The final leg of a semester

by Lainie Fraser, Staff Writer

While Thanksgiving break takes the cake for the worst kind of vacation, spring break is no better.

Spring break has become synonymous with fun and relaxation. For some that means a week in Mexico, for others it means of a week of home-cooked meals and never leaving bed. Either way, there is warmer weather and zero work being done.

The way my schedule worked out this year I had 12 days off for spring break. Twelve days  spent on the beach here in beautiful San Diego. Twelve days of no work, good food and friends. Twelve days of being inattentive and sleeping in.

Twelve days later, however, when I returned to campus for my first class after break, my professor actually expected the class to sit through her 75-minute lecture. She used every minute of that class. It was pure torture.

I’m not quite sure what the plan is with scheduling. The conversation must go something like this.

Professor 1: “Easter and Passover are coming up soon should we give them a break from school?”

Professor 2: “Why not? It’s been a while since their last break.”

Professor 1: “Lets give them a ton of work and reading throughout the semester, which we know they won’t do until the night before an exam. Then I can schedule a big midterm and you can schedule a paper to be due the day before they leave for this break.”

Professor 2: “And then once they get back we will pick up where we left off. Tell them we need to get right back into the swing of things because finals are only four weeks away.”

Professor 1: “Perfect!”

Who allows this? Who reads that plan and says, “Well that sounds perfect?”

We grind our way through the semester, putting in the needed effort, or at least as much as we deem necessary. Then we are gifted with a break, a reward for all the hard work. This is a gift with a hard expiration date. As soon as we get back we are pummeled with assignments and stress and have to begin to dig ourselves out of the hole of reading assignments and online modules.

I was complaining about this terrible predicament and someone said to me, “It’s just a month, you have to make it through a month and then we are done.”

Maybe they were just trying to be positive. Maybe they were trying to turn things around with an end date and help me get motivated. Maybe, but let me tell you, it didn’t work.

The fact that we come back from spring break with only a month left of school is scary. The thought of all the work, all the reading and tests and quizzes that need to occur for the semester to come to end, only for us to make it to finals, is daunting. And then there are finals.

Don’t even get me started with finals. Final exams are a trap. You’ve worked hard all semester to get your grade where it is and it can all be wiped away with one final exam. Finals should be optional.

So if I’ve just rehashed issues you’ve managed to bury deep, or if I’ve sparked a new fire within you, I leave you with this thought: the roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet. Suffer, struggle and work to get through this semester and have the absolutely amazing summer you deserve.

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