Students reflect on end of hectic first semester


Emily Short

Juniors Jiselle Covarrubias and Mario Ronquillo give a presentation about the city of Merida, Mexico during Glenda Hurtado’s third period Spanish 2 class.

Delilah Brumer

As the first semester winds down, sophomore Liam Curran is grateful for the positive social experience he’s had these past few months.

“Meeting new people is (a highlight),” Curran said. “It’s been very welcoming, everyone has been very nice since we only did virtual (learning) before.”

This semester, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School has gone through a plethora of changes and students are dealing with the ups and downs. With a later morning start time, in-person instruction after a year and a half of distance learning, weekly COVID-19 testing and a vaccine mandate, there’s been a lot to adapt to. One of the most substantial differences this semester has been the implementation of a new 4×4 block schedule.

“Since we’re doing the block schedule, we’re cramming a lot of stuff each day,” Curran said. “That’s the hardest part about (this semester), just keeping up with what we’re learning.”

With the school now on a mester system with four periods a day, classes have been longer and more fast-paced. This causes difficulties for students including freshman Satenik Ayrapetyan.

“I don’t really like (the new schedule),” Ayrapetyan said. “I find it confusing and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to retain information acquired from only one semester for the rest of my academic career here.”

While the block schedule has been a challenge for many, it has also helped some students like senior Diego Hernandez excel in their classes.

“(The block schedule) has definitely helped me improve academically,” Hernandez said. “It has taken a bit of a toll on my mental health, but I would say it’s much more rewarding academically.” 

The semester has also allowed for seniors to enjoy their last year of high school and savor on-campus school events. For Hernandez, one of those favorite events has been Fiesta Friday.

“I kind of wish (the semester) was longer,” Hernandez said. “That’s mainly because I’m a senior. I don’t want high school to end soon.”

Now that classes this semester are wrapping up, students are excited to take new classes next semester, after winter break. Ayrapetyan is especially excited to take Honors Biology and potentially the college class.

“I’m looking forward to starting new courses and meeting more friends,” Ayrapetyan said.