will be helpful to you in your decision about this class!

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

    Absolutely!  Mrs. Inspektor begins exam prep early in the year (October, I believe) so that we can really hone our skills that directly pertain to the exam and format of the test itself.  We wrote numerous essays to prompts from former exams, and took 5 practice multiple choice sections throughout the year.  Mrs. Inspektor also gives extensive feedback about what you need to work on in your essays, and helps you along in figuring out a strategy that works for you on the multiple choice section.  If you work hard in the course and complete the assignments, I think you are practically guaranteed a good score on the exam!

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

    On average, I would say that this class took me 1 hour per day.  There were a few days that were shorter, and some that were longer.  For a challenging assignment that required outside research, I spent a couple hours on the weekend finishing the assignment.  For a weekly average, I would say the course was 5-7 hours of work.

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

    I loved the literacy narrative assignment at the beginning of the year.  The purpose of this assignment was to bring to life an experience that shaped our view of literature, writing, or education.  This assignment allowed for some creative expression, which actually ended up strengthening essay writing, in my opinion.  The word limit of 1500 words made certain that we chose words that counted, and that were direct; this later helped me in writing essays, and in making sure that those essays were not vague in their language and word choice.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    I have always loved English, but yes, I think that this course did enhance that love even further.  This course also gave me reassurance that English is the right path for me to pursue in college!

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

    Yes!  It is amazing how much you can learn about the other students without ever meeting them in person; I felt that we bonded through our responses to each others' essays, through our book clubs, and through casual interaction on the WWW Board.  And my classmates were a great source of help during our major assignments, particularly during the Peace Essay assignment.  I exchanged papers with a fellow student, and we gave each other feedback on what could be improved, and then revised our essays using both this information and the feedback from Mrs. Inspektor, and the feedback from others in the class who had responded to our essays on the site.  We all bonded in our struggles to become better writers, and I know I learned a lot from my classmates.

    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!)?

    Students who are good at or who enjoy English would obvioulsy do well in this course.  However, I don't think that loving English is necessarily a prerequisite to this class.  Before this year, I read very little prose or essay writing.  When I first saw the essays we were going to read, I thought they looked boring, and I wished we could read fiction.  I was so wrong!  This class basically introduced me to a whole new genre of writing, and I will most likely read many essays from The Writer's Presence this summer on my own.  I would most definitley recommend this course to other students, but I think it is imperative that you work hard.  You want to get the most out of this class as possible, so that you can learn a lot (and get a good score on the exam).  It won't be worth it if you aren't willing to give it your all.  As long as you come into the class with a good attitude, how much you love English upon entrance doesn't matter; you will have a great year!

    I can't emphasize enough what a great class this was; and as many before me have said, Mrs. Inspektor is an incredible teacher, and she will help you so much throughout the class. 

    Go ahead and sign up now! :)

     


    AP Lang Class Review posted by Clayton Ferrazzo on May 26 2011 at 13:41:14

         This year, I believe I felt more prepared for the AP Language exam than I have ever felt for any other exam. I spent anywhere from 1 to 3 hours per day working on the assigned homework. I found as the course went on that the homework was not difficult, it was challenging and took dedication to complete. Perhaps my favorite assignment from this class was the Place Essay which I enjoyed due to the "creative writing" nature of the piece. I must confess at the beginning of the course, I really did not have much of a heart for writing. I did it because it was assigned, not because I enjoyed it. That attitude and experience carried on through a greater part of the first semester with ups and downs in between. But by the time second semester rolled around, Mrs. I had instilled in my a love for writing that no other instructor has given me before. Her dedication to the class and her devotion to writing out Morning Messages and sharing them gave me an appreciation for writing.
         The other students in this class have been a major help in enhancing my experience. Almost every single student writes often for the joy of it, and the comments I received in response to essays or discussion questions were most edifying and helpful. The class interaction was spectacular as compared to some other courses I have taken online. Other students were willing to discuss the daily news one day and then swap essays for correction and editing the next day.
         A student who is willing to work hard on essays and able to read and respond daily to messages from the teacher is probably qualified. I would recommend this class to the student who wants to do something substantial for his or her writing course. I would also recommend this class to the student interested in becoming a well-rounded writer.


    Take this class! posted by Caroline Harper on May 17 2011 at 02:00:11

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

    Most definitely. At the beginning of the year I was nervous about having to write three timed essays all in a row on the exam, because even one essay seemed difficult! But we started off slowly, and Mrs. Inspektor gave great feedback on the practice essays. By the last few months we were writing an essay a week, and by the time we took the practice exam, and the real exam, I felt comfortable and confident with my writing. Also, the practice multiple choice sections we did were very helpful.

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

    No less than an hour a day. Every day, we responded to the Morning Message, which sometimes included a small exercise or grammar lesson, and then completed that day's written assignments. On particularly hard weeks, like when we were working on the Peace Essay or Project Walden, I spent more time, sometimes up to 18 or 20 hours a week.

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

    I liked the Place essay and the literacy narrative. These were creative writing assignments that let me focus on capturing exactly what I wanted to say and using my words wisely. Another favorite assignment, but one that was a LOT of work, was the Peace Essay. It was like no other paper I've ever written before, because it focused on current issues and politics and I had to analyze lots of different sources. Everybody gave great feedback, though, and so it was easier to finish and polish my paper than if I had had to write it all on my own.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Yes. I've always liked writing, but I've never been a fan of the "essay style" of writing. Now, I realize that an essay can be just as interesting as a creative writing paper, and that it doesn't have to be a struggle to sit down and write a coherent essay in 40 minutes. This course has definitely sparked my interest in reading deeper, too, and discovering what the author really meant beneath all the fluff and wit.

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

    Yes. If you are worried that there will not be student-to-student communication in this course because it's a distance learning online course, worry no more. Even though I have never met any of my classmates face-to-face from this year, I feel that I know each one of their personalities just through our conversations on the WWW board and through the book clubs. Everybody was so helpful when responding to essays and papers, and we got some really interesting conversations going on the discussion questions!

    What sort of student would do well in this course?

    Any student who is willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on the assignments will do well in this course. You also have to be open to suggestions and constructive criticisms, because there is a lot of revising and rewriting involved in any writing course. The amount of work Mrs. Inspektor assigns is manageable, but only if you stay on top of it. It is very easy to procrastinate, especially on the weekends, when assignments aren't due until Sunday. So if you are focused and willing to put in the time, you will definitely see it show in your work.


    You must take this course! It's worth it! posted by Mary Hill on May 16 2011 at 12:25:24

    Dear Student,

    Please read the following questions and answers, and you willl discover if this class is for you!

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

    Definitely. Everything from writing a TON of practice essays, to vocabulary studies and "thousands" of exam tips. The layout of the course was perfect; it started out slowly, giving me a feel for the difficulty ahead of me, and then it moved a bit faster as we all dove into exam study.

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

    Most often, I worked about two hours a day. A couple times I put in more than this; it really all depends on the assignments. Everyday there is a mini assignment, and a larger assignment.  I really learned how to manage my time in this class, because most of the time I wasn't able to study in solid, two-hour blocks.

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

    I was never good at writing research papers, so (though my fellow classmates may gasp to see me say this) I really appreciated the Peace Essay assignment. Through it, I learned the ups and downs of writing a research paper, and the importance of writing a proper, convincing argument.

    Other assignments that I found helpful were the ones that referred to an essay we had read. These also really prepared me for the exam because they taught me to look critically at my reading, and to search for complex meanings behind the words. This is a great talent you will need for both practice essay and the actual exam.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Absolutely!  Before this course, I didn't think looking for double meanings could be fun! I now "dissect" pages, covering them with marginalia. My understanding of the structure of the English language was definitely broadened.

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

    Yes! The communications were valuable in the way that my classmates were always encouraging and suggesting ways that I could improve. We all helped each other. And in the long run, by helping each other we helped ourselves because we challenged our own knowledge of language and grammar. We also had interactions with each other in more casual settings through book clubs.

    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 considering taking this course, you have to be willing to work hard, manage your time, and even step out of your comfort-zone at times. Creativity and having fun doesn't hurt either. ;) With these requirements in mind, I believe that whether you have a slight interest in writing, or it is your passion, you will benefit from taking this course. Are you willing to step up to this exciting challenge? Yes? Go for it! :)

    Get ready to be changed....

    ~Mary


    Challenging but definitely worth it. posted by Virginia Davis on May 16 2011 at 01:32:52

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

    First of all, there's no way I would have even survived that exam had I not taken this very course. But this class did more than just get me through the exam--it enabled me to feel confident and prepared for it.

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

    The Peace Essay really broadened my capabilities regarding research papers. I felt so empowered after submitting my essay even though I had no expectations of being a finalist. I was so much more aware after researching, and writing about my case studies helped me feel like I was doing more than just an assignment for class. The Peace Essay gave me such a connection to international tragedies and corruption; I'm so much more interested in that type of thing now!

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

    I got a ton out of being able to communicate and share ideas with my classmates. I especially loved the book discussions we organized every month or two. Even the non-live discussions Mrs. Inspektor posted for assignments quite often were very stimulating. I was able to get a glimpse of other ideas I had never considered before on interesting book passages. These communications definitely kept my mind open to other opinions and observations.

    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!)?

    A student really has to have the ambitions to succeed if he or she wants to do well in this course. It's so challenging, so the student must be willing to always keep the end goal in mind. If he or she does that all the hard work will be worth it.

    P.S.

    You really couldn't ask for a better teacher. Mrs. Inspektor is truly a blessing.

     

     


    AP English Language and Composition posted by Courtenay Klauber on May 14 2011 at 03:26:01

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
    Students who are willing to move beyond their comfort zones will ultimately get the most benefit out of this class. Whether that means working harder than you would in normal English classes (which will definitely happen!), coming across differing viewpoints in the readings, or writing in a new and unfamiliar style, you will be definitely be stretched in some sort of way. There is everything from a research paper to creative writing, so there will likely be something you are not comfortable with! However, I often found that the most valuable assignments were the ones I was most uncomfortable with.

    What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
    As I mentioned before, be prepared to be stretched. On a more practical level, it’s good to know the basic mechanics of writing and good grammar. You won’t be utterly lost if you can’t write without many errors, but it will be a lot harder to complete assignments well. Also, working on neat handwriting will definitely help you later on! One more thing to consider is to look at the prompt for the Peace Essay now, and familiarize yourself with the current conflicts going on to search for case studies. It won’t hurt to be looking right now for sources and get into a habit of reading BBC articles and watching CNN for that essay. :)

    How many hours per week did you spend on your class work?
    I averaged 2 hours a day most weeks, not including time reading and discussing for the book clubs. During the Peace Essay (December and January) I definitely spent more time each day.

    To what extent was this class interactive?
    This class has been substantially more interactive than many of the classes I take at co-ops. Even if you do the bare minimum, you will still likely be posting many little things each day whether they are essay responses, Morning Message response, or Discussion Question responses. Mrs. Inspektor has wonderful and timely Morning Messages that often require responses so if kind of feels like we get a mini-lecture or pep talk each day. Mrs. Inspektor is also really good about answering questions. Of course, you can always make things more interactive as well. The book clubs are great ways to get to know your classmates and you are free to post on the board about things. (I will say that as a student on the West Coast, it is kind of annoying that assignments are due at midnight EST and therefore 9 PM Pacific, but you get used to it.)

    What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?
    Mrs. Inspektor’s essay responses are pure GOLD. She does a really great job of identifying strengths and weaknesses of the students. I often read through her comments on my classmates’ essays because her comments were that good and helpful for my writing too. For pretty much every essay and discussion question reply we wrote we were required to respond to a certain number of each other’s work. Everyone’s feedback was super helpful, but it was also enlightening and helpful to give feedback to other people.


    How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
    I think I am more conscious of how the written word is delivered, instead of usually being solely focused on content. Content is extremely important, but I definitely realized that most of the effectiveness of writing comes with the way in which it is presented. Not only am I now able to recognize how other people use rhetoric and such, but I am also able to incorporate it into my own writing.

    What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
    I am a perfectionist, and therefore I stress out about assignments, end up procrastinating and then get super freaked out about producing something good when time is running out. If you are a procrastinator or a perfectionist, this class will be hard for you. Sometimes I had to relax and just allow myself to simply submit what I thought was sub-par work for myself. I may be a little extreme about this. I would freak out about having perfect Discussion Question responses and first drafts of major essays. I would say it is good to be a perfectionist on final drafts, but don’t be too hard on yourself on working drafts. It will save you a lot of heartache. By then end of the year, I was budgeting my time better and just doing my best instead of trying to make everything perfect.

    Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
    The Peace Essay was an incredibly hard, but rewarding and valuable experience; however, my favorite assignment of the year was definitely Project Walden. After we read Walden by Henry David Thoreau, we each embarked on our own experiment for one week. We wrote about the project each day, trying to include metaphors like Thoreau and other things. Some of the projects were waking up really early or abstaining from Internet or television, and many other fascinating and creative ideas. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it was to complete and then write about this experiment. Everyday we commented on each other’s posts, encouraging each other to keep it up and getting all philosophical about everything. This assignment was valuable because it showed the applicability of language in a tangible situation. In an AP class it sometimes is hard to see beyond the AP test, and Project Walden definitely was great to see how language can affect real life. As I wrote each day, I could control the dramatic quality, or the comedic aspects of my work. Oftentimes, my writing wouldn’t just be inspired by my project, but my project would be inspired my writing.

    How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
    We did many multiple choice tests and wrote many essays taken from old tests. The English exam is interesting because it’s not like you have to memorize facts or memorize equations; the only way to succeed on the test is to be familiar with the format and the possible questions. We definitely became very familiar to the format of the test; however, it never really felt like we were just studying for a test until the last couple weeks.

    Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
    If you are on the fence about this class, get off and just take it! Seriously, I have never had a better teacher (other than my own mother!) than Mrs. Inspektor. I recently compared this class to the English 101 class my sister was concurrently taking at a university and I was definitely was the one learning more and having more fun! It’s a lot of work and very challenging, but it is so worth it.

