Students learn to juggle schedule between activities

By Alyssa Zediker
Members of the Mathletes team work at practice. Students have to balance their schedule between Mathletes and other extracurricular activities.
Members of the math team work at practice. Students have to balance their schedule between Mathletes and other extracurricular activities.
Staff Writer
During the Fall and the Spring, junior Connor Milligan runs between his soccer practices and games and math team practices and competitions.  When practices interfere or games and competitions are at the same time, Milligan tries to dedicate his time to both evenly.
Milligan said the coaches are really good about accommodating each student’s needs and said that if a mathlete cannot make a practice they will deliver practice worksheets the next day during math class. Math team coaches Margaret Mamsch and Jan Pacini both realize students will have conflicts with math team though they encourage attendance at practices.
The worksheets can be done independently, so Milligan tries to grab them immediately after school, then runs over to soccer practice.
Normally practices run for about an hour every Wednesday after school and competitions can run as late as 9:30 p.m. However, as the math team heads to the state tournament on April 30, practices have become more frequent.
In order to go down state, each of the 16 competitors who qualified for state must attend a minimum of four practices that will help prepare them face off with some of the smartest math students in the state.
Senior Katherine Wang is reworking her schedule because she has qualified for state in both the eight person junior/senior team and the senior Pre-Calculus written competition. There are seven possible practices for Wang to balance her time between tutoring and math team.
“I would probably choose math team because it is a team and I don’t want to let the rest of the team down,” Wang said “but then again, if I don’t tutor, I am letting the person I tutor down.”
Since Milligan plays club soccer during the spring, he is skipping a club soccer tournament the weekend of the state competition.
“State is a big deal — it is only once a year, so [the tournament] is worth missing,” Milligan said.
State is not the only conflicting important competition.  On the Saturday of the Regional Competition, there was also a Science Olympiad Competition. Senior Alex Ball was competing in both.

Since Ball was scheduled for his oral presentation in the early morning, he was able to leave for Science Olympiad in the afternoon. If the scheduling had not worked out this way, Pacini said he would not be qualified for the State Competition today.

There is always going to be some sort of conflict, whether it is soccer, tutoring or Science Olympiad, or even an orchestra trip on the day of the conference, but that is all part of their balancing act.
“We leave [the decision] up to the students and we hope they choose the math team,” Mamsch said.