by Taylor Thompson
Right now, teachers, parents, and some times even other students, tend to treat students like what we say and do right now in high school does matter. We tend to act like high school isn't the real world. Which sometimes can come across like right now we're not really people. Somehow we need to find a way to change the message that we as a whole society send to high school kids.
So, don't get me wrong I understand the student ID policy... to a degree. The major problem is this, a large percentage of high school kids with a student ID don't actually wear it around their neck. Wearing it around your neck is just one more thing to worry about. And the punishment for not wearing it is write up? I thought the point was that the ID was there to show who belongs at the school and who doesn't. So, what you're telling me is that if someone doesn't belong, and therefore doesn't have an ID around their neck you're going to give them a write up? Furthermore, students who have it but don't have it around there neck are reminded that it needs to be on a lanyard around their necks. Also, this whole "teachers are doing it too" thing is just a bit off. Wearing a pin on you're shirt and wearing a think, sometimes very uncomfortable, strap around your neck is most definitely not the same thing.
From what I hear the major reason for having an entirely separate cafeteria for seniors is to cut down on the traffic in the main cafeteria. Which does make a lot of sense except for one thing. The freshman class size has been known to get bigger and bigger each year which means that the traffic in the main cafeteria might have gone down a little bit but now it is climbing back up again. Which means they used a temporary solution to solve an on going problem. Secondly, it is supposedly a "privillege" to eat in the senior cafeteria, except for seniors whose friends aren't seniors this isn't a privilege this is isolation. Yes, you could say that people need to branch out and get to know people, but once again this is high school, we need to except the fact that most people aren't going to do that. But a senior cafeteria at one school is not the only example of this. There are some schools who are small enough to have one cafeteria, but have their seniors eating off of trays that are a different color than everyone else. Which, if you can imagine, can make some people feel like a fly in a glass of milk. Especially if they are the only one's in the room with that color tray.
I'll be the first to admit that even teens are guilty of clumping groups together and assuming the worst or treating an entire group a certain way because of one persons actions. However, I'm almost certain this is a learned behavior. See teachers and administrators and even parents have a nasty habit of punishing an entire group of teens because of the actions of one. An example of this is any time you hear "If I see any of ______ than the entire class will get x amount of homework" or "If I hear ____ out of anyone, we're all going home." or "If you can't be quiet enough the entire auditorium of students gets sent back to class." This is the most hate spreading threat any teen can hear. Because we all know there's going to be that one kid in the class who wants to test the teacher to see if they're lying and that there is nothing anyone can do to stop them or shut them up. See but this doesn't just make the entire group hate that one person, no, see now we hate the teacher or administrator or parent for making the threat in the first place and we hate them even more for following through on it even though we know that you know that we won't take you seriously unless you stick to your word. We still hate you for it because there was nothing we could do to stop the one jerk in the room from pushing your buttons.
The modern high school student's backpack is just another example of acting like we're not real people. You could say that basically forcing students to carry huge heavy backpacks up and down two flights of stairs could be considered "exercise" to which I would have to say "Don't push it." The average high school students backpack these days ranges anywhere from 18.4 pounds to 30 pounds according to the new york times. As a high school student, you feel less like an appreciated person and more like an over worked pack mule by the time you get home. Yet, some how, no one seems to understand why teens are so grumpy.
I'd like to start by pointing out that the above picture is a stack of homework from only one class. See, teacher's some how feel the need to assign a ridiculous amount of homework even if they know they will see the students the next day the worst part being that odds are all that home work you just got assigned is likely DUE tomorrow. Now, if we only had about four classes this might not be a huge issue but some schools much like Avon have 7 classes. Education weekly speculates that a student with five classes would spend roughly 3.5 hours on homework. This means roughly 42 minutes of homework per class. For a student with 7 classes that number goes up 294 minutes of homework which is about 5 hours of homework. Now looking at that number you're probably thinking "oh that's not much". So lets pose a scenario. Jane wakes up at 7:00 Am and spends 30 minutes getting ready. Then she has a 30 minute drive to school. Then Jane spends 7 hours at school. I's now 2:00 PM and Jane has only used up 8 hours out of her day, and Jane has 5 hours of homework. However, as soon as the bell rings Jane has to drive 15 minutes away from home to get to work. Where she works until closing which for Jane means 10:00 PM. Remember though its a 45 minute drive home which means by the time Jane gets back home to do her homework its almost midnight. Oh and look at that she's got 5 hours of homework that is all due tomorrow. Which means Jane now has to figure out what she wants more sleep or good grades. And since Jane probably only got two hours of sleep the night before that and has been up since 7 and just barely got home after a 17 hour day the decision is even harder. Let's say she chooses grades well then Jane spends roughly 2 hours (If that) on homework and then crashes.
Now let me clarify due dates are not the enemy. However, they can become the enemy in scenarios where it appears that all you're teachers got together and assigned the 500 point assignment on the exact same day. Which if you hadn't known is super stressful. Some due dates feel like timed tests. As a student, you spend the whole time you're working on it thinking, "I'm about 90% sure that it took us at least 4 times as long as this to learn this material, couldn't we get just a little more time to actually put it into practice." Plus there's the other thing. On the off chance that something actually does happen to you or you're project or you're computer, you'll just have to deal with that bad grade because 90% of teachers won't believe you when you say "my dog really did eat my homework!" or "I swear, my computer really did crash..." or "I stayed up all night on it, I promise. I was just so tired this morning I forgot to put it in my backpack." Unless you're smart and bring the evidence there is a 99.9999999999...% chance that you're teachers response will be "uh-huh."
6 Minute Breaks
Coming from a school that had only about 4 minutes to get to class I can say that even one extra minute can make all the difference in the world in between classes. For Avon though where some of the kids are in P hall having to make there way back to the A hall I can quite frankly say that six minutes is just not enough time for a school this big. Schools do have this thing about only giving so many minutes in between classes, but it always feels like they don't take into account the size of the building or the amount of traffic inside the building.
Here's the thing, it is completely demeaning to be told on a regular basis that you are about to become an adult and need to start acting like it and making adult decisions, while also being given a limited number of times you are allowed to go to the bathroom. Not to mention asking the question is just as awkward for someone who knows that in a year or two no one is going to care if you just get up and go. It is horribly awkward to be treated like a five year old while everyone tells you that you need to act like an adult.
I do not understand the need for text books if the books are online. Even more so, I don't understand the need to carry around a 15 lb laptop if we have a text book. I don't get why we need to have both. Either switch to electronic or go back to paper, I don't particularly care either way, but just make up you're mind this is way too much weight. No one need this much stuff... please, lighten our load.
The Student Body
We as students need to ban together and take care of each other. Even in the "real world" when you are on our own, we aren't going to be completely and utterly alone, someone is going to care. If the current adults could stop contradicting themselves and acting like we aren't real yet, that would be great. The decisions we make do matter. The things we say do have an impact. This is the real world. We are not waiting to become real people, we already are. The mind set for high school students needs to change. It needs to start now, by deciding not to let ourselves believe that high school students are less than or strange "creatures" to whatever your definition is of the real world.