I don’t work Wednesdays. Every workday for me is either hump day or last day. You know, two days on one day off, two days on two days off. I reckon I might just be sane at the end with this arrangement. That’s the plan, anyway.
The reason I have Wednesdays off is because I’m a part-time Teacher-Librarian employed in a 0.8 position. The Education Department decrees that because of our student numbers, I should be able to do what needs to be done in the Library in four days rather than five. Actually, because my pseudonym is “Super Teach”, I can do it all in three days, but please don’t tell them that. It costs me $17 000 a year to have Wednesdays off and although the family can get by without that amount, $34 000 would really be stretching it!
So, for the last ten years I’ve been using my Wednesdays as a “Transition to Retirement Day”. From p.m. Tuesdays til p.m. Wednesdays, I pretend that my teaching days are a thing of the distant past. The bride will hear remarks like these.
“Yes, I know it’s Tuesday night but I think I’ll have a couple of red wines anyway.”
“Exo! The Rugby replay is on Fox after the movie. I’m there.”
“What? Eight o’clock Wednesday morning already! What a great sleep!”
Then there will be digital ablutions while consuming a leisurely breakfast – emails, newspapers, solitaire games.
I can actually collect the mail from the postie – and read it over a plungerful of coffee. I might spend a couple of hours in the garden cutting , planting, re-designing; browse the local shops with the bride; watch a movie; donate blood at the local hospital; have an afternoon snooze. Amazing!
Does it get any better than this?
But, of course, this imaginary retirement reverie is broken by the return from high school of our three youngest children and awful murmurings begin to sound hauntingly in the back of my mind.
“Tomorrow is Thursday.”
“Staff meeting before school.”
“Kindergarten, kindergarten, kindergarten, Yr Two, Special Unit, Yr Three Digital Research, Yr Two Digital Research.”
“Infants choir practice at lunch time.”
And I remember! It will be another day where any one of a score of people or activities could derail my carefully planned day; a day where some students, who firmly believe it is their right and duty to dismantle anything constructive I try to do, will do just that.
But, it could be worse, of course. I could be unemployed or ill or boring or poor or, even worse still, in my first year of teaching!!!
Oh, Patron Saint of “Making Every Day a Wednesday” please hear my prayer.