Man, I hate fall break.

I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this before. But as our girls are on fall break right now, it is on my mind.

A year ago at one of L’s soccer practices I was making sarcastic comments about fall break with the dad who I had coached with for a few years. We agreed fall break was dumb and messed up youth sports, which should always come first. Again, we were being sarcastic. L’s head coach overheard us and made a comment about how fall breaks are a great chance for families to spend time together. I felt like kind of a jerk, and I’m pretty sure he wrote me off as one at that point.

To me, fall break serves no real purpose. What the hell do we need a break from? The weather is about as good as it gets in October. It’s not like we’ve slogged through three months of bitter winter and need a mental break. As I type this is is pushing 80, there is no humidity, and it is beautiful. Fall break never falls right between the first and second quarters, anyway, so it’s not like it’s a true academic break. Fall is a warm and happy time of the year, where late March/early April is one when everyone needs a chance to check out and go someplace nice or just sleep late for a week while we wait for spring to arrive.

Having kids at a Catholic school complicates matters. None of the schools are on the same fall break schedule, so girls basketball gets stopped for three weeks to try to avoid having to reschedule games. Some Catholic grade/middle schools follow the Catholic high schools’ breaks, but even those can’t get on the same schedule. Cathedral is off today and tomorrow, as is St. P’s.[1] The other north side Catholic high school has the entire week off. Meanwhile, a few other Catholic grade schools follow the schedule of the public school district they fall into. Not sure why the archdiocese can make so many invasive rules regarding schools but not force us to take fall break the same damn days.

Both St P’s and CHS sent out messages asking families to be smart and follow social distancing and masking guidelines if they travel this week. The video we got from CHS was all but begging people to make good decisions. “We’ve made it this far, please don’t fuck it up,” was the unstated message. They flat out pointed out that relaxing this week could prevent the football team from winning a state championship next month. Oh, and other sports too. But don’t forget football. I like that they were honest about that.

Along those lines, two schools in Indiana have already forfeited their football sectional game this weekend because of quarantining. One team was undefeated and ranked third in class A.

I feel for the players of all fall sports. Kids are generally stupid and will do stupid things. I bet this fall a lot are thinking about the implications of them being the one who introduces the virus to their team and wrecks their season. There’s enough stress about winning and losing, grades, and other high school bullshit without worrying about going to see your crazy aunt who thinks covid is a myth and then being the reason your team forfeits their playoff game.

For all my angst and hate regarding fall break, I must admit that this year, I think our teachers absolutely need a break. We are not 100% happy with how our kids’ teachers have handled this year. A few are flat out being dicks in class every day. The smallest transgression will set them off. There are daily text threads amongst parents to compare notes and see if whatever that day’s drama was is worth sending a note back to the teacher and/or principal about. At St P’s especially, where they are shorthanded and attempting to cover extra classes, some of the teachers seem particularly short tempered. I know teachers are looking ahead to the coming months and worry whether the measures that have kept our schools open in the fall will still work in the winter. Again, a whole level of stress on top of the normal one. I’m glad all the teachers get a long weekend to, hopefully, decompress a little.

I still think the two days St P’s always takes for fall break should be moved to Thanksgiving week so the kids get that entire week off. That’s a great time for a break.

It was nice to sleep late today, though.

  1. This was M’s week: Monday normal virtual day. Tuesday bonus virtual day. Wednesday bonus day off for selling all her raffle tickets, something 95%+ of students do. Then official break Thursday and Friday. C and L are out of school today and tomorrow.  ↩