Homework throughout the years at RBHS

RB alumni and current students discuss how studying at RBHS has changed over the years.


Photo by Olivia O’Donnell Homework scattered on a desk

Olivia O'Donnell, Staff Reporter

Homework: we know it well. We spend countless hours a week writing papers and typing on our laptops, but was it always like this? Students today are very accustomed to taking notes, completing study sets, and filling out docs on our laptops. It wasn’t always this way though. Homework at RB before the 2010s was very different than it is now. We interviewed RB graduates from years gone by to learn about homework routines of the past.


The 1980s

Chris Agne, who graduated in 1980, was like most other teens at the time. He involved himself in many sports and after-school activities.

“I played baseball, basketball, and was a male cheerleader,” said Agne.

His weekly routine was fairly normal for teenage sports players.

“During weekdays, I would have sports practice, eat dinner, and do homework from 8 to 10. On weekends, I would mostly study for tests and finish homework assignments. I had two study halls also, so I mostly finished homework there,” said Agne.

Agne’s backpack was very light because he didn’t have one.

When asked about the computer lab, Agne responded, “We had a computer lab? I never did an assignment there or in the library.”

Agne’s routine was typical of high school life before the widespread use of computers at RB.


The 1990s

Sarah Leone, who graduated in 1998, provided insight into what it was like being a 90s kid at RB. Leone participated in many popular sports and clubs.

“I was a cheerleader. I was in student council. I was in the earth science club,” said Leone.

When asked about homework, Leone said, “We had books instead of laptops. We had a lot of handwritten homework, and a lot of papers and packets.”

Leone’s backpack was fairly heavy due to the textbooks she had to carry home.

“We were not allowed to carry our backpacks to class,” said Leone.

The computer lab is somewhat obsolete now, but it was pretty cool in the 90s.

“We all shared a computer lab,” said Leone. “There was only one, with about 25 computers. It was pretty cool. I typed up papers there sometimes.”

Leone’s normal homework and studying routine was filled to the brim with paper.

“We had to do a lot of studying, a lot of packets, and a lot of our classroom notes we would go over.  We had old-fashioned overheads and the teacher would write over those with wet- erase markers,” said Leone.

The 90s were a mix between paperwork and technology. In the 2000s, things began to change.


The 2000s

Lorin Manganiello graduated in 2007 and was involved in the Ski/Snowboard Club and band.

“I played the clarinet; I got to skip gym because of it. Gym class rules were kind of different from now,” said Manganiello.

Manganiello’s typical homework routine was fairly normal

“I had about one to two hours worth of homework on a normal day- easy stuff,” she said.

Manganiello’s backpack was light. She only carried the things she definitely needed for that night.

“My backpack weighed about 5 pounds,” said Manganiello. “I didn’t carry everything around with me as some kids did.”

Manganiello, like most kids in the 2000s, had a computer at home, so her memories about the computer lab were nonexistent.

“I don’t remember if we had a computer lab,” she said. “If we did, I normally typed stuff at home.”

For finals, Manganiello took extra measures to make sure she had the material down.

“I normally studied for about 3-5 days on average,” she said. “Finals were pretty hard, man.”



Schoolwork routines may seem very different from today. We spoke with freshman Isabella O’Brien about her home and schoolwork routine, which she says are pretty neat.

“My normal homework routine: I usually do all of my homework right when I get home. It takes me about two to three hours to complete all of it if it’s a heavy day. On other days when I have after-school activities, I try to do all of it when I get home, and if I can’t, I will complete the rest of it in the morning,” said O’Brien. “I also like to maintain a good schedule so I can participate in working on other things besides schoolwork and personal projects.”

O’Brien participates in drawing and painting, Robotics Club, and plays the viola. Like most kids, Isabella‘s backpack is big and bulky.

“My backpack is extremely heavy, but that is partially my fault from carrying extra books and art supplies everywhere,” she said. “I should really try to keep things lighter from now on, and that would be easy because I am not required to take home a textbook every day, and  I should pack only what is essential.”

Like every other student at RB, O’Brien heavily relies on her Chromebook to do schoolwork.

“I do use my laptop for homework, and in math, we are saving paper by using an online textbook. And in English, there is a lot of typing. During the day I use my laptop a lot, and having a working computer to bring around really helps,” said O’Brien.

When we look at homework across the decades, a few things stands out: most RB students are working two or more hours per night getting their work done, and backpacks are definitely getting heavier!