Sophie Li ’26
As the minute hand of the clock struck 2:50 PM, students and teachers filed out of doors and classrooms ready to start their long weekend. The many assignments, assessments, and projects that were completed during the first half of the trimester are ready for grading; it was the end of the interim.
The interim is an event that is halfway through each trimester. They serve as checkpoints to gauge a student’s performance and give them time to improve in the second half of the trimester. Recently, The Mane News interviewed five members from the staff and the student body regarding their thoughts and feelings as the interim ended; specifically how stressed they felt about it, if the workload increased, if it occurred at a reasonable time during the year, and if they had any advice to give about finishing the rest of the trimester successfully.
Among the interviewees, the general feelings of stress about the first interim ranged from fairly high to fairly low. Some interviewees, such as Junior Maggie Kelly, have stated that they felt “pretty stressed” about the interim, due to factors such as missing assignments; however, other interviewees, such as math teacher Mr. McMillen, have stated that they were “not very stressed” about the end of the interim due to not trying “to go crazy assigning quizzes and tests for the interim”.
A big factor in the ways that students and teachers felt about the interim was the workload. Junior Ian Sabin stated, “the week of and week after” the interim was always “a little stressful” for him due to the teachers “trying to cram in tests”. However, Ian also said that he understood the reason for this heavier workload, as he observed that the first interim was usually a good time for teachers to “gauge what kind of student you are” and prepare for parent-teacher conferences. Senior Lara Alarapon felt differently, and stated that in terms of workload, “teachers are treating it pretty steady”.
When asked about whether the interim occurred at a reasonable time in the year, most of the interviewees stated that it was at a favorable time for them. Science teacher Ryan Marklewitz stated that the interim was at a nice place because it helps his students get a “trial run” of the new experience of being in 8th grade science. Mr. Marklewitz stated that it’s short enough for his students to have “some urgency to ‘learn the ropes’ quickly”, but also that it gives him enough time to “keep things formative and fairly low stakes”.
Finally, although the interim might have ended, the trimester still has several weeks to go. The end of the trimester could become overwhelming for many students. To deal with the assignments in the trimester as it goes on, Maggie suggested that students “Just stay on top of everything” and keep up with assignments, so that nothing gets marked late or missing. Mr. McMillen advised that they “don’t get behind” in their assignments and even “look ahead a little bit” as needed. Lara recommended that students take care of their health by reducing “the amount of coffee” consumed. She added that it is important to acknowledge that they’re “the most important person” in their lives, and they need to treat their bodies accordingly. Mr. Marklewitz recommended students be kind to themselves and “work on learning from early mistakes or building on small successes to move forward and be better” rather than “getting down on yourself”.
Finally, to deal with stress, Ian recommended that students remind themselves that it is always a bit chaotic when it comes to the interim, but “the stress dies down” after the interim. As students keep pushing they should remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the end, the interim invoked many different feelings and views between students and teachers alike. Although these views were different, the many views and experiences everyone had to share helped unify the community as a whole as everyone continued into the first trimester.