Round up 5/14- 5/29

The year is quickly approaching the last days of school. We have finally become AP Biology veterans!!!

This week, we each made videos giving our advice to the Future AP Biology Team 2017-2018. While creating my video, I was taken back to the first week of school. Mrs. Girard presented the videos from the year prior to us. It is crazy to think that WE are now making the videos for the next bio class. I talked about being organized being engaged, and being open-minded. I remember watching the videos from Team AP Bio 2015-2016, and almost each video mentioned to be organized. I am not very proud of this, but I have always been a messy person. I started the school year very organized and on top of my schoolwork, but would become more and more disorganized as time went by. I also noticed that drops in my grade correlated to my lack of extra efforts in the class. Although I did not mention this in my video, AP Biology has taught me that it is necessary to put in extra work to get the results you want. It may seem like there is a heavy workload for AP biology class, however, taking the extra step to research and study on your own will help you later. If you have a clear understanding of content early-on, then later material and concepts will make much more sense. This brings me to my next topic of advice, to be engaged. I was very intimidated when the year first started, I felt that I was surrounded by some of the brightest minds in the school, making me feel insecure and nervous to ask questions. I later found out that this is such bogus!! Yes, my AP Biology teammates are just as smart (or even smarter) than I have assumed and expected, however, each team member truly encourages one another and wants each person to succeed! It is fine to ask a question that may seem silly; chances are, the person sitting next to you is probably wondering as well. Participating in discussions (on Schoology, blog posts, and in class) will allow you to get more of a grasp on the content and make connections. I also learned that if I feel like I am falling behind, Mrs. Girard and my AP Bio teammates are willing to help me, as long as I reach out to them. My last tip was to be open-minded. As mentioned earlier, lots of things can make this class seem intimidating, and on top of that, many activities done in labs or on field trips may seem gross or weird! I learned that it is okay to be nervous. On our second field trip, we went to Pillar Point tide pools. A bunch of the girls in our class ran out and started different organisms, when I was set on making sure that my hands stayed dry. Sea anemones are cnidarians, which are aquatic vertebrae that eject nematocysts from their tentacles. When a person’s finger touches the anemone, the anemone responds by wrapping its tentacles around the person’s finger. I decided to try it myself, and although it felt weird, I am glad to say that I still tried it! Same goes with dissection. Many girls felt uneasy about dissecting the fetal pigs, but later ended up enjoying being the “surgeon” by making incisions and and locating certain body parts. I thought I would be nauseous during the dissection, but I ended up finding a great interest in seeing how the parts of the body connected, especially in a real animal. If I was not open-minded about dissections, I could have missed out on an amazing learning opportunity. To be open-minded is key, because you never know if you might enjoy something or learn something new.
I am very excited for those who are lucky enough to take AP Biology next year! For now, I will reminisce on the days where I felt very new to the AP Bio setting! It is such a great feeling to look back on the school year and remember everything I have learned; I hope the future Team AP Bio will be able to do the same!

Click here to check our my advice to the future Team AP Bio!

Some of my favorite memories from this year:

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The heart of a fetal pig!
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Pillar Point with LIMPETS
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