Once again the contributors to the Readers Write forum in the Yated have found a way to amuse me...
A few weeks ago a girl wrote a letter to the Readers Write forum of the Yated. She was a HS student who was obviously sick of midterms. She wrote about how some girls stay up as late as 4 a.m. to study for them. She declared that this was not only unhealthy, but completely unnecessary. She wanted to know why schools felt midterms were necessary when regular tests cover the same material and require a lot less stress (less late night studying, lower percentage of grade, etc). In last weeks Yated there were responses to this girl. I found them quite humorous.
A piece of the first response read:
While taking midterms, you have to stay up many late nights, which will train you for the future. You'll appreciate this when you'll be cleaning for Pesach, taking care of a newborn, and preparing dinner for your husband.
A piece of the second response read:
Be'ezras Hashem, when we are mothers, we'll have to stay up to the wee hours of the morning with our babies. We'll have to clean our house, work at our jobs, etc.
And here I was thinking that midterms are there to prepare you for real life in the sense that you'd need to know certain information to get by in life. Learning how to manage stress is also a very important part of it. Then there's also prioritizing. Lets say you have a music midterm and a math midterm in the same day. Music is something you could careless about while you recognize that while math may seem complicated it is very important in developing skill of thinking logically (problem solving) as well basic "practical" things such as arithmetics without a calculator. A student would have to learn to study for both, yet leave more room for math. Or, if say the student is a music major (some HS's have majors), then the student would have to learn not to focus so much on math, yet still pass.
If I were to explain to a student why midterms were important, I'd say because of the constant need of knowledge in today's world, learn to manage stress as well as learning how to prioritize. However, I am obviously not the typical Yated reader, because these ladies who responded literally meant midterms are only good in training one how to stay up late. However, what I fail to understand is how these girls do not realize that a woman's body naturally produces hormones (starts in the last few months of pregnancy) which help enable her to stay up late with the baby and still be able to function/focus pretty well throughout the day. Also, humans are generally creatures of habit. If you train them to live on coffee for the first few weeks after the baby is born, no amount of past experiences of HS would even matter.
So anyway, theres more on the issue. Lady #2 wrote about how even though it is important to learn to stay up late, it is unfair to the girls that fail the tests and end up without HS diploma's anyway. I have three questions for her:
1) Why does it matter if she passes or not if it seems like the only point to midterms is so that the girls learn to stay-up-late. If these girls that fail get used to staying up as late as 4 a.m. even without passing the midterm, they have supposedly accomplished the reason for midterms to begin with. So why does it matter if these girls fail or not?
2) What about the girls who do not stay up late (because they don't need too) and they pass the midterms with flying colors . Are these girls not going to be as good mothers/wives because they are born naturally gifted, given that they do not need to stay up late studying yet still pass? Are they missing out in the point of midterms if they sleep and pass (b/c they happen to know all the material?)
3) What about girls who naturally stay up late, for no reason at all, because they are naturally "night owls" in personality. Should they be exempt from taking midterms because they are naturally inclined to stay up late anyway?
Hmm...I wonder what these Ladies would answer if I seriously submitted these questions to the Yated.