I love it when a plan comes together…

…I’m speaking about the AP Language Exam and the year’s preparation BRP and I led for our AP students.  Want some proof?  Here’s a prompt we gave the AP kids earlier this semester after studying Catch-22 (I created this one a few years ago and come back to it on occasion):

Mark Twain, in a short work entitled The Chronicle of Young Satan, wrote the following.

Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them–and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon–laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution–these can lift at a colossal humbug,–push it a little– crowd it a little–weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.

Write a thoughtful and carefully constructed essay in which you use specific evidence to defend, challenge, or qualify the assertion that laughter is the “one really effective weapon.”

Now, here’s the argumentative prompt from this year’s AP exam:

In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to say directly.” Because society allows humorists to say things that other people cannot or will not say, de Botton sees humorists as serving a vital function in society.

Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges or qualifies de Botton’s claim about the vital role of humorists. Use specific, appropriate evidence to develop your position.

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing the mean score for our students on this prompt.

You know the line...

One Response to “I love it when a plan comes together…”

  1. bigredpoet Says:

    Agreed. I think our kids kicked ass and took names on that test. I can’t WAIT for the scores to arrive.

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