Winter Break Starts Early At Ramaz

It’s that time of year again. Rabbi Schiowitz posting on Schoology reminding all boys not to “forget” their tefillin at school, Krispy Kreme being replaced by Jelly Donuts, and the Lunch Room latkes making their annual return. An eerie silence hangs over the hallways; Classes with half-filled desks and students sitting in the lounge aimlessly counting down the hours to dismissal. The day before winter break is a ghost town. 

“Why did I even come?” says Sami-Rose Fishman, ’26, “My friends aren’t here; most of my teachers are in Florida at this point, and I could have finished up my history paper at home.”  So where is everyone? According to a recent Rampage poll, a substantial 60 percent of the student body left for their trips early. These hot destinations include Cancun, England, Deal, and the most common response on the form- “Anywhere but Ramaz.”  

As usual, students caught winter break fever early. The virus spreads in stages. “Over the past thirty years of teaching I have noticed three concrete phases of infection,” says an administrator on zoom from their trip in Israel who would rather stay anonymous, “The first occurs around Thanksgiving. Those kids never come back. I usually receive a vague email from the individual themselves or their parents stating that they are vacationing in Aruba for the winter and they will return in the New Year. The second is the overachievers. Students forced to go away. Wow, isn’t that sentence a paradox? They may leave a couple of days, a week, or God forbid, even two weeks early. These kids are outraged, biting their nails, speaking in tongues, and stressed about how they will ever catch up in their AP courses. They send me email essays trying to map out how they will take the three tests they missed and learn all the material in time for the final. I almost feel sorry for them, stuck on a beach instead of in the glorious classroom. The third, of course, is everyone else who jumps on the bandwagon. Why come to school when no learning is being done?” 

But there are at least some educational experiences happening. “There is always that one teacher,” says Brayden Kohler ’23, “No one will be in school, but they will decide that’s when to teach the important stuff, the eureka moment. The whole semester just clicks, and only the students present can fully understand what went down. Others can be filled in, but it will never be the same.” 

And with break officially starting, the first half of the year draws to a close. But wait, hold the phone, sound the alarms, open the doors, what about finals?!! Well, like most Ramaz students, this writer is spreading a delightful sprinkling of selective amensia over that whole garbage pile until January 3rd.