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School on Columbus Day: You’re Really Going to Argue a Day Off?

Jackie Cope

For the hard-working, active, and intelligent students of Staples High School, a break once in a while is nice. With tests, quizzes, essays, and extracurricular activities, most students at Staples need the occasional day off. Whether it’s to catch up on work or to catch up on sleep, all students and teachers want a holiday.

During the first two weeks of school, students and teachers in Westport enjoy having a four-day week and then a three-day week. But after that, there no more long weekends, vacations, or half days until Thanksgiving.

That’s just too long.

New teachers, college applications, and SATs create the perfect storm to destroy a high schooler’s social life. I would understand if the Board of Education would eliminate a holiday later in the year, but taking away one day off in the first quarter is a little extreme.

Between Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving, there are no breaks. This extended period of time full of tests, quizzes, and extensive homework assignments can make students and teachers a little antsy.

Students especially want Columbus Day off, not only to celebrate but to do what most teenagers do, which is sleep.

As Kenny Brill ‘17 says, “We’ve always celebrated it in the past and we need a break to sleep in.”

Whether it is sports, orchestra, or just plain high school work, all students wish to take a break from the pressure.

Compared to last year, this new school year seems like boarding school. Last year around the time of Columbus Day, the whole district had five days off for Hurricane Sandy. This unexpected “vacation” made the first quarter go by very fast.

Students are not the only ones who hope to have a day off to celebrate the founding of the new world. An anonymous history teacher says, “It’s traditionally been a public holiday in the past, and most other districts in the state have it. If we had it last year, why don’t we have it this year? If we don’t have Veterans Day, we should at least have Columbus Day.”

Whether it’s celebrating the New World or celebrating the beauty of sleep, we need to dedicate Columbus Day as a holiday.

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About the Contributors
Will Dumke, Staff Writer
To Will Dumke ’16, Inklings has not only brought him the opportunity to inform the school on the news, but it has let him jump in the back of a car and film screaming seniors as they drive from one end of town to the other. Raking in thousands of views last year, Dumke put together a short video that gave a glimpse of what the tradition of Motorcade was like on the inside. This video was by far Dumke’s favorite piece of his from last year and he aspires to keep working on his videography skills this upcoming year. But he’s not only in it for the multimedia aspect. Dumke likes being a part of journalism because it allows him to get information out to the public quickly. He loves to write both news and sports stories because he enjoys giving the “quick pop” of information that the readers are interested in. However, if you don’t find Dumke hunched over a computer writing a story or editing a video, he could easily be practicing the piano or skiing down the slopes of a challenging mountain. He is a member of both the Staples jazz band and the Staples ski team and loves being a part of both. Over the summers, he spends his time either helping little kids learn how to sail or hanging out with his friends. Going into his second year on the Inklings staff, Dumke hopes to work on his creative writing and put together a collection of pieces that he’s proud of.
Jackie Cope, Features Editor
Senior Jackie Cope is determined to “Make H15tory” this year,  as it is written on the windows of her car in hot pink writing. Cope is currently working on the Inklings staff as one of the features editors and is ready to bring fun, engaging, and colorful features to this year’s papers. “I am beyond excited to be in charge of features,” Cope said.  “Last year I was Opinions Editor -- still fun but I needed a change.” Some of her previous work includes a piece where she focused on the current fashion trends around Staples.  It is a prime example of everything she publishes: lively, well-researched, and thought provoking. When Cope is not reporting on pressing topics at Staples, she devotes a good amount of her time to volunteer work. This past summer, she volunteered as a teacher’s aid at Daughters Of Charity pre-school in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “To put it into simple words, my job was making sure these three to five year olds didn’t kill each other,”Cope said.  “It’s total chaos -- one minute they’re laughing at something that is minorly funny and the next they trip and end up crying as if the world is coming to an end.” Aside from having to provide constant attention, Cope very much enjoys the presence of children and viewed her time working at the school as more of a fun activity rather than a job. She explained that many people would find her job as a challenging one, since she would be, “with these kids for hours on end, every day.”  However, Cope survived, “simply by treating them as funny little humans,” she said. “I loved it so much that I still find myself sharing stories about them to my friends.” Unsure of her profession for the future, whether it includes being with children or with writing, Cope is ready to leave her mark at Staples High School. “Hopefully I will know where I will be attending school for the next four years before April,” she said. “Until then, I’m going to have fun, work hard and make my own history.”  

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