2. AP English
3. AP Calculus
4. AP Environmental
5. AP Economics/AP Government
6. Basketball/Track and Field
As far as classroom classes go, ceramics is the clear outlier. But as far as my learning has gone this year, ceramics is right there in the mix. The majority of my day relies on the left side of my brain; ceramics provides a nice break. Not only a break, but a rare chance for an AP kid to use the right side of her brain.
Last year I lamented the fact that art was actually a required high school class but now I'm thankful I was forced to find room for ceramics in my schedule. The right side of my brain enjoys the hour of exercise it receives every morning. I feel sorry for those AP addicted kids who chose AP Art History over an actual art class.
Ceramics, unlike my AP classes, reveals success clearer and in a more timely manner. All the AP classes I've taken are just an investment in my future. I took them in hopes of being accepted to high-caliber colleges and having some credits built up when I get there. In ceramics, I have a tangible form of success. All my projects can be put to use or given as gifts as soon as they come back from the kiln. I'm using my ceramics skills now. All I've acquired in terms of knowledge from my academic classes is met to serve a purpose later in life.
Being in ceramics has allowed me to meet a different sort of people. My other classes are filled with students whose focus is getting into that UC or Ivy League and achieving inflated GPAs. They are constantly comparing themselves- test scores, college acceptances, scholarships. Everything is a competition. Being an athlete, this competition is healthy and drives me to do better. It's my dose of immunity against "senioritus."
In my ceramics class I have been immersed into a different sort of culture. I listen to teenagers who stay up until 2:00 in the morning doing things other than studying. I hear of parents who aren't 100% supportive of their children's education. I'm fascinated by the body piercings and tattoos my classmates want and the hair colors they are able to pull off.
Although I have little in common, I've found that the students I sit with in ceramics are easier to get along with. They genuinely want to be my friend, not just a study buddy. Ceramics starkly contrasts with the rest of my high school classes but it's a difference in classmates, thinking, and skill set that I'm ever grateful for.