     


    Best English Class EVER! posted by Jill Stabolepszy on May 13 2011 at 24:13:58

    First off, I just want to say that if you are struggling with writing and sincerely want to improve, take this class. That was my position at this time last year. My writing lacked much of what it needed to truly be effective and I wanted very badly to improve. I had many fears about taking an AP class, especially in a subject I had learned to detest, but all my fears were relieved. :) By the end of the year I was in love with this English class due mostly to the fact that Mrs. Inspektor did an incredible job of coaching me along. She knew (I'm sure) that writing was not my forte but never told me so outright and continued to be very encouraging with her comments. I learned countless valuable lessons both about life and English through the various assignments I was required to complete. To make this class review a bit easier to work through I'll answer a series of questions below:

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    Any student who has the desire to learn. Even if you don't particularly like English you can go far with a good attitude. If you are really into English this course is right for you, too! All the book clubs, challenging assignments (Peace Essay), and class interaction could only help a true English student along.

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

    The only prep I would recommend would be extensive reading of good-quality classics. Reading good writing is the first step to writing good writing, in my opinion. Also, taking every opportunity in school to write on interesting and creative topics that will really engage both your reader and yourself is a great idea.

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

    Since this class was very challenging for me I probably spent anywhere from 8 (on an easy week) to 20 hours per week on this class- but it was totally worth it!

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    It's all up to the student. Each student has the opportunity to get very involved with his/her classmates but it's just as easy to keep to yourself and ignore the interaction going on under your nose. I think the more involved you get the more fun the class is! There is a constant stream of commenting on each other's writing which I found immensely helpful. There's also the famous TPB game - you'll have to take the class to find out what that is! :)

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

    Generally, very honest, constructive, and encouraging feedback. I never got one nasty comment- always truthful (which sometimes meant telling me I totally missed the point of the essay) but always with a spice of encouragement which made revising and learning much easier.

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

    I learned to expand to more genres of classics. I read books I would have never considered before, like Walden or Lord of the Flies. Analyzing them with the class is what made the ideas stick- a great exercise! This class inspired me to add a few more classics to my summer reading list.

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

    Constantly writing essays. The first time I was assigned a timed essay I nearly cried. I didn't know where to start! I'd always taken my time on essays and had never been forced to buckle down and organize myself in 40 minutes- a great exercise in thinking clearly!

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

    Definitely the Peace Essay! I have to say I thoroughly disliked the assignment at first. It was HARD. But, after I started my research and really delved into the topic I learned to love reading up on current events in foreign countries. I still pay more attention to that section of the Wall Street Journal and tend to ignore the US... not sure this is a good thing :) I learned the valuable art of research and using sources to support my arguments and ideas - a skill I hope to never forget.

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

    Extremely well. I felt very confident while taking the exam (after the butterflies left) and didn't get panicky or desperate once. I knew how to pace myself after doing so many practice essays and multiple choice sections which was a priceless skill. Looking around me I realized just how well Mrs. I had prepared us all. I will be ever grateful- no matter what my score is!

     

    I hope my review convinced you to take this course (if you feel like you fit the description). It really is a great opportunity to learn, but you must be ready and willing- just like anything else. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't spoon-feed her students but rather takes them to the edge, pushes them off and tells them to fly. Good luck in your AP endeavor!


    Epic class posted by Meredith Pochily on May 13 2011 at 19:51:06

    If you're reading this, you're probably wondering what AP lang is all about and whether or not it's a course you want to add to your already hectic life. For me, this is the end of two amazing years of AP English with Mrs. Inspektor. I've enjoyed them immensely and I'm pretty sure if you decide to take AP lang, you won't regret it.

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    Someone who is hard working, willing to learn, and open to new ideas and perspectives will get a lot out of this class. Ultimately, you get out what you put in, and sometimes doing a little bit of extra work or engaging in a discussion with a classmate can really take your understanding to a whole new level.

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

    It's helpful to have basic writing and composition skills. Mrs. Inspektor doesn't spend a lot of time going over the basics, though there are a few morning messages on grammar and that kind of thing. Most of what you'll need beyond basic skills, though, Mrs. I will teach you.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    This is a VERY interactive class. Daily responses to morning messages often involve interaction with classmates (there's a good amount of activity on the board daily, at least). We give each other feedback on discussion questions and essays, sometimes very extensively. Additionally, we form book clubs once every 4-6 weeks and discuss a book with classmates off the class website. It's so much fun to receive feedback from classmates and sometimes there are a few jokes carrying over from book club or OT discussions that go along with comments, which really helps us get to know each other as people with lives and interests of our own. Everyone is supportive, encouraging, and seems devoted to helping you improve. The interaction does take extra time, but it's really something that makes the class more enjoyable. I've learned an incredible amount from my classmates this year and we got into some really thought-provoking discussions. As in any class, you become more connected with certain students, but the class really is a big group of friends and I know I will be keeping in touch with a lot of my classmates over the summer and beyond.

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

    In addition to the feedback we got from classmates, Mrs. Inspektor graded and commented on nearly all of our work. Her comments were detailed and REALLY helpful. She's really dedicated to helping you improve, and if you put in the time, you will.

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

    On average, I would say I put in 1-2 hours a day on AP lang. It took me longer to complete the work for AP lit, and I'm not sure if that's because lit is more difficult or if I just wasn't as good at managing my time last year. Either way, plan to leave 2-3 hours a day at the beginning of the year until you get into the flow of assignments. There is usually an essay or some kind of writing assignment to do over the weekend (due Sunday night) and often some reading, too. The weeks (ok, months) when we were working on our peace essays, I DEFINITELY spent more time on lang, at least 5 or 6 hours on some days. That said, there were certainly days when I only worked on lang for 30 minutes.

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

    The Peace Essay. It was by far the most challenging and most memorable assignment of the year. Each of us worked to submit an essay in the National Peace Essay Contest sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace. While the essay itself was limited to only 1,500 words, I ended up with I think 47 endnotes and a long list of works cited that included government documents, speeches, and news articles. The range of skills I learned through the project was amazing; I not only conquered MS Word's obstinate endnote formatting, but also learned how to really dive into a subject I knew next to nothing about, educate myself, and apply that knowledge in an effective way. More than that, the peace essay taught me to look at the world in a new way. We did a role-playing activity to better understand the issues we were writing about and I worked outside of the class to edit essays with several classmates, which was a great way to get to know them better. Everyone was so eager to help everyone else succeed. During the time we were writing our peace essays and polishing our submissions, we followed some of the on-going global conflicts. I realized that this assignment went way beyond our classroom and way beyond the contest. We were very successful in the contest, though, and I'll be traveling to DC to meet six of my other classmates for a week-long awards program through USIP.

    I also really enjoyed reading Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez and exploring nonfiction works. It wasn't something I'd ever done on this level and discussing the works and their content with my classmates was great.

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

    I took the exam yesterday and went in knowing exactly what to expect. At the beginning of the year, it may seem crazy to write a coherent, insightful essay in 40 minutes, but by exam day, you'll have done so many practice essays, the real thing won't feel any different. Mrs. Inspektor assigned us six multiple choice sections and at least fifteen essays for practice, and she gives really helpful comments to help each of us improve. She also posts morning messages on multiple choice strategies, terms, and the "inner workings" of each essay question on the exam.

    (For those of you who do decide to take this class next year: don't panic if you're having a hard time with the MC sections in CliffsAP (our study book). The questions are generally MUCH harder than the ones on the real exam. And, go over your wrong answers after you take the practice tests. I didn't do it enough last year in AP lit and my MC scores were pretty stagnant throughout the year. This year I took the time to analyze each of my wrong answers on every practice test and I really noticed improvement. It's completely worth the extra time.)

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

    Take. It. Yes, it's a lot of work, and yes, there will be days when you're completely overwhelmed (peace essay...). But you will learn so much, gain a whole new level of confidence in yourself, and meet a group of amazing people. Mrs. Inspektor is the most caring, understanding, dedicated, and completely epic teacher you could ever ask for. In so many ways, she makes the class what it is and it's largely because of her that it impacts so many students in such positive ways. One of the most noticeable (and probably valuable) things I've learned in my two years of AP English with Mrs. Inspektor is how to really dissect and edit my work and others' work. I have a new understanding of what makes writing good, and how writing really works.

    Best of luck in your decision. I couldn't recommend this class more highly.

    ~Meredith


    A great class that really developed my writing skills posted by Dustin Nelson on May 13 2011 at 18:36:59

    Yes, the course definitely prepared me for the exam. 
    At least one hour a day, maybe more maybe less depending on the workload that week and the day. 
    The first assignment of reading the Strunk and White grammar book and having to take notes on it helped immensely with my grammar and I enjoyed writing the Literacy Narrative because it pushed me to explore my past and be truthful about it. I also thought the research paper for the National Peace Essay Contest was very edifying; it was extremely hard, but I had never written a research paper of that magnitude and my siblings said that it was about as hard as they get in college. Lastly, the readings we were assigned from The Writer's Presence were fantastic and made me more aware of popular authors, their points of view, and their writing styles. 
    I am a better writer, but I definitely would not want to do it as a career; it's too stressful. 
    It was good to here other classmates opinions and feel like you are not alone when an assignment is particularly hard. Although, personally I did not like having to comment on other classmate's assignments.
    Any student who is willing to work hard and wants to learn how to write from a great teacher should definitely take this course!


    AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor--Definitely worth taking!! posted by Thomas Nath on May 13 2011 at 17:57:07

    I would recommend this class to any hard-working student with the desire to improve their reading and writing abilities and have a great time doing it.  
    I do think students should be prepared to read long, sophisticated, and sometimes difficult nonfiction texts.  Over the course of the year we read everything from Thoreau's Walden to Richard Rodriguez' Hunger of Memory, with many shorter essays from The Writer's Presence as well.
    It varied greatly depending on the assigned work for that day; some days, we just had to read a short (7-8) page essay or so or write a couple responses, which doesn't take more than an hour.  Before the Peace Essay contest, however, I spent multiple hours going to the library and researching my case studies.  There is usually an essay per week, almost always due Sunday at midnight.  I guess on average it was 1-1.5 hours a day, but you can work more or less depending on what you want to put into it.
    This class is extremely interactive, and that was amazing.  During the year, students form their own book groups and then meet via chat to discuss the book.  Each morning, Mrs. Inspektor posts a Morning Message which the majority of people respond to.  In my experience with the class, the WWW board was used frequently to ask/answer any questions--it was really helpful.
    Mrs. Inspektor gives detailed comments on all formal essays, and students comment on each other's responses and essays as well.  We received comments on all our drafts as well, which really helped me learn how to edit my own writing.
    I think learning to write the various essays on the AP exam, such as a rhetorical analysis essay, took a while to get used to, but Mrs. Inspektor gives you tons of practice.
    Definitely the Peace Essay assignment.  Several of our class members won their respective states and get to go to Washington, D.C. this summer for a conference for state winners.  It was an incredibly difficult assignment that required a lot of research, but it was well worth it.  
    Throughout the course, we wrote multiple past essays from the AP exam, many of which were timed.  We also practiced multiple choice questions from an AP prep book and took several practice exams.  I know that I personally felt extremely ready for the exam.
    Take it!  Mrs. Inspektor is a fantastic teacher who pushes you to work harder and makes you improve your reading and writing abilities.  


    A Great Class posted by Mark Olsen on May 12 2011 at 24:02:36

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

    Absolutely. Mrs. Inspektor does a wonderful job of preparing her students for the test. Her valuable feedback and comments help steer you in the right direction.

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

    I spent between 7 and 8 hours a week per week. During the Peace Essay, an extremely fun project, I spent more.

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

    There were three larger projects during the year that were fun. The Literacy Narrative, Peace Essay, and "Place" Essay were extremely fun. They provided a "break" from the focused test studying.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    This class definitely increased my interest in the subject. Not only did I learn more about rhetoric and the english language, I learned about its applications.

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

    Communicating with other students was both valuable and fun. The communications help ease the natural awkwardness that can surface when you don't see your classmates face to face. They're also a great way of studying.

    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!)?

    A student interested in writing would do very well in this class. Personally, the class has helped my writing style, technique, and speed. I would absolutely recommend this class to others!


    I'm glad it's over, but I'm glad I took it. posted by Grace Garner on May 12 2011 at 23:03:50

  • To what kind of student would you recommend this class?
  • The kind of student who is willing to work like crazy. I did not want to take this class. At all. But I decided to anyway because I knew I needed to work on my writing skills. I enjoy creative writing, but other kinds? Blah. This course was incredibly challenging, and every single week, usually every day, sometimes more than once a day, I would chant in my head, "I HATE this! I HATE this!" However, I would like to make it clear that this is only because of the person I am: I just don't like the material. I was taking a very difficult class on a subject I didn't enjoy. However, Mrs. Inspektor is an incredible teacher, and I actually did find myself enjoying the assignments every once in a while.

  • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?
  • The more experience you have in critical reading and writing, the less overwhelming it will be. However, it is not necessary to be an expert in this area. Mrs. Inspektor will be able to teach you, no matter how bad at reading and writing you are, so long as you're willing to put the work in! I knew the basics of essay-writing, and I read a lot, and this course was still very hard.

  • How many hours per week did you spend on your class work? 
  • That varied. Sometimes it only took me an hour, but frequently it took me two or three hours a day, or even longer (especially when working on our Peace Essays...OH. MY. WORD.). In general, I would say it averaged out to about 10 hours a week, sometimes as much as 15.

  • To what extent was this class interactive?
  • I don't have any other AP courses to compare it to, so I'm not sure. However, we were frequently commenting on each other's work, making recommendations, and each student participated in book clubs. It also was not uncommon for a student to post a random thing on the message board, from an article slightly related to a recent assignment, to posting funny videos. (This was not distracting, as it only happened every once in a while. I just thought I would mention it because it shows how we all became friends in this course.)

  • What kinds of feedback did you receive on  your work, and how were they helpful?
  • We always got comments on our essays from other students. It was encouraging to see how they went through the same things and to get suggestions about how they overcame the problem, or visa versa. And then of course Mrs. Inspektor commented and graded on almost everything as well.

  • How do you feel your perspective on literature grew during the course of this class?
  • I think I'm better at absorbing and lightly analyzing things as I read them now, though I still prefer to just plunk down and read the thing, absorbing what I can from them without thinking about it too hard. I will be able to use marginalia when need be, though.  

  • What was the main challenge that you faced in taking this class?
  • Oh goodness. The main challenge? Everything. I had practically zero experience in this kind of writing before this class. The essays were frustrating--it took me a long time to get out of my automatic informal voice. And the multiple choice tests? Yikes. I have always hated those. I tend to think differently from other people, and I was always getting these things wrong. Discussion questions? My worst nightmare. I elaborate below.

  • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.
  • This may sound strange, and I think many of my students will probably say the Peace Essay contest, but for me, the most memorable happened way back at the beginning of the year. Mrs. Inspektor instructed us to write our own discussion question.

    TERROR.

    PANIC.

    MAYHEM.

    I burst into tears. I'm usually not the emotional type, but I actually ended up throwing the dignified (I hope) version of a two-year-old FIT. I was actually screaming (quietly) and pounding my fists on the bed. I had ALWAYS had trouble with discussion questions before. I attend a Literature Discussion Group, and I always had trouble contributing anything. I could take someone else's idea and elaborate it, but come up with my own? Never.

    This is memorable, because I don't blink twice at writing and responding to discussion questions now. At the most, it'll take me two minutes to come up with one. Usually it's more like twenty seconds.

  • How did this course directly prepare you for the AP exam?
  • Everything in this class helped prepare me, because I was so pitifully unprepared. I was bad at almost everything (except the two creative-type essays we wrote. Woot woot!), and I was thinking I would be extremely lucky to get a four on the exam. Now, I'm expecting at least a four, and I'm fairly confident that I'll get a five. And this is a score on a subject I do. not. enjoy.

  • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
  • No. Not at all. It did make me enjoy the material more though. Yes, there is a difference. This enjoyment comes from the fact that I actually can do this. It's always more fun to do something when you know what you're doing, as opposed to doing it when you're just guessing.

  • Final thoughts you would share with a student considering this class:
  • Mrs. Inspektor is wonderful. I unjustly got mad at her several times in the year, simply because of the challenging assignments she posted that I didn't feel like doing. But like the first DQ I wrote, these challenging assignments prepared me, and I'm so glad she assigned them. (I'm also glad this class is over now...FREEEDOOOM!) I sent her several emails throughout the year, sometimes asking specific questions about something I had trouble with, and sometimes just to complain and rant and beg for help. She always answered me with tips and encouragement, and she usually answered me quickly. (Living halfway across the world, sometimes the questions I sent in the afternoon got to her in the middle of the night, so I wouldn't get her answers until the next day. But that's hardly her fault.)

    Do you desperately need to get better at this? Or do you just need to enhance the amazing skills you already have *pointed look at select classmates*? Take this. It works both ways!


    posted by Moriah Glady on May 12 2011 at 19:16:22

    I spent up to two hours most days, at least five days a week.

    The most valuable assignment for me was definitely the Peace Essay.  This essay pushed me out of my comfort zone and dramatically expanded my world view.  

    I walked into this course with a strong dislike for writing, but left with a definite appreciation for it.  Mrs. Inspektor completely transformed my perspective by showing me how powerful words can be.

     

    I was constantly intrigued by the various insights of my classmates.  I learned nearly as much from the other students as I did from the course itself!

     

    I would recommend this course to students who are very motivated to boost their writing and analytical skills.  This course incorporates more writing than any other english class I’ve taken, but certainly does not exclude students who struggle with writing.  


    Mrs. Inspektor is a superb teacher, period. posted by Rachel Garner on May 12 2011 at 16:01:28

    I've taken both of Mrs. Inspektor's classes (AP English Literature and AP English Language--and yes, I did them backwards because I'm weird like that), and I can't remember why I didn't post a Lit. review last time. Probably procrastination.

    Anyway, both years I had a fantastic time. I think AP English Language was easier (I certainly spent far less time on it EXCEPT for the intensive Peace Essay time) than Lit, but I'm not sure if the contest was actually easier, or if I liked it better, or if I was just used to taking online classes, and online classes from her, so I budgted time better. I'd say it took one to two hours a day on the heavy days, and then even less than that a couple of times a week. I did often go into Saturday or Sunday for assignments, but that was my procrastination at work again.

    During some of the weeks while we were doing the peace essays (a fabulous assignment, by the way) I spent several hours over weekends working on it. I didn't realize how MUCH I needed to do until sort of late in the game, though, so it CAN be spread out a little better. Here's my advice on that: THE PEACE ESSAY IS A BIG DEAL. START STUDYING EARLY!! That should just about fix that issue for ya.

    I write novels, so critical essay writing isn't exactly my strong suit (I basically took my first crash course in how to write an essay, period, when I took AP Lit). I liked how Mrs. Inspektor incorporated some more creative assignments into the syllubus, like the location essay and literacy narrative (my personal favourite). I also liked that though we DID drill for the exam (you write a *lot* of 40-minute essays!), we also did some things (like the peace essay) that were a little more slow, thoughtful, and realistic. (I mean, how often in real life do you have to write an essay in 40 minutes?) Because of the mixture of the fun (creative) the really thoughtful (peace essay, discussion questions) and the drill both of the classes I've taken have both grown me as a student and prepared me for the exam. The realistic application part is really good for me, because I HATE doing things without practical application! (WHY study for a stupid standardized test when real life is never like that?! AGH!!! See, told you I was weird.)

    I really need to cut the parenthesis here...

    There was a pretty big difference in class interactions, I thought, between my year in Lit and my year in Lang. I'm not sure if this is always the case, but Lang had about 15 or 20 students more and that really changed it for me. I got close to lots of my fellow Lit students (I think it did help that there were a lot of novel-writers in that one), but didn't really start connecting with Lang students until the last couple of months.

    The reason for this, though: book clubs. I LOVE the book clubs (they're in both classes, too!). I just had a great last one, where we read Shakespeare aloud and then discussed it. It was a ton of fun, and educational too. (Well, I hope. Still haven't gotten my grade on that documentation...) So, though the class was friendly and helpful, the way to really get close to other students in this class beyond simple name recognition is through the book clubs.

    There seemed to be all sorts of students in this class, but I'm sure that the ones who did well really did work hard. It was easier for me than Lit, but it's definitely not a fluffy class.

    I also had a bit of a rough/exciting year, and had to leave town a lot and play catch-up with assignments, but Mrs. Inspektor was very gracious about it all. I wasn't quite the more stellar-like student that I (think) I was in Lit, but she worked around me and my schedules and still taught me a lot; I really appreciate that. That said, I DON'T suggest falling behind. It could get messy quite fast!

    I did come into this class knowing I was interested in things like politics and economics, but I think the peace essay assignment highlighted this as well...I liked how this class talked about deeper issues than Lit. It's hard to explain, but it comes down to practical application again. After several months of Lit I was about to go batty with how closely one looks for symbolism and stuff in literary works, and just about fed up with "literary works" in general. In AP Lang, it really hit the broader ISSUES, the real stuff that actually can matter and change lives: worldviews, politics, rascism, government, that sort of thing. I really enjoyed this aspect. I really liked just about everything we read, as well.

    And, of course, the exam. I mentioned it before, but I went into this very confident. Not exactly that I would get a 5...but that I had been prepared extremely well, and would do the best that I could do on the exam. Hardly any nerves!

    I think anyone who takes either of these classes (I really do have to plug AP Lit. Great class!) really can go into the exam extremely prepared...but also a fuller, more thoughtful person. It's not JUST exam prep, but you have plenty of it. Great combination.

    I can't think of how to sign off of this, so I'll just say...this is a great class, but mostly because of its great teacher, which of course makes her other class great as well. I'm sorry that she doesn't have any classes for me to take next year!


    Research and Peace Essays and AP Lang exams, oh my! posted by Justin Banda on May 12 2011 at 15:17:49

    I loved this class! I would recommend this class to the student who loves writing but wants to hone his or her skills. A student interested in taking this class should be well-read and familiar with more advanced words. In my own preparation, I spent about seven or eight hours a week (on average; sometimes more, sometimes less) on coursework, so it is somewhat time-intensive.  

    I found Mrs. Inspektor's class to be very interactive (perhaps more interactive than 'real-time' classes), and the students were engaging and talented. We (the students) grade each others' work and offer suggestions before we submit our final drafts. These critiques are both helpful and insightful in that they offered the advantage of a fresh perspective that the original writer might not have had. 

    Throughout this class, we read from famous and not-so-famous writers such as Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Richard Rodriguez, and Henry Thoreau, and this helped us grow in our understanding of language and how it relates to the world at large. This tied in to my main challenge in this class, which was understanding why we use the English language in the ways that we do. 

    My most memorable assignment from this class was our Peace Essay assignment, in which Mrs. Inspektor guided us for two months in the creation, writing, and perfection of our entries into the USIP's annual Peace Essay contest. This year, thirteen of Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang students placed, and seven of us took top honors (including me). The sheer length and effort required by this assignment astonished me; it is for this reason that I will always remember this assignment when looking back on my time in Mrs. Inspektor's class. 

    I suppose the more pressing question a reader might want to know is how this class prepared me for the AP Lang exam. Having taken the exam yesterday, I can guarantee that this class will help boost your (or your child's) preparedness. When I went into the testing room, I overheard a great majority of the students in the class talking about how the test was so intimidating; later, after the test ended, many of those same students were complaining about how difficult it was, and some even mentioned that they had 'thrown' the test (that is, not finished or put any effort into it). 

    I, on the other hand, felt perfectly at ease because unlike the other students in the room that day, Mrs. Inspektor had been drilling us with complete tests from previous years. Thus, when I saw the actual test, I actually thought to myself, "Hey, I know this!" It was a wonderful feeling of preparedness that only comes from hard work beforehand.

    In conclusion, if you're willing to put forth the effort this class requires, you can succeed. However, if you aren't willing to work hard, there isn't much this class (or any other class) can do for you. Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher, and she will do everything in her power to make you ace the exam and the Peace Essay contest (which she makes us do from November through January). If you work hard, you'll end up having a lot of fun. I loved this class, and I highly recommend it.


    Highly Recommended posted by Grace Hall on May 12 2011 at 13:57:40

    I would recommend this class to a student who can work really hard. They need to have a lot of self motivation and be willing to sacrifice a good chunk of time per day.

    Students don't need that much preparation. They just need to have an understanding of the English language and be able to write and read at college level.

    Hmmm, it depended. When we did the Peace Essay I swear I worked like 30 hours or more.

    It's pretty interactive. Students grade each others work. Mrs. Inspektor makes the classroom, well like a real classroom.

    In the beginning I needed to work a lot harder to get the grade I wanted. The feedback was helpful, but you must be able to take it that way. If you take the feedback the wrong way, and feel attacked by Mrs. Inspektor's critiques you'll never improve. She's a tough grader =).

    I definitely understand literature more this year than I ever have. Mrs. Inspektor was able to teach us certain strategies authors use and helped explain to us why they were used and how to use the strategies ourselves. The satire essay comes to mind.

    The main challenge I faced while taking this class was being able to manage my time. Sometimes you just have to turn something in not so perfect because there is never enough time to make it perfect.

    I loved the place essay. It was a more creative assignment where we were able to choose a place to describe, but the place also had a second meaning. I had so much fun crafting it, and it showed because I got my first and only perfect score on an essay....well besides my bio and Strunk and White Notes at the beginning of the year (but those don't really count).

    Mrs. Inspektor gave us a lot of review. We had to write so many practice essays, it was helpful though because it showed me what I needed to work on for the AP English Exam. We also did a lot of multiple choice practice, however I just have to say that the Cliffs AP questions are so much more confusing than the actual College Board M.C. questions.

    This class was really helpful. You could tell Mrs. Inspektor was dedicated to her work throughout the entire year. She's a great teacher. I recommend this class to kids who are willing to reach high. Don't think of this class as just another class I have to take to get into college or to get college credit. Think of it as an opportunity for self-improvement. Remember you only get as much out as you put in.


    Wow! posted by Evelyn Baert on May 12 2011 at 11:59:56

    Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher. Enough said. I entered this class with a vendetta against writing, and in hope of changing my opinion. I was well aware that many of my fellow classmates would already have a love for writing, and it was my plan to feed off their energy and develop my own relationship with it. Needless to say, the transformation occurred somewhere between September and May. The effort Mrs. Inspektor put into making us better writers is evident. The Peace Essay (although I despised it the time), the weekly essays, and, of course, the wonderful DQ’s, all contributed to my transformation. I can now honestly say that I love writing. I still can’t believe these are my own words.

    I am still in awe that I didn’t kick and scream during the learning process, but I really shouldn’t be. While I didn’t spend more than twelve hours a week working on the assignments, I am sure Mrs. Inspektor put in many more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I breezed through this class, but I certainly wasn’t bogged down by the work load. In fact, Mrs. Inspektor’s setup makes this class a perfect first AP. It was mine, and I now feel ready to move onto more.

    My classmates also made this course a blast. Although, I am convinced that we’d still be pretty distant if it weren’t for the numerous book clubs. Interacting with many of the students over Skype or G-chat brought the mere names on the screen to life. For the last book club of the year, I was a member of really great group. We got to know each other a little too well, but the best part is that we’ll all be together next year in Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Lit class. It’s incredible how bonds of friendship can develop in an online course. Everyone keeps each other going.  

    By the time the AP Exam rolled around, the motivation was electric. We all seemed to know that we were more prepared than prepared. This test was simply going to be like another one of the practice exams. For the first time, in my life, I was not overly nervous for an upcoming event. Of course I still had some jitters, but they were more excitement related. Without a doubt, I would recommend this course to any student with an interest in English language or with a desire to become a better writer…like me.  


    Well, student... posted by Matthew Kilgore on June 01 2010 at 15:03:33

    Hello student,

     

    If you are reading this, you probably want to know whether or not Mrs. Inspektor’s AP English Language class is right for you. Naturally, I am going to argue that it is. What may surprise you, student, is that I will not do so via words—I will do so via a silly animation:

     

    ‼ERR: UNRECOGNIZED FILE TYPE‼

     

    Hmm… Perhaps a different medium is in order. *brainstorms* Ah-ha! Here is a small quiz that will determine whether or not this class is right for you:

     

    1) Do you want a teacher who ____?

    a) gives you undivided attention, encouragement, and help

    b) gives you some attention

    c) ignores you

     

    2) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) trains you extensively with countless practice essay

    b) lets you take the exam without knowing what a synthesis essay is

    c) tricks you into taking the exam without knowing what an essay is

     

    3) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) reads and then discusses classic literary essays such as George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”

    b) assigns dull readings from an old English textbook

    c) assigns even duller readings from an old English textbook

     

    4) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) reads and then discusses classic literary books such as Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life

    b) discusses modern literary books you’ve never heard of

    c) assigns no readings

     

    5) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) teaches you how to skillfully pass the MCQ portion of the exam by taking six practice sections

    b) lets you take the exam without knowing that there is an MCQ portion

    c) doesn’t even tell you there’s an exam

     

    6) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) has you write a contemplative essay for the National Peace Essay Contest

    b) has you write dull essay prompts

    c) has you write dull essay prompts AND gives your computer a virus by sending you to unsafe websites to retrieve said prompts

     

    7) Do you want a class that ____?

    a) ultimately prepares you for the AP Exam

    b) barely prepares you for the AP Exam

    c) gives you a heart attack from pre-test anxiety

     

    If, student, you mostly chose a’s, Mrs. Inspektor’s AP English Language class is right for you! If you did not, reassess you values!

