The Greatest Struggle: Vacation VS Education | Teen Ink

The Greatest Struggle: Vacation VS Education

October 22, 2009
By Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
4 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things."


Oh, the misguided, overexcited hand of government falls once again, this time on the overworked, glassy-eyed American high school student, who trudges through the school year, waiting for the moment when the fetid, festering pile of standardized tests that will determine their future can be graded, leaving them two months to recuperate before the year begins once again. A survey that I gave to my fellow classmates shows that 95% of students would prefer to keep the current school year, as opposed to joining Obama’s year round plan.

Despite this and other arguments, the fact that Indian and Chinese schools are producing more doctors and scientists than we are, causes us to lose jobs; Obama has recognized this threat to our economy, and has decided that we should have the same sort of education as China and India. He believes that by imposing a 12 month school year, we could catch up in terms of jobs, and stimulate the economy.

Even if students could be assured that a relaxed, fascinating learning environment could be established within a 12 month calendar, how would high school students participate in one of the most worthwhile, inspiring and educational experiences presently available to them: the summer internship? Whether it be an internship with a lab, or a film crew, these internships all take place over the summer break from school. Now one might say that students could take on internships all year, and that would be true, but no year-long internship can match the rate at which a student learns or the total concentration and relaxed focus the student can achieve while working in a summer internship program. Another problem facing the plan is that those kids who have to work summer jobs to support their family will have to drop out of school. As a fact, the 12 month school year intended to help America’s economic status will most likely begin to hurt our professional futures.

In a survey conducted on over 30 high school students and 30 college students, all reported that the reason they like their current schedules, is that they are able to do summer internships and programs. Another universally accepted truth amongst the participants was their disdain for the fact that if school is forced to close, then the schools will be forced to open on Saturdays or vacation days due to the lack of a longer summer break.

When I included a teacher in the survey (Mr. V., of Roslyn High School), the ideas drastically changed. When asked about the schedule, he replied “I think that the idea can be positive if an alternative curriculum, encouraging social abilities, abstract testing, and alternative subjects will be introduced.” However, his attitude changed once again when asked about the possibility of school being able to open on Saturdays or on vacation days… “I don’t mind giving up my Saturdays, but I would not break up my vacation plans. Most kids would not be in school, so it would only be beneficial to a small group. This definitely dampens my view of the proposed schedule”

Are there really any advantages to a 12 month school year? It looks like most students agree. They all scream “No!!”


The author's comments:
This is my first piece for Teen Ink, and i hope that it enlightens people a little bit about the possibility of a 12 month Schoolyear

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This article has 158 comments.


jessie'sgirl said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 10:33 pm
Oh please, no one in America wants to live the kind of lives they're living in China and Korea. That's why we're here and they're there. If we want to continue to excel as idealists, free thinkers, scientists, artists, we have to have time in which we can create our fantasies. Without that, we'' become "learning bots" --not acceptable.

on Dec. 13 2009 at 6:25 pm
kittycatkristyy BRONZE, ...., Other
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
WHAT!?! A 12 month school year!?!?!? AHHH! That would be jank! Plus, take a closer look at China and Korea. No offence meant, but do we really want to model our government after that?

birdsong said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 10:15 am
Yes, yes, yes...what's next...mandatory military service before college? Some things are just not broken in our society and need to be left alone. Agreed?

folly said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 10:12 am
You know, I heartily agree with the article. What is this business of trying to make Americans into other "peoples?" First they'd take away our summers of enrichment, then who knows what would follow?

lawman said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 10:09 am
Great article! Absolutely no school in summer! thinks of all the money schools will have to spend on air-conditioning every area of the building!

Jessejames said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 9:43 am
Yeah, I would agree with the survey you mentioned--that high school students are not going to quietly give up their summer experiences, whether they be travel, internships or courses. They can't take that away from us without a fight.

jerseyguy said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 9:37 am
This is a topic that needs further discussion in the White House. I don't think our President had a panel of teachers and students in front of him when he asked for advice on the issue. Why do people who are not in the classrooms continue to make policy for those of us who are?

jensong said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 9:34 am
I agree 100% with this article, and I don't think our teachers would like a year round school session either. They love to travel during their summers while we're spending 6-8 weeks in internships that will help us figure out what we want out of life and what will make us more attractive to colleges. No summer school!

anjelfreed said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 12:12 am
If the US is looking to become a robotic people like those in China and Korea, they'd be happily on their way by stripping American kids of their summer break. After all, we couldn't do research, get important jobs, shadow CEOs and physicians, spend time writing that book we all want to write, or that film we want to make. Nothing that is important to our personal growth could happen without summer break. Do I hear petition here too, please?

on Dec. 12 2009 at 8:35 pm
SpaceKing800 GOLD, Glen Rock, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 228 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry"- Maria Mitchell

And I hate how we have to compare with Asia. What ever happened to America being unique? Why can we not appreciate people who save lives everyday; some who may have never had an education? It just perplexes me how America has turned out to become. We just want to take it all the way to the top, now don't we?

on Dec. 12 2009 at 8:33 pm
SpaceKing800 GOLD, Glen Rock, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 228 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry"- Maria Mitchell

And I as a fellow writer, have also written most of my fan fiction over the summer. I am planning on writing a book soon. Why take my only free time away from me?

on Dec. 12 2009 at 8:32 pm
SpaceKing800 GOLD, Glen Rock, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 228 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry"- Maria Mitchell

And I, my love of Astrophysics/Astronomy. When I was in pre-school, I discovered my passion about science at the camp over the summer, playing with the vials filled with blue liquid. Camp is a way to inspire kids with dreams for the future. It helps their health,too. No summer would sap the students of what they are looking for; what makes them happy. It really is a sin.

on Dec. 12 2009 at 8:30 pm
SpaceKing800 GOLD, Glen Rock, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 228 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry"- Maria Mitchell

I need an opinion: Do you think high schoolers recieve too much homework.

It's amazing how all of Urbs essays go hand in hand with my single essay. A lot of homework and studying= No sleep.

A longer school year and school on Saturdays= more homework!

Amazing, isn't it Urbs?

Wethepeople said...
on Dec. 10 2009 at 10:15 am
People stopped talking about it because the President has too many other pressing issues at hand--like accepting a Nobel Prize today for having done nothing. Believe me, it won't be considered doing something "positive" for the youth of America if he officially does away with our summer break.

Liberty said...
on Dec. 10 2009 at 10:12 am
This topic was actually a big deal in my school in September. We were all talking about it, but things seemed to have quieted down. U think that's trouble? Maybe the school board is getting ready to let us know that next year there's no more summer break?

on Dec. 7 2009 at 8:12 am
Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
4 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things."

Loving the name smurf, and thank you both

on Dec. 5 2009 at 11:49 am
Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
4 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things."

Thank you. All of you are right, and that is what inspired this article

on Dec. 4 2009 at 8:22 am
Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
4 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things."

Exactly the thoughts I would have expected of my generation. Thank you all for the comments.

allyowest said...
on Dec. 3 2009 at 4:59 pm
Not a teacher or student I have spoken to would go quietly "into that good night" if the government decided to end summer vacation. Enough is enough.

bhlawrence said...
on Dec. 1 2009 at 4:39 pm
Absolutely nothing is worth losing the possibilities and travel and pre-college programs of summer. This is a worthwhile article.


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