The Prospector’s Favorite Classes at PCHS

The Prospector Staff

Brent: AP English Literature with Mr. Cuttitta

I am the worst reader in the history of readers. At the moment, I am powering through On Writing by Stephen King–lent to me by Ms. Hooker–and it’s taken me through the latter half of quarter one to now to make it to page 245 in a book with 300 pages of large print. That being said, Mr. Cuttitta’s AP Literature was a great class. It was relaxed–a tone foreign to most English classes–and a great deal of time spent in the class was spent discussing the book and poetry, and it is interesting to hear your peers’ opinions on the text in that relaxed environment. The books Cuttita picked for my class were all very good books–No Country for Old Men and Death of a Salesman were my favorites. It’s not a hard class, but if you’re a stubborn reader like I am, you might struggle. I know I did.


Caterina: AP World History with Mrs.McKay

If you love history like I do you’ll love this class. AP World gives you a great overview of world history which is really fascinating. I really enjoyed learning about Chinese and Russian history, and the different trade routes and political phenomena over the centuries. One of the most memorable experiences of that year was acting out Genghis Khan’s tribal council as a class in which everyone had to address Mrs.McKay with “Oh Great Khan” and the time when Mrs.McKay reenacted the Protestant Revolution with hand puppets. In such a short time the class covers a surprising amount of material in a relatively in-depth way, so be ready to read and study!


Brewster: AP Physics 1 with Matthew Nagie

AP Physics 1 is not the best class I have ever taken. In fact, I can say with certainty that it was the class I knew the least about. I despise STEM. Even so, I think all students should experience it — you won’t fully understand the beauty of it until you suffer through it. Physics 1 has the single-highest fail rate of any AP class (48.4% of students fail) and the content is near impossible. So, you may be thinking, how could this possibly be your favorite class? Well, once you get past the mental block of struggling through not knowing how to do Physics, you can just simply be at peace. At peace with your test scores, at peace with your subject knowledge, and at peace with your eventual AP score. You’ll have way more fun in the class as long as you take the class with a grain of salt. Added bonus if you’re taught by Nagie — the class will be a trip. Tangents galore. So, in conclusion, I do suggest you all suffer through AP Physics 1 at some point in your high school career. 


Molly: U.S. History with Ms. O’Brien

I love history, so I usually enjoy my history classes. Yet in my junior year, I had the best history class I have ever taken. There were a lot of lectures, and I will say these were not boring lectures. Ms.O’Brien kept you engaged and involved in these lectures. She told you stories, like about how Ronald Reagan got shot because some guy was in love with Jodie Foster. These lectures stuck in my head and that’s what you want from a teacher, a fun, and engaging class. The assignments were relatively easy. The tests weren’t even that hard because we played trivia the class before. I truly miss her class and it was honestly one of the best classes I have ever taken. 


Izzy: PE Fitness for Life Online 

While this answer may shock you, I found PE Fitness for Life Online to be the best class I’ve taken, using a cost-benefit analysis framework to evaluate all the classes I’ve taken thus far in my high school career. Under this framework, I compared the quantitative, substantive costs and benefits of every class I’ve taken or am currently taking, based on the effort and time put in, and the benefits reaped. While every other AP class that I’m taking this year has certainly taught me exponentially more than this course ever did, I have yet to see the “benefits” that come from these classes, while the “cost” is ever so apparent – limited free time, lost hours of sleep, constant stress, and difficult work. On the other hand, I completed the entire PE Fitness for Life Online course in a total of 4 hours, and I received the benefit of a parent release in my schedule immediately. For a cost of only 4 hours of easy work, I received the benefit of approximately 54.5 hours of increased sleep for the rest of the semester. Hence, the value of the inputs and the outputs of my PE Fitness for Life Online course evidently outweigh the inputs and outputs of any AP class I am currently taking, which is why it is my favorite class!


Asher: AP Statistics with Ms. Alcox

Countless people told me how difficult AP Statistics was before I took it. Regardless of the negative comments, my poor expectations and I plunged into the course. Not only was Ms. Alcox the single kindest, best teacher I’ve ever had, but the work itself was fascinating. Not a single class has related to real life more or changed what I want to do in life like AP Statistics. You come to class not prepared for a test despite hours of studying? Fear not. A quick chat with Ms. Alcox solves this dilemma, allowing you to study during the original test period and test at a later time. Vocabulary, originally foreign to you, becomes known like the back of your hand. Is that person lying about how good they are at basketball? After AP Stats with Ms. Alcox, you can now mathematically prove if someone is telling the truth. To top it all off, Alcox treats her students to bagels whenever a 100% is earned on a test, which is multiple times throughout the year because of what a fantastic teacher she is. Be warned, however, she might run studies on your unknowing self, and do not wear a hat in class!


Scarlett: AP Human Geography with Mr. Jeffrey

As a huge reader, my favorite class has always been English. However, this year that opinion has changed. I would have to say that my favorite class is AP Human Geography. While the class is a bit of a challenge, I learn something new every day. The teacher, Mr. Jeffery, is amazing. We have discussions each class on the chapter we are on, and it is so interesting to learn from both Mr.Jeffery and my peers. Until taking this class, I had no idea of the differences between immigration and emigration, and now that I do, I can use that knowledge to understand migrants and why they come here. Mr. Jeffery doesn’t just teach you things that will be on the exam, he also teaches you things you can use in everyday life. Now and in the future. As many of you have probably already taken AP Geo, you understand why I enjoy it so much.