Throughout the years, Bellarmine College Preparatory has historically been more relaxed with its student policies than other schools have. With later start times, no formal dress code, and early dismissals, one could say that the school’s rules are almost too cool. There is, however, one student policy that stands out as a conspicuous exception: No games in academic buildings.
For our lovely freshmen reading this article, the key thing to remember during school, what you should burn into your mind every day, is that you should never, under any circumstances, play video games in an academic building. In case we didn’t explain that clearly, here is a slightly simpler re-statement: in an academic building, you should never, under any circumstances, play video games.
Page 39 of the student handbook (yes, we read the whole thing) states that “Games, social networking, and video sites are prohibited on computers at all times,” while Page 41 affirms, “Phones may not be used for game playing in any academic building or used for any reason during class.”
So what does this mean? If school was in session, the rules would be relatively simple: in buildings where classes or administration meets, the use of cell phones for non-academic purposes would strictly prohibited. Places where games would be permitted (but still discouraged) would be the cafeteria, the Student Life Center, the swimming pool, etc. To survive in Freshman year, one need only follow the simple task of discerning the exact locations where such activities are not tolerable: for example, a classroom, the Dean’s office, and so on.
Really, with just the ability to follow simple instructions (which may be a little bit difficult for some of you, but try to keep up), the success rate of your school year will increase dramatically. However, this applies only to a physical school setting: in a remote learning environment, the boundaries of appropriate device usage go awry.
First, when attending school from home, an obvious problem arises, being that teachers cannot monitor students’ behavior as easily. (Unless, of course, the student wears glasses, in which case the screen can be seen in the reflections. This may or may not be the main reason I got contacts this year.) As Ms. Antonio (our beloved religion teacher) points out, “you could be on ILikeToPlayVideoGamesEveryDay.com,” without the possibility of the teacher noticing. Is this a good idea?”
Some may even claim that as our homes are not academic buildings, the administration has no authority over what we do. Some may go even further, declaring that if the school were to claim jurisdiction over behavior at home, this would be an instance of the state asserting its authority over private property, which would essentially equate to communism (or fascism, I can’t remember which one). Now, this statement may or may not be valid, but the most important thing is that as school proceeds in a remote form, we must begin to think of our home as our school.
Many studies have shown that people who go to school succeed more often than do people who do not go to school. Therefore, it would make sense that by thinking one is going to school, one might succeed more often than if one thinks that one is not going to school. Though the prospect of calling the site of your torment “home” may be terrifying, in the end, we must all sacrifice our comfort (and possibly sanity) to prepare for the future.
As the school year begins, keep in mind that having a good start to the semester is crucial. For this, I think that we can look to our older and wiser fellows for guidance. As Mr. Weger probably said, “don’t play games in school.”