The Six Ways Students Do Homework…Or Don’t

As April ends and May begins, a whiff of the summer breeze is just out of reach. The countdown calendars have begun, but many teachers seem to save these last few weeks for squeezing in a third of the curriculum. Homework is not winding down. Students have a choice in how to handle their workloads; […]

As April ends and May begins, a whiff of the summer breeze is just out of reach. The countdown calendars have begun, but many teachers seem to save these last few weeks for squeezing in a third of the curriculum. Homework is not winding down.

Students have a choice in how to handle their workloads; they can complete every assignment with a smile or simply pretend the assignments don’t exist. Right?

Or are there options in between?

Whether you never miss an assignment or are using this article to put off tonight’s work, let the Talon walk you through the six types of CB students.

The Achieve-O-Tron

The overachiever. The teachers’ pet. The know it all. The Hermione Granger (and not tough-as-nails, book-seven Hermione — the being-expelled-is-worse-than-death Hermione). The Achieve-O-Tron is all of these and more. Not only is their work finished perfectly on time every time, they never seem to miss any points.

“Of course I finish my homework on time,” answers Julianne Downing (’18) with an indignant huff. “Do some people not? How do they even do that?”

The Achieve-O-Tron is the only person who actually attends all the clubs they signed up for — probably because they’re President of half of them and Founder of the rest. They get to school early for student council and leave late after lacrosse, just in time to go to cello lessons. And somehow, they still manage to find time to prep for the SAT (not that they need it).

The What’s-The-Set-Order-Tomorrow? Planner

Intimidating to freshman and impossible to explain to other high schoolers (and parents), CB’s unique class rotation schedule can be nice; every day is a change of pace. But it also means that some students have to constantly readjust their homework priorities. Even if they don’t exactly plan on doing homework during break and lunch, knowing that the time is there is a comforting insurance policy.

“When it’s ABDFEGC, it just makes good sense to do F set’s homework before C set’s,” claims Matthew Miles (’18). “And if all else fails, that’s what lunch is for, right?”

Indeed it is. At least, it is at CB.

The Pre-Homework Napper

A popular strategy has emerged for getting homework done but also catching a bit of sleep (which, sources say, might actually be possible): starting the afternoon with a nap. Several students report that this technique leaves them rested and ready to study before they do their homework instead of afterwards.

“I get home around four, and I immediately go straight to bed,” begins Marliss Neal (’18), who swears by her naps. “I usually lie there for at least an hour, and then I’ll try to start my homework. Otherwise I’ll fall asleep and wake up at, like, 7:30 and then start my homework at 8.”

But other students disagree with the sleep-then-work idea, citing science, positive moods, and general sanity.

“You gotta follow Newton’s laws of physics!” insists Mikaela Dacanay (’20). “An object at rest will stay at rest. I’d rather stay up late doing my homework and then sleep than having to force myself up earlier than I need to. Because if I look out the window and it’s three o’clock in the morning when I wake up to do my homework, I’m gonna cry.”

The All Nighter-er

To the students who fall in this category, all nighters are a necessity. To everyone else, all nighters are psycho. There’s very little in between.

“Yisa, how are you still alive??” says everyone who’s seen the late-night Snapchat stories of junior Isabel Nguyen (’18).

Glazed eyes, staring off into the distance. Resigned, hopeless sigh.

“You know, I ask myself the same question every day, yet I still don’t have an answer,” she replies with a humorless laugh, the light gone from her eyes.

To clarify, I don’t mean students who stay up until one or two in the morning and then feel smug telling their friends the next (same?) day. I mean the hardcore students. The ones who sit in their desk chairs from the time they get home to the time they leave, allowing for changing and maybe dinner. No matter how hard they work (and The All Nighter-er often overlaps with The Achieve-O-Tron at least a little — who else would spend that much time on homework?), there is always more to do. Even teachers don’t understand how they have this much homework.

It’s a lifestyle.

The Procrastinator

Everyone procrastinates a little — or more than a little — but I’m talking about the serious procrastinators here. The kids who are doing their homework for D set during C set… every day. Junior Annabella Kelso (’18) takes it a step further when asked whether she might be caught doing homework during the day.

“I wouldn’t be caught,” she defends, “but I would do some [homework] in that class, for that class.”

The bottom line: If it’s not for A set, it’s not happening the night before. The Procrastinator is the embodiment of the “Due tomorrow, do tomorrow” philosophy.

The Second-Semester Senior

While the non-seniors reading this may believe that The Second-Semester Senior is similar to The Procrastinator, these are two completely separate beasts, as the seniors’ teachers will attest to. College acceptances are in, which means academic drive is out.

“This year, I haven’t done any homework at all during the second semester, and I’m very proud of it,” says Cole Cunningham (’17), whose priorities have changed for his last few months of high school. “I’m using that extra time to hang out with friends more and also do college stuff. I’m enjoying the relaxation of not having to worry about stuff like [homework].”

Really? No homework whatsoever? Sounds like fake news.

“There are some things that I will do at home,” the senior admits. “Like if it’s a project, obviously I’ll do it because it’s not just myself.”

See, The Second-Semester Senior still has some sense of responsibility and academic integrity left!

“But if it’s mine, I’ll usually just do it the day of.”

Well, not that much.

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