     


    Excellente! posted by Sara Jo Luecke on May 31 2010 at 20:06:43

    Absolutely! Before taking this class, timed essays were a nightmare to me! However, the many practice essays we did, along with other assignments, thoroughly prepared me. By the time I was sitting in the exam room staring at the essay prompts, I didn’t even feel stressed! (Which is major for me! :))

    To any student interested in improving their reading/writing skills, and who is willing to work very hard!

    I probably spent around 1-2 hours a day on English – more when we were working on a big assignment.  It probably took me more time initially, because I tend to be a very slow writer (not to mention a worry-wart! :) However, the weekly DQs really helped me with this, and as I became more familiar with what was expected and more comfortable with developing and communicating my ideas, I found that I was able to write much more quickly!

    This class was VERY interactive! Nearly every day I responded to either a Morning Message or to my classmates’ writing. In fact, this aspect was one of my favorite parts of the class! The opportunity to discuss ideas with other students was invaluable, and getting to know all my classmates was just plain fun! :) Everyone was very respectful and helpful – I really couldn’t have asked for a better class atmosphere!

    Feedback from both Mrs. Inspektor and my classmates was extremely helpful! I think it takes a little time to get used to giving other students feedback (at least it did for me!), but you get more comfortable with it. The feedback I got from other students was pretty much always very positive, but at the same time they often pointed out ways to improve that were very helpful. Mrs. Inspektor’s comments, however, were beyond helpful – they were always SO encouraging (she never forgets to tell you what you did well!), while at the same time pointing out very specific ways to improve and giving extremely helpful advice! I learned SO much about writing just through her comments on my own writing!

    I’ve always been a very avid reader who enjoys reading classics and literature. However, I had a tendency to just devour books as quickly as possible, rather than taking the time to really digest them and understand the full meaning.  I especially enjoyed the book clubs we did throughout the year – I learned to really analyze what I was reading, and the opportunity to read other students’ ideas and perspectives was very valuable (and enjoyable!)!

    I would say the toughest part is the time commitment. Mrs. Inspektor packs an incredible amount of material into this course, and assignments are typically on a daily basis, so it’s a lot to keep up with.  However, Mrs. Inspektor is very flexible about students working ahead or making up assignments, and the time investment is definitely well worth it!

    I would say the National Peace Essay assignment was the most memorable – and most difficult! The time involved in researching, compiling, writing, (and then condensing what I wrote!) was extensive, and I stressed over it quite a bit. However, it was definitely worth it, as I gained invaluable skills and experience in the process!

    The most “direct” preparation that we did for the exam involved taking MANY timed practice tests (both multiple choice sections and essays), which really helped me, as they made the time constraints on the actual exam seem MUCH less daunting! However, I really think that pretty much every assignment we had in this class helped prepare me for the AP exam! For example, I became much more comfortable with reading and analyzing different types of essays, and the weekly discussion questions that we did really helped me with learning how to answer a prompt or question clearly and logically (and – relatively speaking-- quickly!).

    In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this class, and learned SO much from it! If you take this class, I think it’s pretty much a given that you too will learn more about reading and writing than you ever thought possible -- and probably enjoy it, too! ;)

     


    Review of a superb English class posted by Adam Booher on May 31 2010 at 13:44:58

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

    Yes, I felt grounded in the basics of language, rhetoric, and argumentation, and I also felt quite comfortable with the test format. On the actual exam that I took, the multiple choice section was a good bit easier than the Cliff’s practice sections that we used in the class (this seems to be a general trend when comparing AP English exams and Cliff’s), although I was surprised that the essay section was almost as difficult as the Cliff’s. The only aspect of class exam preparation that I feel could have been improved was for more of the practice essays to have had a strict time limit (however, this could just be a reflection of my need to speed up my naturally slow and thoughtful pace of writing).

     

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

    At the beginning of the course, I found the assignments quite challenging, and I sometimes put in three or four hours of work per day, but that time was quickly reduced after the first few weeks.

    In a normal week, I usually spent 1.5 to 2 hours a day on English, although if there was a big assignment, I might spend 3 hours. I put in a lot of overtime work on the Peace Contest essay but the extra time was worth the enjoyment and knowledge that the assignment brought.

    In general, I found the amount of work to be heavy but manageable, although it was sometimes hard to complete each daily assignment on the day it was assigned.

     

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

    I especially enjoyed reading so many great essays and books. We read many short essays by numerous well-known writers and we also read works like Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life or Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Another favorite assignment of mine was the book clubs where groups of students would choose a book to read and discuss over the course of about 5 or 6 weeks. Not only did the extensive readings help develop our critical reading and thinking skills, but they also exposed us to a wide variety of literature that we might not have otherwise been exposed to.

    Discussion assignments in which students interacted on the site were enjoyable and valuable—everyone was kind and thought-provoking in their responses, and discussing readings or topics with other students led to a broader understanding of the subject than if one student had thought about it by himself.

    There were also some fun essay assignments. We wrote creative essays about literacy and creative essays about different places, we wrote an introduction/review to Keller’s autobiography, and we studied extensively on nonviolent protest and wrote research papers to enter into the United States Institute of Peace essay contest. Each of these essay assignments was a growing experience that encouraged us to develop in various ways as writers while also requiring us to think about relevant topics or issues.

     

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    Definitely! I did not really like writing before I took this course, but I now enjoy expressing myself through words, and I care about continuing to develop as a writer. I credit Mrs. Inspektor and this course with awakening a dormant love for writing that I didn’t realize I possessed.

     

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

    The online communication was completely new for me. Although I had never interacted online other than via email, though, I really enjoyed the camaraderie that developed between the students. All of the classmates were great: everyone worked hard and was encouraging, thoughtful, and helpful. It was really neat how a group of diverse students from all over the country bonded so well together and helped each other grow as thinkers and writers.

     

    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 course to everyone! However, only the students with a strong work ethic and desire to learn will find the course useful or enjoyable. The students in this class work hard and get results. Mrs. Inspektor is tough, but she personally cares for each of her students and wants to see everyone succeed. Although the environment is quite rigorous, it is an environment in which learning and growth are prioritized and achieved.


    posted by Sarah Comeau on May 31 2010 at 11:31:19

    Pennsylvania Homeschoolers’ AP English Language and Composition course not only prepared me for the exam, but also equipped me with writing skills which will prove invaluable in college. I learned how to analyze literature, craft strong arguments, and improve the style and structure of my writing. The writing assignments were varied and challenging, which stretched my writing experience and ability to write using different techniques.


    posted by Elliot Taylor on May 21 2010 at 13:14:30

    AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor was one of the best classes I have ever taken. By the time May came around, I could not have felt more ready for the AP exam. The assignments I did in the class was practice for everything on the test. Even though I had never seen the test before, it felt as though it was familiar. All the practice exams and essays made the real thing seem like just another assignment. That said, this class is not for the faint of heart. The assignments are completed on a daily basis unless otherwise noted. Also, sometimes assignments have follow-ups the day or two afterword. So there is little room for slacking in completing work on time. In the case of being behind, Mrs. Inspektor was very generous about handing in assignments late. Taking this course will be a very large time commitment. The assignments are numerous and difficult; not something that can be completed quickly. However, if you are willing to put time and effort into the class and be dilligent about it, the rewards will be great.


    To take AP English Language and Composition with Mrs. Inspektor or not to take it? posted by Connor Perkins on May 19 2010 at 23:19:33

    To take AP English Language and Composition with Mrs. Inspektor or not to take it? That was the question running through my mind last spring, and it probably is the question running through yours now. Fortunately, I went with the former choice, and I hope you will too.

    If ever there was a course to take that will prepare you completely for a corresponding AP exam, this is it! While this subject matter comes somewhat easily to me, at the AP level simple knack isn't enough. Due to Mrs. Inspektor's amazing class, the AP Lang exam was about the easiest test I've ever taken. This course thoroughly prepared me for the AP exam, and combined with a little bit of effort, AP Lang success is within reach of all.

    An interesting facet of this course that I wish I had recognized before I took the class is that this class is based on daily, rather than weekly, assignments. Occasionally this was problematic for me, but Mrs. Inspektor was fabulous in allowing me to work ahead or catch up a day or two later. I think I probably spent an average of an hour a day on this class--6 hours a week on average with a couple exceptions for larger projects--until maybe a couple days before the test, when I did a few more practice tests. Really, though, I didn't have to do a ton of studying outside assignments.

    My favorite assignment was the research paper we wrote and submitted to the United States Institute of Peace for its national peace essay contest. Perhaps this is too much a retrospective opinion, as I won the state of Missouri and will be going on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., along with a couple of my classmates, for the national event. But even without this reward, the experience was invaluable. I had the opportunity to research international affairs and connect different ideas and methods of thinking that I had never thought through before. The process of writing this essay was by far the highlight of my year in the class.

    I have always loved English, and this course heightened that interest. The several in-class book clubs gave me the opportunity to pursue reading fiction that I may not have chosen to read otherwise but that I greatly enjoyed.

    The other students in AP Lang 2010 were terrific. I had a lot of fun with them--it was a class with quite a sense of humor--but it was also genuinely kind-hearted. A regular assignment was posting responses to others work, and such responses were almost invariably kind and beneficial. My classmates were excellent at speaking the truth in love.

    If you are willing to work hard, take this class! Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful teacher. At the end of the year, my classmates put together a list of adjectives to describe Mrs. Inspektor; just a few of those that I would echo include motivating, supportive, patient--a very noble trait for an English teacher grading 30 essays a week--and, ultimately, awesome. I greatly appreciate the sacrifice Mrs. Inspektor made for me in this class, and I would urge anyone and everyone who is willing to work hard to take AP Lang with Mrs. Inspektor!

    How then can there be any question in your mind as to whether to take this class?

    Connor G. Perkins


    The Best English Class Ever!!!!!!!!!! :D posted by Linea Piraino on May 19 2010 at 13:27:09


    Class Review posted by Sarah Wittenberg on May 19 2010 at 12:00:10

    This was a terrific class!  When I got to the exam, I knew exactly what to expect on the test, what to do, and what top essays look like/require.  The practice tests Mrs. Inspektor had us take were espescially helpful.  When she first assigned a practice test, it was quite daunting at first.  But by the end of the year, composing timed essays became next to second nature to me. :)  Also, I found the readings Mrs. Inspektor assigned us over the year to be all very interesting and insightful!  Though they varied, they each have inspired me to keep striving to be better in my own writing.  Depending on the week, I put in between 5 to 10 hours per week for this class.  So if a student is willing to put in the time and effort, this class would be beneficial in many many ways!  They should also be prepared to meet lots of new and exciting people! :D --I loved getting to know my fellow classmates; it's so much fun to meet students from all over the globe, which is why I love online classes!


    Class Review posted by Zach Wittenberg on May 17 2010 at 12:40:46

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

    I believe Mrs. Inspektor can take any kind of student out there, whether they enjoy English or not.  Her class environment will help you excel to places in English you never dreamed possible.

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

    My guess is my credentials weren’t as great as some of my fellow classmates.  I think the greatest preparation that a student can have entering this class is the willingness and drive to complete all of Mrs. Inspektor’s assignments and belief in the system of teaching she uses.  Even though some small things may seem pointless initially, looking back on the school year as a whole, you see how each of those small individually components made a complete masterpiece.

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

    I ranged from 7-15 hours a week depending on our course load that week. Even though it sounds like an immense amount of work, those hours spent weren't a drag at all. 

    * To what extent was this class interactive?

    This class is VERY interactive.  There is a great deal of interaction between Mrs. Inspektor and her students along with students interacting with each other as well.  Every morning we would interact with each other in what is called the Morning Message.  Pretty much the morning message is Mrs. Inspektor’s lesson for the day.  Perhaps what I felt was the greatest source of interaction though was fellow students giving feedback to each others’ discussion questions and essays.  This allowed for a wide range of feedback to help you critique your writing in a variety of ways since many people were viewing your wor.

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

    As I said up above, the feedback was very helpful because it wasn’t just one person giving you feedback.  We were all giving each other feedback.  And one thing that was great was that there was no negativity towards each other.  All the students wanted to make each other better.

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

    It gave me an appreciation for the wide variety of literature there is out there!  Mrs. Inspektor gave us a wide array of pieces of literature from many different eras and the different styles in those respective eras.

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

    I have a very busy extra-curricular life, so by far and away the toughest challenge was staying on top of the assignments.  There was a period where I did fall behind in my coursework, but Mrs. Inspektor was very accommodating and came up with a personal schedule to help get me caught back up.

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

    My most memorable assignment was the synthesis essay assignment.  Mrs. Inspektor introduced us early on to this kind of essay since it is one of the three essays on the AP Exam.  But for the assignment itself we got to pick our controversial topic and then we had to collect our  own sources to support our claims.  I wrote my synthesis essay on the college championship bowl series (BCS) and all the controversy surrounding it.

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

    The last 2-3 months of the class we focused on preparing for the AP English Language exam.  We initially just became used to the nature of the AP Exam.  We were slowly building up and getting used to the different kinds of essay questions and multiple choice section, and then we started placing time constraints on ourselves.  And when I took the AP Exam, I felt like I was totally prepared for it.

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

    Fabulously run class!  Mrs. Inspektor is very organized and knows how to teach this class.  I can’t give her enough praise!

     


    Awesome, great class! posted by Daniel Luckenbaugh on May 16 2010 at 15:35:45

    Dear fellow English student,

    Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang class is wonderful!  It is quite interactive and prepares you well for the AP exam.  A lot of essays, most of them from past AP exams, improve your writing skills to AP level.  (You might have to practice on your own; I did over spring break, and it paid off).  We also completed the multiple-choice tests from all 6 full-length practice tests in CliffsAP's AP Language and Composition book.  If you are willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on this class over the course of the whole school year, you should be a good fit.  Be prepared for lots of reading and writing.  Oh, and sharpen your discussion/debating skills, as we did a lot of discussion.

