A Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the AP Lang Journal

A Brief History of the AP Lang Journal.


A collection of various Lang Journals.

Whether you dreaded it or looked forward to it, the AP English Language Journal is certainly a hallmark of the class. For anyone who has yet to or has not taken AP Lang, Ms. Hurt and Mrs. Grayson keep a class journal, and each day a different student takes the journal home to write an entry on anything. Journal topics from the current senior class range from creative stories, poems, to lots of lists. But many of you may not know that Ms. Hurt keeps the journals from all of her previous classes on the back shelf of the classroom. So for this article, I’ve decided to glance through some of Ms. Hurt’s journals and learn about the history of the AP English Language Journal.  In addition, Mrs. Hurt first started the Lang Journal in 1998, making this year the journal’s Twentieth Anniversary!

Mrs. Hurt’s 2004 and 2005 classes each successfully completed two journals per class, and as far as I know these are the only classes to complete such a feat. Among the entries in the 2004 there is a pocket thesaurus, an eraser shaped like a lizard, a class CD with music from The Strokes, REM, and Radiohead, and a “Book a Minute” packet with one sentence descriptions of classic novels.  In an entry titled “Joe’s Super Special Journal Entry Finale!!!,” Joe writes “I begin this journal entry with a disclaimer… I announce my plan to temporarily discontinue my use of the English Language following the AP Lang Exam” and that “The 1B Journal is a monument to this class’ short existence.” Another student pasted into the journal Lists of 2004 Horoscopes and a 10 step guide to “not doing the math homework.”  Mrs. Hurt’s 3B class of 2004’s journal included a list of “Odds of Being Killed in Random Ways,” an eight page guide to accepting an Academy Award, a list of “Excuses for Why I’ve Been Late,” several George Bush and Al Gore jokes, and an entry on one student’s trip to Mardi Gras.

The 2005 class journal seemed inspired by their predecessors to complete two journals. The 2005 class also included in addition to their entries a CD titled “Once upon a Dream,” The 2006 AMHS Talent Show Brochure, several AP Lang Playlists, and lots of comic strips. Judging from several class entries, the first journal was named Lars and the second Persephone. Following the 2004 and 2005 classes, Mrs. Hurt’s classes seemed to sadly tone down their enthusiasm for the journal, and that trend remains.  In my opinion, the Lang Journals peaked in 2004 and 2005. But to the current juniors and underclassmen: you still have time to make your class journal awesome!

Check out these pictures of previous Lang Journals.