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Oct. 12, 2005

Give us a break!

by Eve Gleichman, Online Editor-in-Chief and Devon Madison, Online Entertainment Editor
Remember that awful Diflucan commercial with the middle-aged women running up and down escalators in distress, all to the beat of the nauseating "Gotta Go"? theme music? Maybe you don't; after all, its infamy did put an abrupt halt to the annoying advertisement, and we haven't really seen much more of that campaign from the bladder fixer-upper. But now, whether wanted or not, we Blazers can't help but wonder why we constantly find ourselves singing the catchy jingle during the school day.
<i> Photo Illustration by Elena Pinsky </i>
Photo Illustration by Elena Pinsky


We've ruled out blaming this odd symptom on a possible reemergence of that maddening commercial, and we're pretty sure it's not number one on Ryan Seacrest's American Top 40. It took some time, but after careful research of the new school rules, we exhumed the culprit: the new rule restricting bathroom trips during class; a regulation that keeps our mind on our bladder, and nothing else.

Number 1 (or the lack there of):

Although the new bathroom policy is not always enforced, many teachers are abiding by the rule and causing many a problem for the students. Let's get our facts straight:

We have eight minutes between classes. That's eight minutes of shoving through 3299 other bodies, dealing with the accosting administration and stumbling into a desk before the bell sounds and from the portables to the third floor, that's no easy feat for little legs like ours. According to previous Chips calculations, it takes six minutes to take a direct route from portable 7 (the portable furthest from the school) to room 315 that's without taking into consideration locker stops and exhaustion after climbing three flights of stairs. Not to mention the arbitrary hallway encounters with teachers and friends who just can't seem to get enough of us. Keeping all that in mind, we'd probably have about 45 seconds to go to the bathroom, and nobody likes to be rushed.

Of course, some teachers just won't accept a bathroom-related excuse for flying into class a minute late. What do we get for trying to comply with the new terms? A big "tardy" in the grade book. If we go before class, we're late, but if we ask to leave during class, it causes a scene. It's a lose-lose situation, and squeezing in bathroom breaks in the rush to class just doesn't cut it.

Well, actually, it might, if we had incredible ESP abilities. But even the foreshadowing lessons in English class haven't taught us to predict when business just has to be taken care of. Most of the time, we can't recognize a bathroom break two hours in advance during lunch, as many teachers suggest as an alternative. And seriously, who wants to spend a quarter of their lunch break waiting in line just to use a stall with a door that actually locks?

"Is it an emergency?"

We don't mean to give compliant teachers a bad rap, but really, there has got to be some gray area here. Some teachers flat out refuse to let students go, even if it's an "emergency." What qualifies as an emergency anyway? Are we expected to report the urgency of our discomfort to an entire class? Our hands would not be reaching for the ceiling in desperation with our now-useless planbook pages out and ready to be signed if it wasn't an "emergency."

Maybe teachers figure that if it is urgent, we'll just leave. Which, to be honest would not cause trouble. Rarely does administration accost us in the halls as long as we're equipped with a plan-book and looking like we're on some sort of mission. Most likely, they figure we've got somewhere to go, and it's probably not to meet up with a couple of friends and party in the hallways for five minutes.

The most irritating part of this new policy is its illogical nature. The purpose, according to our shrugging teachers, is to limit the hallway lollygagging and the missed class time. The truth is, a three minute bathroom break will get us back on track in class much more efficiently than a 90-minute class that we waste, preoccupied with our discomfort.

The restrictions are also put in place to "crack down" on gang activity. So, if we understand correctly, the new rule will put an end to all those quick and dangerous hallway fights that qualify as "gang activity." And remember, if you're planning an attack, make sure to be there and back in the time alotted for bathroom breaks. Stealth is the key.

Our suggestion? Eliminate the rule altogether. There's no reason to accommodate a law that doesn't make any sense in the first place. We think it's safe to assume that everyone would be happier to see the rules go back to normal instead of a doctor's office full of Blazers with urinary tract infections.



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  • Yep on October 12, 2005 at 7:26 PM
    The adminastration has clearly not seen the long lines, especially in the girls bathroom. Even when my class is just one hallway away from the bathroom, I still get to class right before the bell. I still have yet to find a girls bathroom that it not crowded between classes.

    Also, many people have to go after lunch since they drank stuff during lunch.

    We should have an administrator actually sit through an hour and a half while having to go, weave their way through thousands of other people and then stand in the line in the bathroom and see if they can finish with a comfortable amount of time left.
  • u guys rock!!! on October 12, 2005 at 7:47 PM
    Right on girls!!! This article is funny and makes powerful arguments.
    I have to go from the portables to room 313 every other day and I usually have to power walk to make it on time (or not) if I want to use the restroom.
    Having to deal with the discomfort of a full bladder during class is much more disruptive than leaving for 4 minutes to pee. Four minutes of lost class time or 90 minutes of "i can't concentrate 'cuz i have to go!!!"? Easy answer.
  • Anonymous on October 13, 2005 at 12:14 AM
    Generally if I have to go to the bathroom, I try to hold it until the class ends. Being a guy, I guess it's better. I never find really long lines, maybe one or two people, apparently the girl's bathrooms are worse.

    But anyway there is a point where you just have to go. All of my teachers have been nice about it and let me go when I have to. At worst it has been "wait until we are done with this in like 5 minutes and then you can go".

    If this problem is really widespread and my teachers are the exceptions, I say we do a formal petition to the administration. Apparently they don't read these comments so I say someone put the ideas on these comments, article, and the comments from http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/inside.php?sid=5556.

