Sick days prove difficult

    Sick days prove difficult

    We’ve all had the experience of being sick on a school day. We’ve seen our reflections on the screens of iPads, piles of tissues, and empty water bottles lining our surroundings as we press play on the random Khan Academy math video and cry into our review guide because our teacher posted the answers but not how to get them. 

    So you’re sick that day, and you spend that sick day taking Tylenol and studying for a math test. The next day, you’re still sick, but not sick enough to miss school. So you get on the bus, enter your math class, and tell your teacher you just aren’t ready to take the quiz. Your math teacher takes one look at you and hits back with the classic. 

    “Then you should’ve called out sick.”

    ”If you’re here on the test day and you say, Oh, I can’t take the test, I’m too sick, well, then you should’ve gotten yourself excused.” Eve Weseman, sophomore geometry teacher said. 

    Leaving you to think, “How the hell is this fair?” And I would like to point out that it’s not. Students shouldn’t have to worry about instances like this happening because they are sick. You shouldn’t have to fight off pneumonia and finish a math review sheet at home. According to Weseman, though, you should. 

    “If you only miss the review, you take the test with everybody; it’s not like you get another day to study. You’re supposed to already know all the material and you’re supposed to be reviewing; just because you were sick the day before doesn’t mean you were sick the day of the test,” Weseman said. 

    She and Tim Mcdermott, World Lit and Comp teacher; strengthen this argument by including how in college they don’t give you a free pass just because you’re sick the day before. Professors won’t hold your hand and tell you it’s OK if you forget to turn in an assignment on time. 

    Mcdermott says that some teachers, like his daughter’s psychology teacher, don’t even allow late work. On day one, his daughter’s psych teacher told the class that his class room policy was a zero for any quiz or worksheet you weren’t in class to take. 

    “The whole class was like, ‘That’s not fair! What if you get sick or whatever!?’ The professor doesn’t care. ‘This is my policy’ … and she thought that was completely unfair, and I said, ‘Then you better make sure you’re in class every day, .”Said Mcdermott said.

    The only problem is that high school isn’t college. You shouldn’t get a zero on an assignment or test because you were too sick to do it. Yet, there are teachers in this school who will do that. 

    To give a quick example, about a month ago, my dad pulled me out of school because I was throwing up all over the carpet. I stayed in bed, slept all day and night, and the next day was greeted with a zero from a quiz I never got the chance to take. 

    Now, to give credit to my teacher, yes, I did get one period to retake it, but surprise, surprise, I was in class. So I ended up with a zero and had to wait until the test to replace the quiz grade with the test grade. 

    I can understand why teachers like Weseman and McDermott are so strict when it comes to late work and making up tests, even when students are sick. But what is this? You miss one day of math, and you’re done for it. This isn’t the Hunger Games; we shouldn’t have to worry every time we’re sick because we don’t know if our teachers are going to let us retake a quiz or if the assignment we turned in a day late is going to go in for 50% credit. 

    I understand responsibility and maturity. A student should take their work into their own hands and complete what needs to be completed on time. Just as Mcdermott explains when he says that without a due date, a student would continually find excuses to be lazy, he and Weseman also agree on the fact that high school serves as the bridge to college and, eventually, work. 

    “The more wiggle room you give students, the more likely they’re just going to put stuff off; the world is built around structure. No matter what job you get later in life, there’s going to be some form of structure. whether you’re working at McDonald’s or you’re a CEO. There are guidelines to keep the business organized; otherwise, the business can’t exist.” Mcdermott said.

    But does it have to be as strict as a job or college? I just think that maybe if we were more generous with kids turning in late work while sick in or out of school, and maybe if we had at least two days to retake a quiz or turn in a homework assignment for 70% credit instead of 50%, Maybe then students wouldn’t be making themselves sicker while stressing over a project, test, or assignment for school. 

    “I think they have to decide on their own that school is important enough for them,” says Mrs. Weseman.

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