October 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

A Heavy Workload

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Among the biggest fans of the new schedule is Mr. Gilden, who gleefully begins class by saying that he is a week ahead in his curriculum.  But lugging his 5 lb textbook to class three times a week is still a pain in the neck (literally).  One of the downsides of having five-period school days is the weight.  Even for students with two study halls, the period rotation of the new schedule ensures that their week will have at least one five class day.

The Procrastinator conducted a survey of backpack weights.  56 students took part, and their average bag weight was 19.7 lbs.  That’s essentially like carrying a car tire from class to class, or a year-old child.  According to Ms. Horne, a healthy backpack is 15% of its carrier’s weight.  Some students, however, recorded backpack weights of 30 lbs or more.

“I’ve seen freshmen with bags stuffed to the gills,” says Ms. Vachon.  She has some advice for students suffering from heavy workloads: go through your papers regularly and remove material from past units.  Don’t throw it away, but keep it in a folder at home rather than let it accumulate in your bag.  This is Organizational Skills 101: it’ll be easier to find papers you need, and you’ll be less likely to lose old ones.  “It requires some time and it requires some discipline,” she says.  Though time and discipline are both hard to come by in high school, your shoulders will thank you.

An obvious solution to some may be giving locker access to students other than freshmen.  There used to be lockers installed along the Science Wing hall, but this reporter recalls being unable to manage her combination lock and frustrated by the narrow space of her locker.  She thinks it’s time to bring back cubbies.

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