Tension at the first junior “class conversation”

Wild Horse Wednesdays evoke strong reactions from juniors

Teachers+and+juniors+look+on+as+Mrs.+Reyes+addresses+the+benefits+of+Wild+Horse+Wednesday.+%28Photo+by+Colter+Adams%29
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Tension at the first junior “class conversation”

Teachers and juniors look on as Mrs. Reyes addresses the benefits of Wild Horse Wednesday. (Photo by Colter Adams)

Teachers and juniors look on as Mrs. Reyes addresses the benefits of Wild Horse Wednesday. (Photo by Colter Adams)

Teachers and juniors look on as Mrs. Reyes addresses the benefits of Wild Horse Wednesday. (Photo by Colter Adams)

Teachers and juniors look on as Mrs. Reyes addresses the benefits of Wild Horse Wednesday. (Photo by Colter Adams)

Colter Adams, Politics & Opinion Editor

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“I want you to remember- when you forget to do your homework. What are you gonna do the next day? Are you gonna ask a friend?”

Laughter and whispering broke out in the Junior class, quickly stifled by stern glances from several nearby teachers. But it was too late. The damage had already been done.

Mrs. Reyes stopped part-way through her reiteration of the George Mason plagiarism policy, and glared up at the students packed into the gymnasium bleachers.

“I want to point out- do you know how offensive it is to be standing here and to see people mocking me?

There was a deafening silence. The laughter and sarcastic whispering ceased altogether.

“I want you to think about when you have to present in your HL English class- I know everyone presents in there,” Reyes continued, but was interrupted by a “Whoo-hooo,” from someone in one of the back rows.

This was not the first time Mrs. Reyes had to pause her introductory presentation to deal with student disruptions, and it wouldn’t be the last. Despite several attempts at levity by its organizers, the junior class did not respond well to the 60-minute initial class conversation.

The “class conversation,” is one of the cornerstones of the new “Wild Horse Wednesday” program, which will now replace block 3 every Wednesday of the school year. The program is an attempt by the George Mason administrators to streamline out-of-classroom requirements into a scheduled time period, during which students will meet in designated “stables” (classrooms) to participate in activities and discussions.

Nevertheless, what these activities and discussions will entail exactly, remains somewhat vague.

“We’ll let you know ahead of time what the plan [for each Wild Horse Wednesday] is for you guys,” said Mrs. Reyes.

Mrs. Reyes did, however, mention several benefits of Wild Horse Wednesday, including that it serves as “an opportunity to get to know people in this school that you might not normally get to know.” She also spoke positively of “the lack of grades” in the program, and highlighted the fact that students who do not enjoy their block three classes, “don’t have to go.”

The Lasso spoke to a number of juniors to get a sense of how they felt about the plan. Generally speaking, students were still confused by the purpose of the plan and feeling a little bit, well, corralled.

“I don’t really see the need,” said junior Cole Hellert, who was present during the first “class conversation.”

“I’d kind of prefer block 3 or something else. It just doesn’t seem necessary.”

Needless to say, for the time being, Wild Horse Wednesday will keep on galloping forward. Hopefully, with fewer tense interactions between administrators and students in the future.