Students all over the Upper School wake at 8:10 a.m., refreshed and ready for
the day. “I just slept in a full hour!” they exclaim. Off to class meetings, and then
the day is up to them. Clearly, Wednesdays are the silver lining of our COVID -19
We’ll break this down into the simplest terms possible: post-pandemic, this
Wednesday schedule should stay because Wednesdays give us more freedom over
our own time. Point blank. The observant reader may question this statement:
“Aren’t Wednesdays just a combination of the week’s X blocks?”
Wednesdays are more than that, too. We don’t, for instance, have to wake up before
dawn or commute early in the morning—time better used to get some extra sleep.
Wednesdays are an open time to work on school assignments, including anything
from daily homework to longer-term projects. Stressed in the classroom? Need
more time to complete assignments? Wednesdays to the rescue! The free time
allows students to slow down, reassess their work week, and prepare for Thursday
and Friday. For those who desire, Wednesdays offer a great opportunity to catch
up in certain classes, meet with teachers, or even get a jump on future assignments.
For several students in Global Online Academy (GOA) courses, Wednesdays are a
chance to collaborate with classmates in different time zones and do asynchronous
work without it piling up on regular classes.
Apart from homework, Wednesdays also give students a break from a constantly
controlled environment. For 24 hours, we can manage our own time without being
told exactly where to go, in what way, at what time. And that has social and
emotional benefits. By taking a day off from daily classroom activities, we give
our brains and bodies a break. Instead of staring into computer screens or peering
over our masks at whiteboards, we can nap, watch some TV, play sports…the list
goes on. We can also meet with friends, enjoy family time, or devote ourselves to
other extracurriculars. Wednesday flexibility allowed one of our editors to take on
tutoring as a rewarding community service project. A junior pole vaulter we know
can now pursue her passion beyond the weekend.
Wednesdays are like taking a breather in the middle of a sports game. Even the
best athletes can’t run sprints for a straight hour; they would burn out or sustain
an injury. We all know what happens then: they’re out for the season. Our brains
need the same rest our bodies do—if students push themselves too hard, they
fall apart. Wednesdays provide the much-needed time to hop on the sidelines of
academic work, even for just a little while.
Yes, these benefits all depend on individual student situations with respect to clubs,
arts, and sports involvement. For students wishing to maximize their participation
across multiple clubs while also balancing performing arts or sports and reserving
time to meet with teachers, Wednesdays can get real short, real fast. But this was a
truth even during our pre-pandemic schedule, when multiple clubs would meet during
Activities on the same day. And when we are back in person full-time, performing arts
can return to regular weekday blocks, freeing up Wednesdays more.
No matter the schedule, there is simply never enough time to do everything
offered at the school. We must remember that we are the ones choosing to attend
different activities. On Wednesdays we have the power to make those choices, and
it’s both a freedom and a responsibility that prepares us for college and beyond,
when we must also prioritize our commitments.
The bottom line is this: although Wednesdays can cause some scheduling
difficulties, we students can still access all the clubs, arts, and sports BB&N
normally offers. We can still practice and develop our personal interests. The only
difference is that the week is slightly reconfigured. But who’s to say reconfiguring
is bad, if it gives us more time to rest, catch up, and organize our own time? Not us.