Our testimony of senioritis March 10, 2009 — by Emily Chen and Mabel Hsu There have been a lot of outbreaks recently. The peanut butter salmonella crisis. SARS, Mad Cow Disease, and something about spinach and tomatoes. OK, so those weren’t recent, but we were too lazy to think of actual recent ones because signs of an annual outbreak have reappeared at Saratoga. There are some who call this outbreak “Senioritis,” but we prefer to call it the “much-deserved-brain-vacation-itis.” There have been a lot of outbreaks recently. The peanut butter salmonella crisis. SARS, Mad Cow Disease, and something about spinach and tomatoes. OK, so those weren’t recent, but we were too lazy to think of actual recent ones because signs of an annual outbreak have reappeared at Saratoga. There are some who call this outbreak “Senioritis,” but we prefer to call it the “much-deserved-brain-vacation-itis.” Much-deserved-brain-vacation-itis allows us to act like the students that we should be. Instead of moping over that B+, we can easily brush it off and move on with life. Being a second semester senior has unloaded the constant burden of grade-related stress off our shoulders. Instead, we are now liberated to truly experience high school. We can ditch school and go to Denny’s for a free grand slam during a promotion, and…not really care. Sorry, teachers. It’s not that we don’t value your class; it’s just that when we look back on our high school experience, we want to remember more than just lectures and pop quizzes. We’re finally done. After three years and one semester of incessant testing, studying and stressing, we’re done. Call us crazy, but we don’t think a little break, if you will, is too much to ask. It’s doubtful we’ll remember what grade we got on our chemistry midterm, but we will remember those delicious pancakes, made all the more delicious by their free-ness, and the conversations we had while waiting in line for them rather than sitting through another lecture. We’re not going to look back fondly on that time we studied so hard for our calculus final and aced it (or didn’t). We’re going to look back and laugh at the time when we should have been studying for our statistics final but instead spent an hour at the library taking pictures on Photobooth. This is the beauty of being a second semester senior. We’re free from that perpetual guilt that we should be doing something—whether it be studying for SATs, APs, doing college applications or any other of those various forms of torture that only make us feel inadequate. For teachers to assign more work just to spite us is not only just plain mean, it’s also only going to cause more backlash. We don’t lack the desire to learn, it’s just at this point our desire to learn and our desire to have lives is finally starting to balance out. Therefore, instead of assigning more pop quizzes and lengthy readings to seniors, teachers should make their lessons more participation-heavy. We understand that there is still material left to learn and AP tests to conquer, but the truth is, we’re sick of writing outlines and doing chapter problems. We want to do simulations and debates and more in-class learning. How can we apply what we’re learning to something in the real world since we will soon be entering it? Seniors, especially come second-semester, have a love-hate relationship with high school. College applications were the culmination of everything we had learned until that point, and now that they’re over, we’re more than ready to start a new chapter of our lives and leave for college. For better or for worse (better: senior homecoming, worse: freshman homecoming), for richer or for poorer (school lunches did make us poorer), in sickness and in health (either way, we had to go to school), we’ve made it through. But now, we’re ready for the rest of our lives.