Bryce Rennick: This Schedule Has to Go

When winter break was over and we were told to go back to school, it was announced that we would not be going back in person for the first three weeks. This is an obvious choice; people could have been visiting family, going places, possibly exposing themselves to the virus, so not going back to school would make sense. What didn’t make sense, when this was announced, was that we would be keeping the same hybrid schedule that we had before, even though people weren’t going back to school.

With this hybrid schedule, we are forced to have one hour and twenty-minute classes four days a week, and on Monday we have a traditional schedule where we go through each one of our classes. The previous schedule was like the schedule before the pandemic, with A and B days, but instead of hour and a half classes, we had forty-five minutes.

The forty-five minute classes were easy to process and understand when at home. For most people, working and learning from home is rather difficult because of a few reasons. The first reason is that you are possibly surrounded by items and objects that you enjoy and, thus, will distract you. This is the case for me. Before I had to start packing for college, my room was chock-full of action figures, posters, comics and all sorts of other toys, like most teenager’s rooms. It became increasingly difficult to not look at my Gambit and Rogue action figures, or my Firefly collectibles, or my Weird Science poster while in class. They distracted me and caused me to feel more relaxed and not wish to have school in my own room. 

The second reason is simply that you are home, in an environment you would not associate with working. Before the pandemic, I looked at getting home as a reward. It was like a ritual of mine, getting home after a long day or what would feel like failure after failure. I was able to calm myself down and do what I wanted to do, not to be controlled by anyone else and told what assignments were due. Now, that idea of “getting home” is thrown completely out of the window, and “home” is now the workplace. Both of those places and their mindsets are now mixed, and the idea is convoluted.

Because of this, shorter classes made life easier. Most importantly, they gave students and teachers the time to themselves that everyone needs.

The hour and twenty-minute schedule does not do that.

Instead, they do exactly what I was talking about before, where they keep you in longer so you will be most distracted and that idea of “home” and “workplace” becomes even more tangled than before. 

The most important point that has yet to be made is the other responsibilities that people have within their lives, and how more class takes away from that. For me, I’m in two production classes, TarTV and the Beacon. Although both classes are part of the school, I am a leader in both classes, causing me to have more responsibilities. On top of that, I have other responsibilities at home that I have to take care of, other hobbies that I would like to spend time doing and other activities that I want to do or need to do. I’m hardly the only one who deals with this; there are plenty of other students who have greater responsibilities than I do, who have people who depend on them to help provide food or money for the family, or take care of a younger sibling, or take care of the house in general.

The longer schedule seems to present more problems than solutions. People have lives, even during a pandemic, when “having a life” is put on hold for the safety of others. Even if it may seem like we have more time now, that is not the case for everyone. Knowing this can help people understand some other people’s situations, and cause them to be more respectful of those situations as well.