Time for Bears at OHS

Sophomore Sophie Alig surrounded by her fellow classmates.

Sophomore Sophie Alig surrounded by her fellow classmates.

Ffiona Phillips, Journalist

At Olympia High School, Bear Time is an hour every other Wednesday dedicated to clubs, academic help, or study hall. On Wednesdays when Bear Time is not scheduled, students attend Homeroom. In previous years Bear Time took place on Fridays, and Homeroom is a more recent addition to the OHS schedule. Students and teachers share many different viewpoints about our Bear Time and Homeroom system.

Sophomore Belen Jones says, “I do like Bear Time and it’s very helpful, but when you have Homeroom and you’re answering stupid questions it’s useless I think.” Many students agree that this free time is helpful, and would prefer it to Homeroom. This opinion isn’t only shared among students, Office Administrator Wendy Rae also adds, “This is [the] first year we’ve had Bear Time on a Wednesday instead of a Friday, before kids did have plenty of time to go and catch up on work or finish a lab, now with homeroom every other week we have less time for that.” 

Sophomore Sophie Alig has a different opinion on Bear Time. Alig says, “I think it’s more of a chore than necessary because we spend so much time planning it out, and then it’s like an hour of just sitting somewhere.” Sophomore Skyllar Jekel agrees that it can be stressful saying, “At first Bear Time was extremely confusing and me and some other people couldn’t figure out where we needed to go…and frantically went around the halls trying to just find an open classroom, but it’s simpler now.” Jones also experienced an unfortunate mistake regarding Bear Time. She says, “I got lunch detention over a stupid misunderstanding and I needed to go to art class to finish a project, but they wouldn’t let me. I was told to go to math for Bear Time and retake a test but I already did that, so instead I went to science to retake a test and I got in trouble.” Though the Bear Time system is far from perfect, students still find it to be a useful time for their studies. 

Rae says her worst experience with Bear Time was when it was held on Fridays in past years. She says, “When we had Bear Time before on Friday it seemed like we had tons of discipline and tons of people not going to classes, and kids were constantly going off-campus and not engaging but now kids are going where they’re supposed to go and the hallways are quiet.” Though Bear Time is better than it used to be according to Rae, Jekel counters by saying “I think the way we organize how kids go to classes could be a little less chaotic, there should be a more loose passing period to get to the [class] because the halls are cramped and stressful.”

Rae says, At first I thought I was gonna hate the new Bear Time schedule because I didn’t like the change, but now that we’ve had it I like it.” Jones comments that her favorite Bear Time schedule was where there were two Bear Times with half an hour of Homeroom every week. Alig disagrees, “I like the one where we have one big Bear Time, and there’s no Bear Time A and Bear Time B and once you’re done in a classroom you just go wherever you want to go.” Jekel contributes, “I appreciate the time to get help or just take a break with friends.”