It’s a tale as old as time. Each year, SLUH students gather together to watch the big game, just like millions of other Americans. The play calls are scrutinized, the commercials are ranked, and the halftime show is either thoroughly enjoyed or berated for not living up to the hype. Overall, the night is fun, except for one thing: the looming threat of a Monday morning at school. Jr. Bills dread few things more than school.
So a plan is formed.
A few boisterous voices target the senior class. Freshmen are too innocent, sophomores and juniors are too busy, but the seniors are beginning to slide. “What’s the big deal if we skip school?” they say. “After all, it’s a senior tradition.”
A group chat is created. People are added. Before the second quarter of the game, news of a mass senior skip day is spreading like wildfire.
One courageous voice brings the news to Dr. K’s office, and scary emails follow. Threats rain down on the class and the once loud voices are silenced. Back to business as usual, or so it seems.
The annual senior skip day conundrum seems to reach its peak on Super Bowl Monday every single year without fail. Last year, the Class of 2021 made a GroupMe and publicized a senior skip day, but when Dr. K intervened with a strongly worded email, no one followed through.
This year, the Class of 2022 followed a nearly identical script. Not only is this exchange embarrassing for a school that prides itself on cultivating respectful Men for Others that enjoy being in an academic setting, it’s honestly exhausting.
I can’t be the only one who finds this whole will-they-won’t-they-actually-do-it thing really repetitive. I think there’s several lessons to be learned from this yearly exchange.
The first is a lesson for the seniors. As much as we like to play the victim card when Dr. K’s note hits our inbox, this really starts with us. The underclassmen deserve better from us as leaders of the school. Meaningless group chats that sidestep the administration and show a disregard for teacher’s lesson plans and the SLUH community are not the tactics of mature almost-adults. Plus, the argument for a skip day seems out of touch given our over two weeks off for Grande Project and our two week head start to summer break. I for one am trying to savor every moment I get at SLUH since 2020 taught us it could be taken from us at any moment. Yes, school is tedious sometimes and I really don’t like waking up early to listen to lectures, but surely your Super Bowl Monday plans can’t be more exciting.
The administration is not without blame in this situation either, though. A more mature response could be offered by the school than the usual: ‘if you do this, we’ll take away all the fun stuff about senior year.’ It seems like the Administration is always unprepared for this exchange and it results in a short, drastic email late Sunday evening. This kind of response only radicalizes the voices who want a skip day further. They feel like victims and then they resent the Administration for it until the end of the year. A more competent response could be offered, perhaps one reminding the seniors of all their off-day benefits that are mentioned above.
At some point, too, it has to be asked whether it would be worth it just to give us the day off after the Super Bowl. The late start is better than nothing, but it clearly wasn’t enough this year. An off day would appeal to pretty much the entire student body (and the faculty too probably). Or, you could move around some of the many faculty development days that are later in the year. I looked at the calendar, and there are a few faculty days between now and the end of the year that could be moved to Super Bowl Monday, three if we count Freshman Fun Day.
Listen, appeasement is generally a bad tactic in war, but it might just work with the senior class. After this day, there really aren’t any other events that would warrant a skip day, and the whole conversation might be sidestepped entirely, upholding the respectability of the senior class.
Either way, both sides of the Super Bowl argument could use a change of perspective.
Prep News – the weekly student-run newspaper of St. Louis U. High
Copyright ©2020 of St. Louis U. High's Prep News
No material may be reprinted without the permission of the editors and the moderator.