Matadors Push Through AP Euro

Nicola Gonzales, Business Manager

AP Euro. Most students shy away, scared of the heavy workload, befuddling tests and vague free response essay prompts. However, those brave souls who enroll in the class don’t regret it in the end. They leave the course with lots of useful knowledge, like the fact that Isaac Newton had his meals sent up to his room for three months straight, and a bond with their teacher and class that’ll last forever (in the form of a Facebook group).

This school year, there are only two Euro teachers- Kelly Ginnochio and Paul Fitzgerald. In previous years Xavier Frippiat taught as well. Although the course may be rigorous, Euro veterans exude a sense of accomplishment afterwards and are glad they took the class.

The subject matter of AP Euro beats that of almost any class, going deep into European politics, scandal, and ways of life. The time period that the class covers is quite extensive, covering information from the 13th century all the way up to present day. The class helps students develop skills like time-management and effective textbook reading.

“Where else can you learn about 19th century circumcision, crazy Russians who may or may not be having an affair with the queen, and the common trends shared by new monarchs,”  junior Gabe Ostler said.

“Honestly, my favorite part of Euro was the lectures given by Andrew Fix, especially his heavy breathing and amazing voice. Other than that, Frip’s sassiness was always entertaining and Kady’s baked goods were awesome,” junior Julia Duncan said.

It remains true that the class is extremely difficult. The main problem that most students face is trying to keep up with the reading. Euro survivor and senior Drew Holland laments that he never did the reading, and encourages current and future Euro-ers to actually read the text. It’s no lie that the full year consists of abysmal test grades and essays that make you want to go home and cry.

“My favorite moment in Euro so far is when I got a B on an essay. It was probably the best day of my life,” sophomore Emily Byrne said.

The AP test is also something that no one ever looks forward to. Some of the teachers held study sessions the Sunday before the test, and surprisingly, they weren’t awful. For example, in Frip’s class, the students would all give him around $2 and he would bring bagels and coffee for them that morning. Everyone would then “enjoy” (not really) a morning of studying and practice tests and essays.

“The class prepared really well for the AP test, I just didn’t really prepare with them,” Holland said, explaining his thoughts on the AP test.

“At least in Fitz’s class, we prepared really well, except we never wrote a single DBQ,” junior Andrew Rosenzweig said.

Ostler agrees that the class prepared him for the AP test stating that, “My only studying was taking the class, and I got a 5, so I’d say yep, the class prepared me.”

Most previous survivors recommend actually reading the book and highlighting effectively to succeed in the class. Try not to fall asleep, and attempt to insert something important into your class discussion.

Also, don’t read directly from the text in your class conversation and try to formulate your own thoughts, if possible.

Euro also forms bonds that can only be related to those of a close family. The memories created there are made from unintentionally stupid comments such as “Si! Oh sorry! I was thinking in Spanish!” and junior Noah Goldstein’s   infamous “Hey Frip, can I say something about 19th century masturbation?”

“Our class and Mr. Fitz were hilarious. We would have really interesting class discussions,” Rosenzweig said.

One of the best things of Euro was hearing the incoming sophomores worry, and thinking about how much trouble they’re going to be in next year. However, if you maintain a good system of reading the book, and reading it multiple times, you can be successful.