Give students a break over break

Give students a break over break

by Matt Bower

During mid November, the days slowly ticked down as they approached Thanksgiving break.

Thanksgiving break: a time for students to look forward to, most heading home or to relatives’ houses to enjoy home-cooked food and spend time with family.

It’s a time to get away from school and the pressures of classes and deadlines.

It’s a time to relax, recover from the stress and strains of the school year by sitting in front of the TV enjoying football games or sitting around the table having Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.

If only this were true.

Sadly this is not the case at all.

Many teachers and professors see Thanksgiving break, or any break for that matter with the exception of Christmas, as a time to assign long-term assignments.

They justify the assignments by saying, “You’ll have all of break to work on this,” or “You’ll have the whole break to complete this and turn it in when you return.”

Sometimes the assignment is something large, such as a term paper or reading an entire book and writing a paper on it. Sometimes it’s something shorter, such as reading the chapter of a book or portion of a novel.

Either way, homework over breaks from school just defeats the entire point of having a break. If students have piles of assignments to do, a break no longer exists.

The few breaks we do have should be just that: a break ?” a break from homework, a break from classes, a break from professors, and a break from school.

The point is that students should be recovering, relaxing and recuperating over break. We should be enjoying our time off so when we do return, we are able to approach our classes and our work with a new focus and recharged batteries.

Personally, I had to read three books, write three papers, work on an existing piece of fiction writing, critique other pieces of fiction writing, prepare a presentation and assemble a portfolio over Thanksgiving break.

I’m actually less busy right now while classes are in session than I was over “break.”

It’s understandable why I didn’t really look forward to Thanksgiving break.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, I did spend Thanksgiving among family, but just how much time was spent on time with family, rest and relaxation and how much time was spent on homework?

I spent more time of my time on my homework, as I’m sure many other students did. Not that I wanted to.

This leads me to another reason to avoid assigning homework over break ?” many students just don’t do it.

I’m not speaking for everyone here because there are people who go home and get the work done, but many of us don’t do the same.

We may have good intentions to get every single assignment done ?” often we’ll take it with us. However, when it comes right down to it, it usually doesn’t happen or we don’t get as much done as we plan on.

I think I speak for everyone when I say we have enough homework and assignments to deal with and take care of while we’re here on campus and classes are in session.

Is it too much to ask that break, Thanksgiving or otherwise, actually be treated for what it is ?” a break and a time where no homework is assigned and the papers, novels, text books, protractors, calculators and backpacks can be left behind?

I think not.