If there’s one thing I can say for sure that high school has taught me, it’s time management. There’s a lot to be done and not a lot of time to do it, and no matter how grudgingly I admit it, having a lot of homework has forced me to learn how to work efficiently and expend effort wisely.
It is for this reason that I find it especially frustrating that the very system that taught me the necessity of making good use of my time is now holding me in school for an extra 20 minutes that do little to nothing to enhance my education.
What’s funny to me is that everyone seems to acknowledge that adding three minutes a day has little effect on what we’re actually able to do during a class period. I think it is reasonable for me to say that most teachers prefer not to start the next day’s lesson three minutes before the bell–but if the extra time is not utilized to get a little more caught up everyday, then the actual instruction is not being made up in the first place. Was the hope that just by physically being inside the school building, our brains would somehow absorb knowledge from our surroundings? That education would just diffuse into our skulls because isn’t that how concentration gradients work?
I’m sorry to say it, but I don’t think the principle of diffusion can be applied like that.
The point, I think, of splitting the makeup days into 20 minute chunks was to make it feel easy and unnoticeable–we can make up the days without even realizing we’re making up the days!
And while that certainly rings true from an academic standpoint (adding three extra minutes to a class period means that it takes over three school weeks to makeup one missed period), the mental wear of the extra 20 minutes is obvious.
I’ll concede that the issue could just be my negative mindset, but that doesn’t make me feel any less exhausted. There’s a certain tedium that accompanies any sort of routine activity, but the current procedure is one I especially abhor: I depart the school; I battle my way through traffic; the clock welcomes me home with a disheartening serenade that reminds me it’s already 5 p.m.
I know there are more pressing issues in the world than having to get home a little later every day. I get that these complaints are petty! But I’m still rubbed the wrong way by the fact that there are 20 minutes (plus added commute time from the traffic) I know that I’m wasting everyday, and that there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s an unsettling feeling, arriving home and being reminded that I am not in control of how I spend my time. And because those makeup days have been severed into bite sized segments, my unease has been prolonged to a period of multiple months.
So that’s what I’m upset about, condensed into what should be about a three minute read–an excellent use of your extra instructional time, if you ask me.