(you know ‘Wednesday’ is ‘Mittwoch’ in German, which means ‘mid-week’, despite it being the third of seven days? Silly Germans)
I used to hate Wednesdays. Our school runs a bizarre lunch hour system, in which Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays have lunch breaks running from 12:40 to 2:00, while Wednesday and Friday ended early at 1:40, so thirteen-year-old James got 20 minutes less football time, which made him grumpy; at least on Friday there was the hope of the week ending.
This was reinforced by the lessons we had after those lunchtimes; the long lunches were followed by 25 minutes of PSHE or form time, in which we would sit around doing bugger all for a bit until our form tutor told us to sod off to our actual lessons. Wednesdays and Fridays, however, had a five-minute registration, followed immediately by an extra half-hour real lesson, which was invariably too short to get anything done, but too long to risk not doing the homework for, and always seemed to be maths or physics in some way.
But two years ago, this changed; we started having Games (PE, if you like) on a Wednesday afternoon, and the early lunch made it a full hour and a half, unlike the short hour-long sessions of the previous years of Games being on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, which I enjoyed much more. Then last year, we got to go home early on a Wednesday because no lessons were scheduled and being Sixth Formers, I suppose the school trusted us to not go out and be killed by a train or rob a bank with our free afternoons.
Sometimes, we even arranged to go to Powerleague on Wednesdays, meaning that the old days of Wednesday afternoon football were preserved, but without any of the embarrassing collective trouser-removing that constitutes a changing room, and the 90-minute time limit (we’ve played at Powerleague for about three hours at a time on occasion).
But then it all changed. This year, with the increasing importance of my summer exams, Wednesday is no longer the day of ‘half school, half Football Manager’, but is now the day of ‘half school, half doing extra Geography papers at home while my Dad watches the Champions League/England matches/MasterChef without me’, which is less fun, despite its productivity. The need to revise has also meant fewer people are available for Powerleague, so I have to monotonously run around my local park to get exercise on Wednesday afternoons; I like running, but far less than playing football.
This is especially irritating given the recently awesome weather; I think the British weather is the one valid piece of evidence for there being a God, because no non-sentient weather systems could ever be as malevolent as those over the UK, whose policy of air temperature and hours of free time being eternally inversely proportional has been a real kick in the nuts if the last 30,000 years or so.
Perhaps the worst thing about Wednesdays these days is that everything is based on choice: it may be helpful to do that extra paper, but I’m increasingly aware that I’m inflicting this stress on myself, making the entire event seem more like an exercise in literary masochism than literary discussion. Hell, the fact that I got three marks off an A* for two subjects in this week’s mocks should relax me; I have two months to get three marks for God’s sake, and I have an AAA offer, and my scores from last year mean I literally have to get CCC this year to get into my first-choice University!
But then I think about future James, an individual I like screwing over by setting painfully early alarm clocks, and the fact that he probably wouldn’t be too happy with seven years of effort in school to scrape through my final exams. I think my school life has become like a long-running TV drama; it’s been excellent throughout, and a crappy finale probably wouldn’t tarnish its reputation too much, but there’s the possibility of a mind-blowingly good end to it all, so you might as well go for it.
So I suppose I like Wednesdays; I can probably get some pretty awesome results this summer, and these afternoons are times I’m going to do the work to get them. It’s stressful, sure, but I guess that’s the point: I don’t enjoy Wednesdays, but I like them a lot.