By Samuel Moore-Sobel
February is known as the month after January. It also is famous for Valentine’s Day. But what is not always given a lot of press is February’s relationship to the “leap year.”
February 2012 is a leap year. A leap year occurs every four years. Why? Because it takes the Earth about 365.24+ days a year to go around the sun – so the normal 365 days, plus an extra quarter of a day or so. Leap years are used to take up the slack of the extra day created every four years.
Following the Gregorian calendar, there are rules for when a year can be a leap year: 1) the year must be evenly divisible by four; 2) the year cannot be a leap year if it is evenly divisible by 100 … unless the year is also evenly divisible by 400.
Ok, enough with the history lesson. There are several points that can be drawn from the leap year.
It adds an extra day to a year only once every four years, so clearly it is a special day. Although a high school senior may have a unique
perspective on the upcoming leap year.
The first thought for a high school senior is that we now have an extra day of school because of it, an extra day in between where we are now and arriving at graduation. As the second semester has begun, seniors are hoping to graduate as soon as possible. The only reason to do well in school now is to be able to get exemptions from final exams (which are granted if one misses only two days of school and maintains a 70 percent average or higher in a class) and also to make sure that colleges do not revoke the acceptances that one has already received. But, most 2012 high school seniors are lamenting their bad luck that the leap year happens to fall this year.
But as with all things, there is also a positive side to a leap year for seniors. An extra day is an extra day. It is another day to live, to see family and friends, to make an impact in the lives of others. Our days on earth are short enough, and this year we are being given the gift of another day. And, while many are eager to graduate and to start lives of their own, we are being given another day to enjoy the things we have been given, to spend another day as high school students, because very soon we won’t have that opportunity.
So, regardless of how badly “senioritis” has set in, we still have another day standing in the way of graduation. But, as seniors we should make the most of the extra day of our lives as things will be very different in a short amount of time. As for everyone else, it is an extra day of life. So celebrate by doing something good for someone else, and count your blessings for being alive this February 29.
Samuel Moore-Sobel is a senior at Stone Bridge High School, and serves as a member of The Good Shepherd Alliance Board of Directors.