Outside the Classroom #9 – The numbers game


In high school, numbers are important, sometimes disproportionately so.

An 89.89% in a class seems like the end of the world, leading students to desperately plead with teachers to have the grade rounded up to 90%. An SAT score 100 points below where a student wanted to be means retaking the standardized test however many more times it takes to reach the goal. A few seconds are everything in running, making it especially hard when your times are just short of where your team expects you to be.

And recently, more than ever, numbers are at the center of everyone’s minds. For seniors, it’s simply the countdown of school days until graduation and freedom. For juniors, it’s the week of testing and the hopeful praying that scores will meet their satisfaction. For sophomores and freshman, it’s the unawareness surrounding PSAT scores combined with the longer countdown until the end of the school year.

It’s safe to safe that this past week has brought FHC into a tizzy. Tension filled the hallways as juniors entered and returned from their neverending wave of standardized tests, worrying over what the future will hold and how the last few days would affect that vision. While people often try to soothingly say that numbers do not define a person, the stress and anxiety over them cannot be helped. Between PSATs, SATs, MSTEPs, and ACT WorkKeys, it’s hard to have the mindset that you aren’t your number score. However, while it was a mess for underclassmen, for seniors, watching testing week go by was like a breath of fresh air, with everyone simultaneously sighing in relief with the day off.

While seniors may not be stressing about the same numbers as the other grades, they do have numbers on their minds as the graduation date inches closer and closer. In Mr. Smith’s classroom, there is a countdown updated every day as to the number of school days left for seniors, a simultaneously relieving and stressful activity.

Ever since spring break ended, senioritis has been hitting seniors in full swing, but unfortunately, the warm weather did not follow people home from spring break. Where sunshine and clear skies should be, as it is the middle of April, there are 29 mph winds, winter weather advisories, and chilling rainclouds. Numerically, spring has definitely not sprung, especially considering the below 40-degree temperatures that have frequented the last few weeks and days.

And although the end of the school year may seem achingly far from reach, the worst of it has already occurred, sending seniors and underclassmen alike into the homestretch as we numerically mark the days, tests, and degrees until the very end.