In contemplation of the last two years on campus, I was astounded by the amount of work that I’ve been assigned leading up to, during, and immediately after breaks. One would expect, at least at UofM (slight pompous jab at all other schools who aren’t as academic as us), to be continuously assigned work during the semester leading up to school-sanctioned breaks. And that immediately upon releasing that last final or essay to your instructor, the break would commence and one’s brain could essentially be turned off until classes resume.
Evidently this is not the case. For example, the two weeks leading up this spring break (even though we all know it’s definitely not spring), my professors plagued me with seemingly endless readings, essays, and in class exams. Prior to break, I accepted the fact that my life would suck for a week or two, but that it was worth it for I would soon be on break: my brain could be in a vegetated state, I would be able to normalize my sleeping habits as well as indulge in a luxury I had yearned for for many months – REAL FOOD!!!
Feb. 28th came and went, my final essay submitted with pride, yet I was unable to turn my brain off. After driving home to New Jersey (and pumping my own gas on the way), within the first hour I had realized the amount of outstanding assignments and work that still remained. Despite taking an exam a mere week prior, I had been assigned a Philosophy paper due the Monday classes resumed. Fair enough, I can handle one 4-6 page paper over the entire break – I am minoring in writing after all. So I mark that assignment down on my planner and continue through my other syllabi. A few novels for a history class, a couple hundred pages of assigned astronomy readings, it kept adding up.
My “break” had quickly turned into another typical week of endless work. I don’t really understand what possesses professors to assign work during breaks, as it seems fairly counterintuitive to me. Perhaps they think that because it’s break, no other professor would ever dream of assigning work, and therefore the student could devote their free time to the one subject in particular. However, seeing as just about all professors do this, “break” has become a foreign concept to me. Regardless of the reason for assigning the work, I believe this injustice must be stopped. Let us put an end to this madness and take back the breaks that we’ve earned!