Winter break is a time that is unanimously valued by South students and faculty alike. It gives students an opportunity to put down their textbooks and enjoy the holidays with their friends and family. However, students also dread the moment they have to come back to school and face their midterm exams.
Many students are overwhelmed by the sudden transition of relaxation back to heavy amounts of studying. AP Chemistry teacher John Theisen, however, has his students take their exams in December instead of January, in order to provide his students time to conduct their experiments accurately.
“We are attempting to emulate a freshman college chemistry experience. An obvious deficiency due to our seven-period school day schedule is the inability to carry out a college-style lab experience,” Theisen said. “For many years now, I have taken advantage of the 90 minute exam period to carry out, at least once, a more collegiate style lab investigation, one we could never finish in a 40 or 48 minute class period.”
It can be seen why this way of taking the exams can be efficient to south students. It takes stress off of them and gives them an opportunity to accomplish more within their classroom. According to Laila Panzanhagen’’21, having midterms before break could motivate students to study.
“I feel like it would give (students) something to look forward to,” Panzenhagen said. “You’re reaching for getting through midterms, getting through this hard time so you can have time to yourself and just chill out.”
Having the exams before break is also seen as a more stressful reality to South students, as Rene’ Robert’21 would agree.
“I think that it’s better to have it the way we do right now,” Robert said. “Some of my soccer teammates have their midterms before winter break and he says he doesn’t like it because it’s too much to handle at that time.”
Having midterms before break would dramatically change how South students function. On one hand, it would be nice to get exams out of the way, which relieves a lot of stress. On the other hand, it gives students less time to study. Whether it would be efficient or not is up to the students here at South to decide.
“Having a break throughout the Holidays is important culturally and socially. This should not be eliminated,” Theisen said.