    I did not spend as much time on this class as I did AP U.S. History (APUSH).  Time is a big factor in deciding what AP courses to take.  If you are also dual enrolling at a college, consider that.  On average I probably spent about 8-9 hours a week on this class.  Piece of advice: start long reading assignments on the weekend.

    Was the class interactive?  Oh my word yes!  It was my favorite class of the year.  My classmates were friendly and humorous :).  (For example, I started a thread asking how many of the New Englanders are Patriots fans, being a fan myself, and it became a funny discussion among the whole class).  If you want an interactive online class, this could be for you.

    Feedback I did not pay much attention to, but nevertheless your classmates can help you.  Pay attention to Mrs. Inspektor's feedback, as she is the teacher :).

    My most memorable assignment might be the National Peace Essay Competition, but I also enjoyed the Simulation activity.  That was probably also the funniest time of the whole year :).

    Finally, think about your plan for your classes before deciding on this class.  However, this class doesn't take up much time on a daily level (there are exceptions, like for long reading assignments).  If you enjoy a lot of reading and writing, or at least are willing to do a lot of it, then seriously consider this class.  You'll be well prepared for the AP exam, so you'll have a good chance of earning college credit.


    Awesome, great class! posted by on May 16 2010 at 15:35:35

    Dear fellow English student,

    Mrs. Inspektor's AP Lang class is wonderful!  It is quite interactive and prepares you well for the AP exam.  A lot of essays, most of them from past AP exams, improve your writing skills to AP level.  (You might have to practice on your own; I did over spring break, and it paid off).  We also completed the multiple-choice tests from all 6 full-length practice tests in CliffsAP's AP Language and Composition book.  If you are willing to work hard and spend a lot of time on this class over the course of the whole school year, you should be a good fit.  Be prepared for lots of reading and writing.  Oh, and sharpen your discussion/debating skills, as we did a lot of discussion.

    I did not spend as much time on this class as I did AP U.S. History (APUSH).  Time is a big factor in deciding what AP courses to take.  If you are also dual enrolling at a college, consider that.  On average I probably spent about 8-9 hours a week on this class.  Piece of advice: start long reading assignments on the weekend.

    Was the class interactive?  Oh my word yes!  It was my favorite class of the year.  My classmates were friendly and humorous :).  (For example, I started a thread asking how many of the New Englanders are Patriots fans, being a fan myself, and it became a funny discussion among the whole class).  If you want an interactive online class, this could be for you.

    Feedback I did not pay much attention to, but nevertheless your classmates can help you.  Pay attention to Mrs. Inspektor's feedback, as she is the teacher :).

    My most memorable assignment might be the National Peace Essay Competition, but I also enjoyed the Simulation activity.  That was probably also the funniest time of the whole year :).

    Finally, think about your plan for your classes before deciding on this class.  However, this class doesn't take up much time on a daily level (there are exceptions, like for long reading assignments).  If you enjoy a lot of reading and writing, or at least are willing to do a lot of it, then seriously consider this class.  You'll be well prepared for the AP exam, so you'll have a good chance of earning college credit.


    Awesome AP English Language class! posted by Kendra Lady on May 16 2010 at 14:35:03

     


    The Best AP English Class in the World! posted by Allee Keener on May 13 2010 at 10:44:52

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    This class is superb for any type of student but especially those who love the English language. In this class, you’ll be challenged to think and write critically as you analyze new concepts and compare notes with your classmates. Students who love a challenge but also love to have fun—this is your class! :)

     

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

     

    Before taking this class, I’d recommend that students have a history of loving to write. You write a lot! ;) Also, it would be beneficial for prospective students to have read a few classics.

     

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

     

    Hours varied depending on the week, anywhere from five to fifteen hours. Fifteen hours may seem daunting, but the material is very interesting. The material that we worked with was intriguing. I looked forward to working on my AP homework each day.

     

    To what extent was this class interactive?

     

    This class is very interactive! Every morning, you interact with your classmates on the WWW Board; and each week, you are reading and responding to your classmate’s work. Peer interaction is the foundation of this course.

     

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

     

    My classmate’s were very helpful in encouraging me to continue writing. Their comments motivated me to improve my drafts on each project. The most helpful comments I received, however, were from Mrs. Inspektor. I’ve never had a teacher who was so thorough in her comments. She carefully reads and critiques each student’s work and helps each individual become the best writer he can be. I appreciated Mrs. Inspektor’s enthusiasm about my work. Her positivity and intelligence spurred me to improve and increased my love for writing.

     

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

     

    This course gave me a greater appreciation for literature. I’ve discovered that literature is intriguing and surprisingly diverse. Learning about each author’s voice, tone, and style has helped me to understand each book that I read in greater detail.

     

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

     

    The greatest challenge I faced during this class was the National Peace Essay Contest. I specifically focused on the Madagascar Presidential Elections in 2001 and the Iranian elections in 2009. Researching these events and synthesizing a conclusion based on my findings was difficult and time consuming, but completing the assignment was one of the most rewarding projects all year…and great for college applications. I received an Honorable Mention for New York State. My parents and I were very happy about that. ;)

     

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

     

    The assignment I found most memorable was actually the first essay we completed in September. Mrs. Inspektor asked us to write a creative essay about why we write. Why do I, Allee Keener, write? This essay forced me to question and discover my purpose and voice as a writer. It laid a foundation for the rest of my work throughout the year.

     

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

     

    Mrs. Inspektor did a fabulous job preparing us for the AP exam. Writing and reading throughout the year challenged me and increased my understanding overall. Also, we completed an extensive and more focused preparation for the exam, practicing timed essays and critical reading passages and questions. I felt more than prepared for the AP exam in May.

     

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

     

    This class is so much fun! Yes, you will learn A LOT, and you will work hard. However, we have fun. Mrs. Inspektor always surprised me with unexpected humor and surprises that kept me on my feet. I would highly recommend this class. This has been the most beneficial class I’ve taken in high school.


    My Experience with AP English Language posted by Dane Keil on May 12 2010 at 17:28:28

    This course absolutely prepared me for what I faced on the exam.

    I'd say I put approximately ten hours into the course each week, probably more.

    I enjoyed every assignment that I was tasked, specifically the essays.

    I was already interested in the subject before the class, but the class certainly heightened my skill at writing.

    I was very happy with the comments and communications that I received from the other students.

    A student who has a passion for writing and is willing to work hard would excel at this course and the exam.


    AP English Language posted by Alec Miller on June 03 2009 at 14:42:58

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

    Yes. Throughout the year, Mrs. Inspektor gave us many multiple choice and essay assignments similar to questions on the AP exam. For example, one assignment we did in the second semester was the Multiple Choice Huddle. We were assigned a reading passage and multiple choice questions that came from previous AP exams. In groups, we had to discuss why or why not certain answers were correct. This really helped me think through my answers and was quite beneficial when I eventually took the AP test. Also, there are many, many essays assigned that are just like the ones on the AP test. As a result, I felt well prepared for that portion of the exam.

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

    On average, I usually spent around 1-2 hours a day on the class. Of course, some days it was more and some days it was less. Mrs. Inspektor usually assigned reading on Mondays, and usually that could be completed in an hour or less. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were usually devoted to discussion questions on the reading as well as reponses to other students’ answers. These assignments usually took longer than the reading. Fridays usually had an essay assigned and the time required depended on whether or not the essay was timed or not.

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

    My favorite assignments were usually the readings that we were assigned. There were several interesting essays that we read throughout the year, and my favorite assignments were the ones involving these essays.

    What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

    I would recommend this course to other students if they were hard-working and willing to put a lot of effort into the course. I think that this class would be best for students who really enjoy doing a lot of reading and writing. However, this is the sort of class that would be good for any hard-working student.


    Why you should take this class...in all of 825 words! posted by Heather Meehan on June 01 2009 at 24:12:44

    Last year, when I first decided to apply to an AP class or two, I looked through the PA Homeschoolers Online AP courses website and immediately felt a little bit overwhelmed. There were so many courses that looked interesting to me. My mother encouraged me to take an English Language course, and it made sense—English has always been one of my favorite subjects, and one I excel at. I clicked on the “English Lang” link only to find that there were three different teachers to choose some. I looked through the descriptions and decided to apply to two of the teacher’s classes, than decide later which one I wanted to take. I somehow missed the link below Mrs. Inspektor’s course for an application, and I sent her an email requesting one. The next day, I received two emails in reply—one from each of her email addresses. She gave no mention of my error, and was very concerned that we got in touch—she wanted to make sure she got through to me, since sometimes she had delivery problems with one of her email accounts. The emails in themselves did not matter, but what did was the concern that shown through. I had not even applied to her class yet, let alone been accepted, but she still was still very sincere in her consternation. I decided right then that hers was the class I wanted to take. I am glad I made that decision, because this class turned out to be the perfect fit for me. I can’t speak for all of my fellow students, nor all of you applicants out there, but I have an inkling that this class is a “one-size-fits-all” in a very positive way. After all, what makes this class special is that you will gain something from it no matter your level of interest or expertise in the subject matter. Every single person in my class made huge improvements. This was not only due to personal effort but also to the fact that Mrs. Inspektor refused to rest until every single student was as well prepared as they could be. We all felt secure in the days leading up to the exam, in spite of our earlier anxieties, because we knew that we were as prepared as we could possibly be. The bottom line is that no matter who you are you will benefit from this course. So if you’re considering applying, don’t hesitate. It’s a good choice. Since I now hope you are convinced, I will offer some miscellaneous advice having to do with coursework so that you can know a bit about what to expect. Work was assigned on a day-to-day basis, so that we had assignments due every day of the week. While this may sound like a heavy load, it actually worked well because I knew what was due each day and could plan my schedule accordingly. The weekly schedule was pretty uniform, so that I eventually fell into a pattern over the course of the year. The actual load varied depending on what stage of exam preparation we were in; for example, during much of the Spring semester we had essays due by the end of each week, as well as a Multiple Choice quiz each Thursday. I started out the year with abysmal MC scores, but I improved dramatically with each quiz, so that by the time I sat down to the exam, I felt completely confident about the MC portion. Getting back to the schedule, this course does require some careful planning and a certain amount of time management. But I think you’ll find that it is easier to keep up with than in other classes where assignments are more general and less delegated. Plus, Mrs. Inspektor tends to be very understanding about schedule constraints. As long as you do your best, she is very forgiving. Our reading list was composed of four enjoyable and thought provoking books, as well as a number of essays and excerpts from longer works. I would advise that you take your time with the reading, since many of these works have the potential to be life-changing if they are digested in the right way. I loved that we got time to meaningfully discuss our reading in class—and this was not the only way I got to socialize with my fellow students and move beyond the territory of strict AP exam preparation. While this class will provide with an excellent, focused preparation for the AP exam, it will also give you a broader perspective, and an opportunity to expand your horizons of reading and writing. I never found that my learning was limited to what would get me past the test—rather, I felt that the goal of this course was to hone my skills of reading and writing and to help me become more creative and diligent. If that’s not a worthy goal, what is?


    You Think You Know How to Write posted by Matthew Diem on June 01 2009 at 18:19:09

    Coming into this class last year, I thought myself more than capable of handling it without much difficulty (based on the descriptions); I could probably write, I thought, at nearly AP level. Confronted, however, with an actual essay prompt toward the beginning of the year, I realized this would be harder than I thought. The essay I wrote was awful: I had an idea that this was so then, but now I am certain of it (and that's just from what I can remember of it!). But that was the purpose of the class--to prepare me for the AP exam. It teaches you how to write at a college level, and I did improve greatly. The work-load at the least met my expectations more: an hour or two per diem (or as much as five hours, once, but that was because I hadn't had time for one big assignment until the day it was due--but that's another story). This was also the first online course I'd ever taken, so I wasn't entirely certain what to expect, but I found it preferable to studying completely alone and also at times to being in a physical class inasmuch as I could post on my own time rather than at a set time of day. And communications with other students were certainly worthwhile. This course is definitely only for students who like to write. I suppose this should be obvious from any description, but for anyone who does not have some sort of definite affinity for writing, this course would be torturous--so ye who fear the pen, beware! ye know not what ye enter into in taking this course. To put it more plainly, you will think this course boring and pointless if you hate writing, but for you who do, this is an excellent, highly-informative course.


    AP English Language and Composition posted by Carla Worley on June 01 2009 at 16:21:16

    After taking this course, I felt very prepared for the exam. I was ready for any kind of question, and any kind of essay. We worked alot on different styles of writing, including satire, which ended up helping me alot on the exam when one of the essays was satire.

    I generally put about 2 hours a day into this course.

    One of my favorite assignments were the mutliple choice huddles, in which about five of us would work together on finding the absolute correct answers to a set of multiple choice questions. It was enjoyable and we were able to practice good teamwork. There were a couple of essays we wrote in class that I especially appreciated because they required thinking way outside the box.

    Working for this class helped me to appreciate all different kinds of writing and to see that I enjoyed experimenting with different styles. We were exposed to some excellent works of literature. One of these was Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, which I fell in love with and enjoyed immensely.

    Throughout the course, Mrs. Inspektor required us to comment on other student's essays. Everyone had good pointers for improving eachothers essays, but neither the students or Mrs. Inspektor ever failed to be encouraging or supportive.

    This is a great course to take to learn to read and write good literature and study it more intently. Its best though, before signing up for this course, to consider your own abilities to keep up, especially if you are taking multiple AP courses or have an extremely busy schedule. This course is fun, but its not meant for the faint-hearted or laid back. It requires lots of hard work and dedication every day.


    posted by Erin Fuhr on May 31 2009 at 23:32:50

    This AP English Language class was a great experience for me.

    First of all, I felt the course prepared me for the AP exam. The analysis of literature we did, the timed essays I had practice with, and the practice multiple choice quizzes all helped me be prepared for the exam.

    I typically spent two hours per day on course work (including readings). I spent more time when the exam date got nearer, so I probably ended up spending 3 hours a day in the months of April and May.

    I had quite a few favorite assignments. I loved reading The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller and responding to questions about our readings. I found the readings in that book inspiring and Keller's writing beautiful. I also loved writing the "Evocation of a Place" essay that we did during the second semester. I enjoyed recalling details that evoked a place that my reader was not familiar with.

