Student faces busy season, will get look at college life

Rodniqua Brothers, 18, brushes dirt from her hands while looking for termites with her Biology 101 class at St. John's High School.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth monthly article on Rodniqua Brothers, a senior at St. John's High School.

As one season ends, another begins. But with the fast approaching winter, St. John's High School senior Rodniqua Brothers finds herself changing seasons in more ways than one.

The way some students measure time by semesters, 18-year-old Rodniqua said she prefers to gage her life in terms of seasons: football season, basketball season, softball season, graduation.

With that frame of mind, Rodniqua said she can avoid getting caught up in half her senior year being over by looking at it as though she's merely entering the next phase of the school year.

"It hasn't really hit me yet that half of the year is over. I still have basketball season and cheerleading. It won't be until softball season that I really start to notice it. By that point in the year, there's really nothing left," she said.

As a student, every change in season comes with exams. And so these days, Rodniqua spends much of her time studying, especially for her dual-credit biology course, with hopes of maintaining her B average while going into the new year.

In January, Rodniqua will change courses, going from Biology 101 to 102.

Rodniqua's biology teacher, Tracy Lyles, said the process is designed to give students a glimpse into college life, and, more importantly, how to prepare for it.

"There are fewer tests, fewer graded assignments and more information at one time. That is what causes the harder part of it. They (students) have to learn to manage their time a little bit better because there isn't a lot of time to recover from bad grades," Lyles said while Rodniqua's biology class explored the St. John's campus looking for termites as part of a lesson on parasites. "The goal of this class is to give them the opportunity to get college credit ... and to give them kind of a taste of what the rigor is like in college, so when they get to those classes, they'll already know what to expect, and it won't be so much of a surprise."

When she isn't studying, Rodniqua is continuing her busy schedule largely filled by cheerleading practice for basketball season now that football has ended.

Any spare time she gets continues to go toward her ongoing college search. Rodniqua originally hoped to have decided on a school by December.

While she's continued to apply to and visit various schools, she still hasn't made a commitment. She does, however, plan to take advantage of a program Newberry College offers that will allow her to spend a night at the school to experience college firsthand.

"I'm actually looking forward to it. You get to go to the school and spend a day in the life of a student and see what it would really be like. I think it would just be something different. I don't think any other school has offered that to me," Rodniqua said.

She said her college search also has her taking the SAT again, just because she said she wants to see if she can get a 1300 out of 1600.

"The first time I took it, I was really nervous and thought of it like a learning experience. ... I know it's a high score, but I just want to try and see if I can make it."

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908.