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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AP English Fun

Young David, Son of Bruck is today's guest editor. He has been trying to make the best of his AP English class, and claims not to be enjoying said class, but I think today's dispatch proves otherwise. The following are a few exerpts of his homework this term.

The first is a travelogue from our trip to New York, captured in this previous VOB entry. David focuses on the part of the trip just prior to boarding the bus for NY. If it seems a bit stilted, that's because he was required to make use of certain vocabulary words, which I've highlighted.

It was July 28 and my father and I were on our way to New York. We were to ride the metro into DC and then get on a bus, which would take us the rest of the way. As we stepped off the subway, we could immediately tell that the streets were going to be packed with people. As we rode the escalator to the surface, didactic signs told us with clarity that we should do our grocery shopping at Wegmans, and that we should join the United States Marine Corps. One sign in particular asserted the importance of purchasing General Dynamics products for all of our large defense contracts, which I disagreed with, because I had always used Lockheed Martin when I needed heavy military equipment. When we finally reached the surface, we found ourselves in Chinatown, surrounded by a fluid crowd of people flowing up and down the escalator. Near the exit of the station, a homeless man with dreadlocks tried to sell me a map of the city, which appeared homemade. When I politely declined, he launched into a cogent argument that made me feel very guilty. The The discourse between us started off normal but soon stopped being coherent, as he could not remember the names of the 3 children he said that he needed to feed. For some strange reason, I thought that he might have been lying to me. The next person to grab my attention was a street evangelist who was standing on the corner. He did not speak with eloquence; he instead shouted the same few phrases over and over. Although he was skilled at rhetorical speaking, his persuasive nature and evidence was not enough to convince people of what he was talking about. His shouting was clearly organized and lucid. He emphasized facts about the 12 tribes of Israel, and from what I could tell, he was quietly making the implication that all people of European descent were evil. At this point, I felt very uncomfortable and told my dad that I thought we should leave. He pulled out his cell phone and took a picture of the man. I started walking away and he followed, which may have saved us from getting beat up.

Another assignment required the use of specific vocabulary words in pertinent situations:

A plausible excuse for not doing my vocabulary work is that I had to go to my great-grandmother's funeral, as she could die any minute.

I did not Kill John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This is substantiated by the fact that I was not alive at the time.

After the car accident, the police listened to both sides of the story, and I was vindicated when the police gave the man a Breathalyzer test.

The next assignment compelled the use of certain vocabulary words in a meaningful dialogue. Young David has concocted a conversation between Ron and Sue, the hapless members of what would appear to be the world's least subtle unhappily married couple.

Ron: I know that you hold me in contempt but I would like to stress the point that I hate you also. I know that we can never come to an agreement but I would very much like to carry this on because I will feel better if you are offended and emotionally hurt when this is over.

Sue: Why must you be so condescending towards me when I have the same abilities as you? I believe that you will walk away from this as the one feeling patronized and made fun of.

Ron: The reason that you speak like that is because you are so haughty. A humble person would be so much nicer, but I got stuck married to you in some strange arranged marriage situation.

Sue: I don't believe that you are such a nice guy either. Last Christmas you called me an imperious control freak, because I asked you to move your indolent behind from the couch and help me decorate the tree. Was it too much to ask?

Ron: Was it really such a bad thing that I didn't want to do your boring, insipid busy work? You never have me do anything worthwhile. All I do is take your dictatorial commands. Slavery was never abolished. They just changed its name to "being a husband."

Sue: How dare you say that? You call me all these names buy I really am doing you a favor. I want to stop you from being so torpid, sitting around and watching TV. If it means being a despotic and controlling ruler then so be it. All you do is listlessly sit around and eat chips and salsa.

Ron: Well I just want you to know that I hold you in complete disdain. There is not another person on this earth that I respect less.

Sue: (Knocks Ron unconscious.)

See? AP English can be fun! Kinda makes you want to go back to high school, doesn't it?

BTW, if you enjoy young David's work let me know - as they say, "there's more where that came from!"


  • At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Rebecca said…

    I just had a chance to read this and I'm still wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. Those were way more creative and insightful that anything I ever wrote for AP English. Please post more!


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