When I signed up for the task of being a senior leader at Freshman Lock-in this year, I didn’t know I was signing up to explain the chaos that is our schedule. I stared at the piece of paper in front of me, a mess of text and colored squares, absolutely befuddled. How was I […]
When I signed up for the task of being a senior leader at Freshman Lock-in this year, I didn’t know I was signing up to explain the chaos that is our schedule. I stared at the piece of paper in front of me, a mess of text and colored squares, absolutely befuddled. How was I supposed to explain this schedule to the freshmen when I couldn’t make anything of it myself?
The new schedule has received a variety of complaints. “What set do we have next?”, a question I hear at practically every passing period, is met with defeated sighs. Science teacher Mr. Bernie Eckel put it best when he said “it’s confusing!”
If you asked most people about the new schedule on the first day of school, you were pretty sure to get a charged response, full of hot takes and possibly some profanity. “I think that anything takes a little while to get used to,” offers social studies instructor Mr. Vince Leporini.
But it’s hard not to be frustrated with the lack of consistency. To me, this is probably the biggest issue. As a senior, there has been a new schedule every year I’ve been here, and while COVID is responsible for a lot of these changes, the changes still sometimes feel a little excessive.
Beyond the bewildering structure of the schedule, many complain the days are simply too long. “3:10 is way too late to get out,” Joseph Powers (‘23) passionately declares.
Mr. Leporini sympathizes with this sentiment, saying, “I do like the later start, but I do think that sometimes by 3:10 its a little demanding on students attention.”
Nolan Fernandez (‘23) takes issue with the length of block periods, “WHO made classes 80 minutes long?!” I can’t help but agree that unless we are given breaks, I frequently find myself daydreaming around forty minutes in.
Assistant Principal of Student Life and Instruction Mr. Julian Elorduy ’03 says longer blocks “benefit students and teachers in terms of having more time in the classroom together.”
“I think there are potential real strengths to a block schedule,” Mr. Leporini agrees. “I like the open space to do a lot of different activities. It’s just there is some calibration to do.”
Now to address the elephant in the schedule: the NEST. An alternative to home room, The NEST (which stands for Nurturing Every Student Together), is an advisory period created to promote team and community building. This addition especially has been a point of contention for the senior class.
“As a senior, it’s weird,” Nolan says,
“We’re not bonding,” Joe elaborates. I
t does feel a little absurd to be playing red light green light when I’m currently overwhelmed with figuring out basically my entire future and our class has already established its community culture.
That said, I feel a little disappointed that we didn’t have NEST when I transferred in to CB my sophomore year. A space solely for community building could work to build stronger connections and inclusivity within the classes. Mr. Leporini is excited about bonding with his group of freshmen. “I think having the opportunity to meet with students in a strictly mentoring relationship is positive, but I think it’s a work in progress.”
While many I talked to during the course of this article preferred last year’s schedule, it definitely was not without its issues. Between the hectic seven period Wednesdays, and the weird activity days, there was undoubtedly room for improvement.
“People had some pretty strong opinions about last year’s schedule,” reminds Mr. Elorduy, “Parents wanted more consistent start and end times and teachers wanted more class time.”
While these new changes may be controversial, they are all in pursuit of the elusive “perfect schedule,” a universally loved holy grail, a flawless amount of class time that gives room for teachers to instruct and eliminates student stress, all while being impeccably organized.
“Perhaps there is no perfect schedule, ever, in the history of schools,” says Mr. Elorduy.
And he’s right. From the variety of complaints I heard writing this article, I’ve concluded that the schedule that would satisfy everyone from parents to teachers to students simply doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue trying to improve, but maybe we have to accept that things might just be less than ideal. And for the sake of the juniors and seniors, I hope that with this schedule CB has found something it can stick with for a while.
Things have definitely gotten easier over the past couple weeks of school, and yet I still find myself lost, showing up to F Set when I’m supposed to be in G, or D when I’m supposed to be in B. Eventually I’ll get it down, but for now, I’m just stuck checking the Daily Bulletin before every set, and asking around to see if someone else knows what’s going on.