CSM’s seniors showed some confusion last week about the scheduled “break.” Many attempted to show up for class or turn in homework, and a few professors followed suit, worsening the situation. Others thought that they were attending classes even though they were not. Said mechanical engineering senior John Noble, “Spring break? Isn’t that in June or something?”
Those in charge of student life claimed that this was probably the result of capstone classes, in which it is customary to have three or more assignments given over break. “In one of my classes,” said mathematics senior Donna Collins, “I had a probably 20- or 30-hour homework set, plus a project proposal to edit and a chunk of my term project that I needed to do. Of course class was in session, don’t be silly.” Other students expressed a similar level of denial, with one threatening to go weep in a fetal position if last week was actually supposed to be considered a “break.”
The professors who remembered that last week was spring break were unapologetic. In the real world, they said, students should not learn to expect breaks, vacation days, or weekends. “Keeping the homework load steady is great job preparation,” said physics professor Darek Skaro, “since modern jobs require hires to do the bulk of the work in their homes or while on vacation.” Teachers also cited preparation for graduate school, resting easy in the fact that most students have not taken graduate classes, and are unaware of how light the postgraduate homework load is. “In graduate school,” said Skaro, “professors expect students to take ownership of their own learning, and will tend to give shorter, more substantive assignments rather than flooding students with busywork. It is thus essential to give seniors long, repetitive assignments to prepare them for this workload.”
Meanwhile, freshmen had a different take. “Man, I was soooooooo busy over spring break,” said undeclared freshman Adam Mitchell, “I had a calculus worksheet to do and a meeting with my EPICS team. I barely managed to squeeze in time for WoW, five parties, and a road trip to New York. It was intense.” Many also expressed excitement about E-days.