Struggling back into the routine
After a three-week-long winter break, Marysville High School students are struggling to get back into their usual routines. Monday morning saw a lot of sleepy faces trudging off buses and piling out of cars. Some wandered the halls, waiting for the bell to ring, but all eventually ended up in the gymnasium, where their second-semester schedules were waiting for them.
Although many students' schedules remained exactly the same as they had been the previous semester, they couldn't just toss them — they had to keep track of them the whole day so that teachers could sign off on them.
The general consensus was that the schedule-checking ordeal was rather tedious, but students grudgingly submitted to process in each class.
It might not have been so tiresome had the students themselves not been so tired.
"It's hard getting up so early after three weeks of sleeping in," said junior Victorya Sadler. "It's going to take a while for me to get used to that again."
The rest of the school felt equally out of sorts, if the dragging feet and tired eyes in every direction were any indication. Several students admitted to nearly falling asleep in class, and a number more said they had trouble concentrating during the first few periods due to "unfair sleep deprivation."
Halfway through the day, though, students found themselves much more awake and began swapping stories of their adventures over the holidays — some during class time. They found themselves re-learning how much off-topic discussion was acceptable in teachers' eyes.
The final challenge came at the end of the day, when several students found themselves shin-deep in papers.
Brittney Kidd, another MHS junior, said, "The homework load is the hardest thing about coming back to school, because you have to get back into it so quickly."
"Quickly" is exactly the right word. Teachers wasted no time in assigning the usual amount of homework — in fact, by Tuesday morning, the senior British lit class had already written its first timed essay of the semester.
"It's almost like the beginning of the school year all over again," Brittney explained, "except that you have no time to adjust. You just sort of have to jump right into it."
The day we all jumped (although some students argue that they were violently pushed) right into it was rough, but Tuesday and Wednesday passed much more easily.
Classes were more focused. Students were less tardy and more awake. Locker combinations were either remembered or scrawled on the backs of hands with Sharpies. New schedules were memorized. All the winter break adventure stories had been told.
Things were — are — calmer.
Students are still a bit tired, still a bit overwhelmed by the sudden influx of homework, still a bit restless — but they're focused.
Bit by bit at first, and now in treasure-hunt paces, students are sliding back into the routine. More than a few have been heard to state that they're actually sort of glad to be back in school.
Faith Denny is a senior at Marysville High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.