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A Teen's View

The dreaded midterms

Danielle Ryan

(5/2010) Every year I look forward to Christmas with joy and enthusiasm but also with some trepidation as well. This year, especially as a senior in high school, I have found myself feeling a slight sense of sadness as I enter the Christmas season. This is my last Christmas before I will be going to college. Also, along with Christmas break comes the dreaded midterm exams.

Immediately after winter break I must got back to school to take my midterm exams. At Delone Catholic High School, we are given two weeks for our Christmas or winter break and then return to school to take eight exams in a single week. Many teachers expect their students to focus on studying for their exams over break, but when you have eight different exams to study for during a two week holiday break, well, I think you know how many students actually study; thatís right, none. Can you blame us? With all the distractions that come with the holidays, how are we supposed to focus on studying for several exams?

At Delone, there are seven classes in a day, but there are eight periods, or classes, that each student takes in one year. The way this works is that the different classes are on a rotating schedule, meaning that we only meet seven classes a day. Whichever class is at the end of the day will not meet the next day, but will be the first class to meet the day after it drops off the schedule. This means that there is a possibility of taking eight different midterm exams. I know what youíre thinking, yes, that is a lot of material to remember.

Most classes at Delone are yearlong classes as opposed to semester classes. Therefore, a midterm is given to test the studentís knowledge for the first half of the year. Finals are then given in June and they cover material that is learned throughout the whole year. As you can imagine, a lot of studying has to occur in order to pass the midterms. Luckily, the one up side about midterms is that when we take the test, we only have a half-day of school. This is because only two exams, an hour and a half each, are given during one day. This allows students to go home and relax after taking two long exams and allows them to study for the next dayís exams.

One thing that I do have to look forward to is that this is the last year that I will have schoolwork that needs to be done over my Christmas break. Normally, I find myself doing homework over the Christmas break. Mainly, I am assigned research papers or projects. When I enter college, I will not be assigned work to do over the winter break, since it will be between semesters. I can honestly say that I have been looking forward to this for several years.

The holiday break is supposed to be a time of relaxation, and time spent with family. I hope to do just that over my winter break this year. Normally, my family gets together over the break for Christmas dinner. It is a big family event. My momís brothers and sisters as well as my cousins all come together for a huge Christmas feast at my grandmotherís house. It is a time when I get to catch up with my cousins who have been away at college all semester.

We have also had this tradition over the past couple of years where we all get our picture taken for the "Smith family calendar." Due to the fact that my family is so large, a calendar is made each year in which each separate family has their own month/page in the calendar.

Over the past couple of years, we have come up with some clever ideas for our page. Instead of a boring family photo, we have done the "Smith Bunch" which was a portrayal of the "Brady bunch." Our most recent contribution to the calendar was the "Smith Family Outlaws." Each family member posed as a fugitive who had committed a "crime" personal to his or her personality. My crime? "Horse Whispering." My sisterís crime was "harboring too many animals". With 22 people in my momís family, many of our crimes were very clever. From stealing Rogain, (my uncle is losing lots of hair) to harboring a fugitive (my little cousin who is not quite a year), the calendar page is always a hoot.

Although the holiday season may bring along some stresses and even complications, it is always a joyful time that I get to spend with my family and friends.

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