• molly ofgeography

the time i brought shame on my high school in front of the AP review board


stay in school, kids.

hmmmmm. so while i was at boarding school i took ap physics, which was a bad decision for all parties involved because a) as a pigeon-toed loser with a center of gravity her body doesn’t know what to do with, physics has never done anything but betray me, and b) i’m not very good at math.

the good thing about AP classes is that you only have to take the actual school exam once, at midterms. the bad thing about AP classes is that you have to take the AP exam. at the time, there were just… a of things i’d rather have been doing than studying for an AP physics exam, like, for example:

  • makin out with my then-boyfriend

  • watching lois & clark: the new adventures of superman in my dorm room, where once my roommate’s mother actually said to me “i don’t think i’ve ever come into this room and seen you out of bed”

  • wrestling guerrillas (originally i was torn between “taking over national security” and “wrestling gorillas” when making this list and APPARENTLY MY BRAIN SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE so we're going with it)

  • filling out paperwork at the DMV

  • solving the then-impending economic crisis

  • giving myself a root canal

  • listening to the zac brown band’s “chicken fried” on repeat for the rest of my natural-born life

  • finding out that waterbeds don’t have fish in them, what the hell is the point of a water bed if it’s not also a NAPTIME AQUARIUM?

  • being stuck forever at that point where you’re JUST ABOUT to sneeze

  • breaking up with my then-boyfriend over a series of commitment issues and personal insecurities

  • realizing they never sold the last season of lois & clark: the new adventures of superman on DVD

  • finding out dean cain campaigned for rick perry

  • RICK PERRY!!!!

  • DEAN CAIN, YOU WERE SUPERMAN.

  • SUPERMAN WOULD NEVER CAMPAIGN FOR RICK PERRY!!!!

  • ugh

  • UGH

  • WHAT A BETRAYAL.

you get the idea.

anyway, the problem with not studying for your AP physics exam if you’re not some kind of physics genius who hangs out in dexter’s lab and makes periodic table puns at dinner parties is that when it then comes time to sit down in the exam room, the AP exam asks you what happens when a 3-kg object is released from rest at a height of 5m on a curved frictionless ramp and you’re like, “…………well DID YOU KNOW THAT DEAN CAIN CAMPAIGNED FOR RICK PERRY????”

  • did you???? DID YOU???

  • DID EVERYONE KNOW???

  • DID EVERYONE KNOW AND NOBODY THOUGHT TO TELL ME?????

no. i didn’t write that. what i DID do was think to myself, “well, molly, you’re going to major in Books And Thinking, not NUMBERS AND SCIENCE, so who cares, really, in the long term, about this exam??? i mean, getting a good grade on your AP physics exam isn’t a judgment call on you as a PERSON. you could get a 5 and be a douchebag, just like you could get a 1 and be a saint. so really, i mean, REALLY, would it be the end of the world if you chose to just…. maybe chose to answer this question creatively??? show that you can use limited resources, like your brain, to find creative solutions. BITCHES LOVE CREATIVE SOLUTIONS.”

so what i did, instead of attempting to answer the question, was to INSTEAD write a 5 paragraph essay, in spanish, about why we shouldn’t be throwing 3kg objects off ramps in the first place, because that’s dangerous. what is this object? is it breakable? are we aiming for something? 3kg might not SOUND like a lot, but at the speeds it could theoretically reach when being released down a frictionless ramp, i mean, that kind of thing could do SERIOUS DAMAGE. PEOPLE IN FRICTIONLESS WORLDS SHOULDN’T THROW 3KG STONES.

  • also, nobody should throw stones.

  • stop throwing stones at each other. what the hell.

in the second essay, which was like, “idk idk trains are going in different directions or something,” i wrote that the easy solution is to check the train schedules to see what time the trains will arrive, and check periodically with the conductor to see if there have been any delays. with the time saved by taking that approach and not DOING MATH, we should ask ourselves the Real Questions, like what season we are and how that should affect our wardrobe choices. i laid out a series of questions for the reader to determine whether they were a Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall:

  • do you prefer apples, oranges, or strawberries?

  • would you rather be hot, or cold?

  • what is your favorite holiday: christmas, thanksgiving, or easter?

  • would you rather go rock climbing, swimming, skiing, or apple picking?

based on these questions and a complicated point system i set up, the reader could determine their One True Season and what type of color palettes they should then focus on.

the bell rang. exam over. BYE, AP PHYISCS!!! SEE YOU NEVER, HAHA!!

the next year, fresh-faced mollyhall was walking through the halls of the science building on the way to AP environmental science (WHY DID THEY LET YOU TAKE ANOTHER AP SCIENCE CLASS? you may be asking yourself. WELL, i tell you, chuckling, WELL, THAT’S—that’s a really good question, actually.) when i was stopped by mr. h, my AP physics teacher.

“you know,” he said to me, “AP exams, like model un or athletic competitions, are representations of us as teachers, and of our students as people. they reflect the school.”

“cool beans, mr. h,” i said.

“which brings us to the subject of your essays,” said mr. h.

SO HERE’S SOMETHING I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT AP EXAMS:

  • they send* copies of your essays to your teachers

  • *used to send???

“uh,” i said. “yes. right. i see your point there. my essays. they were. well, i did put words on paper. you cannot deny that words were written. i think—i think i did okay? on the multiple choice? i think i…. gosh, mr h, you look very smart in that orange and brown color palette, is that new???”

“i’m a fall,” said mr. h.

#trueishstories #hahajokes #growingup #boardingschoolstories

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