Letter from the Editor – January 2016

JanTerm 2016 is over. That’s right- it’s been 14 school days, 3 food trucks, and countless hours of community time- but it’s over. Done. We’ll speed on to the second semester without a second thought, right? Cram our minds so full of trigonometric formulas, English constitutional history, and lacrosse plays that we will forget every heady moment? Ha. That’s about as likely as the junior class parking in their designated parking lots.

We won’t forget JanTerm, and we shouldn’t. In many respects, JanTerm feels a bit like an early Taylor Swift music video: an ever-so-slightly surreal version of real life. Free food is being thrown at you from every angle, your friends are always on field trips so you spend days making small talk with the same five acquaintances during community time (“What JanTerm are you in, again?”), and you devote your class time to pursuits so multidisciplinary it hurts. Coming to school the first day back after JanTerm always feels like waking up from an extended vacation in Jim Justice’s psyche.

Even if you never handcraft your own violin again, however, JanTerm has many relevant takeaways. Most importantly, if you beg Mr. Dingle to buy your class Sublime Donuts pathetically enough, he will acquiesce.

On a serious note, though, hopefully JanTerm has awakened some sort of passion in you or helped you discover a new skill. Maybe Dr. Slack’s class helped you realize you love coastal ecology, your internship has solidified your desire for a career in the field, or as in my case, Ms. Clemmons’s infinity scarf-making workshop during community time awakened a passion for arm-knitting. I’m particularly excited about how the students in Mr. Morgan and Mrs. Klepper’s course “NEWS CATS: The Nuts and Bolts of Broadcast and Print Journalism” have written articles for this issue of the Bi-Line, and I hope they will want to continue to contribute to the paper. Life will definitely get very busy this semester, and these newfound passions could be a good source of enjoyment and relaxation.   

The most important and lasting impact of JanTerm won’t necessarily be new interests or skills. The relationships we’ve made or strengthened, especially between grades, have brought us so much pleasure over the course of three weeks. I was initially less than excited for my AP chemistry JanTerm, but to my surprise, the five other AP chemistry seniors and I became fast friends with our sophomore classmates. (Everyone check out @ryan_cha_is_lyfe on Instagram for some solid evidence). Let’s all try to extend these relationships past awkward eye contact in the halls.

In our April Fools’ issue last year, we wrote a satirical piece on YearTerm- Jim Justice’s new plan for year-round JanTerm. Even though this won’t be happening, we can all definitely do our best to bring the best of JanTerm to our everyday lives. So learn more about a topic that intrigued you during JanTerm, keep up with your classmates and teachers, and don’t let the humdrum of everyday life crush your spirits. And don’t forget to say hi to me, the girl arm-knitting a scarf while talking animatedly to sophomore boys.