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Navigating the New Block Schedule at the Upper School

By Crystal ’21

I’m one of those people who can’t remember people’s names for the life of me. This specific tendency translates to the HW app being my lifesaver, especially now that everyday the schedule is a bit different. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to remember which class meets on which day! (Hint hint wink wink: Download the app! Seriously it’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road.)

At first, I thought this new schedule would mean I wouldn’t have enough time to meet with my teachers. Not true. However, I would strongly advise you to email and set up meetings with teachers as early as possible. That helps to ensure you get the one-to-one time you require without any rush at the last minute. After all, teachers have their own appointments, too. 

The block schedule also provides an adequate amount of downtime, from fifteen minute breaks in between classes to an hour long lunch and so on. Those breaks are very much deserved, appreciated, and needed to recharge before the next seventy-five minute brain crunch session (they really are wonderful).

With the student body being involved in so many activities in and out of school, coming across students completing assignments on the quad during their free periods was a pretty normal sight with the old schedule. What I know sparked some conversations among students with this new schedule were those fifteen minute breaks. With more than enough time to walk to your next class and yet not quite enough to settle down into a deep conversation or work on an assignment, I admit I, too, was initially not the most enthusiastic fan of how this would go. After having spent a semester following this new schedule though, I can genuinely say I prefer our new schedule over the one we’ve been following. 

Although I have only experienced this schedule in an online learning environment, I don’t imagine navigating the schedule will be drastically different once classes resume on campus. In terms of those shorter breaks, I can’t tell you how much I’ve come to appreciate them. During that time, I’ll walk over to the kitchen to grab a quick snack (not much different from walking over to the cafeteria once back on campus) or finish up a last minute assignment. Yes, I said last minute because I mean let’s be honest here–sometimes, procrastination is inevitable. Otherwise, I’ll Facetime a friend for a brief catch up session or start a new assignment (so we can avoid using that break to finish it up last minute down the line). 

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate our late start days as well. Before, arriving in class bleary eyed and yawning was pretty much an everyday occurrence once we really got into the school year. Now, my being in that state is a much rarer sight. I now consider late start days as my restart days. Almost two extra hours of rest can do wonders, I tell ya. During those rare weeks I didn’t have a sleep deficit or for those of you who are on top of your game, I found late start days to provide an amazing opportunity to spend time completing assignments, start a new hobby, or chat with family/friends as well.

Basically, this schedule provides more time to absorb what’s being taught in class and, well, more time in general from my experience. Whether you reap the full benefits of it, well, that’s up to you and how you utilize the time given. So use it well! 

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Tags: , Last modified: January 25, 2021