Does this internal conversation sound familiar? Then hold onto your hats and glasses ‘cause here we go!
It’s your senior year and you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of AP US Government. But the SAT doesn’t have a US Government subject test, so why should you care? Why would you waste your time taking a class that won’t help you?
Check this out. Like it or not, the SAT does have a writing component with multiple choice questions and an essay. The essay can be about anything; reading, studies, experiences, or observation. Then it clicks. Your teacher said something about ‘living a democratic government in the classroom.’ That would encompass all four possible components. You will read, study, experience, and observe for a whole year. Let’s face it. In America, pretty much anything can be looked at through a political lens. Music moguls have their producer as their president. Pro athletes have their coach and the team’s owner. Teachers have their principal. Doctors have their director. Kids have their mom.
AP US Government…take me away!
It’s a few weeks into the course and something strikes you about the 1920s and today. In both eras, presidents have been (and continue to be?) elected because the voters liked their personalities and then the voters are (somehow) astounded that the politicians and administrations are corrupted and scandalous.
Here is what Clarence Darrow said in references to President Warren G. Harding (president March 1921 to August 1923): "When I was a boy, I was told that anybody could become president. Now I am beginning to believe it." That’s harsh!
Kindly jump back to the connection between the SAT and AP US Government for the remainder of our time together. Refresh my memory. What were the four possible components? Reading, studies, experiences, or observation. Reading? Check. You do your homework and classwork. Studies? Yep. Covered by reading. Experiences? Let’s see. You held an election in your classroom to vote for “vice president.” (The teacher is, by default, president in this scenario. But you get the idea of the process…) There are judicial, legislative, and executive branches in your classroom democracy. You experience AP US Government every day. Observation? You observe in your family, on your school campus, and in your community how these branches function (albeit on a much smaller scale) on a daily basis.
Yep. All four components are covered. If the written portion of the SAT is about your family, your future, another country, your favorite kind of music or anything else you will be prepared. All areas of life include a version of a president and branch(es) of government. You’ll be fine…
And don’t forget to put a cover on your TPS report. Did ya get that memo??