In the October 29 issue of the New York Times article explores one principal’s plan for stress management in his high school in an affluent suburb of Boston. His theory is that students do not only have to learn how to deal with stress, but must be required to do so; thus he has implemented requisite yoga classes for seniors, among other measures, in an attempt to de-angst the undergraduate application process.Overusing time and then losing track of its management is a problem that extends beyond high school (we hope, since high school isn’t really that big of a deal) into life in the real world. As undergrads on our way to the real world and thus starting to feel many of its pressures, we might think seriously about this: with the smorgasbord of activities, lack of parental supervision and constantly looming deadlines, might we sometimes overdo it? Ought we to have something along the lines of required yoga?
Midterm reading period is sort of Lawrence’s answer to this. It is a time that we are required to not go to class, and, as our e-mails remind us each term, a time to “reflect.” Reading period, as we are also told in our e-mails, is not a vacation. Although it is a good time to get home or visit someone/somewhere, it is still part of the term and so we are encouraged to remember that it is school time.
As much as it is not a vacation, reading period is a comparatively unrestricted time, and thus we ought to be encouraged to think about how we use our free time. Free time, by definition, should be freeing — no checking e-mails or anything. Rather than adding a Relaxation GER, every Lawrentian, every person, should be encouraged to take daily or weekly “vacations” — time away from the multiple stressors of the average day. Reading period, or post-midterm time, is as good a time as any to start this.