The Auroran Today

The Student News Site of Muscatine High School

The Auroran Today

The Auroran Today

New Teen Parents at MHS?

AP Psych babies were carried around by students to learn about parenting

Mckenna Schumaker, a Sophomore at MHS said, “At 3:31 I will be dropping this thing down the stairs.”

Now you may be asking yourself right now, what is she talking about?

Mckenna is talking about the “babies” that all AP Psych students have to carry around. The babies are mostly either baby dolls or medium-sized stuffed animals. Students are expected to take care of it at all times and be holding it unless it is being “babysat” by another student.

Micayla with her crocheted cow baby

Micayla Edkin, a participating Sophomore in the project said, “I don’t see the point in carrying a stuffed animal around, but it does make a good pillow.”

The purpose is that AP Psych is currently in their developmental unit. The baby comes with an assignment to give a backstory to your child and apply the terms along the way. Mr. Oz frequently emphasized that it was teaching students how to take care of something constantly that wasn’t themselves.

An example of a student struggling with that responsibility is Mckenna, she said, “I don’t like having it in my hands like there are times in choir where every single time I put it down some choir kid says ‘you can’t put that down, I’m going to snitch on you, you’re going to lose a point’ and I’m like ‘oh shiver me timbers’.”

Carrying around the baby also came with a lot of embarrassment for some students.

Dylon with his Batman teddy bear baby

Dylon Mason, a Sophomore at MHS reflected on this when he said, “The worst part for me has just been like walking through the giant hallway from Band to Chemistry. No matter what day it was, no matter how many people I see walking with their own stuffed animals, walking around with a Batman teddy bear was just embarassing.”

Mckenna had a similar experience, “I went to the Band concert last night. There was a seven-year-old sitting behind me and she turned around and looked at my baby all cute and then looked at me and gave me a dirty look.”

This also happened to Brynn Castle. When going to the AG center for her class, she had Micayla babysit for her.

Her reasoning for this was simply, “I didn’t want to bring it on the bus.”

Brynn and her stuffed animal of choice

Brynn even picked out her stuffed animal baby trying to keep in mind what would be either the most or least embarrassing to walk around with and still ran into this issue.

Junior at MHS, Kaitlyn Ford had a different take as she participated in the project last year she said, “The experience last year, was the first grade to do it, so people would take our babies and play hot potato with it, and Oz would be around every corner watching your every move and he would dock us points. We would snitch on everyone and we were trying to make everyone else lose. We also would try to steal everyone’s babies and throw them in the trash can to take video proof of it.”

In contrast to last year, this year most students chose not to snitch on their classmates.

Anneliese Poppe, a Sophomore at MHS, said, “If I don’t like you I’ll snitch, if I do I won’t.”

Some students reflected on the things that they did see happening with the babies, just not who did it.

Micayla said, “I won’t say who but I saw someone tie their babies together and hang it over a pole and then hang it on the door and hit it with a ruler as it hung on the ceiling.”

Similarly, Mckenna said, “I saw someone put their baby in like a sling so it can be in front of you and then put it on the door.”

Kara Schlawin, a Sophomore at MHS, shared her solution to the added responsibility as she said, “I use a scarf or a baby sling that way I don’t have to physically hold it and I can still use both of my hands”

Innovations like these were easy to spot and used by many of the students. Benediction Sewa, another Sophomore in the Psychology class, felt that one of the biggest challenges of carrying her baby around was that she could not use both of her hands.

Mr. Najarro during 4th period Symphony Orchestra as he babysits for three students.

On the other hand, some students would hand off their babies to the teachers in their class. Mr. Najarro, one of the Orchestra directors, was one of these teachers as students found it very difficult to play their instruments while holding their babies. Surprisingly, Mr. Najarro was completely welcoming of the idea and even found himself looking forward to his new duty as a babysitter during class.

Najarro even said, “I just felt that I gained a wonderful sense of responsibility for enriching the kids by sharing the music with them and conducting with them by my side. I wish this could be a whole year thing.”



Despite the mixed reviews that this AP Psychology assignment got, it seems to have been an experience that taught the students a lot and will be hard to forget.

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Auroran Today

Your donation will support the student journalists of Muscatine High School . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Arabella Fourneau
Arabella Fourneau is a sophomore here at MHS and a first-year staff writer for the newspaper. She is very passionate about her grades and challenging herself academically. She also enjoys being a part of the orchestra, playing the cello, and enjoying the fun break it gives her during the day.
Maya Simpson
Maya Simpson, Opinion Editor
Maya Simpson is a sophomore at MHS and it is her first year writing for the MHS Auroran Today. She participates in swimming, tennis, marching band, model UN, and jazz at the high school. She enjoys laughing with her family, messing around with friends, and participating in her activities. She makes sure she focuses on school with a busy schedule. Currently, Maya is working on being more organized she started by deleting her entire drive.
Donate to The Auroran Today

Comments (1)

All The Auroran Today Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Connie KeitelMar 21, 2024 at 9:45 am

    A well-written article, Arabella and Maya! It had a little bit of everything, including humor! I appreciate you getting multiple points of view on the assignment. Despite the embarrassment, I imagine it was a good learning experience.