    Then send it around the school to be signed. Something needs to be done about this. They need to quit doing things "for the good of the students". Let the students take responsibility of their education. The opportunity is there, if someone wants to get out of class with a bathroom pass just to skip I still say the only person it hurts is the student. The school does it's part, providing the education. Now quit making more and more rules "for our own good". Remember, the telescreens were for the good of Big Brother's people too.
  • A urologist on October 13, 2005 at 3:21 PM
    I support the administration's new measure.
  • Anarchist on October 13, 2005 at 4:56 PM
    OMG!!!!111!!!1 THE ADMINISTRATION ADOPTED A DRACONIAN POLICY WITH ALMOST NO JUSIFICATION!!11 IT MAKES LIFE MUCH WORSE FOR THE STUDENTS!!!111!!!! WHAT A FRIGGIN SURPRISE!!!! THIS LIKE NEVER HAPPENS AT BLAIR!!!
  • Yes on October 14, 2005 at 11:23 AM
    The administration has been cracking down on EVERYTHING lately. As far as I can tell, it's driving everyone berserk.

    I'm a senior, and this is by far the worst year yet. Why? Because the administration is insane. This is just one unjustified and harmful measure among many.
  • Dali Lama on October 14, 2005 at 1:45 PM
    Okay, I'll admit: I'm a guy. So maybe its unfair of me to question whether it can really be so hard to use the restroom and still get to class on time. Nevertheless, I can't say I've ever had any of the troubles you girls mention. Actually, I haven't had to use one of the Blair restrooms in a long time. I'd say that if you regularly have this sort of trouble, you should plan a little farther ahead. Knowing you'l need a break does not require, as you suggest, "incredible ESP abilities," particularly if the same thing happens everyday. Overall, I'd say you're over-reacting to a fairly reasonable rule.
  • Anonymous on October 15, 2005 at 3:23 PM
    Did they state a purpose for this rule?
    You know what?
    We should make this rule for them...
    if they're not on break, they shouldn't be allowed to use the bathroom either, and each time they do, they cannot stay for more than 3 minutes.
    I think that would be fair.
  • yo on October 15, 2005 at 5:18 PM
    I really like this editorial. I like how its aimed at and relates to all of Blair students, not just ones acitvely invovled in politics. Good work girls
  • haha on October 15, 2005 at 5:57 PM
    yes! i hate it when teachers ask "is it an emergency" ... that's so ridiculous... good article
  • Jeff on October 15, 2005 at 9:15 PM
    Eve and Devon, congratulations on getting on the Admin's black list.
  • bob on October 16, 2005 at 2:15 PM
    But the administration adopted this policy primarily to stop gangs from fighting in the bathrooms during class.
  • Peter on October 16, 2005 at 7:19 PM
    One of my teachers told us it was because a girl got pregnant during a "bathroom break". Dunno if this is true, but I suppose it would be an appropriate reason for putting this rule into effect. (I still think its stupid though...)
  • Mike Bushnell (View Email) on October 16, 2005 at 11:03 PM
    Awesome use of sarcasm. Y'all did it justice. Great column.
  • nice on October 17, 2005 at 4:20 PM
    Yeah
  • superb on October 17, 2005 at 8:56 PM
    an excellent and exceedingly true article
    also it was hilarious.

    "number one (or lack thereof)" probably the best chips subheading EVER.

    kudos on an awesome column
  • ethio (View Email) on October 19, 2005 at 2:52 PM
    i definitly feel on what ur sayin

    the rules should just go away
    we dont have time between classes cause when we come in late they ask us why we are late...

    but ya the rule should just be dropped like its hott
  • sam on October 19, 2005 at 5:51 PM
    i swear ive seen that gotta go ad recently
  • Lol on October 20, 2005 at 4:32 PM
    Love the picture.
  • Senior on October 24, 2005 at 5:58 PM
    If you honestly have to go, you should do just that. I have never had a problem with bathroom passes. Most of the time I do get a pass since you know it's the 'polite thing to do' but if a girl's gotta go a girl's gotta go. My teacher (except for the portable one) have no real problem with me just leaving the class if i need the bathroom as long as i don't interrupt them. It's not like i make a habit of leaving every day.

    I try to use the girls bathroom as seldom as possible. Do you know how dirty they are???
  • MCPS on November 3, 2005 at 8:15 PM
    THey restrict the amount of times you go to the bathroom?
  • Victoria Ambrose on November 15, 2005 at 12:11 PM
    There is never enough time to get all of the supplies you need for your next class period.I mean you run all the way down the hallway to get to your locker. Your dial in the combo & run down the hallway, your like a foot away from the door & your counted as late. You try to explain, byt as you are talking they are preparing your disiplin ticket(DT). They put that yellow peice of paper in your hand, and you just want to thriw it to the floor in discust,& inside your head you are screaming, give me anpther chance. At this school, College View, if you are late there are no second chances.Atleast change 4 minutes to six, so that you can get through those jams up in the hallway.Trying to be ready for class is difficult, especially for those students with locker problems like me, and all I ask for, allong with everyone else, is a lttle more time.
  • katherine on December 6, 2005 at 9:45 PM
    yay dev!! good article-well written and funny! I hate that stupid rule and it's ridiculous that the administration implemented it because of "gang activity." what kind of gang activity is goingto go on during the 5 minutes that you pee??
  • jeff (View Email) on February 8, 2006 at 10:44 AM
    amen aint that the truth i may be in 8th grade but we go through the same things
    good job
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