Scheduling Conflict

To my utter and complete surprise, no complaint describing in morbid detail the plight of students under the new schedule has graced the pages of The Phillipian. In fact, I have heard of no student publicly avowing his or her discontent in any student publication. Last year I decided that, before complaining about the new schedule before it was even implemented, I would give myself several weeks to acclimate to it. Being the reasonable and open-minded individual that I am, I was willing to be impartial while I gave the new schedule a test run. Maybe, after all, the faculty truly did know what is best for the students when they voted to implement the schedule. Or at least, such was my thinking at the time. Well, several weeks have gone by, and I am no more enamored of this new schedule than I was before. In fact, I would go as far as to say that my aversion to this schedule has grown in the weeks that my life at PA has been dictated by it. Last winter I was doubtful as to whether the new schedule would actually ameliorate the alleged pace of life problem on campus. My sentiments, shared by many of my peers, led me to wonder exactly how consolidating class periods and extra- and co-curricular commitments and putting them on certain days of the week would serve to lessen our burden. The trust we reluctantly placed in the faculty to do what was in our best interest was badly betrayed. The most egregious problem with the new schedule is the stress it places on students on Monday and Thursday nights. The average student taking five courses will have every class on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, forcing him to do all of his homework for five classes on Monday and Thursday nights. On average, I have at least one hour of work to do per class. If indeed we are expected to complete our work for every class period, that means that we have a minimum of five hours of homework to do on Monday and Thursday nights. Add to this the fact that many clubs have moved their meetings to Mondays to accommodate the new music schedule, and you have a disaster on your hands. And what if you happen to have a major assignment due on Tuesday or Thursday? If you have to study for a test or finish a paper on Monday night and have four other subjects’ worth of homework to do, eating and sleeping might have to be postponed until after the test is over or the paper turned in. Is this really healthy for the pace of life? Indeed, Andover students are highly motivated individuals. Many of us have sacrificed a lot to gain the experience of learning at this fine institution. Nevertheless, when a school forces its students, however motivated they might be, to sacrifice essential and fundamental activities such as eating and sleeping to participate fully in the school community, something is wrong. No student should ever have to go to bed at 2 a.m. after working all night and still not have his or her homework completed. No student should ever have to undergo as much stress as I and many of my peers have on certain nights. It is simply unacceptable.