An Ideal Stuyvesant School Day

A glimpse into the free time and schedules of Stuyvesant students—but this time, it’s remote.

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This coming school year looks like it will be a strange one. Many freshmen are beginning their Stuyvesant careers from home as seniors start the college process from afar. Regardless of grade, Stuyvesant students will have a shortened school day, with a mere five hours of daily classes. Nobody will get to hug their friends in the hallway or have lunch side by side in the cafeteria. But even though being quarantined may not be the most favorable situation, one of its benefits is that it gives students more freedom in designing an ideal school day for themselves.

Even before the school day starts, an additional hour of sleep seems to be quite the treat for some, especially those who live far from downtown Manhattan, as transportation can be quite time-consuming. “My ideal day of remote learning is waking up at 7:00 [a.m.], which is a lot later than I would wake up for school because I wouldn't have to [take] transportation,” sophomore Anvar Kadirbekov explained.

Other students have remained early birds. Sophomore Sarah Peter explained, “My ideal day in remote learning would be waking up 30 min[ute]s to an hour earlier before school starts so I can get myself situated.”

Many Stuyvesant students have also been re-imagining their academic lives. Now that virtual classes provide more freedom in working style, students lean toward what is most effective for themselves instead of following a rigid school-based environment. “If I have no classes that day, I start by doing less time-consuming work earlier in the morning, do more in-depth assignments in the afternoon, and end my day off with some easier work,” sophomore Lianne Ohayon said.

Students also have hopes for what their classes and teachers will be like. “In terms of [my] ideal [day], [I prefer] a lesson that I understand and teachers who understand that other classes give homework, not just them. Basically, [I hope for] a very fair day with a moderate amount of homework and a basic lesson,” sophomore Pimada Phongsuriya said.

Hobbies and personal interests that otherwise would be ignored are also brought to light. From reading to socializing, Stuyvesant students plan to embrace many different long-term and short-term interests. “I've also discovered over the summer that I can draw cartoons, something that I quite literally didn't think I could do until my brother asked me to draw Sokka from Avatar, so I hope to set aside some time for that as well,” junior Katherine Lake said.

Aside from the new pursuits brought by unexpected circumstances, some believe that expanding their predetermined goals would be a beneficial and efficient way to spend their extra hours. “I want to continue to pursue at-home activism and read more seriously. I also want to work on expanding my extracurricular interests and partake in cultural affairs and discussions that are being held remotely,” junior Elio Torres explained.

After completing all assigned and self-proclaimed goals, many students plan to kick back and relax. “I'd like to spend time with my family, whether it be eating dinner with them or playing a few board games after our school day is over,” Lake said.

As remote learning slowly takes away certain in-person opportunities, students will find themselves working around possible inconveniences to create their ideal school days for a successful year.