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April 28, 2022
AP students share study strategies as AP frenzy season commences
West High will administer the 2022 AP tests over the first two weeks of May. With these high-pressure exams on the horizon, many test-takers have implemented various studying strategies to prepare, some more unique than others.
“I’ve been sleeping with a textbook under my pillow since spring break ended — Mondays and Wednesdays AP Human Geography, Tuesdays and Fridays AP Biology, and weekends AP Spanish,” said Dormir Hawkins ’24. “I’m hoping I can soak up all the information I missed sleeping through class in time for the tests.”
Other students have opted to avoid sleeping altogether. According to a recent survey of West High students enrolled in AP courses, 76% reported sleeping 5 hours or less since AP Crunch Time (more commonly referred to as April) began.
“I don’t remember the last time I got 8 hours of rest,” said Kay Oss ’23. “With seven exams to study for, the only time I can review is when I should be sleeping.”
Although most AP test-takers spend the majority of April reviewing in hopes of receiving a score of 4 or 5, some believe there are alternative methods to attain high exam scores. Current AP U.S. History student Jack Pott ’24 plans to leave his Venmo username — @a-rad-ish-guy — on the DBQ portion of the exam for his test grader.
“The Gilded Age? The Great Depression? I honestly couldn’t tell you anything about either of those things — I haven’t paid attention in APUSH all year,” Pott said. “I’m a lost cause at this point. My only hope for a passing score is to get whoever is grading my exam to request as much cash as they want in exchange for a good score.”
Earlier this month, some furious students began the Destroy College Board campaign, citing the corporation’s monopolization of education as a key reason for West High students’ general sleeplessness and decline of well-being.
“AP test-takers, please don’t let a single-digit number define your self-worth. After you finish applying to colleges, that number literally doesn’t matter anymore, I assure you,” said Principal Mitch Gross in the latest Monday Message. “Please get some sleep and take care of yourselves.”
Paid promotion enters public classrooms
Nectar, Rectangleroom, Talenttrade: West High students have become familiar with these brand names and more as the number of paid promotions in teachers’ lessons grows.
“I thought I was dreaming the first time I heard a pitch,” said Willow Taylor-Frank ’25. “My teacher had just told us what the math homework was and then suggested we get some extra practice using Intelligent. That was strange enough, but then she talked about it for at least two minutes.”
The idea spread throughout the staff, with the average student now encountering two sponsorships per day. Younger teachers have been especially likely to put sponsored content in their lessons. Monet Ghetter, who started teaching this year, was the first teacher to include paid promotion in their classes.
“The salary I get paid as a new teacher isn’t quite enough, so I asked an influencer friend of mine to put me in contact with the brands she’s worked with. I told them I had a loyal audience of 120 teenagers that watch me five days a week, and one of the brands offered me $40 for five days of promotion,” said Ghetter.
While the administration expressed disapproval of sponsorships and made attempts to stop them, teachers defended the practice by claiming they are just personal recommendations. Teachers also argued that the use of brands like Syntaxly, Interest Stream and Intelligent could be beneficial for students.
“While I’m against sponsored lessons, I could name a few students off the top of my head that could use a subscription to Bill Hygiene Group,” said mathematics teacher Pat Ryan. “Personally, I give students the option to sponsor my lessons themselves through the classroom’s Patreon page.”
The administration finally settled on forcing teachers to disclose any sponsored content in their lessons.
“It’s not ideal. I’d rather school be used for learning the curriculum than learning about brands,” said Principal Mitch Gross. “But, it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. At least now students know when a lesson is sponsored, which will allow them to make better decisions concerning the brand mentioned.”
Masks off, clothes off
If you have been feeling stressed about how lame your outfits are, fear no more. Not only has the mask mandate been lifted, but ICCSD administrators have also decided students are no longer required to wear clothes while on school property. After nearly a year of uncertainty regarding the district dress code, administrators have finally provided some clarity.
“Ultimately, this is the more equitable option. What if some students can’t afford clothes? The district will not provide any support. Instead, we’re laying a clean slate, so students no longer have to worry,” one administrator said.
The student response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I’m personally really grateful for the removal of the clothes mandate,” said Shirley Ukare ’25. “Now I don’t have to spend an hour every morning trying to pick out what to wear.”
