AP Physics Reading: Day 0 and 1

Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2

Friday was pretty brutal. I was on duty all day Thursday, and students were still needing to have their rooms checked up until 11:30, so I didn’t get to bed early. AND once I did get to bed, I couldn’t sleep. So, after like two hours of sleep I got up at 3am (ish. There was some hitting of the snooze), got ready, went and checked out a student to leave for the summer at 3:30, and was on the road by 3:45 (ish. yeah). Got on my flight no problem, promptly passed out. Arrived in LAX, found my connection, passed out on the floor. Woke up, got on the plane to Kansas City, passed out again. Got to my hotel, checked in, went back to sleep. Because changing time zones isn’t hard enough!

My roommate came in that evening, and she’s awesome. College professor in Wisconsin who’s also super into education research and combining social science and physics ed research, so we had a great conversation. I’d slept through dinner, so we went to the grocery store nearby and got some food from there. I got apples, some pita/hummus/falafel, a thing of strawberries, aaaaaaaand oreo cheese cake because COME ON I hadn’t eaten anything for over 24 hours. I enjoyed every damn bite until I had enough, and the rest is still in the fridge waiting for me.

After that, I settled in and tried to get some sleep, because I am hilarious and have never learned a lesson in my life. Cue 3:30am and I’m still awake. I finally doze off around 4, ending up with slightly more than two and a half hours of sleep. I knew I would have to get through the day on coffee and sheer stubborn will.

Kansas City Convention Center

Downtown skyline

I just make it to the morning session (missing breakfast) and we get divided up into our questions. I have THE BEST question.It’s P1Q4, and it’s a dream to grade. I can’t say any more about the content part of grading it until the official rubric comes out, and then I can share a few observations I have made. For now, just know that it’s a really great assignment. We were done training by mid-morning and started actual grading-for-real before lunch. Each folder contains 25 exams, and I finished 37 folders by the end of the day. That’s day 1. I will probably continue to get faster as the days goes on. I’ll plateau soon enough, but holy smokes. On the question from two years ago, I was getting about 12 folders in a full day. Getting 37 in .75 of a day is a way, way easier question to grade. I’ll probably end up getting moved, but that’s fine. I’ll love this question while I have it.

Day over, I’m feeling accomplished, so I tackle the final labor-intensive school-related thing: writing comments for all my students. I started around 5:30 and finished a bit after 7:30 with the ones I had left. To celebrate, I went to the opening reception, which usually has snacks and drinks and visiting. I’m all about snacks and drinks (especially when I’ve missed dinner AGAIN), and these are pretty great people to visit with. I get there, at the reception that is supposed to start at 7:30, and all the food is already gone. There’s like a few pieces of carrot and a plate of cheese cubes left. Damn physics teachers are vultures! I get a few pieces of cheese to munch on and start doing a little bit of visiting and end up talking to my friend Bill who ran a D&D campaign for a group of us at the reading two years ago that was super fun. He suggests leaving the super crowded, super loud, super under-fooded and non-drinked reception and head to the local physics teacher bar. I’m in!


This bar is called The Flying Saucer. You can see a small selection of the beers they have available in the picture above.I realized about halfway there that I had left my wallet at home, so I figured I’d drink ice water and socialize, no problem. There’s a thing there where if people in a certain group drink so many different beers, they get one of those saucers you see on the ceiling. When I started in 2015, we had this saucer:


By the end of that reading, we had won the GREEN saucer which is in there now. We’ve got 95 beers left to drink before we get the next level up from that (black, maybe?), which we’ve been working on since 2016. There is a limit of 3 per person per day, but we did add I believe four more this evening, so 91 left now? There were about 15 of us there at the biggest group, but not everyone was having beer, including me, and not all the beers everyone had were NEW beers. Super fun to hang with people again. Eventually we got bored of the Saucer (and tired of the slow service, which I kinda figured was normal for 15 people showing up with any given 5 of them swapping out every half hour or so), so we went to another place. There it was discovered that I wasn’t drinking because I didn’t have a wallet, so a drink was purchased for me. I sat down at a table to visit, and someone offered me the last few slices of pizza. AP Readers: Taking care of this forgetful, money-less mooch since 2015!

Had more great conversations, headed back to the hotel around 10, typed this up, and now it’s time for me to try really super hard to actually get a real night’s sleep. That’ll sure be nice.

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