Ah, but after a couple of days of school bells sounding and halls flooding with the masses and then emptying in five minutes—that routine—it felt as if we’d never left and our break seemed like a distant memory. We were all rushing toward another exam at the end of the week so we could squeeze in one last exam the following week before the grand finale of all exams, the final exams. As much as I hate tests, I’m a part of that system too, especially at the end of a semester. I think much of the push is based on fear. In my case, I fear that my students won’t be prepared for their A.P. tests in May, that they won’t be ready for college, that they won’t work hard unless they’re tested. I’m too timid to buck the system, but I do hope that on the days between tests sparks of genuine learning flare out here and there and that curiosity is, if not ignited, then at least fanned. Heck, on some days, I’ll settle for not dousing what’s already lit.