A day without seniors


Jai Uparkar

Senior ditch day is an unofficial American rite of passage, a day that allows seniors to escape the daily stresses of school. Although the day is centered around seniors, it also affects teachers.

MVHS financial specialist, Calvin Wong, did not participate in senior ditch day when he was a senior at MVHS in 1999. Wong’s sister was a teacher at MVHS at the time and did not have a driver’s license, so Wong had to go to school since he was her ride. However, he mentions that if this hadn’t been the case, he would have cut school along with his friends.

Now, as a member of the administration, he understands that senior ditch day is a long-held tradition but also says that students should be aware of the consequences of partaking in it.

“[The office feels] that you know it’s your God-given right, it’s kind of like the walkout that we had earlier in the school year,” Wong said. “If you are choosing to ditch, accept the consequences because you will have those kinds of choices that you will eventually [have] in life, and people will decide that certain things are just more important.”Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 8.10.19 AM

Although most teachers know when senior ditch day is, it can still prove to be an inconvenience for them because they have to change lesson plans or accommodate for students who did not ditch.

Last year, French teacher Sarah Finck placed a test on senior ditch day, not to purposely punish students but because of the hectic schedule in April with AP testing and finals. In general, however, she doesn’t really mind dealing with the absences.

“I was able to sort of pause the curriculum [on senior ditch day],” Finck said. “If you’re ditching you want to actually be [actually] ditching something, and so classes are going on and your rebellious moment is that you’re not there for it. You have to deal with the consequences and you can choose to come in that morning and take the test, [or] you can make it up some other time. “

Math teacher Michael Lordan also did not participate in his own senior ditch day, but for a different reason — he did not understand the real purpose of ditch day and still doesn’t. He mentions that he would not do something worthless in class on senior ditch day since it wouldn’t be fair to the other students who attended school.

“It’s kind of like a balance […] I want to acknowledge that a lot of the students are going to miss class,” Lordan said. “But I also want to acknowledge that there’s a lot of students that are coming to class and it’s unfair to them too, [to have a] useless day just because their peers are ditching.”

However, the person who is most affected by senior ditch day is the attendance technician, Joe Roan, who has to deal with a bombardment of calls coming in from parents excusing their children from school. Wong recalls his previous experience being the attendance technician and feels that it doesn’t make sense for parents to be calling students in sick on senior ditch day.

“You can’t have both your cake and your ice cream, in the fact that ‘Oh I want to be excused for skipping so I can make up a quiz,’ but that doesn’t make sense. Work hard, so you can accept it because you’re taking a decided choice,” Wong said.Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 8.10.19 AM

There are still teachers who don’t fully support the decision of seniors to ditch, due to their lack of understanding about the experience, even if it’s an MVHS tradition.

“I don’t really like it as a teacher, I suppose,” Lordan said. “I’d like to hear more about what the students get out of [senior ditch day] and the purpose behind it, before I’d say ‘this is the worst’ or I […] endorse it.”

Although some teachers do not support the event, many still remember the day many years after, just like Wong did. According to Wong, many students take trips either to the city or to the beach.

“It’s an American high school tradition where kids, that [are at MVHS,] I feel like are so serious, so much of the time,” Finck said. “If this is their small way of rebelling then, that’s fine with me.”