Waking up to a new schedule

On Wednesday, at least 800 alarm clocks sounded, prompting more than 800 Harvard-Westlake upper school students to roll out of bed, bleary-eyed and tired. For most of those students, it will be the first time in roughly three months that their alarm clock rang at such an early hour, or went off at all.

Things were unquestionably better last week when at least the sun was out to greet us when we awoke, the daily routine moved at a considerably slower rate and we held fewer responsibilities. But on Wednesday, after more than 800 hands reached out from under the cozy covers and shut off the incessant ringing of their alarm clocks, students and faculty were thrust back into a routine that they abandoned in early June.

It is the first day of school. It is Day 1, in more ways than one.

Last spring the administration decided to implement a rolling schedule that runs from Day 1 through Day 5, replacing the Monday through Friday schedule. To add to the confusion that will inevitably ensue, not one week during the school year does a Day 1 fall on a Monday.

Not surprisingly, there will be a lot of whining that accompanies sudden or seemingly unnecessary changes, as students and faculty struggle to remember yet another important detail about the first day. There will no longer be a definite reliable day of the week when a student knows he or she can leave school early to meet an appointment.

However, as Plato famously posited, necessity is the mother of invention. While the schedule change may seem inconvenient and unnecessary to someone who does not understand the need that made the change essential, it is pretty easy to understand why the administration chose to implement a new schedule.

Class time will be spread out more evenly; for example, Monday classes will not get shortchanged because of the three day weekends that occur throughout the school year.

Just like waking up earlier to the unpleasant sound of an alarm clock, going to sleep earlier, and setting aside hours for homework or sports, the new schedule will simply have to become just another change to which we become accustomed. Eventually, it will become so integrated in our minds that we no longer give it a second thought.