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The Blessing of a Twenty Five Minute Break

Photo by Claire DeCroix/SENTRY

Photo by Claire DeCroix/SENTRY

Grace Stroup, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Our school is one of the few schools that still operates on an eight period schedule. This may not be the case next year. Upon returning from Thanksgiving break, students were given the opportunity to try a  twenty five minute free period called Patriot Period.  With blocked classes four days a week (including the rigorous course load of Advanced Placement classes) during this “pilot” schedule, staying focused and interested would have been a challenge without those extra twenty five minutes.

I had a dentist appointment one of those first few days of the pilot schedule and missed AP European History.  I was not too thrilled to miss this class because of the lengthy note taking it requires, and exponentially increasing pace.  I got to school that next day and remembered that I had those twenty five minutes in between third and fourth period to play catch up. It proved to be extremely helpful. Not only was I able to get individual attention from the teacher, I was able to be fully caught up on all of the information I had missed in an hour and a half class. Had I not had those twenty five minutes, I would have had to go during lunch (a synonym for My Only Free Time), or after school (and who wants to do that?).  I believe that individual teacher to student attention is important  and with this Patriot Period, I was able to get that attention, but also have free time.

Taking AP courses at Yorktown is a very popular trend. “Take a lot and take them early” seems to be the motto. Of course, taking these advanced classes includes the hours of hard work and studying that each one occupies.  Twenty five minutes where students can just breathe for a little, I think, is very healthy. This year I also found myself without some of my close friends in a lot of classes.  A bummer, I know, but I got twenty five minutes to just catch up with them everyday. How great is that?

If Yorktown were to continue this Patriot Period next year I think it would take a great amount of stress off of the counseling offices.  Friends that do not share the same  lunch period would (hopefully) be less inclined to request to change their lunch. This would result in less schedule changes meaning less work for the counseling office.  Seems like a win-win to me.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but after an hour and a half of French at 8:30 in the morning, my attention span for the rest of the day is  pretty short.  With a twenty five minute recharge, I can go into Chemistry acting as if I hadn’t spent an hour reciting the imperfect tenses of the verb “to cook.” My point is, it is important to be able to focus on every single class that a student takes. Without focus, no one is benefiting and it is just wasted time. Patriot Period was just what I needed, and upon returning to school after two weeks of sleeping in, I really miss it. I know I don’t stand alone in missing it, and I know that some people really didn’t like it. Even so, I think if the administration wants students  to like learning, there needs to be some sort of break down in between courses. At least, that’s what I need.

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The Blessing of a Twenty Five Minute Break