Is Bear Time Fair Time?

Quinn Johnson, Writer

One whole hour of free time during a school day?! Bear time can seem like that. Though students may not have taken as much advantage last year in Bear Time’s inaugural run, it’s easy to see that this year students can’t imagine their Friday without their post second-period precious cram session. Also, the hour is broken into two sections for clubs to meet.  In year-two of OHS’ Bear Time endeavor, it seems to have become a saving grace for stressed high schoolers. And, since everyone in the school is so used to having that free hour during a Friday, it actually becomes a frustration when there are assemblies. Funny right? Assemblies used to be something to look forward to; a break in the day! But, Bear Time has become students’ haven to catch up or keep up.

Compared to last year, Junior Luke Kiley says, “I think it has gotten better. I take as much advantage of it as I can. I go into the teachers I need to see and do homework that I procrastinated on the night before.” For Sophomore Conner Woods, he says, “I’ve had a lot more school work this year compared to last year, so Bear Time has been really helpful.”

Now that Olympia students have relied heavily on Bear Time over the past two years, it would be quite the culture shock to have that time taken away. Woods admits, “I’d be pretty sad.” Furthermore, even if students don’t have work to do during this time, Kiley says, “It gives you a nice break in the middle of your day to just relax. So yeah, it’d be pretty devastating if they ever took it away.” But, in the chance Bear Time ever was canceled, Woods says, “I’d have to do my homework the night before.” Kiley agrees: “I would be a lot more stressed.” Kiley also suggests the only negative side to Bear Time would be, “People leaving school during the hour.” But, considering all the adjustments the administrators have made this year to keep students in classes, there’s rarely people leaving the school at bear time.  Junior Maddy Ford says, “Yeah I feel like more people use Bear Time and there’s more going on.” Also Junior Sierra Forbord says, “More people this year have used it to do their homework and class stuff.” So it’s obvious that OHS students have really grown to utilize this time.

Furthermore, there are plenty of clubs going on that the student body has been able to take part in because of this extra hour each Friday. In fact, Forbord says her favorite part is “DECA! The meetings are always really fun. You get to see your friends and have a nice break from your classes.” There are dozens of clubs at Olympia that people thoroughly enjoy, and if Bear Time was ever taken away, most students would not take the opportunity to join a club, make new friends, and learn new things. Ford runs the fashion club and says, “I think less people would come to club meetings if they were held during Wednesday morning late-starts. Bear Time gives easier access for clubs.”

With Bear Time seeing no end in sight, students can rest easy knowing they have a free hour to do what’s available. Last year, Bear Time’s first year, many faculty did not see students using the time. Forbord notes, “Some people aren’t involved in clubs or don’t need any help, so they don’t know what to do with their time.” As to the old thought of canceling Bear Time due to too many inactive students, Forbord says, “I feel like the majority of people use it really well, and I’ve become adjusted to it and plan my weeks around it. There’s only a few people who don’t use Bear Time wisely, so it wouldn’t be fair if they ruined it for everybody else,” says Ford. In this, administrators try to crack down on people wandering the halls and insist that everyone find a place to be. This year, OHS is on board with Bear Time.