Declaration of Holidays

So, I’ve technically been on holiday for 10 days now. 3 of those days have featured exams – which are extended holidays with 1.5 hours of focus; since you’re fully in charge of how you spend your time. Thanks to the fact that juniors at University still have some exams left to write (the poor souls), I’m lucky and privileged enough to have another day off tomorrow.

I came into the weekend – atleast on Friday, with some amazing expectations and ambitions. Given that exams were over, the excuse of “studying” and neglecting some piled up work was gone, and I had so much time to fill up with the other things I wanted to do. Instead, what I have done is binge Grey’s Anatomy.

Grey’s Anatomy is a show I have an unsettling relationship with. I don’t follow it all the time, but whenever someone mentions it after a while, I feel the need to go back to it immediately and catch up with everything that’s happened in the show. I first watched it around Grade 9, I think – and slowly it became a part of the dinner routine with my mum. As Star World’s policies changed, the show went off air, I followed it for a while on fmovies, and then gave up on it entirely. I’m in awe that its lasted 16 seasons already – and I really don’t know where the show will end, and at what point Grey’s character arcs will feel complete and fulfilled.

The binging was enjoyable. The realization that the entire day (and night) had passed away, not so much.

Of course, I’m taking no blame for this whatsoever. To me, this is a systemic problem in the manner that holidays are declared. Let me explain. I think the manner in which holidays are declared; or mails are sent out, is that they often inform you that a particular day is a holiday – leaving you to process & make the cognitive link about when the next working day is. The positive framing of the message “2 March is a holiday”, means that your brain first realizes “oh, tomorrow is a holiday – no classes” and lives in that bubble till the evening of 2 March. At which point you switch over to the inevitable realization that 3 March is a working day. That gives you too much time to procrastinate everything – including how much you enjoy yourself. As a result, I would argue, that henceforth, declarations of holidays ought to be made in a manner that emphasizes how little time the “holiday” lasts – with particular attention being given, in any announcement, to when the next working day is.

My ideal declaration announcement is below:

Hello children!

Tomorrow, 2 March, Monday, is a holiday. This means you get an additional 24 hours to yourself before having to comply with some schedule that this University follows for classes. Out of those 24 hours, you will sleep for 8 hours, leaving you with 16 hours to enjoy yourself thoroughly. Use it well, because 3 March, Tuesday, at 9:30AM, you have to come back to class for attendance purposes.

You see how balanced the language is? It conveys joy, but also conveys the limited scope of the holiday. It feels compliant with social decorum. It doesn’t use too many exclamations or celebratory phrases. It underscores how fleeting the holiday feels – therefore, enabling you to process the fact that you’ve got a certain amount of time to put to good use.

Law has taught me how to construct arguments well.


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