Don’t freeze my seminar


Lexi Manning

Five out of the last fourteen seminars have been frozen. That’s a little over 33%, and that’s a lot of our time we would use to do projects and homework. Last Tuesday was the most recent freeze. When it was announced, there were about 20 simultaneous groans from all around the classroom. “Why do we even have to do this?” and “Great, another wasted seminar” were common phrases throughout the day Monday as students learned about the freeze. Frozen seminars are affecting our time to get work done.

 Seminar is important. Seminar is where I get most of my work done, where I study, and where I get the most help out of my week. Is my seminar teacher, who teaches US History, going to be able to help me with my Algebra 2 homework? Is he going to be able to give me space in his room to paint my art project? Probably not. And not because he doesn’t want to help me learn, but because he is unable to when seminar is frozen.

  We walked into seminar Tuesday knowing that we would probably be forced to do team building activities and “learn” from the seniors. And this did happen, with a bonus, even. Half sheets of paper that told our names and what we want to do after high school and bookmarks telling us our grades. Then to top it all off was the awkward small group chat with the seniors. “What colleges did you apply to?” or “What do you plan to do after high school?” or “Any advice for the underclassmen?” We spent most of the time awkwardly staring at each other waiting to be able to do our actual homework.

  Seminar freezes can be important, for example, going over the handbook or finishing PSAT bubbling for juniors. It’s the law to go over the handbook together, and it’s important to finish our bubbling early in order to be prepared for the test. Those are not things we can just skip over. But when it comes to freezes where we go over how to not be tardy in class, upperclassmen already know these things. Freshman are supposed to go over all of that during freshman orientation, a week before school even starts. And icebreakers on the first week of school? No thanks. We get to know each other throughout the year. Let me get to the mounds of homework I have already on the third day of school.

  Seminar freezes can be somewhat helpful, but a lot of the time, it is a waste of education and important learning time. Tuesday, for example, held students back from retaking our tests in Mr. De Leon’s AP Psych class. Waiting another few days just decreases our chances of getting a decent grade. The freeze is only holding students back.

  West Ottawa should consider having fewer freezes, even the ten to fifteen minute ones at the beginning of classes. Those ten to fifteen minutes could be spent on our classes, getting caught up, or studying with a teacher equipped to help in the subject where help is needed. Fewer frozen seminars equals less complaining from students, and higher grades.