Freshmen Jump into J Term

This article comes from Jamie Rich, Sports Editor for the St. Luke’s Sentinel as part of the Fairfield Scholastic Press Association online article exchange.

For the first time ever, members of the St. Luke’s community will be participating in a J term. The lucky freshman class will be able to abandon their normal academic curriculum. Instead, for the first 8-day rotation of the second semester, all ninth graders get to focus on human rights issues. The first day of the freshmen J term occurred on Wednesday, January 21; each student was broken up into eight different groups (Religion, Clean Water, Education, Women’s Rights, LGBT Rights, Juvenile Incarceration, Hunger and Homelessness, or Race and Discrimination) where they discussed different issues based on their topic.

Ajit Akole, a ninth grader at SLS, gave his first impressions of the J term. “I thought it was fun and it has definitely been worth it so far. I was placed in the religion group, and tomorrow, we’re going on field trips to different places based on the group we’re in. My religion group gets to go to a sanctuary in Hartford where we’ll be able to interview different religious scholars and get different perspectives on religious human right issues. The clean water group gets to go to the Maritime Aquarium. I think this whole thing is a great experience, and I like the fact that we get to write up our own comments at the end of this term to sum up our takeaways from this whole thing.”

Clearly, the J term has started out successfully in the eyes of the ninth graders; however, some upperclassmen feel that they are missing out on the experience. An anonymous upperclassmen stated “It’s just not really fair. They get to abandon their normal academic classes for two weeks. How come we never got this option? It’s just not fair and I think that we should be able to get this opportunity.” Another anonymous upperclassman chimed in saying “We’re mad because we never got to do stuff like this when we were freshmen.”

It’s pretty evident that the J term has been an immediate success and is something that could definitely continue in the future. The fact that other upperclassmen have become rather jealous shows that this is an event that could even be expanded to a wider range of grades. However, there is still much that has yet to occur in the J term, so there is still a question of whether it is worth it to abandon regular academic classes for two weeks.