Hi, and welcome to AP U.S. History!
Per the president’s instructions, 150 trained ex-Marines and a tank will be sitting in with us this semester. Everyone say hi! And get cozy. There isn’t a lot of room here because we decided that, of all the possible ways we could have sought to ensure our children’s safety, this was literally the only approach we could try.
Quick update to the syllabus: We are not watching “Saving Private Ryan” because it contains movie violence, which President Trump is concerned may give us bad ideas. And, also, because it will be difficult to see on the portion of the projector screen not obscured by the tank turret. I can’t wait for our class discussion of the Seneca Falls Convention and the civil-rights movement. I look forward to having a rigorous debate of the intent of the founders when they used the phrase “well regulated militia”! But, of course, not too rigorous.
No, Charisse, you cannot go to the bathroom; the armed escort is still in there with Tim.
I also have some personal news: To receive a bonus, which I sorely require, I am carrying a concealed firearm in a pocket holster, which is why my cardigan is draped in such an unusual manner today, and it’s also why, when I tripped and dropped the box of pencils that I paid for out of my own pocket because our supplies budget was cut, I clutched my hip and screamed “OH GOD, NO!” I promise that this will not happen again. I am going to get comfortable with the new requirements for being a teacher, because I think what I do is important, and because the man with strong muscular arms and impeccable aim who would replace me thinks the Trent Affair is something you have outside your marriage with the lead singer of the Nine Inch Nails. Ha ha, dating myself there.
The reason I have written “execrable debacle” on the board is because those are two SAT words I would like for you to learn. No other reason. I am sorry that you only get one piece of paper; I tried to suggest that binders and ruled paper should be a budget priority, but it did not fly. But we did receive funds so that Ms. Clifford — the art teacher — could get three weeks of boot camp and six pistols, and so that a man can stand outside the auditorium with a rocket launcher.
We will not have any active-shooter drills because the president thinks they are demoralizing, unlike the conditions in which I am now going to attempt to teach you about the liberties we hold dear — oh God, what’s happening? Oh sure, Tony, I guess it must be hot in the tank. You go ahead and open that top up. I just got a little startled, but it’s fine, we’re fine. Hoo boy. Okay. We’re fine. We’re fine. Everyone’s fine.
To the members of the security team, you are welcome to take the final, but when I call on people, I am going to prioritize current students.
And remember, we’re here to learn! Think of this as a fun mnemonic for the Bill of Rights. When you look around at what we are being asked to do here rather than attempt any sort of restrictions on gun ownership, you may well think, “This is a big pile of number two.” And, hey, that’s the amendment!
This class is heavy on the reading, and we are going to move quickly through history to get to the present. Although, really, why rush? Look at where we wound up.