Why I’m Excited For the New Schedule: In-Class Timed Essays

Abby Bozek

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In-class timed essays. We’ve all had them. It’s the classic four paragraph (intro body body conclusion) hand written essay in forty minutes. Do we, as students, ever finish these? Yes. Are they ever reflective of our writing abilities? No. We are so frantic to write everything on this piece of loose-leaf and meet all the requirements with the time constraints that we don’t exemplify our best writing capabilities. And as at the end of this week I have an in class five paragraph essay to be written (which means roughly eight minutes per paragraph), I started thinking about the future of this. As my Jr. year comes around, will my essays continue to be extended with the same small amount of time? And then I remember about the new schedule being implemented. The block schedule, and (for the first time) got excited for this to be implemented. 

With the new block schedule, we will have more in class time to learn, but also write essays that are timed and constrained by your class period. We will be able to put our best foot forward, and turn in our work that truly exemplifies our abilities. With having more than eight minutes to write a paragraph, we will be able to focus on, not how much time is left on the clock, but the words that we are writing down on the page. No longer fret about finishing your essay, but rather the quality of it. 

Now back to the in class essay that I have been assigned to do later this week. It is a five-paragraph essay comparing a movie of our choice to the hero’s journey. We have a preparation organization sheet to bring to this essay and that’s it. Now, like many students, I thought of just attempting to write my entire essay on this preparation sheet (however small it is) as to not run out of time thinking of what to write about this Friday. Yet when we get this new block schedule, we no longer will have to worry about this. We will have time to think about how to format our ideas into an essay format, right there in class. No need to write out your entire essay into those small organization boxes, just write big ideas that you can expand upon when writing the actual essay. And don’t worry about writing each of your paragraphs in eight minutes, as you will have a reasonable amount of time to actually complete your essay, and actually be proud of it. 

I cannot say how many times I’ve handed in an in class essay and been ashamed of the work I had produced. I’m genuinely excited to be able to be proud of the work I turn in, and be happy to write my name on it. With the extended amount of time brought on by the new block schedule, the quality of our work will increase significantly and this new schedule truly seems like a gift in that aspect.