When one stops to think about it, the weekend is a fairly recent invention. The Sabbath and Shabbat has been going on for centuries, but the idea of two days off is fairly new. Therefore, I am sad to announce that those two days to which we all look forward are being killed, shrunken into oblivion, by productivity, aka homework.
To be fair to our teachers, there has been a pleasant and beneficial decrease in homework over the past year or so. Our teachers are trying to give us the education we truly need, and they are trying their best, so kudos to them. But there are times, such as the rapidly approaching end of the semester, when it seems like our teachers are beholden to finishing the curriculum even at the expense of our health and well-being. And then, for the sake of the curriculum, the weekend becomes the curriculum.
The weekend itself was originally designed as a break—a time for rest, recuperation and the freedom to do what you want. It’s the time to write another page in the novel, go down and protest, binge Netflix, watch football with your family, or just do nothing. What you do is your own affair, but the point is that you do it for you. What the weekend is not meant for is homework. Would it not be better to have students returning to school fresh and recuperated than with a paper which will be graded and forgotten? This is not an editorial against all homework; it has been proven to be beneficial in some subjects. But must the entire weekend be corrupted by it? Shouldn’t students be able to have this time for themselves, friends and family?
The problem is not that there is homework but rather the amount. Often it is quite reasonable, but just as often it is not. “Just an hour” rapidly becomes much more than that when the other subjects assign the same amount. It is more than unfair to the students; it also unfair to the teachers who assign 20 minutes or less of homework. Furthermore, what can take one student 20 minutes can take another 40.
During the week students have sports, commutes and other extracurricular activities; the weekend is supposed to be time for them. We’re not asking you not to give homework; we realize it is a necessary evil. But please, be reasonable about the amount and consider all the factors.
A surprising amount of learning can happen on the weekend. From going to a museum, to just chilling with friends, one can learn things beneficial to one’s whole life. And I’m not saying GFS doesn’t teach some of that too; I am a proud supporter of the liberal arts education. But we can also learn outside of school. Therefore we should be given that time.
As for those who say that there is no weekend in real-life jobs, we at The Corner recommend that you 1) find some time for yourselves, and 2) remember that we are children ages 11 to 14 who need this time. No one should be always working, and students should be able to enjoy the glories of youth. So teachers: be reasonable, and know that each minute of homework is a minute less for us to devote to other activities. And students: stand up for your free time.