New Year Bliss

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New Year Bliss

Sam Frank, Staff Writer

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Ah, the first week of school. Fresh off the summer, students and staff alike are rested, recharged, and ready for a great year of learning. The hallways are alive.


Oh, the second through fortieth weeks of school. Each day’s a valiant struggle, and the students and staff alike show it. The hallways are dead.


Okay, this may be a slight exaggeration. But don’t let my hyperbole take away from the truth; there is a very real and noticeable sense of bliss in the first week of school.


First of all, the teachers are nicer. While they assign homework – it’s not freshman year anymore! – the assignments are almost always reasonable and purposeful. They tell us lies like, “We know you have lives outside of school,” and, “We don’t want to overwhelm you.” They make class interesting and engaging. We complete activity after activity while the textbooks collect dust on the windowsill. It’s as if every teacher in the school is modeled after Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society.


Gradually, they come to resemble the economics teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The homework load becomes overwhelming. Had a soccer game and a Choraliers rehearsal last night? Tough luck. School comes first. In-class isn’t much better. We complete a worksheet or take notes during a lecture while trying to avoid falling asleep. Those textbooks get more frequent use.


It’s not just the teachers who start the year with false promises. We students give just as good as we get. At the beginning of the year, Hall is made up of a bunch of model students. Bright-eyed, eager to learn, and always prepared, we say “hello” when we enter the classroom and “thank you” when we leave. We actually do the homework assigned to us and pay attention in class.


Just the other day, I was in history class when the teacher announced an assignment due next Tuesday. As I packed up, I overheard two classmates talking, and what I heard was shocking.


“I’ll probably start this tonight and get a lot of it done,” one said to the other. And it was only Thursday! To my surprise, I found that I had no urge to procrastinate either.


But that has changed already, after just a few weeks of school. Now we share stories of turning in homework minutes before the 11:59 due date on Google Classroom. We enter class silently, and once inside, we zone out.


The question is, what gives? Fatigue is the universal scapegoat, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.


No, I think that we choose to act like our New-Years-Selves. With impressions to make and goals in mind, we act according to our ideals. But as the year goes on, we lose the will to keep it up. The third, fourth, and fifth weeks of school represent nothing more than 1500 New Year’s resolutions being broken.


Now, I know this isn’t the Opinions column, but it seems to me that school is much more exciting that first week. So, for my sake, your own, and the sake of all of Hall, try to live like your First-Week-Self just a little bit longer this school year.