    This course did enhance my interest in English, mostly because of the feedback I received both from Mrs. Inspektor and from all my classmates. I felt that, through this course, I was finally progressing (whereas in other courses, I had no feedback and didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. This made me not like English as much).

    My communications with other students was what made this course my favorite. Being able to interact with high schoolers who are doing the same coursework as I am made the course so much more fun. I loved being able to see others' opinions on reading, compare struggles, and get helpful feedback from them on my essays. It was wonderful to feel a part of a class instead of working on my own.

    I would recommend this course to other students who are willing to work hard, who enjoy reading and analyzing literature, and who are looking for a learning experience that allows you to interact with others. I had fun all year in this course and I cannot express enough how much I have been able to take away from it.


    AP English Language posted by Jessina Leonard on May 31 2009 at 18:52:20

    Dear future/prospective APLANG students,

    Before I dig into answering these questions, I want to say—whether you’re considering applying to this course or have already been accepted and want to know what to look forward to—that this class is marvelous. As I look back over the year, I realize how much I have learned and how far I have come as a writer. I highly recommend this class! And hopefully my enthusiasm for this class shows through my answers to these questions:

    ---

    To what kind of student would you recommend this class?

    I would recommend this class to a student who has some previous training in writing or to someone who simply enjoys reading and writing. Although, I would also say that even if you don’t enjoy either of those topics, you could still make it through the class. While certainly challenging, I think by nature this is one of the easier AP classes.

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

    I think I can really only talk from experience here: I took a pre-AP writing class two years before I took this class, and I think that served me very well in preparation for AP English Language. But I also think that as long as the student enjoys reading and knows how to write a structured essay (thesis, etc.), he or she would be well prepared for the class.

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

    I probably spent an average of 6-8 hours on this class per week, probably around an hour and fifteen minutes each day (excluding weekends). The class is organized so that generally Mondays are spent doing some sort of reading; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we were usually assigned some discussion questions on our readings and then had to reply to each other’s discussions questions; Fridays we generally had an essay or some longer writing assignment due. Because of this, I probably spent more around 2 hours doing my work on Fridays.

    To what extent was this class interactive?

    While perhaps not quite as interactive as my AP US History class last year, the students in this class were fairly talkative, I guess. Of course, there was a lot of interaction with other students as we read and responded to each others discussion questions and essays. And I did have a few e-mail or Facebook messages with some of my classmates, which was always fun as we talked about topics unrelated to school.

    But one of my favorite aspects of this course was how interactive Mrs. Inspektor was with each of us. Each morning, she posts on the class website a “morning message” with some sort of English-related lesson or helpful link or whatnot, which we could then reply to (and sometimes we were required to reply to this). This added a more “personal touch” to the class and, I think, helped us feel more like a class, rather than individual students spread throughout the country (and world, if you count Mrs. Inspektor in Israel!). I think this also helped in relating to Mrs. Inspektor, too, because she would often add a little note or two about what she was up to in Israel—whether it be a show she was performing in or just news about a holiday they celebrate in Israel but not in America. I loved reading her notes each morning!

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

    I received a lot of encouraging and constructive feedback on my work throughout the year. And while other students’ feedback was helpful, I found Mrs. Inskeptor’s responses to our work to be especially helpful, naturally. Mrs. Inspektor is very good at showing you what you do well, but also pointing out specifically what you need to improve on. And her comments are always very detailed. For one assignment, the “peace” essay, she replied to all of us with extremely detailed paragraph-by-paragraph comments that were really very helpful (and, I am sure, played a part in two of the students in our class winning the “peace” essay contest in their states!).

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

    I know whenever I read these class reviews, I always want to know what some of the assignments are for the class. So I’ll list and explain a few (and these are just a few, mind you), and then choose my most memorable one:

    --Early in the year, we were assigned to write a literacy narrative. Basically, we read some excerpts of literacy narratives by famous authors (such as Fredrick Douglass) and then had to write our own.

    --We did a study on satire for a few weeks and had to write our own satire—fun assignment!

    --In the spring semester, we did a short study on descriptive writing, and then had to write an essay describing a place—any place that we chose.

    --But probably the most memorable assignment for me was the National Peace Essay Contest. At the end of the fall semester/beginning of the spring semester, Mrs. Inskeptor assigned us all to write an essay to enter into the National Peace Institute’s essay contest. We spent several weeks studying genocide (and no, this didn’t turn into a history class…we sort of just studied genocide through the lens of writing). And while honestly it was quite depressing, I also learned so much through this unit study, not only about the nature of genocide itself, but also about research, analytical skills, and precise writing. This was the most memorable writing assignment for me and definitely the most stretching assignment of the year! It required a lot of work and time, but it was also very rewarding. As I mentioned above, two of the students in our class won state awards for this contest and 4-6 others won honorable mentions. I think we were all very grateful that Mrs. Inspektor had us compete in the essay contest!

    How did this course prepare you for the AP exam?

    Although I listed a lot of the fun assignments above, many weeks we were just assigned a timed essay from a past AP exam. These assignments, though not my favorite, were invaluable in preparing me for the exam. Mrs. Inskeptor also had us do multiple choice practice exams and a full length practice exam over our (two-week!) spring break. Having practiced so much, I felt very well prepared for the exam.

    ---

    As I said at the beginning, I highly recommend this course! It is a professional, organized, challenging, and fun class with a wonderful teacher who is just-strict-enough and sincerely cares for her students. If you’re interested in becoming a better reader and writer and are up for a challenge, I whole-heartedly recommend this course to you!

    --Jessina


    Class Review posted by Avery Lapan on May 28 2009 at 14:37:39

    This is a great class for students that that love English and are willing to work. A love for reading and writing is a definite motivation when the workload becomes heavier. I spent about nine to twelve hours on this course each week. Feedback from classmates and Mrs. Inspektor was always helpful and supportive. Looking back over the numerous papers I’ve written this year, I can’t help but notice that it has improved more than I had hoped for over the weeks and months. A year ago I went through the same thing you are doing now; I searched for a class that I thought would fit me. The workload sounded huge to me since I had never taken an AP class before, and I was a bit more than skeptical. Still, I loved literature and English, so I gave it a try. What happened? I spent months reading, writing, and researching for the best class I have ever taken! This class has definitely opened up a whole new side of English for me. Does this class require hard work? Yes. Dedication? Yes. Time? Again, yes. I would suggest that someone who takes this class should want to learn the material, understand what it will require of you, and be ready for a great time in this class! Mrs. Inspektor is a great teacher who is constantly demonstrating how much she wants her students to succeed. With the help of her, your classmates, and your dedication, you are in for a great year! :)


    posted by Mary Ball on May 27 2009 at 23:19:32

    AP English Language and Composition will help anyone improve their writing and analytical skills. However, I would more strongly recommend this class to students who enjoy reading and writing, and students who are hard workers. Now, these two things are not absolutely necessary for a student considering taking the class, they are just aspects that many of my own classmates shared. Liking reading and writing will just allow you to enjoy the class more. If you like reading you will not consider the, sometimes extensive, reading assignments so hard. If you enjoy writing, it will allow you to really see where you stand as a writer, and it will help you to mature in your writing. I would not recommend this class as a beginners writing course. If you are not necessarily a hard worker coming into the class, by the end, you will be. This class really forces you to be scheduled and disciplined in your work. Getting a head start on some of the assignments is always a good idea, though I found that, when needed, I could usually finish the daily assignments in a day without too much trouble. On average, I would spend about two hours a day on the class assignments. That’s just an average, because, depending on the assignments, often I would spend only an hour or half an hour on a certain day, but maybe more than two hours on another. It’s a pretty heavy workload, but not impossible! One of the greatest advantages of this class is the opportunity for peer review. Nearly every day the students are responding to one another’s writing assignments, or to each other’s responses to questions. The class is very interactive, and it provides a great opportunity to get pretty objective advice about your writing from lots of peers. That interaction was especially helpful for me as peer review is often lacking in homeschool. The feedback that you receive from both classmates and teacher is vital in improving your writing. I often got responses that included corrections on grammatical errors, or I would receive answers that advised me about the content of my writing, the flow, or the style. The interaction was always helpful because it gave you so many different views of your writing—the diversity in the class always lead to my receiving responses about subjects or styles that I had never even considered. The interaction between students provides a way to consider all the possibilities that are applicable, not just the one you choose. AP English, above other things, helped me to think critically. Whether I was reading a book assigned in class or one of my classmate’s writings, it became second nature to be asking questions, to be underlining, to be considering the writing analytically. . My analytical skills were definitely helped along by the many questions we were asked to answer about the reading assignments. After a few months, I learned to be looking for things in the book that we might be asked questions about. This really helped me to read more thoroughly, something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Throughout the class, I feel that my writing skills have most improved in their conciseness and general coherence. The class really helped me to organize my writing better so that I wouldn’t just be writing whatever came into my head. The class definitely helped me to hone my writing skills so that I can write with specificity and clarity. I really enjoyed AP English, but it was also a real challenge. For me, the biggest challenge was really just the workload. Being a bit of a procrastinator, I sometimes found myself not doing the best I could on an assignment because I hadn’t given myself enough time. This, the biggest challenge, also became one of the things I appreciated most about the class. I was able to train myself to do something bit by bit. This scheduling came in very handy when we were presented with what was my favorite assignment of the year. A research paper. However, it wasn’t just a research paper. We were assigned to join in a Peace Essay contest. I chose to write about child soldiers. The research I had to do for the paper and the paper itself really made me understand the military situations faced in so many countries around the world. This assignment helped me to see how helpful things like research papers can be. I was learning about current affairs, not just writing a paper. Now, the AP exam. Honestly, I would not consider the exam the most important part of this class. We did a lot of stuff in preparation for it, that, although it helped me prepare for the exam, really taught me how to analyze passages and write good essays quickly. On exam day, I felt completely prepared, and I was never presented with something during the exam that we had not covered during the class. The most helpful preparation for the exam for me was organizing your time during the essay section. Writing an essay in forty minutes isn’t very easy, but during the class I learned how to separate my time so that I could spend the most amount of time on the things that I had trouble with, or that were more necessary for my essay writing style. If you are considering taking the class, I recommend it for any student. This class can and will challenge and surprise you. I hope you are able to take the class, and good luck!


    Excellent class for those who are willing to work hard! posted by Caroline Byrd on May 27 2009 at 13:11:58

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

    I would recommend that any student taking this class have a genuine interest in writing. Though Mrs. Inspektor constructs the class so that beginning students are eased into the work, the work requires a good deal of effort and consistency. If, however, the student has a true interest in writing, he/she will relish the challenge and the invaluable skills gained. Prospective students also should be aware that the class requires a significant amount of time, and should consider this carefully if anticipating a heavy school year. • What kind of preparation do you think students need before taking this class?

    As mentioned above, Mrs. Inspektor does a good job of easing students into the course, so an extensive background in English is not required. Naturally, a basic knowledge of English is needed.

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

    On average, I spent 10 - 12 hrs a week on this class – more on heavy weeks. I tend, however, to work on the slow side, so this average could vary.

    • To what extent was this class interactive?

    It was very interactive. Mrs. Inspektor kept us very involved through the daily Morning Messages and responses to other students’ work. • What kinds of feedback did you receive on your work, and how were they helpful?

    Mrs. Inspektor gives detailed feedback on each student’s work. With essays, she gives each one a score and then delves into why she thought the score appropriate as well as what the student can improve on. Along with the almost weekly essay assignments, this weekly feedback allowed my work to become steadily better throughout the year. In addition to comments from Mrs. Inspektor, the comments from other students allow each student to understand common errors or shortcomings in his/her writing.

    • How do you feel your writing and analytical skills grew during this class?

    My skills probably grew by 100%. Almost every week we were required to analyze literature, enabling us to apply effective writing strategies to our own writing. The class also cultivated my own writing style through constant writing and feedback.

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

    Time. I found throughout the year that this class consumes a good deal of time, and at points, I found it difficult to handle. On the flip side, however, this very fact shows that the class is great preparation for college and beyond, where time will always be an issue everyone faces. • Describe your most memorable assignment in this class, and explain why.

    It’s hard to narrow it down to one, so I’ll narrow it down to two. The research paper assigned mid-year was the most challenging assignment of the year for me. Students spent nearly a month completing it, and the research and thought involved consumed a lot of energy. At the end of it, however, I was left with knowledge about two subjects that I had never before explored and a very detailed, lengthy piece of work. The other memorable assignment this year was the satirical essay assigned in the middle of the second semester. This assignment – in which students were required to present a problem and provide a satirical solution – allowed each of us to use a more artistic flare in our writing, further strengthening our individual writing styles and abilities. • How did this course prepare you for the AP exam?

    Very thoroughly. For practice exams, Mrs. Inspektor uses tougher material than that used in actual College Board exams, making the actual exam seem less difficult. Throughout the second semester, in particular, Mrs. Inspektor prepared us extremely well for the essay section of the exam by assigning timed, AP exam style essays every week. By the time the exam rolled around, I felt very confident about it and was very relaxed before and during the exam.


    AP Language review posted by Ethan Levinson on May 19 2009 at 17:00:07

    Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? A: Absolutely. I’ve never been so well prepared for an exam in my life. Between practice multiple choice sections and the multiple timed essays, this course rigorously trained me for the exam.

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

    A: Probably 1-2 per day, with variations from day to day, for a total of 7-12 hours a week.

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

    A: I really enjoyed reading Walden, as it was both deeply philosophical and entertaining. The in-class discussion was excellent.

    Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

    A: Definitely. I now have a greater appreciation for style and diction, as well as a greater interest for writing in general.

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

    A: Yes, I sincerely enjoyed all the discussion involved in the class. Not just the discussion questions, but the essay responses were all helpful and unique. My overall class experience was greatly enhanced by my interactions with my classmates.

    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!)?

    A: I would absolutely recommend this course to other students. It covers interesting material and has a great teacher. As long as students are willing to work hard and accept criticism, they will do well and greatly improve their own writing skills.

    Besides these questions, I just wanted to add that Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher. With her help, I can guarantee that anyone who takes this class will find that by the end of the year, they will have a greater understanding of the various techniques of writing and a greater love for both writing and the English language. With Mrs. Inspektor’s guidance, students can become great writers.


    If you are interested in improving your writing and argumentative skills, consider taking this class posted by Jonny Woodbury on May 19 2009 at 16:09:16

    After an entire school-year of preparation for the AP language and composition exam, it is interesting to reflect back on the exciting experiences I, and the rest of the class have come through. On our first timed essay, the general score was so low that Mrs. Inspektor did not even post our grades, but as we learned and grew, the average score rose astronomically, until the vast majority of the class was scoring consistently above 6, far above the national average score on such essays.

