Features / News

Study Hall: A Blank Canvas

By KYLEN BAO

STUDY HALL: (N.) the one thing you love more than butter pecan ice cream and no­-homework days.

In this fast-­paced, whizzing world of high school, study hall is a 42­ minute idyllic retreat where you can frantically cram for your next test, complete yesterday’s homework, or curl up for a mid-day siesta. People often assume that study hall is a class in itself, only meant for studying or making up tests. However, if you identify yourself as one of these people, you are sadly misinformed.

Above all else, study hall is a prime opportunity to further your education. For instance, many people have trouble deciphering and memorizing the intricate laws of physics. Study hall gives you the chance to take a more hands-­on approach to learning Newton’s Laws of Motion. Instead of staring hopelessly at the 1051 pages of Giancoli’s AP Edition physics book, try making 1051 paper airplanes and flying them across the room. This experience will not only help you gain a deeper understanding of the laws of physics, but will also make the concepts more memorable. With any luck, you should be able to gather enough data to derive the fundamental laws of physics yourself. For an additional challenge, make slight changes to your airplanes and observe the resulting effects. Rip off some of the wings. Fold a paper airplane into a paper ball. Pour some water over another plane until it is fully soaked. Do your planes fly as well as they did before? If so, publish your findings—you’ll be featured in Popular Science the following week, guaranteed.

Learning in study hall is not limited to the sciences. For all of you artists out there who are looking to go above and beyond, grab a paintbrush and get your creative juices flowing. Borrow some paint from the art room (with permission, of course), select your favorite colors, and swirl everything together on a nice, big palette (if one is not available, simply use a desk). Use the room’s walls as your canvas, and begin your undertaking. To complete your work, you can use paintbrushes, your fingers, or your toes to paint whatever you wish. If you’re experiencing artist’s block, try using finger paints to coat an entire wall in a bold, bright pink, or start slapping paint on the walls until you discover a new form of art. But most importantly, be random. In the end, your painting will be heralded as the next great abstract masterpiece.

Having mastered the arts and sciences, you can move onto the world, or rather, the way the world is governed. Governments are, understandably, difficult to comprehend; not only do you have to know what systems were established in which places, but you also have to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each form of government. Instead of trying to memorize all of these aspects, create your own government and analyze the difficulties you encounter as you build your empire. Unite your classmates against the evils of dictatorship, and attempt to overthrow your study hall teacher when he or she gets back from the bathroom. Once you have successfully staged a coup, you must focus on the social and economic aspects of your new society. Be sure to set up a stable social hierarchy (with yourself at top) and currency (college-ruled paper should do). Establish good relations with the room next door; if its students are hostile, deploy your subjects to expand your borders. If you’re feeling tired, you can also just sit around, sip coffee, and call yourself Congress.

Study hall is the ideal place for you to physically experience what you learn in class, rather than labor over pages of terms you have to memorize for that quiz you have on Tuesday. Ditch those antiquated flashcards and do something fun. Design the world’s most aerodynamic paper airplane. Paint an elephant­sized kitty. Declare war on your enemies across the hall. The possibilities are endless.

Image Source: http://chscomet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/studyhall-1024×554.jpg

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