Musings on Everything

I muse, therefore I write.

On Longer Amounts of Schooling

This is about how much snow remains on the ground in our area the day after snow falls, even if the rest of the Philadelphia area has over 5 feet on top of them. It's not fair.

So, recently, I got to wondering why, exactly, our district decided it was going to cut the length of Thanksgiving and Winter breaks, start our year earlier, and end it later. I mean, aren’t we already suffering enough? Don’t we have enough overachievers to live with? If the district keeps this up, we are going to have a spate of children collapsing, or hallucinating, or even dying due to lack of sleep. No joke. This goes with what I’ve been saying about the culture of staying up late to finish work that really isn’t that pressing and/or overstudying that is far too common. I personally know three (3) girls that are probably going to suffer mental breakdowns sometime in the next 12 months and spend the rest of their lives stuck in some mental hospital somewhere gibbering to themselves, "Must… review… one… last… time…"

Dear Superintendent:

As a heartfelt plea from the entirety of our district, let me say that you are completely off your rocker with this. I understand that part of the new teachers’ contract you recently hammered out calls for more instructional days (I’m gonna be talking to teachers next (what were they thinking?)), but that is no reason to quietly acquiesce to their incoherent demands! What, you want to be stuck here during the third week of June, sweating bullets in a hot office while not more than five minutes’ walk away, there are 1500 angry teenagers who are missing out on some of the best days of their lives? Really? I mean, think about this for half a second. Our district is supposed to be known for its amazing ability to instill thinking skills instead of facts into its students. As in, I think we’ve won an award for that or some such thing. You’d think that the people running this thinking mill would actually do some thinking themselves. I implore you, dear sir/madam, think hard about what you are doing to the people that rely on you to be a good person, the people who rely on you to give them their days off. You already are a cold-hearted snow lover, and apparently wish all your constituency to be the same, therefore sending us out into the cold snow when every other school on the Main Line closes up shop. I mean, we really aren’t that more important than everyone else. We get the same snow (though for us it never seems to stick quite as much :-( ) as they do, so why shouldn’t we get the same schedule and snow days as they do?

But, then, I can’t just go about my ranting without there being a clincher, now can I? No, I suppose not. There has to be a special pièce de résistance. And here it is: Not only are they making the year longer, there are entire months during which we, the student body, have no days off. Now, I can see you smirking, "What are you talking about? We already have those." No, no we don’t. Every month, there is at least one built-in day off. Don’t believe me? Go look at the district calendar your parents no doubt have hanging somewhere in your house. Now, next year, the months of October and February are completely day-off free. Nobody, from the poor little kindergarteners up to the seniors in high school is going to get a day off, barring a snow day. Argh. Don’t even get me started on the injustice of snow days, people. I mean, you’d think they’re the best things ever, right? But they’re not. Those lost instructional days have to be made up somehow, because as evidenced by the new teachers’ contract that started all this trouble, our faculty has somewhat of a moral obligation completely lacking in every other district faculty in the world to be there for their students all those 182 days of instruction. Even if that means pushing the year back through the third week of June. That is a 7.5% reduction in summer vacation, people. Not cool. Not cool at all.

Incidentally, here’s the pdf of the 2009-2010 calendar, for your incensed perusal. Have fun.


Written by Sri

January 6, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Posted in Musings

Tagged with , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. I hope you don’t consider me one of those people who will end up in a hospital. Also I agree with this, but I still like school. I just think we need breaks every now and then. This district is ridiculous. At my old school (WHICH IS 15 FREAKING MINUTES AWAY, it’s not that far off), they offer calculus to basically just seniors. A couple juniors get in, but rarely. If you take AP Euro you are considered an overachiever. And only AP Euro, no other AP classes. Honors bio is supposedly the hardest thing ever. There is no AP Bio. I recently talked to a friend who still goes there, and she thought my courseload was insane. “WHAT?! YOU’RE TAKING CALCULUS? AND 4 AP CLASSES SOPHOMORE YEAR?! THAT’S PROBABLY MORE THAN I’LL EVER TAKE!” Here it is normal and common. What a world.

    Esteban/Resident Creeper

    January 7, 2009 at 8:14 PM

  2. Not to piss anyone off, but we’d start school the same time and that’s about the time that we’d end, too (in fact, I remember thinking the past two years that we got off on Paul McCartney’s birthday, which is June 18th. Call me a freak, but I do think about these things!). However, I hate the fact that we have nothing in October or February off. And that our breaks are ridiculously short. For those of us taking hard classes again next year, I swear they’re TRYING to put us in a hospital. Every single one of us. Not just the insane people. Frankly, I’m going insane even WITH built in days off every month,and I’m taking 4, not 6 like some people I know.

    The least they could do is give us some half days other than midterms.


    January 7, 2009 at 8:29 PM

  3. Actually, all I would want is a later school starting time. -_-


    January 7, 2009 at 10:17 PM

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