The Stretch Between Thanksgiving and Holiday Break: Coast or Cram?

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Is the assessment week truly the most difficult time in the academic year? Or is it the period after Thanksgiving break, when there are just a few weeks to get through until another vacation?

To many people on campus, you are already in the hardest part of the year, due to many teachers attempting to cram in an entire unit in the short time they have between Thanksgiving and Holiday break in December.

Although assessment week is considerably difficult, one is given the benefit of a specially-designed schedule to make one’s week easier and limit the work that can be crammed into one day. However, the stretch between Thanksgiving and Winter break is more difficult due to the amount of work packed into such a short period of time.

Jackson Strout is a two-year boarding junior who has experienced the rigorous atmosphere of this three-week-stretch first hand.

“I would say the workload is much more difficult during this period because all my teachers try to cram in a whole new unit, whereas during assessment week, the material is already learned,” said Jackson.

Having been on campus for 13 years, Mr. Syfu is aware of the work load during this short period.

“I would say for some students, it could potentially be more difficult, for others it might be less difficult,” Syfu, Dean of Students for the Middle School, said. “I would say that the work load is significant for this stretch. Teachers use this as the perfect time to finish one unit, so I do think that it is not an easy stretch for kids.”

One of the major causes of school stress can be attributed to upcoming tests and not having enough time to prepare for them, as stated by Oxford learning: “Many students worry about getting a good grade or simply making time to study if there is more than one upcoming test. Test stress doesn’t just affect struggling students, either—high-achievers usually experience a lot of stress about doing well on tests.”

Chloe Prouty is a three-year day student junior who’s feeling the pressure. “It’s very stressful because of all the work that you have to focus on,” she said.

Some other students are also feeling the pressure. “They try to pile on more work, like more homework,” said Henri Bourque ’20.

Sumner Kissane is a two-year sophomore, who describes the work load as “A haul,” saying: “I’d say it’s a lot because all my classes are trying to cram and when classes overlay, it gets difficult”

The Willistonian spoke with Mr. Eberle, a Latin teacher. He said that he tends to give less work during these three weeks.

“I give less work, I have no quizzes or tests next week,” he said.

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