Senioritis Solved! Southdale Elementary students unlock tricks for overcoming debilitating spring ailment

By Briana McGeough 2008

Spring. The time of year when the sun shines brightly, the trees turn green, the temperatures rise and the birds sing. The outside beckons for a walk in a park, a game of catch in a grassy knoll or a bike ride through a luscious forest. It’s the perfect time to lounge on a porch for hours with friends.

But where does schoolwork come in to this equation? Too often, it doesn’t. For all high school students, especially seniors, the spring is like the last 100 meters of a mile-long face — long and tiring. The end is in sight, but it’s not close enough. Senioritis begins to kick in, and grades begin to fall.

My job for this article was to look for some sort of inspiration to keep high schoolers going for these last weeks of school. I tried to think of someone or something that would serve this purpose.

I was hard pressed to do so, but eventually an idea struck me: elementary students. They love school. I can remember the good old days when, armed with my hot pink sneakers and Care Bear lunchbox, I’d excitedly run to school every morning, even at the end of the year.

To “catch” their passion for school I went to Southdale, my former elementary school, seeking the advice of youngsters. I interviewed dozens of first graders about what they would say to kids who don’t like school or what they thought would make high school a better experience for students losing their drive.

I got many insightful ideas that would make high school much more enjoyable for everyone involved and opinions on school in general. I also supply my own commentary to each of the suggestions.

•”If you keep practicing school, you’ll get better and like school more.”

This is certainly true; however, most high schoolers have had about 12 years of practice.

•”Shame on you if you don’t like school! You should love school.”

Shaming seems a bit harsh. Maybe a short lecture would be sufficient to transform an apathetic student into a scholastic enthusiast.

•”You should go to school to learn spelling. Spelling makes it so you can spell stuff.”

I can’t arguer with that one.

•”School is great. In high school you don’t have recess but you have gym. Gym is like recess but more fun.”

It is certainly ture that most students love P.E. Especially the uniforms that we wore in junior high.

•”Do all of you homework with a friend.”

Teachers often respond well to that request. They are also huge fans of group work on exams.

•”Do your homework on Friday, so you don’t have to do it on Sunday when football is on.”

This is some solid advice. I wish I had figured that out when I was in 3rd grade. I may not be a huge football fan, but I do love the free Sundays.

•”Play flag football during math.”

I certainly wouldn’t argue with that statement. Once again, I’m not big on the football thing, but I may enjoy an occasional break from multiplication of polynomials.

•”You would love math if you could use a calculator.”

That certainly would help with the multiplication of polynomials that I was talking about.

•”You need gymnastic mats outside so you can play between classes.”

The high school does have wrestling mats that serve the same purpose, but for some reason they don’t let 1,100 kids use them at once.

•”Maybe if you had lunch at school, you’d like school more.”

Certainly not offering lunch helps with the obesity problem, but I think the school has kept lunch for a reason, despite this growing problem.

•Ask for less homework.”

I’m all for this suggestion, but I have offered this same advice to many of my teachers, but for some reason they tend to decline. After all, they would benefit, too. Fewer assignments equates to less time spent correcting papers.

•”Maybe you should have more snow days.”

I certainly could use a snow day in the middle of May. It would really help those last few weeks of school go by quickly.

With all these thoughts in mind, one of the insightful Southdale students left me with a thought that brought it all together.

•”You need class pets. Like a turtle.”

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