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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Not just stuck in the middle

Freshman year was a breeze for me.

Oh sure, I had to get used to a new school and find out where the bathrooms were. I had to make sure that P.E. didn’t kill me. My classes were relatively tougher than middle school classes, so I had to make sure I was always on top of things. But I had Freshmen Focus, Link crew and Ms. Satake constantly checking up on me.

Sophomore year, nothing.

No Link Crew helping me get settled into my new classes. No more late credit on homework. No more written procedures in my science labs. Nothing except for two hours of excruciating Trig/Precalc Honors homework every night.

I had completely anticipated that sophomore year would just be a glorified version of freshman year. I scoffed when my counselor told me that honors courses would have double the homework of their college prep equivalents. I just blatantly refused to believe that I would actually have to spend that much time on homework. It just didn’t seem possible.

Yet somehow this year, 15 times three equals 40 due to weird significant figures rounding, and dimensional analysis was 10 times more difficult than I remembered. I have one week to write multiple stories for the Falcon, instead of one month to do one Journalism One assignment. And as for my math class, well … It’s all Greek to me. Quite literally.

And yes, I know, as a sophomore, I really shouldn’t be complaining. Juniors are worrying about their SATs and seniors have college applications, and even freshmen have their struggles of adjusting to the brand new world of high school. To everyone else, sophomores are just stuck in the middle.

But this is the first year where no one is there to hold our hands. It’s like that One Republic song —“Old, but I’m not that old; young, but I’m not that bold.”

But even though I’m “not that bold,” I think I’m prepared to undertake the challenge. When I actually understand that cos (a+b) = cos (a) cos (b) – sin (a) sin (b), or that the product of two numbers in Chemistry has the least number of significant figures, I feel my confidence building, knowing that the concepts that once seemed so daunting are actually doable. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling.

It also doesn’t hurt that my teachers are trying to keep the mood light, so that I don’t get entirely sucked into the black hole. With Ms. Cahatol’s enthusiastic lectures (“MY WAY! MY WAY! MY WAY! MY WAY!), Mr. Sheehy’s entertaining simulations, and Ms. Wissolik’s “politically correct” fractured fairytales, I stay smiling even as I get through my seemingly endless homework.

It’s clear to see that I was a little naïve to think that my sophomore year was going to be similar to my freshman year. But I think I’m ready to take it. Bring it on, Chem Honors.

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