Spanish teacher Allison Woetzel remembers her student days at M.A., when some things were a little different. Photo by Jake Frisell.

M.A. then and now

Sophomore, teacher compare notes on life at Minnehaha

For many people it is easy to understand what the Minnehaha was like many years ago. There are articles and stories in class from the teachers who attended M.A. in high school. However, many people don’t know how it was like to be a student at Minnehaha in the past and it is hard to appreciate how similar yet how different only eight years ago was.

Spanish teacher Allison Woetzel, a recent alumna, and sophomore Kaylee Harnack recently compared their student experiences.

“I would wake up at about 7:30 to 8:00 and it would take me around a half an hour to get ready,”said Woetzel. “Then, I would carpool to school with my brother and my best friend, and depending on traffic we would get there around 8:30 to 8:35, so we were pushing it.”

Judging by Harnack’s routine, mornings have stayed hectic for high school students: “I wake up at about 6:30 everyday,” Harnack said, “It takes me 15 to 20 minutes to get ready and 30 to 45 minutes to get to school in my mom’s car.”

These are the two girls’ morning routines, and although very similar, they have subtle differences in the time it takes to get ready and the time it takes to get to school. One similarity between the two is the amount of homework load. When Woetzel was a sophomore, she had about an hour of homework each night and said it was her hardest year for homework. Harnack has a similar amount in her sophomore year. Even though they have the same work load, the classes that gave them the most work are different. Harnack’s class that gave her the most homework is physics, while Woetzel’s were geometry and AP World History.

One thing the Harnack and Woetzel differentiate in is their stance on how the technology of M.A. is affecting the the students. Woetzel believes there are there are both good and bad, but the overall introduction is an overall positive change.

“The technology is a great source for information and a great source of communication whether about grades or homework,” Woetzel said about the benefits of the technology at M.A. “Although it is easier for students to be less organized when they don’t have to learn to keep track of thinks and they never have to write anything down because it will just be ready for the students online.”

Harnack, however, dislikes the technology change. “There are no positive changes to the introduction of technology at M.A, everybody procrastinates more, it’s more unorganized and it leads to worse grades. The technology makes doing homework less efficient and is an overall disadvantage.”

When reflecting on student-teacher relationships, Woetzel appreciates her past experiences. “It’s a great experience to be able to have known the teachers as teachers and to now know them as co-workers and what I found is that even though I didn’t think this in high school, they all turned out to be really cool people, it’s fun working here when you know everybody how they really are as friends, but also with the memories of them when I was younger.”

Although Harnack can’t experience the professional working relationship with her teachers, she can still have the friend and student-teacher relationship with them. ” My teachers are always there for me when I need to talk and they’re also nice and helpful to me whenever I need them,” Harnack said.

Though there are a few differences, there are great memories for both. “I loved all four years of high school and I love my first year back,” said Woetzel.


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