Wednesday, October 14, 2009

in which tuesday is the new "monday" ...

this week i lost tuesday, my beloved day of the week. i blame the phenomenon that is called fall break.

when i was an undergrad, we had no such thing. we just soldiered on until thanksgiving. i first learned of this as a graduate student and summarily dismissed it as some artifact that well-to-do schools afforded their well-off undergrads.

as it happens, it's more prevalent than i thought.

this past monday was the so-called break. the day after was tuesday only in name. as mandated by the university, classes ran instead on a monday schedule. i admit, we academics are creatures of habit. i'm surprised that there wasn't a flood of confused profs showing up to empty classrooms, wondering what had happened.

(so yes: i'm complaining about having to teach two days in a row.)

as for why anyone would switch up the pattern, it's for reasons of balance. when you count the days off in the fall term,
  • one monday is for american labor day,
  • one wednesday,
    one thursday,
    one friday are all taken for american thankgiving,
which leaves tuesday as the only day which meets uninterruptedly. turning one tuesday into a scheduled monday means that instructors on the tuesday-thursday lecture schedule get the same amount of time off as instructors on other schedules.

i'm all for fairness, but really ..
just as three day weekends lend themselves to painful four-day weeks, the academic world runs on monday-wednesday-friday and on tuesday-thursday schedules.

couldn't they just have given us both monday and tuesday off, and add one last monday as the last day of fall classes? that still keeps parity, and the pattern is easier to follow.

no matter. tomorrow will be a productive morning. as for the afternoon, it will be busy yet unproductive.

the aftermath of the exam went as i expected. i have a lot of spooked students now: i met with one today, i'm meeting two tomorrow, and three are scheduled for friday.


from now on, i'm dividing by four ..

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