Musings on the State of Upper School Students

John Gross Co-Editor-in-Chief Two Thursdays ago, the Forum held our bi-weekly meeting in room 525 at 7:50 in the morning. Over fifteen staff writers chose from thirty-two article ideas, eating Einstein’s bagels during the process. This weekend, however, I fielded multiple emails from writers who aren’t able to finish their articles in time for the Nov. 16 edition. And I don’t blame them. This past week was brutal. Essays, tests, quizzes, and projects from nearly every class had our energy drained come Friday. And next week doesn’t look very promising either. At a certain point, students run out of energy for anything that isn’t mandatory. It is a simple and expected thing that happens. Students do not have enough energy to do everything. And perhaps more draining than the sheer time spent doing homework is the stress that comes with any looming test or essay. This stress and fatigue is possibly the reason why I am sitting in front of my computer with less than half of the twenty-five article ideas that were claimed two weeks ago. I am scrounging for things to give this edition more substance, so I guess we can add this rant to the list of articles. In a school that prides itself with a revamped health and wellness initiative and myriad extracurricular opportunities—including school clubs—this is difficult to swallow. It isn’t healthy to put so much time and effort into school that everything else must be dropped. Not to mention the physical tolls of not getting enough sleep. I myself had a piercing headache that lasted from Tuesday until Friday. So, what can be done to fix this? One of the purposes of no-homework weekends is to allow students to participate in community service and extracurricular activities. But are four weekends throughout the year enough?  And to many these weekends don’t allow students to become more involved in extracurricular activities, because if truly no homework is done over the weekend, then work piles up during the next week. And I don’t want to sound naive and suggest that teachers stop assigning homework or anything unrealistic. But I just think this should be noted. The Forum is an exciting medium that voices the way students view and experience the Latin School on a daily basis. We have all put a lot of time and energy into making the Forum as great as it can be, and we want the writers and readers alike to be able to experience this and participate in the paper. It often feels like overwhelming work from school prevents students from fully participating in the very extracurricular activities that differentiate the Latin School from other schools in the state. Thanksgiving is around the corner and second quarter feels as unbearable as ever. I am counting down the days until Thanksgiving break more religiously than I ever have. Do you share my sentiment? Disagree? Comment below with your opinions on health and wellness at Latin and whether or not extracurriculars are being compromised by school work.]]>