Life Of A Brave: Due To Covid-19, Bosco Students Have Had To Adapt To A New Quarter System, Creating A Divide In The Community Over Learning Preference

by Nicholas Neoman

The Bosco community is experiencing a divide over the rapid change of quarters this semester, sparking dialogue on whether a quarter system is beneficial or detrimental to both students and faculty during online learning.

Teachers, as well as some students, feel the pinch of a quick turnaround. For a multitude of reasons, they believe that the three day break between quarters one and two was far too short. 

When Mrs. Michele Dolphin, a teacher for the Biomedical Pathway and Chemistry, was asked about the single-day grading period, she responded with a sentiment many other Bosco teachers may share as well.

“I ended up not meeting that deadline and so I asked for an extension because it was just impossible, I felt really stressed and overwhelmed,” Mrs. Dolphin said.

Mrs. Dolphin represents the general consensus of many teachers at Bosco. Teachers like Dolphin finished administering their finals Thursday afternoon and were expected to grade them by the end of the following day. The tight pinch between academic quarters forced teachers into a frenzy, grading at an alarming rate. Teachers were expected to grade finals within a day and start teaching their next classes a few days later. Much of the teaching staff would have benefited greatly from an elongated break to grade finals and relax before they set out to teach a new set of courses.

Noah Citek, a Junior in the Sports-Medicine Pathway, responded similarly when asked about his view on the short grace period.

“It was a weird pace to be at because you ramped up [for finals] and then you’re back starting new classes again,” Citek said.

While teachers were experiencing an overwhelming pressure to grade finals in a matter of hours, some students felt overexhaustion from the quick break between quarter one and two. After cramming every ounce of information obtained from a quickly paced quarter and pushing through finals, they were expected to regain their momentum at the start of the new quarter in a matter of days. Students and teachers alike were experiencing an increasing amount of frustration from the dismal period of time granted between quarters.

However, counselors and some students felt the quick turnaround was optimal for success during online school.

Mr. Omar Delgado, a counselor and father of two Braves, holds a sentiment in which he feels as if students benefit from a short break.

“I feel some students don’t really want a long break because then they get out of their rhythm or their routine,” Mr Delgado said.

From the experience of a seasoned college counselor, Delgado believes that the best way for students to keep their momentum is through this short break. After seeing many classes of students graduate and move on to college, from his perspective the short break benefits students. It allows them to maintain whatever tools for success as they embark on their next set of classes and challenges.

Xavier Gonzalez, a Junior in the Computer-Science Pathway, is a student who shares Mr. Delgado’s belief.

“I liked the short break because it kept me in the momentum for school and it kept my work ethic. The short break gave me enough time to recover from finals while still being capable of jumping back into the next quarter,” said Gonzalez.

Unlike other students, Gonzalez feels that he was able to produce his best work as a result of this short break. After finishing four classes, Gonzalez had an overall positive experience in preserving his study habits and methods for success via the lessened time off. Gonzalez represents a faction of the student body who benefited from the quick period between quarters. He believes that any more time would have slowed him down in trying to gain a new routine for his next classes.

The Bosco community is divided in terms of their views on the quarter system. While some responded positively to the short breaks and found that they were able to study better and do well in the next Quarter, others felt the stress and exhaustion of the quick days off. This proves how diverse the Bosco community is educationally. As Bosco houses many who are very different in how they learn, it is key to remember how difficult it is to create a system that benefits everyone.

However people feel about this quarter system, the general mood within Bosco is that the return to campus would work wonders for learning. While online learning looks to remain the future of Bosco, people from both sides of this issue would agree that the quarter breaks would be better if in-person learning resumed.

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