FirstClass Proves to be Detrimental, Adding to Stress
by The Milton Measure on Friday, October 14th, 2011
I have spent a total of 1 week, 5 days, 15 hours, and 1 minute on our email system, FirstClass. That’s 303 hours. 303 hours of emails that strategically beg for extensions, useless reminders, reiterations of force-fed assembly announcements.
That’s a lot of reading and writing, quite a bit of it superfluous. For some, this number is much higher. Maybe this FirstClass craze contributes to Milton’s churning out such eloquent writers and critical thinkers who can skillfully comprehend the intent of a message and even more deliberately avoid addressing its main point (sorry, English Department).
But I’ve found that First Class, instead of easing my life, has made it harder. I’m expected to attend every single meeting of which I’m reminded (I can’t simply “sleep through” it or “forget” about it once it’s in my mailbox).
Worse, I’m obligated to immediately respond to every email I read. This lovely little button called “history” allows the sender to know not only exactly when I’ve opened the email, but also if I’ve made any attempt to respond. Often, because of the history feature, I simply don’t open certain e-mails—and trust me, I’m not alone in my intentional negligence. You’ll never survive Milton if you try to accomplish 100% of your responsibilities 100% of the time; it’s just not possible.
Then there’s that feeling of despair you get when you wake up to hordes of red flags arrayed on your computer screen. You can either systematically conquer each one or exit the application in fear, the fight or flight response.
I guess the question I’m trying to answer is this: should we consider FirstClass a positive factor in our lives? Students should handle their Milton agenda using triage, the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition.
We need to have some breathing room, a bit of leeway. While FirstClass is helpful in some ways, its organizational ability is actually detrimental to students. There’s something beautiful about the careless disorganization of an adolescent. This may be a prep school, but we deserve the opportunity to be irresponsible while it’s still acceptable.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=1728