The Silverman Report: Burnout — The Ramaz Status Quo

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Sarah Silverman '24

Disclaimer: this article is satire. Somewhat.

According to statistics gathered by the Oxford English Dictionary, the most commonly spoken words in the English language are “the”, “be”, and “to”. If this study were to be done walking through the halls of Ramaz during finals season, it would give you a very different result. “Tired, history paper, extra credit, school, and Sulam are words I always hear,” reported a student who, when asked about her mental state, replied that it was “nonexistent” and went on to thank Ramaz for the free coffee that she claimed was the only reason she stayed partially awake during davening. In her Madhappy sweatshirt and overdone mascara, this same girl, who can be thought of as the kindred spirit to all Ramaz overachievers, was said to have fallen asleep midway through her Mock ACT exam. A sign to the Ramaz administration that perhaps their students require more than coffee to survive till June. 

This writer does not understand the appeal of Madhappy sweatshirts. Wearing a shirt that says you are a “local optimist” on it is the same as proclaiming that all you need on your math final is a 110, and you will secure that A. No matter how much you pay for either of them, it doesn’t make it true. Maybe if students started wearing apparel that counted the days until the end of the semester, we would all be happier. 

This sense of burnout is not only felt by students. Many teachers echo the same sentiments. Although they will not be named, the History department, in particular, is looking forward to the summer. “If one more student asks me what MLA formatting is, I fear I may lose it,” said one teacher who wished her sophomores listened the first time she gave out instructions, “These kids are so checked out. With the Israel trip and final projects, they have a lot on their plates. Every second of every day, you hear them discussing their history papers; you wonder if they have anything else going on.” 

With the seniors all but gone, college stress has fallen on the juniors and sophomores who debate if they will ever live up to their predecessors’ admissions successes. The business bros, who can easily be spotted talking just a tad bit too loudly about their “gains” in crypto and their portfolios when girls walk by, wonder if they will get into Wharton. Every new post on the “ramazdecisions” Instagram Account gives a freshman another gray hair. That and the “rmzpromposals” account are by far the most viewed Ramaz accounts, which may seem surprising since all but two underclassmen follow them. 

Another school year has passed, and with it is the end of masks, social distancing, and the paper you submitted at 3 am in the morning that you try not to think about. I bet somewhere in the mess of shifting schedules, students learned things. Maybe it wasn’t how to do your taxes, live your life or get a job, but hey, the Treaty of Guadalupe is just as important. As Ramaz kids start their sentences, “Colleges will like that…”  When the year ends, many start to wonder what the point of it all was. Yet, there are always beautiful, if not fleeting, moments of togetherness and friendship within stressful situations. As John Green writes in his book Looking for Alaska, “You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, how awesome it will be, and imagining the future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” Life goes by in the blink of an eye; savor your high school experiences, go out and live. The Silverman Report wishes everyone a wonderful and unforgettable summer.