The Coin: Students Already Tired of Complicated New Changes

The new schedule this year could be improved a whole lot. It is confusing, inconvenient, inefficient, and untimely. Firstly, the seven day rotation is the worst and most confusing part of the whole schedule. Because of this strange aspect of the new schedule, some things, like classes, are dependent on which letter day we are on, while other things are still dependent on the day of the week, like sit-down meals, some SPARs and morning meetings. It is nice that we now know that any given class is always going to be after a certain other class, and that can help us be less confused about where we may need to be. This way of determining what class you have, however, is only helpful if you have any clue what the last class you had was. Because of the rotating schedule, first period Monday could be any one of your seven tracks because last period Friday could also have been any of your classes. You don’t remember; that was a whole weekend ago. In order to figure out which letter day it is after a weekend or break, you must reference the school calendar, and unless you have it printed out and pinned up on your wall, this calendar requires some effort to utilize.

Imagine most of your classes are in the pods. Having three classes in a row in the pods, you might assume you would not have to leave the inconsistently controlled climate of the trailers. Now, imagine the walking involved with such a schedule, and assume approximately 15 minutes of walking between Ellsworth and the pods. You walk from breakfast to first period. 15 minutes so far. You walk from the pods to morning meeting, an appointment with an advisor or simply to escape the incandescent lighting. 30 minutes total. Now you have to walk back to the pods for second period. 45 minutes. You walk back to Ellsworth for lunch. 60 minutes. You walk back to the pods for third period. 75 minutes. That is a lot of walking. Imagine the difference if the A+ Period were moved to the time directly before lunch. You would now have first period, second period, A+ Period, lunch, third period. If you assume the walk from the Chapel after morning meeting, or wherever you were during A+ Period, to Ellsworth is negligible, you have reduced your prenoon walking to 45 minutes, a pretty impressive shift from 75.

Spending over an hour walking before even the second half of your day every day is an extremely inefficient use of time. Everyone has a lot of homework every night, and it can be annoying to be spending time you could be spending on homework walking back and forth between the same two places. Speaking of inefficient uses of time, the Academic Plus period could be made more useful. With only an hour to work, including the time spent switching classes, there is not much that can be accomplished. Personally, it takes me some time to get into the mindset of doing homework before I can actually get focused and accomplish something, and an hour is simply not enough to be of much help. This is another reason why the schedule could be drastically improved simply by swapping second period and Academic Plus. Such a change would increase the efficiency of the schedule because it would allow people to really get into their homework and spend a larger chunk of time on it if they worked into lunchtime. It would also increase how well people could use their time because it would spread the daily flood of traffic into the dining hall over a longer period of time because people would come to a stopping point in their homework at different times, rather than everyone being released from class at exactly 11:50 and walking directly to the dining hall, putting more pressure on the dining hall staff to move quickly and forcing students and faculty alike to wait in line, time that, again, could be used more efficiently.

Finally, this schedule change is extremely untimely because many of the problems I have mentioned above would not be issues, or would be smaller issues, if we were in Seymour instead of the pods, as in any other year. Instead of the fifteen minutes of walking between classes and morning meeting and classes and Ellsworth, we would have five minutes of walking between each, tops. Academic Plus would be slightly more efficient as work time because there would be less walking time cutting into potential work time. Some problems, like confusion and dining hall lines would still exist, but the other problems would be virtually eradicated if we were still in Seymour, clear evidence of the untimeliness of this schedule change.

The most tenable and helpful alteration to this schedule would be the swapping of the Academic Plus period with second period, and this alteration would make the schedule more convenient and efficient. Although this change would not help much with the confusion and untimeliness of the schedule, two out of four is not a bad deal for such a simple change.

– Ilyana Smith ’20

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