How to use your time SMARTly

Rori Anderson

SMART. For most students, it’s the highlight of their day. A time to be productive. To get things done. To talk to teachers. Perfectly scheduled at the end of the day, students often cannot wait to sit down and pull out their homework… or gossip and take a well-deserved nap. 

Personally, I find SMART period to be flawless. I have yet to find a better time in my day to schedule my doctors appointments, pick up Starbucks or hear the latest drama.

SMART was created as a time to get help from teachers. While colleges have optional office hours with teachers, SMART is even better because it’s mandatory (or is it?). SMART passes allow you to leave your assigned classroom and go to a different teacher’s room. If you are seeing a teacher, you are typically taking tests, redoing labs or (most likely) sucking up to the teacher in hopes that they will write you a letter of recommendation.

Illustration by Calla McBride.

However, some SMART passes do not actually work. Instead of taking you to a teachers’ classroom, they take you to your car. And while that might seem to go against everything that SMART stands for, defective passes are often preferred among the student body. 

Zipping off past watchful staff members at the beginning of SMART also teaches students how to drive responsibly (and it makes parking lot traffic a lot better for those that stay). Additionally, it’s extremely good practice for leaving school dances and games as fast as possible, so you can get to In-n-Out before everyone else. 

Most of those who do stay are freshmen and sophomores. So for the few upperclassmen that are fortunate to have properly functioning SMART passes, it is a perfect time to bond with those in other grades. Chatting with freshmen about their favorite P.E. unit instead of completing math homework is exactly how the administration envisioned SMART to be. 

SMART was also planned as the perfect time to complete “mandatory” surveys. Telling the school about how I do not drink or bring knives to school and how I often carpool, is my idea of time well spent. There is nowhere else I would rather be (except maybe my own bed doing my own homework at my own pace when I want to do it). Nowhere else.

That’s a lie. I would rather be watching my favorite classmates on TV! I find no greater pleasure than lounging in my seat surrounded by empty chairs, watching future Hollywood stars tell me the weather. Sometimes I’ll learn more about music or even sports, and every once in a while I’ll laugh. The calming cinematography often helps me find a point of peace that leads right into a splendid nap.  

And after that brilliant time, I get to go sit outside and watch the cars zoom away with my homework long forgotten, hearing about how the math test went and who broke up with who yesterday. I know the administration has a required number of learning hours a day, and debating  the latest flings is my favorite type of learning. 

In conclusion, Redwood has never had a better idea than creating a SMART period and putting it at the end of the day. In my opinion, SMART is such an ingenious use of time that it should replace every period. It is so beneficial for students that even math class is less important. Who needs to learn y = mx + b when you can learn SMART pass = In-n-Out.