Robin Glynn – News Reporter –
Students who were planning on taking a winter break vacation, course(s) or a seasonal job may want to mark their calendars accordingly because winter break is ending shorter this year and will lose a week of break come January 2013.
Knarik Sherenes, nursing major, said the decrease in the winter break means less time to do other important things that student would normally plan on doing during their time away from Southern.
“That’s disappointing [referring to Southern shorting winter break],” she said.
The spring 2013 semester starts on Jan. 11th.
Samantha Johnson, senior liberal major, said “I get bored being home for so long with nothing to do, plus we’ll get out sooner [which] means graduation is closer.”
Cynthia Stretch, English Professor, said it is not an issue for her this year, but it could stress out the people who want to take a winter intersession course.
“How could you squeeze a whole semesters work into three weeks when you have the holidays in there as well?” said Stretch.
Jenny Nolte, senior elementary education and liberal studies major, said it would depend on the course the student was taking to see and understand if it is harder to take a winter session class this year because of the calender change, but she would “imagine so.”
“From a faculties perspective how do make that work, and from a students perspective, that is really intense. Winter session is intense anyways, but that seems extreme.”
Johnson said she does not think it will be any harder for students to do winter classes.
Stretch says that most faculty use that time to plan and prepare for the next semester.
“That reduces the amount of time we have to do that,” said Stretch. “I could imagine being a little more stressed at the beginning of the semester because I would not have had much time to get ready.”
Math Professor Martin Hartog, Ph. D, said that during the break, because of family obligations for the holidays, there are a few days less to prepare for courses.
Heidi Lockwood, Philosophy Professor, typically has her winter break planned. She said she tries to finish grading before Christmas, then between Christmas and New Year’s she attends the annual Eastern Division American Philosophy Association Conference.
“I typically take a week or two during the January break to research and write a journal-length article, and then spend another week preparing for class. So having less than two weeks will effectively mean that I won’t have time to complete a sustained research project at that point. It will, on the other hand, mean that I’ll have a longer period of time in May and June to work.”
Hartog, who taught an intersession course, said the hardest thing for him was the quick transition from the first semester to the intersession.
“There was not enough preparation into the course as there normally would be,” said Hartog.
Stretch says that the change can effect her book order for the next semester as well.
“Usually I don’t put in book orders until the tail end of the fall semester,” said Stretch, “or after I had the chance to grade one semester before I starting thinking what books am I going to use for the next semester. I will have to plan around that one way or another; to give the book store time to get the books in.”
The difference between last spring semester and this coming spring semester is that a lot of students are going to be tired; tired between the ongoing balance between work and school that the extended break normally offered.
“Students will have less time to work and to make money in between semesters,” says Stretch. “That could cause some problems. That is one week short less of wages. That would be my guess.”
Some faculty do, agree that the change could potentially be very hard on students. As Hartog says the change can effect faculty as well.