Unsurprisingly, there was an awkward transition period during the initial days of the clothing mandate being dropped.
“It was sort of weird at first, seeing some of my classmates and teachers walking around buck-naked,” Ukare said. “But after getting used to it and taking off my clothes myself, I think this measure should have been implemented earlier. I feel like it’s only natural we stay the way we came into the world — I’ve discovered nudity is a social construct.”
Although most have grown accustomed to the sight of several West High students and staff naked all over campus, there has been particularly significant pushback from the school nurses and janitorial staff.
“There is fecal matter all over the place and so many messes to clean up,” said West High custodian Ivana Cry. “Please, I don’t care what you do at home, but cover yourselves properly at school.”
Kim Reynolds takes additional steps to protect women’s sports
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2426 into law Tuesday, prohibiting girls six feet tall and up from participating in women’s sports. While many see this as harmful and unnecessary, Reynolds stated that the bill is essential for protecting women’s sports.
“The average woman is 5 foot 4 inches tall, and 99% of women in America are under 6 feet. These women deserve to see their effort and training pay off, but women over 6 feet have too much of an inherent physical advantage,” Reynolds said.
The Short Girls Association, who have been lobbying for this law for over five years, attended the signing of the bill.
“We don’t hate tall girls. I love competing against taller girls, but it’s not really a competition if they always win,” said Tina Peterson, a member of the organization. “I’m glad someone is finally taking steps to let women be able to play sports in a fair environment.”
It is unknown how many athletes this bill will affect, but many women are already coming out and sharing their stories.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was in sixth grade. I love it. I love my team. And suddenly I don’t get to play anymore?” said Tahlia Williams. “I know the state is supposedly making the sport more fair, but isn’t this unfair to me?”
Opponents of the bill are arguing that Reynolds is addressing a problem that doesn’t exist.
“Everyone’s genetic makeup is different. We all have advantages that we work with and disadvantages that we work to overcome,” said women’s rights activist Fenna Nest. “It is ridiculous for a woman to be banned from her sport because of her biology.”
Students desperate for prom dates resort to extreme means
Thinking about asking your crush to prom this year? Many upperclassmen have foregone the traditional pun-filled poster promposal for more elaborate measures. From streaking at a golf meet at Finkbine Golf Course to flying a plane over the courtyard to spell “Prom?” in a trail of smoke, it seems like a classic poster is no longer enough to guarantee a date to West High Prom.
“Listen, I get it — prom is one of the biggest nights of the year for juniors and seniors, and honestly, I think students should make the most of it,” said Principal Mitch Gross. “However, I think things have gotten a bit out of hand when we’re paying thousands of dollars to fix the front entrance after someone’s promposal.”
Last week, a student (who asked to remain anonymous) set up a fireworks display on the front lawn to ask someone out to prom during lunch. In a horrible turn of events, the explosives misfired, spiraling out of control and crashing into the “Welcome to West High” sign on the spiral staircase.
“Students, it doesn’t matter who you go with so much as how you make the most of your time,” Gross said. “And for the sake of all that is good, please don’t destroy our campus just to get a date.”
New bathroom pass policy instituted at West High
The West High bathroom passes now feature a five-minute timer which starts when students leave the classroom and ends upon their return. The administration changed in an attempt to encourage even quicker trips to the bathroom. Students have yet to find out what happens when the time runs out.
“The closest I let it get was 30 seconds. It started beeping at me, but kind of quietly. I think the administration was worried about the noise disturbing other classes,” said Barry Nurvez ’25.
The administration refused to comment on what will happen but said several times that no harm will come to students if the timer runs out on them. Carrie Yus ’22 ran an experiment to confirm that statement.
“I left the pass in the toilet just in case it was going to blow up or catch fire or something. Then I shut the stall door and waited for the beeping to stop. When I entered the stall, it was just gone,” Yus said. “But the toilet looked fine, so I think we’d be fine too.”
Yus’s story spread quickly throughout the student population, prompting a variety of theories — the most popular being the pass either self-destructs or teleports back to its classroom. Whatever the true answer may be, students are not to be very eager to find out.
“The mystery is part of the motivation,” said Principal Mitch Gross. “This version of the pass has been the most effective yet at making students take short bathroom breaks.”