GUEST PIECE: Pattibaker ROAR devalued by rules




ROAR period is a great opportunity to catch up on some work, study for an upcoming test, or catch a 30 minute nap. However, it has strict guidelines that make it difficult to enjoy for people who have nothing to do.

I see most of my friends for half an hour every day during school. That’s it. I get that ROAR period to interact with them, and I’m usually too busy after school to hang out. We have different lunches. I take AP classes, and they don’t. We have different elective classes. So far, this checks off every box for why we can’t have time together, other than ROAR. 

Before you say, “Go to the cafeteria!” It’s near impossible to get seats in there, especially coming from the portables. So, we landed on the theater as our destination. 

At the start of the year it was great. We all sat together, having a good time, just hanging out. But after the first week or so, we had to sit with a seat in between us. Then we had to have two seats in between us. At this point, I can barely talk to them without a staff member telling me to be quiet. The sad part is we’re usually working, too. We like to hang out and get work done, but the ability to do that has been taken away from us. 

The library is a quiet zone. Understandable. The cafeteria is a madhouse. Makes sense. Can’t we get an in between? A decently quiet zone for working that allows for collaboration and interaction.

That ability should be granted, but with staff losing their patience one day after another, we end up taking two or three rows just to accommodate all of us. We can easily maintain a quiet working environment, especially considering we’re in a massive theater and not a little library or cafeteria. As it is, we have to talk pretty quietly to avoid being hunted down by the hawk-like campus monitors circling our spot. I think this is something the school can easily improve. Either that, or we open up another common area.

Now, I have no clue where we would put a common area, because I don’t know what’s available. The gym could work, but there’s classes in there. We’ll have the new gym somewhat soon, but that zone could be occupied as well for all I know. 

The staff also needs to leave common areas open after the bell, say, little as three minutes after the bell rings. I come from the portables every day, and getting to the theater in six minutes while battling construction traffic is a struggle. 

There was a day where the traffic exceeded that of a normal day. A friend and I got there just after the bell rang. I’m talking no more than thirty seconds. But they wouldn’t let us in. We tried the cafeteria. Shut out. The library was also closed. We ended up making the trek all the way back across campus to the portables, where Mrs. Galamgam welcomed us with a smile, despite having fifteen minutes left in ROAR. We got a minimal amount of work in, about half of what we would have if they had let us in the theater, and I didn’t see my friends all day.

I know what you’re thinking: “Hang out with them after school,” or “Suck it up, that’s high school.” But it doesn’t need to be. If I’m missing the opportunity to be with my friends because I’m suffering through Pre-AP, while they hang out in their classes together, I should at least be allowed this time to truly interact with them, especially when we don’t have lunch together. I shouldn’t have to grind and work through five classes instead of four, see them hanging out all day, and not have the opportunity to be with them during the one thirty minute period I have with them all day. 

Being social is an integral part of daily human life. You need to interact with other people, especially those close to you, in order to function properly. Feeling isolated is a common source for anxiety among students and adults, and having classes that prevent interaction opportunities should grant us the time to hang out elsewhere, at different times. 

It would not be difficult to be more relaxed in the theater during ROAR. That’s what needs to happen.