Story Behind the Shirt

Months preparing all for one day, all for one exam, and all for one exemption—at least students hope.

AP classes are a great way for high school students to receive college credit for work done while they are still in high school.

No matter what AP class a student takes, it takes a great deal of perseverance and self-motivation to get to that May exam day.

After months preparing and late nights studying students await for the exam day with excitement for the fact that all the work will soon be over, and hopefully will pay off.

In celebration of the hard journey the students have endured AP teachers at Woodland often have an AP breakfast the morning before the exam.

The breakfast is intended as one last stress relief before the exam and also to make sure the students all have energy before a rigorous three hours.

However, AP breakfasts are not the only tradition at Woodland when comes to AP classes.

A tradition that seems to have lasted just as long as the AP breakfast is the AP class shirts.

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AP Lit shirt 2012-2013

At Woodland it has become a tradition over the years that AP classes design a shirt every year to then wear the day of their exam.

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AP Lit shirt 2012-2013

“I think the tradition of AP shirts started as a way to celebrate the accomplishment of working through a very rigorous curriculum,”   said Lisa Olivere, AP Psych teacher at Woodland, “[It also] show[s] unity—that the students were in it together.”

Just like the classes and the students change yearly, so do the shirts colors, ideas, and designs. Olivere teaches three sections of AP Psych and each class designs their own separate shirt.

This year her E Block class used the quote, feel the fear and do it anyway on their shirts. Her F Block class also used a quote on their shirt that said: it’s not a spring it’s a marathon, in order to reflect the rigor of an AP class. And Olivere’s B Block class choose something different by designing an ink blot on the front of their shirt, because that is something psychoanalysts use as a test.

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AP Psych F Block shirt 2011-2012

While some classes like Olivere’s do something different every year some classes keep the basics and sometimes will add something else to it. AP World History is one that keeps it similar every year.

“The AP World shirts are purple and on the front it has the golden wreath with AP World History and the year in roman numerals,” said AP World teacher, Chris Tomlin. “On the back it has our motto: 10,000 years in 80 days and this year we added underneath, Veni Vidi Vici, which is Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered—which is what Julius Caesar said.”

Shirts ranged from inside class jokes like the AP Lang shirts this year with I’m pathetic to kiss my ethos, all the way to the AP Biology shirts that depict a picture of a virus because students were intrigued with learning about that chapter. AP Lit made an allusion on their shirts to a  J. Alfred Prufrock poem by quoting Dare to disturb the universe, and then the students names on the back surrounding a peach to allude to when he writes Dare to eat a peach. 

“I think [AP shirts] is one way that they [students] get to be acknowledged and recognized for their hard work,” said Olivere. “It’s kind of life wearing a team uniform. It takes a lot of hard work to make a varsity team, well it takes a lot of hard work to be in an AP course, and not just enroll in it but survive it. It’s a sense of pride and honor.”

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AP US History shirt 2011-2012