The Problem With Passing Time

Abigail Sellars

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Three loud tones permeate the crowded hallways. These tones represent the first bell of the school day, reminding students to get to their first-block classes. The sounds are widely ignored by the hundreds of students entering and roaming about the building. If this first bell is not heeded by students, they will be considered tardy upon missing the second bell. But before these bells ring, students converse in the cafeteria where they eat breakfast, gather at their lockers to get materials, travel the hallways to get to classes, and struggle through crowds 0f their peers congesting the hallways. Some believe that if students are responsible enough, they will have no trouble getting to class on time. However, some students disagree with that opinion. So, how do the students of RPEMS feel about this chaotic process, “passing time”?

As the clock strikes 8:29, the three-tone bell rings, signifying the end of the students’ first class. The hallway, quiet only moments before the bell rang, is now crowded with students and teachers. Their destinations are all different, as are their means of getting there. Students have only four minutes to get from class to class, so they must move quickly if they are to arrive on time. Some students rush directly from their last class to the next, some students drop by their lockers or the bathrooms, and some take this brief period of freedom to meet with friends for a while. While there’s nothing wrong with catching up with friends, most students can agree that the middle of the hallway isn’t the place to do this.

Though most students have no trouble transitioning from class to class during this four-minute period, many believe it is not long enough. Fiona Verrinder, an 8th grader, states that she has “no trouble with (getting from class to class), but it could be a problem if you have something important to do, like getting something out of your locker. Because of this, I have to carry around everything I will need for the day from class to class.” Josh Patterson, also an 8th grader, elaborates on this, adding that “The school is too big. You can’t go to the bathroom or get something out of your locker without being late.”

So, why does this period feel so short to students? If they have four minutes to get from class to class, why are some students still late? As Patterson stated previously, the school may be too big. Or is it, perhaps, not big enough? Katie Kuntz makes a valid point, suggesting that the school may be too full. “I think the problem lies in how many students attend the school. Even if everyone is moving, the hallways will still be crowded and hard to navigate,” Katie paused before continuing, “I feel bad for the teachers. They have enough trouble teaching extra students, without trying to get them out of the hallways.”

So, as it seems, the biggest problem is that stated above: crowding. During passing period, students tend to walk in groups, or stand around the lockers, generally congesting the halls and hindering the progress of other students attempting to arrive at their classes on time. This problem seems impossible to solve, especially from the standpoint of a student. Chris Viermann points this out. “And so it be in the demarcations definitively of that most hindering in the perspicacity of the crowds to which blocks one’s ways of travel that it be participle of enforcement and regulation of our teacher’s own rule of thumb.”

A student’s last class of the day, deemed “advisory,” commonly takes place in one of the student’s assigned core classrooms. This class is only 40 minutes long and is often simply a time for finishing homework and taking part in mandatory government-issued lessons. At the end of this class, the final bell rings, dismissing students. This is, to most students, the most chaotic part of the school day; even before the bell rings, students are standing in the classroom doorways, anxiously waiting to be released. When the bell finally rings, they rush out of the classrooms, flooding the halls. They are frantically pushing through the masses, trying to reach their lockers and leave the school. As a result, chaos ensues, though it soon dies down as students leave the building. That’s the last of the students’ hallway troubles; at least for one day.

To conclude, many students have trouble getting from class to class due to “clogs” in the hallways- groups of slowly moving students or crowded areas blocking the hallways and preventing efficient travel. Some students believe the trouble lies in the time given, or in the amount of students attending the school overall. They’ve given solutions, too, such as taped lines on the ground to divide the flow of students, or to allow more time to students traveling from classrooms such as band.

As a student of RPEMS, what is your opinion on passing time? Tell us in the comments!

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