Grade Level Meetings: A Manifestation of Student-Administration Disconnect

Blake Thorburn

Wednesday morning assemblies. Nothing t r i g g e r s me more at this school than waking up an hour early on sleep-in for pointless Wednesday morning assemblies. It’s not the fault of teachers that we lose this precious hour of sleep. They, similar to us, would rather be under their warm covers at home than lecturing forty agitated students on the trivial IB requirements.

Wednesday morning assemblies are targeted at the very people who don’t even show up to them. Having a Wednesday morning assembly for avoiding academic misconduct is about as useful as straining water while the pasta sits on the counter: the boys who attend are also the ones who have the required IQ to not copy and paste an entire History Essay or be able to understand the simple requirements of the group-4 project. These assemblies punish the sleep schedule of the boys who attend and reward those who skip. Who would want to sleep in their cozy bed when you could sit in a cold wooden pew watching power points and videos on why ____­­__ is important?

Out of the seventeen Wednesday morning assemblies that my grade has had throughout our high school career, not one of them has had information that couldn’t have been communicated in five minutes of reading a document. Attending Wednesday morning assemblies is like being in a long, abusive relationship. As much as you think that the next assembly may actually have important information, all you’re left with is disappointment and regret.

The largest problem with Wednesday morning assemblies is not the lack of sleep we get (actually, it is, but besides that), rather what Wednesday morning assemblies represent within the school. I can see it now, the administration team sitting around a table on the first floor discussing how to “understand the boys better” and “destress the growing mental health issues” amongst the school. One member sticks up their hand and says,

“Let’s take away an hour of sleep every Wednesday morning to discuss the implications of science misconduct!”

Sleep is an invaluable commodity at UCC, more precious than a social life and rarer than diamonds in a cornfield. The benefits of sleep are widespread and well known in keeping the mind alert, such as being ready to ace that test, and combatting both physical and mental health issues – problems arising at terrifying rates in our community. Administration stresses the importance of a good night sleep, yet take away our sleep ins. While it may seem I’m over exaggerating an hour less of sleep every few weeks, this is just one example of a more pressing issue: the disconnect between the boys and administration. Because we are boys, they estimate our capacity for personal reflection is the same as that of a deranged pig, and so they attempt to stuff guidance and structure down our throats like carcinogenic GMOs into cows.

Self-reflection and evaluation are extremely important within the privileged UCC bubble, but forcing such structured paths for the boys to walk on like Bataan death marches does little to improve our ability to go through the requirements of life. Instead we learn to tick off boxes before we graduate rather than actually appreciating any facet of the work. Wednesday morning assemblies only hinder students’ abilities to act for their own good once they leave the cover of UCC.