The pattern “on-off-on-off-on-off-off” seems to be a relatively common pattern when considering a seven-day cycle. I wanted to do a little reflection on that, particularly because I may start that pattern with blogging when I am not doing M.A.P.L.E., O.C.T.O.B.E.R., or a similar daily-post pattern.

When people are in elementary, middle, and high school, most people have the same class schedule every day. Some classes are on alternating days. For example, when I was in seventh grade, my classes (in order) were Physical Education/Health 7, English 7D, Math 7D, Science 7D, Social Studies 7D, Exploratory 7, and Band 7.

The school was on an “AB” schedule. Physical Education met on “A” days (i.e., ordinally odd days in each term), and Health met on “B” days. The Exploratory courses were one quarter long; everything else was year-long: I took Industrial Technology (i.e. machine shop), Computer, Art, and F.C.S. (i.e. home economics).

In high school, all of my classes were daily.

When I got to college, however, the schedules changed. Most classes were either MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or TR (Tuesday, Thursday), and classes with recitation/quiz sections or labs would have additional weekly meetings. At UNL, I never had a day that was completely bereft of classes, but I found that at Northwestern, some classes meet either MW or TR: I had no classes on Friday during my winter quarter 2010.

As an aside, I like how “R” is used as a one-letter abbreviation for “Thursday” to avoid confusion with Tuesday. This does not seem to be standard everywhere, however: I have had some of my students ask “what is R?” when it is abbreviated on a syllabus.

The MWF schedule is true for the webcomic xkcd, and there are probably other similar reads which are updated on MWF.

This week, I posted MWF, but I am unsure whether this will be my norm.

Interestingly, I know of another non-MWF pattern that follows On-Off-On-Off-On-Off-Off. It is the weekly reading of the תורה (Torah).  It is read on יום חמישי, יום שבת, ויום שני (Thursday, Saturday, and Monday). So although it is shifted from MWF, it still has the same pattern.

I think that this pattern is helpful to avoid burnout and oversaturation, particularly if the material requires more absorption. Then again, I have not previously considered the implications of this pattern. It is just something which came to mind when I was thinking about this being my third post of this week.

What other places do an On-Off-On-Off-On-Off-Off pattern every seven days?

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