Coppell Observer: Survival of the summer readers


Trisha Atluri

Many Coppell High School students are unaware of summer reading assignments until the day before the school year starts, causing them to cram. The Sidekick executive editor-in-chief Sally Parampottil discusses the difficulties of summer reading and compares students who insist on reading their novel before school begins and those who do not finish until after.

Sally Parampottil, Executive Editor-in-Chief

Coppell Observer is a humorous column about life as a teenager. Please be warned that any and all sass is due to the writers’ similar situation as adolescents (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of these words to heart. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment.

Yeah, that’s right. I finished my required reading before school began. 

You know, it really isn’t that hard. People make excuses all the time about why they procrastinate their summer reading until the first few weeks of school have already passed, but it’s not rocket science. 

Finding the novel itself is simple. First, go to the Coppell High School website. Then, simply click through the 63 tabs at the top of the site as you hunt for the list of requirements for whatever English class you plan on taking next year. After scouring each of the “Academics” tabs for the third time in a row and failing to find what you’re looking for, go back to the “Students” tab to triple-check that one as well. You won’t find it there either, but the truly superior are the ones who try. 

Then – and only then – can you click back to the home page in defeat and let your tired eyes wander the cluttered explosion of red, gray, black and white until they settle on the Quick Links sidebar where “2020 Summer Reading” stares back at you. 

See? Not complicated at all. 

Now I get it, sometimes the temptation to just wait until school starts can be really strong. I’ll admit, this year, even I was feeling a bit lazy and left most of my summer reading to the day before school began. But look, the best of the best aren’t chosen because they don’t do their summer reading during the summer – and I am nothing less than the cream of the crop. 

When power went out in Coppell past sunset and my lamp light vanished, did I let that stop me from reading? No, I simply lit a candle and read by the flame like an old Victorian woman. When my eyes hurt from the strain of candlelight, did I let that hinder my efforts? No, I simply tucked my phone between my chin and collarbone and used the flashlight to illuminate the pages. When my neck ached from the prolonged uncomfortable position, did I let that hamper my quest of completion? No, I simply had my mom pull a solar-powered yard light from our fence and attach it to my headboard so I could read by what looked like Iron Man’s arc reactor. 

No sweat. 

Now you may be wondering, why bother trying to finish before school starts? The teachers always give some extra time in the beginning of the year before diving into work with that summer novel, so why try so hard to get things done? 

Well you see, this is all a test. The leniency on summer novels is a running joke for now, but the day of reckoning is coming. It may not happen this year or next, or even five years into the future – but one day, it’ll come. The first day of school, we’re going to get hit with a pop quiz on the summer reading assignment. No extra time to prepare, no excuses accepted, just survival of the fittest.  

Who’s the fittest then? Not the losers who haven’t started their novels, nor the ones who began but haven’t finished; it most definitely won’t be those rascals who solely use SparkNotes to pass any reading assignments. 

It will be the people like me who finished their reading on time. While the false gods of the campus walk around, heads held high as they boast of not even knowing what the required novel is, the real victors will see the day of justice dawn – and all our summer suffering will have been worth it.

Follow Sally (@SParampottil) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.