The Bears Return to Their Den


Olivia Sorthoron, Writer

Reluctant to leave their summer vacations behind, Oakdale High School teachers and students set their alarms and laid out their clothes for the first day of school on Tuesday, September 5. Although many different people explained that the summer felt too short, most public school counties in Maryland went back to school after Labor Day.

On August 31, 2016, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order mandating that all Maryland schools do not start until after Labor Day. Governor Hogan also mandated that while children and teachers will go back to school in early September, they will also be released for summer vacation no later than June 15, which should not affect the overall number of instructional days. This allowed for Maryland residents to take more vacations, do more outdoor summer activities, and just relax.

Oakdale students and teachers enjoyed many different activities over the summer. Government and WWII History teacher Ms. Sue Carman enjoyed going to Myrtle Beach, going to Orioles games, and tubing on the river. “I really enjoyed my summer. It was so nice and long.”

Math teacher Ms. Courtney Grissen enjoyed working as a camp counselor and vacationing in Florida to visit her grandparents this summer.

While teachers enjoyed engaging in different activities this summer, Oakdale students were also very busy. Senior Meghan Carlson enjoyed vacationing in Alaska and dog sledding each day. Freshman Leah Sothoron enjoyed vacationing in Myrtle Beach and Mt. Rushmore.

Although this is the longest summer that Frederick County students and teachers have had, it seems like there is never enough time to fit in everything that they want to do.

“I would have liked to go to the adult pool with no kids and traveled more”, remarked Ms. Grissen.

“I was playing softball all summer, though, so that took a lot of time away from seeing my friends, so I would have liked to do that more.” responded Sothoron.

Since school started after Labor Day, there are a lot less days off in the middle of the school year. For example, instead of having a whole week off for spring break like in past years, schools only get off for Good Friday, and then Easter Monday, giving teachers and students only a four day break. This makes it complicated for people to go on vacations without having to miss school days and spring sports activities. Some people enjoyed the extended summer vacation.

Sothoron commented, “I like going back after Labor Day because it gives you a longer summer. Even though it does take away from spring break, I would rather have a longer summer because it is a more continuous thing than spring break and I like having all of that time off before heading back to school.”

Others feel that the school year needs to start in August, like it always has in the past. “I did not like going back after Labor Day. We need to start in August”, asserted Ms. Grissen. She is not a fan of going back later, because she wants more time off for spring break.

For some people, it is difficult to make the adjustments when returning to school. Oakdale students and teachers commented that it is hard to adjust from going to bed late and waking up late, to going to bed early and waking up early. Ms. Carman explained that, “It will be hard transitioning back to having to do work on weekends. For the first week, it’s fun and the adrenaline really carries you through. Then it just kind of hits you.”

Sothoron expressed, “Adjusting to high school in general is hard. It’s difficult coming from the 47 minute periods at Oakdale Middle and having to sit through the long blocks.”

Carlson mentioned that she will have to readjust to waking up early and doing homework.

Although it is always hard to return to school after a summer of fun, Oakdale students and teachers look forward to different school events. “I was ready to come back. I was sort of getting bored with the longer summer”, explained Ms. Carman. Others look forward to attending sporting events, playing on different sports teams, joining clubs, and staying active in the Oakdale community.