Battling Cram Culture at MHS


Stevie Laferriere, Sports Editor

The hardest part about third marking period junior year is remembering to breathe. As hellish weeks of relentless assignments and exhausting series of examinations pass by, an involved, high-achieving junior has make sacrifices. The first thing go is sleep, which may drop to three or four hours on hectic nights. Second, the junior might temporarily fall out of his or her social circle in order to stay afloat. Eventually, the junior may find him or herself without rest, without leisure, and with an unfortunate loss of his or her thus far sufficient productivity.

Welcome to the wonderful world of cram culture.

Last week was what some referred to as third marking period hell week. AP United States History assigned a double-punch of a document-based question (DBQ) essay and a test the following class period. Honors Biology demanded a cancer project, which included a written “patient file” and a five to ten minute oral presentation, which many enhanced with a Powerpoint slideshow. AP Language and Composition had a major argumentative piece due Monday, and the rough draft of its annual research paper due Wednesday. Honors Spanish V challenged its students with the end of a Spanish chapter book and a few quizzes: one a recapitulation of the story (complete with vocabulario), one on common Spanish preposiciones, and one an assessment of each student’s ability to properly utilize adverbial conjunctions.

Next week, Honors Spanish V will present an examination on the whole year’s vocabulary, an assessment on our knowledge of the BBC Mundo articles presented throughout the third marking period, and the National Spanish Exam (which will require participating students to miss two of their morning classes). A revised draft of the research paper will be due in AP English Language by the end of the week. Students will finally catch a breath in AP United States History. The marking period will finally end. And then there’s Spring Break. That’s what keeps us going. The light at the end of the tunnel. Respite.

Stay strong, class of ’14!