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Redwood Bark

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Link Crew continues Quiet Week tradition of Cocoa and Cram

A poster set up by the counseling offices alerts students to which teachers are holding study sessions.

On Thursday evening after the sun had set, classrooms lit up for Cocoa and Cram night. Cocoa and Cram, a long held tradition of the week preceding final exams at Redwood, was organized by Link Crew and ran from 5 to 7 p.m. During those two hours, students enjoyed hot chocolate, visited their teachers’ classrooms and studied in the library.

Anna Alsina, who teaches Spanish, was one of sixteen teachers who opened up their classrooms for Cocoa and Cram. Alsina has hosted these sessions before, and appreciated getting to work with a smaller group of students.

“One good part [of the event] is having fewer students. Those who really needed help would come, and they would be able to have one-on-one time, which is hard during SMART or during class. [And, students who attend] could practice with me for the oral exam that we have,” Alsina said.

Alsina found Cocoa and Cram to be especially useful for students preparing to take spoken final exams for language classes.

“I have my rubrics ready, so when we do the conversation practice, I can assess their learning and tell them exactly what they are missing, so [students] can add or modify whatever they need. It’s like a simulation of the final conversation that they can do right now,” Alsina said.

Flooding into Room 126, students grab packets of fruit gummies from the tables while others head straight to the counter to pour themselves some hot cocoa.

A sign by the counseling offices directed students by including a list of open classrooms and their teachers. The actual cocoa of Cocoa and Cram could be found in Room 126, where Link Crew helped guide other students towards snacks including pretzels and gummies, paper cups, hot water kettles and packets of hot chocolate mix.

Hana Ahmad, a junior currently in her second year of Link Crew, offered insight into the work that went into the event.

“[Link Crew students that led Cocoa and Cram] made all the posters, filled out forms, sent out information, and worked really hard organizing the event,” Ahmad said.

Last year, Ahmad helped lead the AP and Apple Pie study event in the spring before Advanced Placement (AP) exams. She hopes for it to be repeated in 2024.

Sitting in chairs pulled from other tables in the library, seniors listen to Ann Tepovich’s lesson on economics.

“I think that [events like these] promote learning while also having fun. And I think that for people who want to use it to study, it’s a great opportunity, and for people who want to hang out, it’s a great event for that, too,” Ahmad said.

Senior Alex Carroll attended Tepovich and Hart’s session on Advanced Placement Economics before studying for Calculus in the library.

“I come to Cocoa and Cram pretty much every year. I like coming because it’s kind of a nice privilege that we have, that teachers come in after school and help us right before our finals. I definitely feel better prepared for my finals,” Carroll said.

Alsina was of similar mind, pointing out that offering a study night at school like Cocoa and Cram had the potential to greatly benefit students.

“[Cocoa and Cram] is a good extra opportunity for students to have a space that is calm for studying, that has good lighting, heat, dictionaries, materials and access to teachers,” Alsina said.

Although it is after dark, the library is bright and filled with students hard at work studying for their finals.
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About the Contributor
Ava Carlson
Ava Carlson, Reporter
Ava Carlson is a senior at Redwood High School. She enjoys spending time with friends, running, coffee and finding new music.