Spring Break homework: A burden or necessary evil?

Anne Walkup, Opinions Editor

Spring Break is aptly named—a break during the spring. Its purpose is not to give professors the chance to assign extra assignments, essays and preparation time for exams. But as midterm projects and exams often fall near the same time as Spring Break, many professors at Linfield do just that.

While this is not true of every professor, most students must complete course-related work during their Spring Break for at least one or two classes, and most are not pleased about it. Some students said they have as many as three midterm exams to take the week they return from Spring Break, some have lab reports and essays due and others have major projects to complete. Some students even said they have assignments they must turn in during the break.

Many students feel as though professors could easily rework their course schedules to avoid assigning work over the break. They could push the deadlines for assignments and exams to a slightly earlier or later date. Some professors say this is just the way assignments line up, or that they would rather give students a chance to complete bigger assignments during the break when they have more time, rather than pile it on top of all the other responsibilities students have while in school. But there is no Spring Break when the same courses are taught during fall semester. Fall and Thanksgiving Break fall before and after the midpoint in the semester. Therefore, professors do not have the option to assign midterm exams and assignments during or directly following a week off from classes. If professors can schedule midterms that are not near a break during the fall, there is no reason midterm assignments and exams could not be rescheduled in the spring to better accommodate Spring Break.

Not all students are disgruntled about having to do work over the break for the reason that it will interrupt their vacation in the Bahamas. Many students have responsibilities other than school and plan to designate more time to these when they are on break. Some students work 40-hour weeks during breaks—this may even be necessary for some to be able to pay for their education. Some students do not see their families often and look forward to spending time with them rather than devoting their time to course-related work. Students have said their parents have been upset when they return home for Spring Break with a backpack full of assignments to complete.

Professors must remember that though school is important, students lead balanced lives. Professors have 15 other weeks in the semester to assign as many assignments and exams as they see fit. Is it too much to ask for one week off? Students should return from Spring Break re-energized and ready push through the rest of the semester instead of burned out from dragging through the study grind over the break.