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Week #5 of Summer 2018: July 3 – 9

British soccer fan holding a homemade banner with the words “It’s coming home”

Chetan Shukla ‘20 Visits London during British World Cup Run

With the absence of the US Men’s National Team from this Summer’s World Cup, excitement for the largest sporting event on the planet has been slightly dampened in America, but on a recent trip to England, rising Junior Chetan Shukla experienced firsthand true World Cup Fever. In London to visit family, Chetan said that Britain’s response to the tournament was unlike anything he’s seen in America. “You could feel the electricity in the air,” Chetan said of the “football”-crazed country. “The last time they made it to the semis was 1990. The last time they won was 1966, so this run is pretty exceptional for the team and the entire nation in general.”

Chetan watched The Three Lions’ 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Sweden in a local pub with friends and relatives and felt swept up in the enthusiasm of fans who had likely never seen their beloved team win a major international competition. “When England scored or [English goalie Jordan] Pickford made a great save, applause and screams would ring out through the pub. It was a great atmosphere and a very cool experience.” After the game, fans streamed out of the pub singing “It’s coming home,” a song that has become ubiquitous in England throughout this World Cup. As Chetan explains, the “it” in the phrase refers as much to football itself as to the World Cup trophy, as England was the birthplace of the game but has fallen behind other countries in recent decades. And for a country whose last appearance in a major international tournament – the Euro 2016 – ended in a humiliating loss to tiny Iceland, belief in their national team has come home to England as well. Chetan was back stateside for England’s heartbreaking semifinal loss to Croatia on Wednesday.

AP Scores Returned

On Saturday, July 7th, dozens of Belmont Hill rising Juniors and Seniors nervously checked their scores on this year’s AP Exams after the 8 AM release in Massachusetts (recent graduates also received their scores, but likely did not experience the same anticipation). Two months after taking the May exams, many students remarked that they had all but forgotten about their original efforts. Each year, AP exams provide high schoolers some of their biggest challenges, as students are forced to recall nine months of fast-paced learning in grueling multi-hour formats. Grading is competitive and the coveted score of five is always hard to come by, and this year proved no different, although not without significant variation; of the exams taken at Belmont Hill, English Literature and Biology followed the harshest curves, with 5.6% and 7.1%, respectively, of students nationwide receiving fives, while BC Calculus and Spanish Language were some of the easiest, with 40.3% and 23.2%, respectively, scoring fives. AP scores have lost some significance recently as more colleges have moved away from accepting AP credits, but AP classes remain the most rigorous options at Belmont Hill, ensuring their vital importance at the school for the near future.

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