By Victoria Reim and Jasmine Virgen
Psychology has long been an elective at Alameda High. In this time, students have attempted to take on the AP Psychology exam without the advanced class itself. Senior Nicole Chavez and junior Sophia Sussman will start a psychology club this year to help students prepare for the exam in May.
In previous years, psychology teacher Molly Gerber has held after-school study sessions for the test. These had varying levels of success among students due to busy after-school schedules.
Two years ago after-school sessions “were regular and really successful,” said Gerber. Unfortunately it became difficult to maintain this regularity last year.
As Gerber said, “life gets in the way of after-school meetings.”
According to seniors Andrew Zhen and Courtney Cheng, studying independently from the Barron’s AP Psychology book was more efficient because of that simple fact.
To remedy this, Gerber decided to create a school club that would meet at lunch with the hope that more people would show up.
So when Gerber proposed the idea to her classes, Sussman was the first one to volunteer. “Ms. Gerber talked about the AP psych test and she said that they used to study for it after school but she wants to make it a lunch thing … she needs a president to make it official and I really like her class,” Sussman said, adding “I’m really interested in psychology and this would be a fun leadership role to take on.”
Chavez asked to be a part of the club, saying that she felt “this was the best way” to study for the test.
The club will meet every other Friday in Gerber’s classroom. Members will focus on reviewing topics that Gerber will cover in class as well as learning topics that she will not have time to cover due to the nature of the course. “We don’t cover all of the material because we move slower,” Gerber said.
According to Sussman, who is also the secretary for GSA, “it’s different than most clubs because it’s more of an academic club [and] is more school-oriented.”
Thirty-seven students came to the first meeting where Gerber introduced the plan for the club. An interesting feature of this plan is that students will be given opportunities to be the teachers themselves.
The idea is to have students present psychology topics to the rest of the club. Gerber will provide reliable sources for them to research their chosen topic, but other than that will let them be the teachers. She says she wants to be “the expert on hand to answer questions and fill in the blanks as they present,” but that for the most part she will just act as a “facilitator.”