Senior ditch day ditches convention

Everybody’s favorite unofficial holiday is back


Two Cal High students eagerly flee campus, celebrating their newfound freedom during a traditional senior ditch day.

If there’s one thing that students will always strive for, it’s to attend school as little as earthly possible.
And one way that students, particularly seniors, strive to adhere to that mission statement is through senior ditch days.
As a freshman at Cal High, I had heard rumors about the mysterious and infamous ditch days, where large swaths of the senior class would decide to just say no to everything and not show up to school. This was a very foreign concept to me.
You’re telling me you can just decide to not go to school and then just actually go through with it?
And then slowly as I grew up, moving through various classes and mental states with an equal lack of care, I would hear tales of the senior ditch day more and more.
Now as a second semester senior, someone nearing their metaphorical metamorphosis into a stunning and responsible adult, I’ll be honest, senior ditch days are the only thing keeping me going right now.
And I’m not being facetious when I say “only”. Every college in the nation has rejected me, waitlisted me, and then rejected me once again just to rub it in. Every one of my classes, despite the teachers’ best efforts, are slowly whittling down my already diminutive sense of responsibility and every cell in my body is screaming that I should have dropped out after freshman year.
It’s almost paradoxical that now the best part of school is not having to go to school, but I am living for it. I praise whichever forefather of ours decided on a day that we would all meet up with our friends and celebrate not having to go to school together.
But not everyone is as on board with this concept as I invariably am.
The seniors and teachers have a tacit agreement that on the preordained senior ditch days, the teachers will basically give up on any semblance of productivity.
This ensures that those who decide to leave class that day won’t have to spend their time worrying about school work.
I don’t see a world in which someone participating in senior ditch day would care about some late assignment, but the gesture is appreciated.
In return for this ever so gracious gift, it’s expected that we seniors only ditch school on days that the teachers are aware of. This treaty has been upheld for about as long as my caffeine addled brain can recall, but just last Halloween a spot of trouble arose.
On the morning of Oct. 31, the Year of the Tiger, 2022 an unofficial senior ditch day was scheduled. The normally lackluster attendance record of my senior government class dipped even further into the red, with almost half the class taking off for the hills.
Teachers were alerted of this possibility a few days in advance, and some issued an ultimatum stating that those absent on this day would miss out on important school material, or maybe even have points deducted from their grade.
Unsurprisingly this worked not at all, with many seniors leaving only to return to a grade a percent lower than where they left it at. Unfortunately, my friend made the terrible decision to contract an illness the day before, and ended up losing some points he would never be able to get back. Tragic.
And I know what you, dear reader, must be thinking: during this historic struggle of student versus teacher, what choice did the writer of this magnificent piece make?
Well sadly a few days prior to this I had the brilliant idea to buy a Halloween costume in the guise of a blue Crayola crayon.
This purchase scrubbed clean my already empty wallet so I wasn’t about to let it go to waste.
But who was the real winner, the senior sleeping in until noon or the one parading around campus in a sky blue crayon cosplay and pointy hat. I’ll let you decide.
My terrible life choices aside, this event damaged the fragile trust between Cal students and teachers.
Teachers were irritated at this unwelcome ditch day, and the students were irritated that their instructors dared assign them consequences for their actions.
Even with some of the problems that arise from it, senior ditch day is still a time honored tradition, and, brightly colored imitations of writing implements aside, I look forward to a day of fun and relaxation with my friends.
I also look forward to any opportunity to make fun of my underclassmen, who unfortunately are not seniors yet, and therefore don’t get to leave.