Senior Emma Brown traces her self portrait onto a blank campus during studio art.

Seniors rush to complete graduation requirements

Senior Jag Lally (13) had to play lacrosse this year in order to fulfill the athletic requirements before graduation.
Katia Dahmani
Senior Jag Lally (13) had to play lacrosse this year in order to fulfill the athletic requirements before graduation.

Senioritis: that pseudo-medical condition that saps second-semester seniors of the will to accomplish, well, just about anything.

Their hard work is done, and they can just relax and wait for the end of the year.


For many seniors, being in their second semester means that they have less than five months to tie up all those loose ends that stand in their way of graduating.

Of 24 seniors polled on March 22, 10 said they hadn’t fulfilled their requirements as of that date.

Half of those, including senior Max Schmitz, haven’t fulfilled the six-trimester athletics/P.E. requirement.

Schmitz said he was planning on getting his last two trimesters at once by joining both the golf team and the baseball team this spring. 

“But,” Schmitz said, “I figured out that my baseball won’t count.” 

Schmitz was asked to leave the team after missing a practice without permission. 

A transfer in the middle of his sophomore year, Schmitz played football at Davis High School the fall semester before he arrived and is confident that that his participation will fulfill the one trimester he lacks.

“I don’t feel stressed at all,” Schmitz said. “I know that everything will work out. 

“And even if it doesn’t, I still know  I’ll graduate.” 

Senior Jenny Kerbs also will finish her requirements just in time for graduation. 

“(To complete my athletics requirement), I’m taking soccer,” Kerbs said, “which was actually something that I was going to do this year anyway.

“In the past, I haven’t been able to play it due to my academic and extracurricular commitments. But since I’m a senior now, I have more time.”

However, athletics isn’t Kerbs’s only remaining requirement.

She also lacks the year of visual or performing arts that all students are required to complete.

“I’m taking AP art history,” Kerbs said, “something I probably wouldn’t have taken if it wasn’t required.” 

Although she said she’s enjoying all her classes, Kerbs said she wouldn’t do it this way a second time.

“I wish I’d fulfilled my requirements sooner,” Kerbs said. 

“Cramming them all at once isn’t the smartest idea.” 

Senior Emma Brown traces her self portrait onto a blank campus during studio art.
Adam Dean
Senior Emma Brown traces her self portrait onto a blank canvas during studio art.

Senior Emma Brown, however,  likes that she’s fulfilling her requirements at the very end.

In her senior year, Brown has been taking studio art, a year-long elective. 

“I haven’t taken art since middle school,” Brown said, “so it was a nice change of pace for my academic schedule.” 

Other students are searching out tiny tasks to add to their already busy calendars to fulfill their 50-hour community service requirements. Senior Zoe Dym is one. 

“I grab onto any opportunity,” Dym said. “I’ve done a bunch of little odd jobs. I’ve tutored (sixth-grader) Joe (White), cleaned the art room, taught the drawing class and I did a painting for the high school play.” 

But Dym said she’s not anxious about finding enough hours. 

“I’m not stressed about anything related to school,” Dym said. 

Neither is senior Johann Dias, who said he appreciates  having to deal with requirements. 

Dias, who plans to tutor a St. Francis student to complete his three remaining community service hours, thinks that community service requirements teach students a lesson.

“I can’t really complain or promote (the community service hours),” Dias said, “but they do teach us necessary lessons of giving and not receiving. That’s what they are to me.” 

Unlike Dym and Dias, senior Keaton Ochoa’s requirements are causing him anxiety.

“I knew I needed one more (P.E.) credit going into senior year,” Ochoa said, “so I decided to do cross country. Very early on in the season, I realized that it was going to be pretty (taxing) on my knees, and after one practice I could barely even walk.” 

Ochoa’s knee problems forced him to quit track and instead begin physical therapy, which he planned to use as independent PE. 

But his luck (and his prescription) ran dry. 

“My physical therapy prescription ran out, and my doctor thought I (could) do the exercises on my own,” Ochoa said.

Although the doctor has allowed him to exercise at home, Ochoa must keep attending the clinic to follow through with the agreement. 

“Going to physical therapy and paying money for them to watch me do exercises (I could be doing at home) is a waste, so I’m in a bit of a predicament,” Ochoa said. 

He asked the clinicians if he could go to a gym to do the exercises, but was quickly denied.

“They didn’t even want me using the smallest weights for my legs,” Ochoa said.

Through all this, Ochoa has yet to actually get his requirement.

“The administration is typically very accommodating, but they haven’t been able to adequately help me with my PE credit despite the fact that I am dealing with a lifelong knee problem,” Ochoa said.

Country Day’s philosophy is Academics, The Arts, Athletics, Every Day. 

And that’s exactly what its seniors are scrambling to complete…every day… before graduation.

—By Chardonnay Needler

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