Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The wit and wisdom of AP US History students

Here is the last list of bloopers shared by my friend who was at grading of the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam.
QUESTION 1 (DBQ): Deals with the influence of the Puritans on colonial New England in the mid-1600's.
- Women led submissive lives under their husbands and other men.
- The building of Harvard and Yale created more monks and nuns.
- The northeastern colonies had a profound impact on God.
- Puritan women would have several children a year until they became infertile, truly illustrating the "Puritan work ethic."
- After he taught evolution, the Puritans wanted Scopes hanged.
- The Puritans invented grandparents.
- Puritans were too well-endowed with power.
- In Puritan society, you could say that religion was the law, and God was the sheriff.
- In 1607, the Puritans left on the Mayflower, and landed at Jamestown, Massachusetts.
- The Puritans set sail from England on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
- Anne Hutchinson would flee to Rhode Island, where she founded Judaism.
- When it came to religion, the Puritans were pretty balls-to-the-wall people.
- One notable Puritan leader was Andrew Jackson.
- Puritans established political parties like the Whigs.
- Puritans feared that Indians were sending evil spirits to possess their women, leading to the Pequot War and the Salem Witch Trials.
- Since the Puritans did not have a copy of "Colony Founding for Dummies," they just did what they thought God would like.
- Puritan religion was the centerfold of life in Massachusetts.
- The Puritans were probably so miserable because they had never heard the tale of Hampton the Hamster. Hampton the Hamster was born on July 25, 1995 to a single mother with only three legs. Hampton was born in a run-down cage with no shavings or running wheel. (This went on for six pages. It was like the David Copperfield of hamsters.)

QUESTION 2: Deals with the factors that led to America's victory in the Revolutionary War.
- Everyone knows the best way to decide who wins a war, but rock-paper-scissors is a very close second.
- George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Ulysses S. Grant all helped to win the battle of Yorktown.

QUESTION 3: Deals with the role of slavery in causing the Civil War.
- President Hubert Humphrey did nothing to prevent secession.
- The Fugitive Slave Act gave the slaves the right to escape to the North and be free.
- Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to officially declare war.
- Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech further rallied up Northerners, and his assassination was a direct cause of the Civil War.
- SLAVERY - the six-letter word that has no meaning whatsoever.
- Slavery is an unjust way of life for human beings. This is my opinion. There are other people who feel differently. This is where the trouble begins...

QUESTION 4: Deals with the role of women in causing reform during the Progressive era (1880-1920).
- The Bermuda Triangle Fire was very bad.

QUESTION 5: Deals with the importance of population shifts (suburbanization, immigration, Sunbelt) after WWII.
- With all the immigrants coming into the country and the soldiers getting all kinds of welcome-home sex, it was getting a little crowded.


tfhr said...

"Welcome-home sex"?! Was that part of the GI Bill?

I'm glad that was the final comment on that long, otherwise sad list. MLK's assassination was a "direct cause of the Civil War"?! Unbelievable.

The "Welcome-home sex" answer was worthy of a laugh and relatively harmless in how it missed the mark for Question 5, but this series of posts has left me so discouraged about the state of history education and the lack of preparation by AP history students.

Bachbone said...

If I had used the word "sex" in any answer to a question, I'd have wound up in the principal's office while he put in a call to my mother!

Not only are historical facts being distorted or left bare, tfhr, but I can tell you from experience that many leftists in our public schools are passing on the same distortions they were taught by their leftists college profs. To stop this public school mess, our colleges must first be brought back to what they should be.

Pat Patterson said...

I'm not to sure these are answers are based solely on ignorance but are often the product of the kids being typical smart alecks when faced with what they view as trivialities. Often the AP clases I cover are mostly, I'm referring to Government, History and English Literature are made up of juniors that spend all their time studying for their science APs. Often they are in the former simply to have them on their scholastic record or to make the faculty advisor or parents happy.

In many schools kids with high grades, not neccessarily excellent, are enrolled in the classes for political reason. Usually the kids figure out that the school doesn't really care if the pass the exam but only to brag on how many of the school's students are enrolled in an AP course.