Cardinal Hour: The highlight of our day


Grace Turney

Sophomore Ella Turney talks to Spanish teacher Esther Galo. The two discuss grades and other significant topics during the second half of Cardinal Hour.

As the night approaches early morning, I rub my eyes, forcing myself to stay awake. My brain is submerged in senseless numbers, my eyes are accompanied by a constant desire to close, my body is stiff as I sit still at my desk.

As I glance at my slowly dwindling to-do list, a sense of relief floods over me.

I can finish at Cardinal Hour, I think to myself, lifting my feet to walk up the steps to my bedroom. As soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain is filled with dreams, my eyes fulfill their wish, and my body relaxes into the comfort of my bed.

I don’t know what I would do without Cardinal Hour. The words swirl in my head before I drift into a welcomed, treasured sleep.

Balancing advanced classes, their respective homework and sports with much needed time with friends feels like a circus juggling act with torches, knives and a cactus ready to prick me at any given time.

Despite the generous 50-minute lunch break we get at Bellaire, I still feel the pressure of seconds ticking away as I try to get help from my teachers, attend a club meeting, complete last night’s unfinished homework and still try to find time to eat.

Cardinal Hour is a vital aspect of Bellaire High School, giving students a brain break in between classes. This time away from the rigid class structure is essential with the amount of homework Bellaire students receive, approximately three times the average amount. Cardinal hour is a time for us to talk and hang out with our friends while also providing us with some much needed relief between the stressful daily schedule.

The social life of high schoolers is often overlooked, disguised to some as an irresponsible waste of time. However, the social aspect of one’s day can brighten it from an otherwise dark and dull routine. Telling lighthearted stories and laughing provides the same satisfied feeling as crossing off assignments from a to-do list.

A schedule consumed by 5.0 classes doesn’t always guarantee this time to chill out, however. What it does guarantee is an endless sea of questions that one can only dive into during tutorials, another huge benefit of Cardinal Hour.

Early mornings and late nights make it practically impossible to go before or after school to ask teachers for help. And whether it’s clarifying instructions for a homework assignment or following up on a complicated lesson, asking for help can mean the difference between failing and passing a test. Cardinal Hour provides a convenience by offering teachers and students alike a space to interact with one another outside of class.

If a system of separate lunches were to be implemented, it would take away what little time students have to clarify misconceptions and ask questions. Teachers would still be teaching during certain students’ lunch periods, forcing students to either stay after school for help or leave their questions unanswered.

Besides holding tutorials, teachers are also the host of yet another important reason why Cardinal Hour is so crucial to the inner workings of Bellaire. They open their rooms to students belonging to a variety of clubs.

Bellaire has approximately 100 clubs, each with their own unique activities, members and purpose. These clubs are a fun way to get to know new people, as well as expand experiences and knowledge. One of the most important parts of clubs is scheduling regular meetings throughout the school year; without Cardinal Hour, coordinating the schedules of sometimes dozens of high schoolers would be next to impossible.

Would you want Cardinal Hour to be shorter, longer or no change?


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In other words, Cardinal Hour grants the gift of a valuable but lacking resource in the land of high school: time. Time that is beneficial and appreciated, taken in with open arms of the Bellaire student body. When hours slip away while finishing homework, Cardinal Hour is a hero to the villain of rigorous courses.

So thank you, Bellaire, for our beloved Cardinal Hour. In this wild circus juggling act of grades, clubs, extracurriculars, friends and mental health, Cardinal Hour is a necessary cushion, preventing them from breaking and shattering our wellbeing.