Snow Days Plague Semester Planning

Students and teachers alike have been affected by the five snow days at Shepherd so far this semester. The closures have shifted schedules, caused work to be transferred to Sakai and caused headaches all around.

While the snow days are a welcome event in the present, the consequences in the future are not of the same enjoyment. Spring recess has already been canceled since the second week of school when classes were cancelled Jan. 21–22. Many students are confused as to how Shepherd is going to even out all of these missed days. However, students are headstrong on not losing their spring break.

Senior Laura Gentile said, “They can’t take our spring break or extend the semester. People have already made plans. We are just going to have to cram as much as we can into class.”

Many teachers’ syllabi are being altered to make up for lost time. Some professors’ lessons are being combined together and being taught on the same day, just not as in-depth, while other lessons are simply getting the proverbial axe and not being taught whatsoever. However, some professors are not being as understanding as others.

Sophomore Ryann Chelf said, “It is a huge frustration. My professors still expect the same amount of assignments even though we have had less time to go over the material and less time to do them in.”

Some students are saying the amount of make-up work is asking too much from them. They believe professors should lighten the load and stop the constant chain of papers that they were not able to do on time.

Sophomore Torim Penwell said, “This last week or two has been way too hectic. It has been nothing but catch-up work; it’s almost like we’re being punished for getting the days off.”

Students are not the only ones feeling the consequences of our frequent cancellations. Professors are constantly trying to meld together lessons or choose which ones to take out. They are trying to figure out what to test students on and what they cannot since they were never able to go over the material.

Adjunct professor of communications Andrew Gay said, “I’ve had to cannibalize assignments and combine them as one, overhaul my Sakai usage to the point that I think I talk to students there more frequently than in person. The snow has hurt my relationship with students, retarding the process of getting to know them and assessing their needs in the classroom.”

Gay brings up an important point when he talks about Sakai. While a face-to-face meeting between the student and professor would be ideal, some people are just happy with communicating through Sakai on how to get their assignments. Some professors and students alike have been able to function in their classroom by simply turning it into a somewhat online course.

Junior Kelly Dempsey said, “Luckily, the majority of classes have been able to be converted into an online course. I’ve been able to turn all my work in on there.”

Whether students are experiencing these inconveniences or not, the school year has still been shortened, and if more inconveniences become apparent, this school year is going to be very conflicted with time issues. Here is hoping the worst is behind us.

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