By Laura Sweeney

In the last few years, many topics in the news and daily conversations relate back to the economic crisis that has overcome our country.

“I can’t afford to take a family vacation. The job market’s too rough and I can’t take the risk of being let go.”

Comments and thoughts, similar to this one, have filled Americans’ minds.

How long do employees have to be at the will of their employers until they can receive and use their vacation time they deserve?

A recent study by Expedia, the 2009 International Vacation Deprivation Survey, stated that Americans only receive, on average, 13 days of vacation a year from their companies.  However, the survey revealed that Americans gave back an average of three days last year. 

I argue that in this time period, employees do not feel safe using the vacation days stated in their company’s policy, in fear that they will appear lazy or worry about the work load left behind.

Now, some are trying to change the primary and secondary schools to year-round programs, or at least a longer school year.

Isn’t it bad enough that U.S. adults do not receive the amount of vacation they may need to live more satisfying personal and professional lives? And now we want to take away children’s summer time and their precious days to be just kids?

Students’ overall grades have suffered in recent years, but is it right to put the blame on the children?

Is it the parents? Maybe in some cases.

Is it the teachers? Perhaps in certain districts.

Is the curriculum too lax? I don’t know.

Well then, what exactly has caused students to struggle and not meet the set standards? Probably a number of these components combined. But taking away their vacation, time to read books not required by school, play sports and become well-rounded individuals is not the right solution.

My grandparents went to school, approximately, from Labor Day to Memorial Day, some 60 years ago. Since then, American schools have produced some excellent leaders and a work force that helped keep the United States advancing throughout the decades and remain a world power.

Now do you think that something that’s worked so well for so long, like the schedule, is at fault? Or is it due to some type of human error(s) that have overcome the school system in recent years?

Adults and children require free time to get away from their daily work, whether it’s a job or school. Imagine an office or school that demanded consistent, constant attendance all year long.  The people inside these buildings would grow uneasy and, most likely, grow to dislike their job or school. And let’s face it; most children do not like school already.

Vacations allow people to relax, return refreshed and ready to take on the work and challenges ahead.  Bosses and teachers alike will find that re-energized employees and students work harder and find more enjoyment in their personal lives, which reflects professionally.


Your views

The Madonna Herald accepts letters to the editor.

If you have a gripe about campus, or have a response to something we’ve printed,

please send a note to:

All letters are subject to minor editing  and should be limited to 300 words or less.

Leisure time--highly underrated