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[Susan notes: The rest of the letter section in which this fine letter was published contained letters in praise of AP courses. One parent said maybe parents needed to face up to the fact that their kids aren't smart enough, teachers claimed their courses are wonderfully creative, and so on. People should pay attention to Molly Lehmuller's letter. Students are tired out; they are exhausted.]

Published in New York Times
10/08/2006

To the editor

I am a senior in high school, and I take three Advanced Placement courses. I received a 1,250 on my SAT. I have a 3.6 grade point average. It’s not good enough, not by a long shot.



The intense pressure in nearly every school across America to become a success is wearing us down. Four or five A.P. classes is the average for an academically competitive student at my school, and taking seven (out of a seven-period class schedule) is not unusual.



Colleges, parents, teachers, strangers — all want more from us than we can give. A 17-year-old should not have to spend a week in the hospital for exhaustion. Students shouldn’t have to drag themselves through each and every school week on 28 hours of sleep or take a handful of Advil to get through soccer practice or calculus class.



It may not seem like it, but we’re tired.



Molly Lehmuller

Charlotte, N.C.

Molly Lehmuller


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