The air is festive in the week before spring break. But there’s also a letdown—in studying, in attention, in students’ concerns over their quarter grades. Teachers avoid giving their final tests of the quarter on Friday because attendance is an issue (it’s a week, people, not a week and a day), so students end up taking 19 tests on Thursday. Sorry to pile on. I was impressed that not a single student was absent in one of my morning classes on Friday, though I was missing about half in another. 

A Beatles song comes to mind: I used to get mad at my school / The teachers who taught me weren’t cool / You’re holding me down / Turning me round / Filling me up with your rules / (But spring break arrives and) / It’s getting better all the time. 

Thursday tests worked out for some students who went to the midnight show of Hunger Games. They could sleepwalk through an easy Friday, they probably thought, though none appeared tired. 

Friday before break is often a throwaway, but I decided we’d have an ordinary class and discuss birth order. Here’s the general consensus from each group. Firstborns said they were burdened with expectations and urged to be role models for their younger siblings. They also claimed they were better looking. Only children were content. They had close ties with their parents and got along well with adults. Youngest admitted they were spoiled and used tactics to get their way that oldest children could never use. Middle children? We almost forgot about them. They liked that they were able to hide in plain sight and they agreed that they were good negotiators. 

And now begins our well deserved break.

 


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