Advanced Placement Calculus is known for the rigorous curriculum, its dedicated students, and prestige in the academia field. Only students who excel in the prerequisites required for the course are allowed to take it. The course sets students up to take the more advanced courses in college. Many students who take the course plan to go into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. Gull Lake High School offers the AP Calculus AB curriculum taught by Reginald ‘Reggie’ Walters.
“AP Calculus is a difficult course,” said Gull Lake High School senior Nadia Escandon.
To make it more fun, Walters encourages students to design and purchase class themed t-shirts every year. For incentive, Walters offers extra credit if the students wear that year’s themed t-shirt on a test day, offering a full 5-points of extra if they are donning the themed apparel.
“It’s pretty clutch of him to offer us extra credit,” said Ryan Wakely, current Gull Lake High School senior and AP Calculus Student. Wakely plans to go into the medical field after graduation.
There is a catch to the t-shirts; however, everything must be student created and organized. Not every year are students willing to take the initiative to organize designing and purchasing the shirts. Last year in case in point: the AP Calculus did not purchase class shirts.
“There was a ton of procrastination and no one was really willing to take the time themselves to actually make the shirts,” said Austin Hostetler current Gull Lake High School senior, and a student in last year’s AP Calculus class.
This year the initiative of making the t-shirts was taken by Escandon.
“I felt like a senior should be the one in charge of them, and out of the seniors, I was the only one willing to actually make it happen,” Escandon said.
Escandon worked with several other students to design the shirt. Sarah Pelyhes and Caroline Stults both contributed main elements. The students decided on a long-sleeved tee shirt that had a flirty math pun on it. The front of the shirt read “Is your sine2 pi/2 because you are the one,” and on the back there is a photo of Walters winking with the phrase “I’ll Calc-u-later.” The photo of Walters was Stults idea, and the phrase “I’ll calc-u-later” was Pelyhes.
“When [the class] originally came up with the idea of the pick-up line, [the class] realized it would be 10 times funnier with Walter’s face on the back,” Escandon said. “At first [the class] tried to sneak a picture, but we eventually just asked him if we could get a photo of him winking. He agreed even though we was very uncomfortable.”
The shirts were ordered from Artwear Apparel in Kalamazoo, and the total cost was $440. Students each paid $15 for their shirts, and there was a total of 30 sold.
The t-shirts will act as a memory reminder.
“Studying with others for the test and being under pressure really has led to some solid friendships since the beginning of the year,” Escandon said. “I know they will last.”