Staff Editorial: We need a fall break

09254d8c95c1446a21a9c50c015f0146Can you feel it? Malaise? Fatigue? Disinterest?

These are all adjectives we of the Chronicle staff have used to describe how we’re feeling about school at this point in the semester.

We all feel – we ALL feel – that we could use a break. We started wondering why we don’t get one. In spring, we enjoy a week long break in March.

We work hard. Here at the Chronicle we work very hard to put out our publication every other week. Sometimes things happen. Life is life, things happen, but we feel some things could be avoided if we had a break.

A small break would be more than a little refreshing. Studies have shown that taking a break is the best way to get your head back in the game. To keep pushing through exhaustion only breeds more exhaustion, and productivity suffers. Here at the Chronicle, we want to work at maximum capacity, but we get tired. There are people behind these words.

In addition to the increased productivity, we would have an opportunity to deal with the distractions that have piled up on the way. Some of them aren’t distractions so much as real responsibilities that directly interfere with homework or grading. We need clean underthings. We need to vacuum our carpets.

Priorities for a student get pretty turned around when there is so much work coming due, but we haven’t showered in three days and the hot water would knock us out, and we couldn’t stay awake for that six page history paper we’re only half done with. But… we smell.

Some things we really shouldn’t have to compromise or sacrifice.

We know the student and faculty bodies work just as hard as we do. Some of you assuredly work harder.

The faculty certainly suffers the consequences of a non-stop fall right along with the students. In addition to dealing with the general fatigue of continuous work for the sixteen-week semester, they deal directly with the tired students. Their work is starting to slack if it’s still coming at all. Attendance may falter. These aren’t easy conditions for an instructor to work in. They have to keep the exhausted motivated, which is not easy.

Have you ever tried to convince a crying six-year-old who’s been in the amusement park for twelve hours that the car is really only two hundred feet away? It might be a little like that. Eventually they get to the car and fall asleep on the drive home, but getting through it is torture for everyone involved. Everyone’s tired.

We aren’t asking for a week to party over Halloween. A couple days would do. We will gladly take a final on a Friday next fall. We would gladly stick around until Dec. 17 if it meant we would get two or three days off in October.

Other colleges/universities in the state get a break. Drake University, Simpson College, Wartburg College and Morningside College all get a two-day break during October which coincide with a weekend.

We recently enjoyed one day off for DMACC’s President’s day, but the students were the only beneficiaries. Faculty attended meetings. Students had one day off plus a weekend, and soon the Thanksgiving holiday will take us out of school for a couple more, but holidays almost don’t count as a break.

There is no curling in a ball on the couch on Thanksgiving. We have to go to Grandma’s and talk to our cousins whilst we stuff ourselves silly (pie!), and then Black Friday sends no rest or comfort.

Saturday we may as well be vegetables (which is all that’s left of Thursday’s dinner), and Sunday we’re working hard all day to get our assignments done for school on Monday. This wasn’t a break. This was hell wrapped in ham’s delicious disguise.

Humor aside, in all seriousness, we all deserve a break. We know the real world has us believing two weeks a year is enough vacation, which is all the more reason to take advantage of the freedom college offers.

We could skip anyway. But we like you too much.

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