By Esther Zuckerman
This past week, I have been listening to holiday music in the car on the way to school. All those jingling bells and âho, ho, hosâ make me happy, for some reason. That is, until I actually get to school.
On my way to my locker, I try to keep singing along to the songs still ringing in my eardrums, but by the time I reach first period, the melodies are shot down by reminders of the history paper I have due next week or the lab coming up on Tuesday.
Poof. Songs gone. Real life begins.
The two weeks leading up to winter break are probably two of the most jam-packed for students. There are tests, quizzes and papers that we need to get through to reach that final Friday of freedom.
Not to mention that you canât go near a senior who applied early. With the decisions due out for colleges, the seniors are especially tense and will be until they know where they are going next year.
Now whereâs the holiday spirit in that? At a time when the spirit of gift giving and generosity is supposed to be in the air, we are instead ready to bite each otherâs heads off.
Maybe Iâm wrong to be plagued with a foolâs optimism, but perhaps if the environment were a little more festive, our nerves might be quelled. How about decorations in the lounge? Candy canes and gelt in the cafeteria? Dreidel spinning? A little caroling, even?
We need something to keep the nature of the season, or at least the promise of an upcoming break, in the atmosphere.
Everyone knows why all the teachers cram tests into these days:Â they need to get them over with before they give the tests of all tests, midterms, after break.
At least this year there has been a slight effort made so that all of our tests wonât fall onto one day (although sometimes spreading them out creates just as many problems: the last two weeks are filled instead of simply the last week), but Iâm not talking about reducing the workload.
Itâs not necessary that we revert back to the days of elementary school holiday programs and paper-snowflake making, but it would be nice to have something more than the Winter Festival, that one break Monday morning of holiday-flavored joy.
Instead, what the school needs is an attitude readjustment that can at least be alleviated by the jolly nature of the season. Teachers handing out tests on that last Friday can at least sound a bit merry, maybe a wish of âhappy holidays!â as you leave.
Some might think I sound a bit like Pollyanna, but maybe some holiday cheer might do the community good.Â
Zuckerman can be reached at