Spilling the Tea on the AP Cafe


The AP Cafe is now open for business periods 7 and 8 and after school until 4 p.m. on the second floor of the 100 building.
The AP Cafe first opened last school year as a safe place for AP students to relieve stress, get tutoring, or work with partners for homework or group projects. Last year was a bit of a “beta test,” as AP coordinator Jason West, seen on the right, called it, but this year it has returned with a larger variety of supplies, resources, and treats for AP students (including West’s famous assortment of tea).
One student told West that she really liked the space because it made her feel like she was cared about. The atmosphere and decor of the room have been specifically designed for this effect, and West is happy that students have taken a liking to it. He aims to maintain a space where students that are challenging themselves can relax and have a comfortable place to go for help. “You can’t just make the assumption that the kid is eating or taking care of themselves,” he said, hence the supply of refreshments available for the students.
“We’re very down to business here, and they give you help straight on,” CIC student Marco Menes said. “They actually helped me get my grade up in physics. I had a D originally, and I got it up to an A-.” Thanks to one of the tutors, Vasil “Vasco” Gucev, Menes was also able to raise a failing grade in geometry to a B.
The Cafe is a lot busier this year than it was previously, but that means that more tutors are needed to help out. West is specifically interested in hiring students with unscheduled periods 1 and 2 so he can make the Cafe available during those times, as well.
Gucev said that the desire to help others is what makes a good tutor. There are other more efficient ways to make money or improve a college resume, he says, but one of the greatest feelings in the world to him is when a struggling student leaves with a clearer understanding because of what he was able to help them with. “That’s what a tutor does: he reiterates something again and again and again in multiple different ways…they change the way you look at the picture until it makes sense.”
This year, West has started the AP Cafe Club to organize fundraisers for future resources and treats. He would also like to see systems set in place for the Cafe to continue over the years. “Beyond your years at this school, beyond my years at this school, I want this place to last,” he said.
While the Cafe is mainly targeted as an aid for AP students, West would describe it as a club rather than a VIP lounge. Students are welcome to invite friends outside of AP courses, as well.
West would also like to remind students that rules for the AP tests have changed from last year. AP students should have been registered for the exam in class, but there will be no penalty if they do not pay and do not want to take it. Once the test is paid for, students will be charged $40 if they do not attend. Many resources and practice tests are available on the College Board website for studying purposes.