    Two essays were particularly valuable: our research project and our "place" essay. The first of these assignments followed exactly the guidelines of the National Peace Essay competition, and we were required to study two instances of war crimes from history, and then to formulate a position on what international actors should do to lessen the extent of or to prevent these atrocities. Of the (approximately) 35 students in our class, two took first place for their states--an outstanding achievement--and several others received honorable mentions. This activity taught us how to conduct research, employ it in the defense of an argument, and (at least for me) how to write succinctly (the essay had a word limit of only 1500 words).

    The place essay was a lesser assignment, and came later in the course, but it was invaluable in testing our skills of descriptive writing, as well as the general technique that we had learned throughout the duration of the course.

    The combined affect of these two assignments, as well as the numerous others, was to effectively prepare me for the APlang exam, and also to grow my skills in writing and argumentation.

    Certainly, the class was not easy, but the interaction with the other students, along with the fun of completing Mrs. Inspektor's creative assignments, helped to make this class enjoyable and educational.

    Any dedicated student interested in argumentation, written or otherwise, should benefit from, succeed in, and enjoy this class.


    Class Review posted by Matt Roseti on May 15 2009 at 08:41:53

    I recommend this course to students who have a desire to stretch the syntax of their writing, as well as their knowledge of non-fiction authors. Experienced and non-experienced students would both come out of this class having a well-rounded ability to write powerful non-fiction. Having a solid knowledge of literature and grammar in general certainly would aid a prospective student in preparing for this course. I spent anywhere from 5-11 hours a week working on homework from this class, so being able to handle a demanding work load is necessary. Nearly every posted work received supportive, yet critical feedback from both students and Mrs. Inspektor. This feedback promoted excellence and stretched everyone’s writing abilities, encouraging the positive aspects and weeding out the negative. Perhaps the most challenging part of this course and also the most memorable assignment was participating in the International Peace Institute essay competition. It was not only a challenge to perfect the small details of my essay, but to create a works cited and endnotes page. Ultimately, however, this assignment grew my writing more than any other. Accomplishing this essay gave me a confidence in writing that I had not previously possessed. This course was a perfect balance of intense learning of non-fiction literature and thorough preparation for the exam. While Mrs. Inspektor never overly emphasized the exam itself, she did everything she could to prepare us for the test by requiring multiple practice tests and honing our test-taking abilities. Mrs. Inspektor also had an amazing personal connection with the students; providing support that most students would not find in an online teacher. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing impact this course has had on my writing and personal life; partially as a result of this course and encouragement from Mrs. Inspektor, I have resolved to pursue writing as a career. I strongly recommend this course to any student looking to expand their knowledge and abilities in non-fiction writing.


    AP English is awesome! posted by Nicole Hulsey on May 15 2009 at 03:13:09

    This year, I took AP English Language and Composition, taught by Mrs. Maya Inspektor. It was a really great class, and I enjoyed it. Mrs. Inspektor is a wonderful teacher with thoughtful and insightful comments to help you improve. Also, I felt that it really prepared me for the AP exam.

    I would highly recommend this course to everyone. However, you need to have the ability to work hard, since I found myself often putting in three hours a day.

    We did a large variety of assignments, ranging from personal perspectives on books we'd read to essays debating the usefulness of the penny. I highly enjoyed many of them, and the students in this class gave a lot of valuable advice. By taking this class, I feel like I improved my writing a lot.

    If you've read this, I hope you'll want to take this class! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.


    Take this class. It's a good idea. posted by Camille Gross on May 14 2009 at 23:48:03

    Yes, this course definitely prepared me wonderfully for the exam. I felt so confident heading into the exam and on the exam itself. The amount of time I spent on course work varied. I spent a minimum of 30 minutes daily on work and a maximum of 4 hours. For our mid-year assignment we wrote and submitted essays to the National Peace Essay Contest. Writing those papers required a GREAT amount of research and time, but in the end, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The Peace essay required so much research and thought that it made me truly think about what I want to do with my future. The experience impacted my life so much more than just learning how to write a big research paper. Similarly, I cannot even describe the satisfaction I had walking out of the exam and feeling as though I did well. This was my first AP exam, and I'm very glad I decided to take the exam. Being in this class has definitely expanded my interest in English and writing in general. The research papers that we had to do interested me in journalism. The communications with fellow students was very valuable. There was vast diversity amongst the students, so I was exposed to a variety of individuals. It meant lively conversation, intelligent debate, and meaningful relationships. I'm hoping I'll be able to meet several of the students in person over this summer. Students that are willing to work hard will do the best in this course. Students that are continually seeking knowledge and asking questions will definitely enjoy this course. Students should definitely already have a deep love of and interest in writing and reading as this course requires a great deal of both. I feel as though the feedback I received throughout this course helped me grow as a writer in ways I never thought I could. Mrs. Inspektor always provided constructive criticism and encouragement when needed. This class was very interactive. I interacted with other students once a day if not more. The interaction was definitely a positive aspect, as it provided different opinions. I have so enjoyed this class, and I feel so proud of all we have all accomplished. Although I've never met the teacher of any of the students in person, I feel as though I could strike up a conversation with any of them if I did meet them in person.


    Highly Recommended posted by Elise Porter on May 14 2009 at 15:07:27

    This was a great class! If you are a social person, it is great because the class itself was quite interactive. The daily messages had us all checking the site daily and there was much discussion between students. There was always someone to critique your writing and offer advice—usually Mrs. Inspektor, and often fellow students, too! This interaction really helps improve your writing and analytical skills as you discuss and debate on everything ranging from what the author meant by "big winners" to how the way a character said something changes the tone of the scene. It was sometimes challenging to keep up with the assignments since I was so busy with other things, but Mrs. Inspektor is very flexible and helpful in that respect.

    This class really helps prepare you for the exam so that you can go in to it feeling confident. One of my favorite assignments was when we analyzed advertisements and graphics. Mrs. Inspektor taught us how to look at tone, diction, rhetoric, mood, and everything that a writer or speaker employs in order to be able to answer "why."

    To a new student considering this class, I would highly recommend that you be prepared to work hard and have a lot of fun!


    Alex Wolf's Class Review posted by Alex Wolf on May 14 2009 at 13:58:26

    I would recommend this course to any student that is interested in writing, be in fiction, nonfiction, or journalism. I personally would like to write children’s fiction/fantasy someday, and I came into this class expecting to get help with that. At first, when I learned that it was more focused on analyzing and essay writing, I was a bit disappointed. Now I’ve realized that this class really did help me, probably more than a class on fiction would have. My writing has grown astronomically, and I have developed parts of my writing and gained knowledge that I think will be crucial if I ever do go into fiction, and that I would not have developed if I had not taken this class. As for preparation – I did not have much. Sure, I’ve written a bunch of fiction-y stuff on my own, so I guess my writing was kind of developed already. But as for courses, I had only taken standard “Language,” and “Writing,” classes up until 8th grade. In 9th I did a class on American Literature, and then I launched into this class.

    Hours per week varied a bit, depending on whether it was a timed Friday assignment or not. If it was timed, I’d say it was between an hour or two hours a weekday. If it was not timed, I spent more time on the weekends to make my essay/research/revision good.

    It was quite an interactive class – there was lots of talk, and I would have participated much more if I hadn’t been so busy.

    I received a lot of good feedback – I learned a LOT about my writing. Even now, when I look back at writing from a few months ago, I can’t help but point out errors and problems of all sorts.

    My writing skills grew, as I said above. MY analytical skills also took a large leap. I went from getting 5’s and 6’s out of 9 to getting an 8 and 9 out of 9 at the end of the year. I learned a lot about all three kinds of essay that were on the exam.

    My main challenge was probably my lack of enthusiasm for analysis at the beginning and middle of the class. The peace essay wasn’t really up my alley either, but towards the end I began to appreciate the analytical side of writing more. I think realizing that it’s important even I don’t like it all that much was the biggest challenge for me.

    The most memorable assignment in this class was probably the synthesis essay. I had no idea what synthesis even meant before this class. That should give you an idea of how much I learned from that assignment. :)

    This class prepared me very well for the AP Exam. Mrs. Inspektor had some great exam-day tips, and all of the practice and the lessons that she taught really all came together for me at the end of the class. I think I did really well – I finished 17 minutes early on both sections, which gave me time to go back and check a bunch!

    My final thoughts:

    If you’d like to go into any writing at all, take this class. Sure, you might not THINK this applies to the branch of writing you’d like to pursue, but if you think that, you’re probably wrong.

    If you plan on going into a field where you might have to write a lot of analysis or even just regular nonfiction, take this class. Even if you think this doesn’t apply to your prospective job, you’re probably wrong.

    Also, this class isn’t just a writing class. It helps Homeschoolers get more used to deadlines and time limits, and classes graded by and run by people other than your parents, and classes with other kids. That experience alone is invaluable.


    Just the facts...(ok, maybe not) posted by Julianne McCobin on May 14 2009 at 13:28:05

    If you're looking at this, you probably want some details and not just some student gushing. So here goes.

    Facts:

    --I spent about an hour to an hour and a half on assignments daily. However, when I was working on my Peace Essay, I literally spent every spare minute I had that week painstakingly revising it. In other words, you can decide how much work you want to put into an assignment, though they generally will take a good hour each day.

    --This course definately prepared me for the exam. We do multiple full practice exams, and I felt really comfortable with the MC format and the essay prompts. Mrs. Inspektor has great tips on de-stressing on exam day too!

    --We do a lot of reading and writing. Usually, a normal week would consist of a timed essay, a few discussion questions, some peer reviews, and some reading.

    --My favorite assignment was the Peace Essay, which I later submitted into the actual contest. Honestly, it was one of the most challenging and eye-opening experiences of my life, and I learned so much about humanitarian crises and what's being done (and not being done) about them. Often during this assignment, I felt completely inept and underqualified to even try to deal with some of the extremely grave issues involved. However, this too helped me: because it IS my problem, and I need to be helping. I've even considered getting an international relations minor because of this unit, and I feel like I've made a really important step that I need to follow with more steps. That's another reason I loved this class--writing is great, but action is vital. Mrs. Inspektor connected feeling and action, and that's soooo important.

    Opinion (and shameless plug):

    This is a great course, and I loved Mrs. Inspektor as a teacher. Her comments are warm and encouraging, but also helpful. I also really loved interacting with the other students in my class, as we'd comment on each others' essays. They'd see things I never saw before; it was exciting. So, I would definately recommend this course to anyone with a desire to learn how to read analytically, write concisely, and argue well. I mean, this isn't just for English junkies, although they'll love it too of course. What this class teaches is really invaluable and applicable to any interest though. Really, I had a great time and loved so much about this course...I hope you do too! (And I'm sure you will ;))

    ~Julianne


    Why are you even reading this? posted by Andrew Min on May 14 2009 at 13:27:03

    By now, you've probably read about 30 other glowing reviews of Mrs. Inspektor. You should be downloading the application right now.

    However, if you haven't yet made up your mind, read on.

    Last year, I took AP US History with Mrs. Susan Richman. It was the best class I had taken in my life, and I resigned myself to the fact that I'd probably never find a teacher as good as her. Well, I was wrong. Her daughter, Mrs. Inspektor, is just as amazing. When the year started, I was excited, but anxious for it (as with all AP classes) to be over. Now, as the year ends, I'm actually disappointed that the class is finished.

    I'd recommend Mrs. Inspektor's class to anyone. Anyone. In fact, I think I've already convinced two people to take it [Mrs. Inspektor... look for Isaac and Devin next year :)]. But before you take it, it is advised to have some preparation. I would suggest making sure you know basic grammar, spelling, punctuation, and so on. Reading Strunk&White over the summer really reinforced that for me. Also, I'd highly recommend reading some challenging books over the summer: Walden is on a whole different plane from Redwall.

    The course load is challenging, but not overwhelming. It's certainly not easy, but I found myself spending about three hours a weeks during the fall and winter. In the spring, I spent several additional hours a week reviewing for the exam. Additionally, Mrs. Inspektor was incredibly flexible. I'm part of a debate club, and we do a lot of traveling. Every time I asked for an extension (ahead of time, of course), Mrs. Inspektor would graciously grant it. Just ask AHEAD of time :).

    AP Language was the one of the most interactive and one of the most enjoyable classes I've ever been a part of. I felt like I got to know almost everyone in the class fairly well. Maybe that was because of the kids in the class this year. But with Mrs. Inspektor, I'd be shocked if next year isn't just as fun and interactive as this year.

    For AP Language, my impression has been that the essays are really crucial (this is AP Language & Composition, after all). In light of that, Mrs. Inspektor had us write an essay a week, and every week, we could expect comments. Some teachers give out really helpful comments, but do it in a less-than-encouraging fashion. Mrs. Inspektor was not only helpful, she was warm and caring as well. Her feedback, in short, was incredible.

    My writing skills have also improved immensely. When I started this class, I knew a bit about writing and nothing about analyzation. This year, I was part of a debate club, and I think the analyzation part of AP Language really helped hone my debating skills. Meanwhile, my writing skills have definitely improved. I no longer have to second-guess myself on every comma I put in, I no longer put commas and periods outside of quotations, and I've become, overall, a more competent writer.

    The main challenge I had was making sure I analyzed the right thing. I still remember one essay on Richard Rodriguez, where I delivered a killer, off-topic essay. Mrs. Inspektor gave me a lot of good feedback on that one, and in a very positive way. So with her help, I was able to overcome that challenge.

    But that wasn't my most memorable assignment. My most memorable assignment by far was the satire week. It was the most fun, most enjoyable, and most exhilarating writing assignment I had ever been given. The second most memorable and enjoyable assignment was, believe it or not, taking notes on Strunk & White. If you do it in a, er, creative fashion, it's very enjoyable. I know many teachers would have preferred straight, boring, and dry notes, but Mrs. Inspektor was gracious enough to let the right side of my brain take over. Other enjoyable moments included the MCQ huddle (Wild Westerners forever!!!) and any one of the synthesis essays we did.

