Current student required reading Q&A: Julia Beaumont, AP Lit
Name: Julia Beaumont
Current English Class: AP Lit
1. How do you feel about being required to read books for school?
“I feel as though required reading is extremely important to our personal development as learners as it exposes us to various settings, topics, and characters, as well as informational text. It also serves as a great supplement to our lives as high schoolers because a lot of books we are required to read in our classes have common themes and experiences that we relate to. So, in general, I think required reading—while it can sometimes be a burden—is ultimately a positive thing. Occasionally, the reading can be time-consuming and a bit of an additional stressor due to how carefully we have to read and analyze the text, but, again, the outcomes of required reading are good.”
2. Did your stance on reading influence what English class you chose to take this year?
“Not necessarily since I have had to do required reading for my English classes since 7th grade, so the factor of required reading did not heavily weigh in on my decision to take AP Literature. Required reading is something I am accustomed to at this point, so it being included in AP Lit was not a con. I suppose the required reading aspect was more of a pro; I was ready to read more books again since AP Lang had less required reading than the typical English class.”
3. Do you think that having required reading adds to the difficulty of the course, and is it worth it?
“Yes, it adds difficulty to the course for sure, but it is also worth it. A lot of the books we have to read throughout high school are written in old English which forces students to think on a deeper level. Also, with a lot of honors and AP English classes, annotations and close analyses are required as you read—assignments that are typically not seen in any other classes. It is worth it, though, because of all of the positive and beneficial long term effects it has on students like I said [before]: reading teaches us valuable lessons that can be applied to our lives on many levels.”
4. Do you feel that required reading is an archaic practice or do you still learn from reading literature?
“I definitely still learn from literature despite having read quite a few classic high school, English-class books. Right now I am reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and it is certainly unlike anything else I’ve been required to read previously. I gather new, applicable life lessons from most books I’m required to read.”
5. How do you feel about the required reading for the class you’re taking?
“I think it is definitely the essential element of AP Literature—hence the name—as we really delve deep into the meanings of works of literature as a whole in that class. The class truly picks apart novels and other writings in a way that I personally find intriguing.”