May 15, 2017
I recently overheard a teacher telling a student to give 110%. This led me to use my recent completion of AP Statistics to analyze and reflect on how this could work out.
What is wrong with the following equation:
110% +110% + 110% + 110% +110% = 100% ?
Statistically it does not make sense and physically it is far from possible. In fact, this equation is equal to 550%, which is exactly 450% above the maximum human capacity. Given that each 110% equals one class this student is already doing below the bare minimum at Holderness. It is in fact extremely likely that this student is taking a 6th class — if they want to even get into college that is — raising their effort percentage to a total of 660%. Then, we must of course factor in the three-sport requirement — another at least 100% each- and totaling approximately 1929488428% if one makes the fateful choice to join Eastern Alpine — as well as Sit-Down Dinner, Chapel, Jobs, and community building or “social” time. After this analysis I believe there are some faculty who may need to consider taking a basic level math class to freshen up their mathematical logic skills.
Now lets look at a similar equation with its own set of mathematical errors: the number of hours in a day. While, on an average Thursday in the spring, classes begin at 9:20 — an unheard of luxury and direct evidence of steep improvement in recent years — the equation is still far from accurate.
The academic day is 6 hours, including the time designated to fueling the body in the pastures of Weld Hall. Then, practices begin at 3:30, almost directly after class ends, when the students are put into the fields to run and build endurance — perhaps with a quick gallop over to Gallop. After that, it is back into the stalls to calm down and work with the spirit in chapel ––something most institutions do not bother with. Directly after this the students are hoarded back into the troughs of Weld Hall where they are placed, based on a systematic random number assignment, at an eating location. Following this the young colts and fillies are given approximately 30 minutes of free time, taken up by changing out of the mandated dress code and preparing for study hall where they will then spend 2 hours attempting to complete homework for all 6 classes, although each class assigns a minimum of an hour‘s worth of homework.
Finally, something the administrators do not even factor in, is the new world we live in today. At a minimum 5 hours need to be dedicated to social media, 3 to Netflix and 1 to face-to-face contact (although the latter 2 can be overlapped with the first). The old generation of alumni say “tough it out”, “just work hard” or “I made it through” but all the new factors of today‘s modern age were not a problem for them. They didn’t have to like a minimum of 500 Instagram photos a night, Snapchat 30 people at a constant rate throughout the entire day, add filters to photos and choose which ones to post on VSCO or send out surveys about which picture they should make their new profile picture. Fifty years ago these pressing issues simply did not exist. Additionally, because of the blue light from electronic screens another hour of sleepless restlessness must be added before a desired 8 hours of sleep.
6hrs+ 1:45hrs + 30mins + 1hr + 6 hrs + 5hrs + 3hrs + 1hrs + 8hrs = 1 Day
This only works if we could add 8 hours to each day, which is scientifically impossible at the moment. But, as I am about to graduate, I will begin the process of switching from complaining about being overloaded to joining the refrain: “It builds character. Tough it out!”