Homework and Homecoming

Alex Ralston

I’ve been known to object to homework before, especially on this site and in columns for The Epic. I’ve complained about Google Classroom and ambiguous, conflicting, or confusing deadlines, which are usually brought about by teacher’s due dates not corresponding well enough or at all with the Classroom due dates.

Above all else, though, I’ve complained about the multitude of assignments that teachers assign without thought for a student’s schedule or life outside of school. Last year, I was constantly drowning in hours upon hours of homework, and I consistently stayed up late trying to complete all my work. I would very often push aside my social life because homework took precedence. Most weekends were spent in my room, sorting through all my assignments instead of going to sporting events, socializing with my friends, or even going places with my family.

Sometimes, I would decide to spend time with friends and ended up paying the price by trying to complete homework for five AP classes in one day. I remember that only one teacher sympathized with me over the workload and how much it affected my life.

The most amazing example of teacher apathy towards student life I can remember was over Prom weekend of my junior year. The dance was scheduled for Saturday, April 18. I had homework in practically all of my classes over the weekend, and none of my teachers were willing to back down.

Even before the dance happened, I took the April ACT on that same Saturday. I wasn’t going to spend my Friday night staying up late because I wanted to make sure I was rested for the actual test. The ACT ended up filling my whole Saturday morning. Even transportation to and from the test was a mess, so it took me longer to get back home, which meant I had even less time on homework.

I had planned to spend almost my entire Saturday afternoon getting ready for the dance. I went to get my suit together, I picked up the corsage for my date, I cleaned out my car, and made sure I looked presentable for pictures and dinner. The dance itself lasted several hours, and the after party went for a long time as well, even past midnight.

The Sunday morning after was spent sleeping in to make sure I had enough rest to get through my homework with some lucidity. When I finally started working on the homework, I realized I had almost seven hours of of worksheets to complete and essays to write.

I ended up sacrificing three hours of my typical seven hours for sleep so I could at least try to finish my homework. I came back to school exhausted, hoping to get some sort of recognition from my teachers or something for getting so much done by school’s start. However, there was no mention of how much work had been assigned for a weekend that held one of the most treasured events in people’s lives.

I realized yet again how absurd it was that these teachers didn’t even care for my life outside of school. I thought often, Maybe it was my fault for not getting the homework done on Friday or Saturday. Maybe I should have skipped some parts of the dance. However, those thoughts were and continue to be ludicrous. In no way was it any fault of mine for not completing every assignment on time.

I still wonder, did the teachers not remember how major of an event prom was? I mean, the dance is a school-funded activity and a large amount of students go to it every year. The most striking thing to me, though, was that the teachers didn’t even take into consideration how much their assignments would affect my weekend.

The only thing I can hope is that teachers begin to show mercy at some point. I barely made it past that Prom weekend, and I hope other students don’t experience theirs in the way I did.

So from there, all I can ask is this: teachers, please don’t assign homework when there’s a school dance, or any other large and special student event.