‘Tis the Season of Reflection


Flik serves Mr. Ball.

Jack Malcolm, Staff Writer

At the beginning of the year, ODA was buzzing. To say things had been set up  differently this year would be an understatement. Some of the most fundamental aspects of student life had been changed. These changes had everyone constantly sharing early observations of the new year and how it would affect them.

What club will you join?

The line is too long; it’s insane!

We have so much free time now.

Students were worried because they faced the pressure of adapting to a new school environment and expectations all without skipping a beat in their academics. Whether these adjustments would be for better or worse kept nerves high for the early portion of the semester.

Now, the first semester is over and ODA is about to go on holiday break. Over break the old year will end and a new one begin. Lots of people will use this time of relaxation to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new one. With the end of the first semester, students are looking back and reliving their concerns from the onset of the school year. Now that everyone has settled into new student life, the ODA community can reflect on each change.

Arguably the largest change to ODA life was the establishment of a new schedule. This schedule contained four seventy-five minute classes and breaks in between each period. These blocks were a significant change from the previous schedule that rotated the number of classes and their duration each day. Many were excited about the breaks in between classes and the amount of classes per day because of the time that it would give students to complete work.

Others were concerned that the lengthy classes would cause each class to be less-engaging. Students and teachers were also concerned that the smaller number of classes per week would impact the amount of material that could be covered by the end of the year.

Now that students have had time to learn the ins and outs of the new schedule they are able to give a fair assessment of the new schedule in their eyes.

“I really like the new schedule because it gives us more free time in between each class and more time to complete homework,” says, Sophomore, Trevor Barron.

“I think the new schedule is great because it is less chaotic than the last schedule. I have break time in between each class and two days to do my homework. It makes life a lot easier,” comments, Sophomore, Ethan Ball.

“I like the new schedule because it allows for less homework and it’s definitely easier to stay organized. It just isn’t as overwhelming as having a million classes a day,” responds, Junior, Nora Altajar.

“The block schedule has both advantages and disadvantages. It is a stress reliever to have a break in between each class, and also not seeing them for consecutive days. However, and I hate to say it, some classes can get boring and my attention can wander,” answers, Sophomore, Mutaz Faqqouseh.

Along with the addition of a new class schedule into the day, club time was added. Before this school year participating in a club was uncommon. There was no allotted time for clubs to meet and so the few that were formed had low attendance. Students did not want to carve time out of lunch to attend meetings.

With the beginning of the school year, Mr. Brewer introduced clubs into the schedule. Everyone had to join a club and attend it between the first and second classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This year, students have engaged in their clubs and expanded their horizons into activities that they had never taken part in.

“I am in the Tri-M club. I really love that I have the opportunity to be in the club because it gives me time to connect with other musicians like me and help others in the community. I am so glad that the clubs were introduced to students this year,” says Ball.

“I’m in FJCL, a Latin club, and Global Citizens/Interact club. I have leadership positions in both, and am really attached to them. My passion for Latin is expressed through FJCL, and Global Citizens/Interact is a great way for me to do philanthropic work. The introduction of clubs this year has been a really positive experience for me,” responds Faqqouseh.

“I’m in the Investment club and Book Circle club and I enjoy them both more than I thought I would. Investment club has helped me learn about finances and how to make money through things like stocks and bonds, and Book Circle gives me a nice break in my day to sit and read by the lake,” answers, Junior, Cole Chalhub.

“I am in Student Council and Lit Mag. I really enjoy Student Council because it allows me to run school events and have a large leadership role in the school community. Calliope, aka lit mag, is a care-free space that makes me feel comfortable while doing what i really love, writing. Compared to last year, I like that we have a set time for clubs so I do not have to use my lunch break for meetings. However, I wish we had more clubs periods in a week because there are so many clubs I would like to be in.  Only being able to pick two clubs limits students exploration and interest in school. Ideally, I would like to see more time slots for clubs,” says, Sophomore, Cayla Dammann.

The final major change at ODA from last school year to now is the dining situation. At the end of last year, the students were informed that Brett Schnathmann, the chef at ODA, would be leaving. Students were deeply saddened by his departure. This left a vacant spot in one of the most important areas to students: food.

When the ODA community learned that a company called Flik would be filling the open spot, everyone wanted to compare them to the beloved figure that was now gone. Now that Flik has settled into the new school and has had time to feed students a multitude of meals, students give voice for their palettes.

“I have had a positive experience with Flik. In my opinion, the café is the best part of Flik, and I think their coffee and drink options are really great. The only issue I have with them is that it is a bit on the expensive side,” voices, Junior, Melanie Saltz.

“Flik’s staff is very friendly, and I joke around with some them when I get my food,” says Faqqouseh.

“I bring lunch to school, but sometimes I buy lunch with Flik. Since the beginning of the year, they have gotten faster and the food is still really good. They have also started to give larger portions, which is great,” notes Ball.

The 2016-2017 school year has brought lots of change to Out-of-Door. Every student can voice their opinions and advocate changes they would like to administration and Student Council. Use the time over break to reflect on what is different. After all… tis’ the season of reflection.