All About Poli Sci

Seniors Zach Hughes and Katherine Galvin give the inside scoop on Poli-Sci

What exactly is Poli-Sci? How is it different from regular government?

KG: “Poli-Sci is different in almost every way. You’re essentially on your own in this class. In regular government you do all the learning in class, but in Poli-Sci you do a lot of your learning over the summer.”        

ZH: “Poli-Sci is short, explosive bursts of work. In the summer you’re assigned 11 essays, and then you don’t do as much during the school year until november, when you’re put in your unit. The units collectively do research and write three papers, and those three papers are your final grades for the semester, along with a cumulative test on the textbook.”

What are the pros and cons of taking this class?

KG: “A con is If you don’t care that much about the class, or you’re taking it because you think you’re a smart person and you’re ‘supposed to be in AP classes,’ you won’t do well. You have to show so much dedication – like in meeting outside of school.”

ZH: “A big pro in taking Poli-Sci is that it teaches you how to speak and write well. It teaches you how to really work well in groups, and you’re asigned a pretty substantial load for this class. This is a real world kind of class, and it also makes you a super informed citizen. If you get into your state competition, you get to travel and stay in hotels, and the competition itself is super fun. Then, if you win state, you get to travel to D.C. for 5 days which is really cool.”

How many hours of sleep a night did you get on average while taking Poli-Sci?

KG: “Sleep is not that much of an issue. We tend to meet at night, but I never ended up having to pull an all nighter or anything.”

ZH: (laughs) “Seven. My sleep is so not affected by Poli-Sci.”

What is a typical week like for someone taking Poli-Sci?

ZH: “It’s different for the season you’re in. Right now, the post state competition, we’re doing a large amount of reading and a little bit of writing.”

What are the different units like?

ZH: “Unit one are the Philosopher Kings, and they study these Grecko-Roman figures. Two and Four are super historical, they study how the Constitution came about and stuff like that. If you’re in unit five, you know so many court cases. If you’re in unit three and six you deal with a lot of civil rights questions. Six is more about 21st century issues facing the Constitution.”

What is the State Competition like?

KG: “To prepare, you’ll meet with your unit maybe 5 nights a week for a few hours. You can be as prepared as you want to be for the competition, it depends on how much work you put in. Before State, we do run-throughs every Saturday to see what we knew and what we still needed to know.”

ZH: “When you get into your State competition, everyone is nervous because you have to be prepared to answer all these history questions and you don’t know what’s coming. But then you realize at that point that you know so much, and you’re ready for everything.”