    The class was more than just enjoyable, though. It was also incredibly helpful for the exam. By the spring semester, you're focusing on writing past AP essays and taking AP-style quizzes every week. Those two combinations really helped prepare me for an exam where it's more reasoning/analyzation-based than content based. Mrs. Inspektor prepped us directly for the exam (we'd read Cliffs, talk about test-taking strategies, and remind each other of the benefits of peanut m&ms). As a result, when I got to the classroom on May 13, I felt as prepared as I could ever have been.

    In conclusion, should you take this class? Well, if you're a homeschooled student between 9th and 12th grade, you would like to improve your writing skills, and you haven't taken an AP English Language class, then yes, you should.

    I have no idea why you're still reading this. You should be downloading the application form right now.


    I love Mrs. Inspektor! :) posted by Taylor Nam on May 14 2009 at 13:17:47

    This course was incredibly helpful in preparing for the exam! Although I was very nervous the night before, I felt confidant that anything I encountered on the test was going to be something I had practiced before. This class would be great for any student who wishes to improve his or her argument essay writing. Any student who is interested in this class should have a fair knowledge of grammar, loves writing, and is prepared to handle more mature topics.

    I never actually timed myself, but I believe I spent (on average) 7 hours a week. Almost every week, we answered at least two discussion questions and discussed them with classmates for an assignment. Besides the actual assignments, I think we really became friends over the year. We had debates on the election, on literature, on foreign policy...it was great!

    I loved receiving feedback from both my fellow students and Mrs. Inspektor. They were tough, sometimes. However, when they liked something, I felt like an Olympic winner! The feedback was usually part-encouraging and part-criticism. And I took the exam! That is a skill in and of itself! I also think I improved my argumentation and essay writing. The main challenge I faced in taking this class were the essays. Many times, I was so close to getting a really great score. That became frustrating, but Mrs. Inspektor was incredible and took extra time to help me out.

    My most memorable assignment from this class was an essay I wrote, describing a particular place that had emotional value to me. I chose my backyard at my old house. My mom cried when she read it and so did my two best friends! This is really a great class! The people are diverse and hilarious.

    Mrs. Inspektor is an amazing teacher! No, really, she is. She is tough and critical and encouraging and gracious. She doesn't take any nonsense. Mrs. Inspektor did not just say "good job" when, in fact, I hadn't done a good job. She was honest. But, when she said I wrote something that was good, then I knew she was telling the truth. Thanks, Mrs. Inspektor!


    Take AP Lang. I mean it. posted by Kathryn Ervin on May 14 2009 at 12:29:51

    Class review:

    If anything, this course is an excellent AP exam prep, and I felt very well prepared and well informed on test day.

    I spent at least an hour with this class each day, and if you are considering this course, you need to be willing to dedicate lots of time and energy...The ideal student for this class needs to be a total grammar geek, and completely obsessed with the concept of writing endless discussion questions! uh...just kidding. But not really.

    I recommend some experience in analytical reading and writing would be helpful coming into this class. The student should also be familiar with basic writing techniques.

    I really appreciated the comradeship shared by the whole class and especially Mrs. Inspector who faithfully responded to all our questions and provided us with guidance throughout the year. Her responses to essays and such were extrememly detailed and helpful. I think she truely helped me to become a better writer.

    The WWW Board provides a forum for interaction and I always felt free to post comments, questions, etc.

    The hardest aspect of the course for me was writing TIMED ESSAYS which is a personal difficulty. But we did quite a few of those, and so I was litterally forced to improve. I think my favorite assignments were the more creative essays we were asked to write including essays such as a "Modest Proposal" (where we crafted our rendition of this famous essay) and the "Place" essay which explored a interesting question about the emotional significance of a particular place. These were both really fun to write.

    Overall (haha, that is our favorite response question word!) this class has certainly enhanced my interest in writing and if this is a subject which you are at all intrigue by, I suggest that you take this class!


    From Terrible Writer to Quite Good posted by Andy Joslin on May 14 2009 at 11:34:43

    I felt that this course fully prepared me for the AP exam. Before I took this course, I was scared of writing any essay, much less one by hand! By the end though, writing a 40-minute essay was a breeze.

    I spent about an average of one hour per day on the course. I'd say my favorite aspect of the course was that of responding and getting responses to any assignment you did. The online environment seems much better than the classroom environment for this kind of class.

    The course slightly enhanced my interest in writing. I used to really hate it, now I view it neutrally (I won't do it for fun, but it isn't that bad! :p).

    Any student would do well in this course, whether good or bad writer. Mrs Inspektor does a great job.


    AP English with Mrs. Inspektor is Awesome! posted by Carmen Paddock on May 14 2009 at 09:34:16

    After taking AP English, I am absolutely in love with the subject - though I have always loved writing and reading, I now understand how to critically analyze a work, not to mention my writing skills have improved drastically! This was one of the most fun courses I've ever taken; the teacher, Mrs. Inspektor, is wonderful! She is fun and engaging, and she gives invaluable feedback. She's encouraged me to grow so much as a thinker and writer!

    This course is the only way I would have been able to take the AP Exam. It prepared me wonderfully, and all the practice tests and preparations were spread out through the second half, so it was not all crammed at the end. By the time I took the exam, following the format and the timing were second nature thanks to the practice and instruction received from this class.

    I put about 8-10 hours per week into this class; per day, it varied from one and a half to four hours. It was a lot of work, but all the activities were very fun and the essays pushed my writing skills. I feel I am a much stronger thinker, writer, and critical reader as a result of AP English and the hours I spent working at it.

    Reading from *The Writer's Presence* was my favorite assignment, and I wish we could have read from it more, because the views expressed in the book's essays were engaging and unforgettable. I read that book much more than AP English assigned exercises from it! Additionally, I loved getting and giving feedback on essays and discussion questions; every one of comments and criticisms I received from my classmates helped me discover (and thus eliminate) bad habits and flaws in my writing, and I hope my comments have helped them as well.

    I would recommend this course to students who love writing, because there's a lot of it (and that's a good thing!). Also, there's an essay due almost every week, so he can't be afraid of time commitments. Any student who wants to score great on and feel good about the AP Exam, loves reading modern classics, loves writing everything from research reports to prompts, and enjoys interaction with fellow students will have a great time taking this course.


    Mrs. Inspektor,
    ...I want to, first and foremost, thank you for all the time, energy, and patience you’ve invested in our AP Lang class. I can’t imagine a more stimulating and engaging class, nor a more fair and patient teacher. I’ve never been as challenged (in a good way!) or have grown as much in my writing and reading than I have during this course, and I know it’s all due all to you. Yes, I had the potential, but without you as a teacher it wouldn’t have come forth in the special way that it did. You truly inspire me as a writer and a person; you inspire in me an insatiable and overwhelming desire to learn, teach, and (cliche as it sounds) be myself. My writing, my voice, my perspective, my ideas—they are enough, they have value because—not despite the fact—they are mine. Your comments on my writing, always so supportive and encouraging, give me hope and courage and confidence. And I’m not overstating that: I cried as I wrote it. You have been unbelievably supportive, patient, encouraging, kind, self-sacrificial, sincere...the list goes on. You have truly touched my life, my heart, and I am so grateful and honored to have met you, to have learned under you, to know you. ... So...off to do my AP Lang homework now. :)
    Love,
    Kristen

    Mrs. Inspektor, thanks so much for teaching AP Lang this year! I have learned more this year than I have in any other highschool English class I’ve ever taken! You make it fun and challenging at the same time and my love for English has really grown!! Thank you!!!
    Julie

    Hey Mrs. Inspektor!!
    You have been an incredible teacher this year and I feel like you have taught me loads and heaps about writing! You are so understanding and patient! ... Thank you so much for being my first AP teacher! I thoroughly enjoyed being one of your first students!! This year has definately been an amazing year! Thanks again!
    In God’s Love,
    Drew

    Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
    I’ve loved being in your AP Lang class this year. I’ve never had more fun in a class — I’ve been able to socialize with and get to know so many of my classmates, even though I’ve only met one in real life. You’ve been the example for that. The Round Robin stories, your guidance and patience, your wonderful personality... My senior year has had many interesting developments, but you’ve been incredibly understanding about everything that’s going on in my life. From someone who’s considering an education major, I think that you’ve achieved a great balance between an educator’s professionalism and a teacher’s genuine caring in her students’ lives. I can say honestly that that’s a balance I myself wish to obtain. I want you to know that from the little I’ve gotten to know of you for the 2007-08 school year, I admire you as a person as well as a teacher. I wish you all the best in Israel!
    Love,
    Kat

    It has been wonderful having you as a teacher, Mrs. Inspektor. You put so much time and effort into teaching our AP Class; your dedication shows what an awesome person you are! I wish you the best of luck wherever the Lord will take you. I know that you will be remembered by all of your students wherever you may go.
    Thanks! Nathan

    I’m so glad you were able to teach my AP class, I really learned a lot! And even though we weren’t in a traditional class setting, I still have had a great time with everyone, including you. You have always been very helpful, and given great comments and responses to my papers and DQ’s. I hope your move goes smoothly, and you enjoy living in Israel. Best wishes and God Bless!
    Judith

    Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
    ....Thank you for everything you’ve taught me this year! You’ve really done a lot for me, giving me gentle pointers where I needed improvement, encouraging my strong points, and showing me how to best put my overseas experience to use. In my life as a writer, no advice or words of praise have mattered more to me than the ones I’ve received from you. Thank you for all the hard work and love you’ve poured into us this year, and how you’ve taken on the role of a second mother in the lives of your students. I feel like I’ve had the most unique class experience with one of the most amazing teachers. I love how you encourage us to be creative and have fun with writing. I feel like I’ve improved, and I’ve loved every step of the journey it’s taken to get there. ...
    Love, Cherise

    Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
    While deciding what to write, I thought of saying something about all the wonderful informative and kind comments you’ve given me and the other students. Then I thought perhaps I should say something about the challenging ciurriculum you devised—but no, I’d also have to include your interesting posts, your fun ideas like quote of the week and the round robin story, and your dedication to the class. Really, I’d like to thank you for everything. For dispelling my fear of essays. For your endless patience through the trials of HTML. For the exposure to wonderful books, essays, and writers that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. Now I am much more confident about my writing skills, I feel prepared for the exam, and my own speech and, perhaps, thoughts, have become clearer. {When I correct someone’s grammar or explain why I felt a particular book was ineffective in chapter soand- so, my sister refers to the event as an “AP English student moment” :-) } Again, thank you so much. For everything.
    Ava

    I’m in Mrs. Inspektor’s AP lang class! Her class is the most challenging and rewarding I’ve ever taken. She is an excellent teacher. Her exercises are creative. Her responses are inspired. Her take on grammar is terrifying—I’m a repeat offender on the Grammar Guide. Mrs. Inspektor is a terrific teacher. Without doubt, Mrs Inspektor has said funnier things, but I love this one: “For some reason, objects are ‘hung’ while people are ‘hanged.’” I have not ‘hung’ a cat since then. Thanks!
    Isaac

    Mrs. Inspektor,
    Thank you so much for this course. This year has been such a wonderful chance to grow with my fellow students. I feel that I’ve learned more about writing this year than I’ve learned in all my years of schooling. You’ve made points clear and erased the gray lines around some tricky grammar situations. I just want to thank you for your time and effort. Although I’ll never help clog up your boards with tpb’s again I know that I’ll never forget the course that you have given your time to. The opportunities that you have given us are endless. With a good pen, you can conquer the world. =] ...
    With a great big hug,
    Chloe

    Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
    I appreciate so much all that you have dedicated to teaching me. I may never have met you, but through your writing I can tell you are not only a talented teacher, but someone who really cares about her students and I am just fortunate enough to be one of them. Your have been the difference between a hard year that makes me dread ever taking English again, and having a true love and appreciation for learning. You have taught me that I have much more potential than I ever knew and I admire how you handle such a workload with such grace, patience, and humor. ...
    Thank you so much,
    Jessica

    Mrs. Inspektor,
    I have really enjoyed my online AP English Language and Composition class with you this year. It has been such a good experience. I’m honored to have you as my teacher. You’ve been so positive and encouraging, and I have learned so much from you this year! Best wishes as you embark upon this next part of your life in Israel!
    Your student,
    Nora :)

    Dear Mrs. Inspektor,
    A writer is only as good as his English teacher. Before this class, I was unsure of my writing capabilities. I knew I needed to improve, but I didn’t exactly know how or in what areas. You showed me exactly where I needed to improve, and I have become a more confident writer as a result. A writer is only as good as his English teacher. I am so grateful that my English teacher was you. ...
    Sincerely,
    Darrell

    You know, I kinda like writing. I came into AP English Language and Composition not entirely enthusiastic, I must admit. “Reading and writing a bunch of boring stuff? With strange people from the East Coast? Her name’s WHAT!? Hmmmm.” But if this terrified Texan had any doubts coming into the school year, he soitantly doesn’t have any now. Now that I think about it, I honestly can’t place my finger on the one thing that has tripped me head over heels with this class. I’m tempted to blame the social board and the demented diatribes of my crazy classmates, but the friendships forged there aren’t the only things tying me to this class. When I think about it, I’m tempted to blame my utter fascination with everything to do with the English language, but I’ve never been any good at lying. I’m tempted to blame the hours I spent racking my brains for ideas, but I prefer eating. My temptations get closer when they hit me with “*psst* peer review!” Hmm, interesting thought. It HAS been nice hearing from my zany classmates ex post assignmento. Encouraging words from my cellmat—I mean classmates—have buoyed my easily-bruised emotions when I’ve needed it most. Let me step back, though. Let me reject all subjective thinking, all momentary temptations, all fleeting thoughts. Let me assume the mantle of an objective researcher. Why IS it that I like my English class?

    For some reason, God decided to build in me an ability to write (how good lies, remember, in the eye of the beholder. But that’s an entirely other matter…). Using that ability for hard assignments has never been my favorite thing in the whole wide world (or the skinny world, for that matter). But I kinda like writing—especially if I’m not confined to the limits of an exceedingly boring subject like, say, AP US History [DISCLAIMER: student actually loves APUSH to death, that was just a joke. Full apologies to the lovely and talented Mrs. Richman]. But jokes, social boards, reading? All fall away. What will stay with me are the challenges and encouragements of a wonderful woman we call Mrs. Inspektor. I owe her my successes, thrills, improvements, and enjoyment that to me make AP English Language what it is.

    Thank you Mrs. Inspektor. I don’t think I could ever forget what I’ve learned from you, what I’ve been encouraged in by you, and what I’ve been challenged to by you and everything you’ve done.
    -Andrew