No time to get back into groove

As my 6 a.m. alarm goes off on March 29, the first thing I hoped to be thinking about was an austere hot mocha and a blueberry muffin. Still recovering from a two and a half week break, school would be slowly crawling back into my mind, yet still distant enough for me to ease into the fourth quarter smoothly.

That is until I learned the AzMerit begins the 29th for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders.

Instead of living out the perfect morning I had once dreamed up, I will be forced to prep for the test. While eating a healthy breakfast and punctuality is common for finals days, it is far from desirable in the first week back from spring break.

While some may praise for a lack of homework, they are sadly mistaken. Fourth quarter ‘tis the season of AP tests, AIMS science, and ACT/SATs for many upperclassmen. Teachers will be focused on preparing us for those upcoming challenges rather than letting us off easy for the week. Many of us still receive homework and projects the week before finals, so it is doubtful that this week will be treated any different.

Yet instead of my mocha, I’ll be focused on math. Instead of my pastry, I’ll be focused on performance. There are 180 school days in a year; if we have time to relax and ease back into the school environment after brief, periodic intermissions, we will perform much better. After all, our progress is observed through this test, so we should be fit to do well.

Setting back the date of the testing would be beneficial to all students because it gives more time to put into studying for the test, despite busy schedules. Those involved in sports and music are also at a disadvantage  trying to fit studying into their demanding practice schedules.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa once stated, “whatever I do, I do it because I want to do it and because it’s completely, 100% me.” When we are required to take the AzMerit the first week back, we do it unwillingly. While of course we will never completely want to take the test, when we take it this early we will not be able to give our full, 100% effort.

The school’s reputation is relying on these test scores for credibility. The results are a factor in our school’s A+ rating, so the timing of the test is not to its favor. If we do poorly, the talk of AzMerit will be far from “out of the way.”

So as I drive past my local coffee shop on March 29th, I will think of what could have been. I will trade coffee for sharpened no. 2 pencils, I will grab a book to read after completion, and I will drive straight ahead to school to take the AzMerit, hoping the best for all students.