August 29, 2010

Another in the ‘Sentence Series’…

The weekend is…

The weekend is, now, a thing of the past.

As a kid, living in Canada, going to school, the weekend was something worth waiting for. We went to school from Monday through Friday, and when that final bell rang on Friday afternoon, no matter what the weather, we knew the weekend was starting.

Saturday and Sunday were the weekend days. Summertimes were the best. Saturday was swimming day. We’d go to McMahon pool, and basically spend the day there. In the mornings was swimming or diving lessons and swim team practice. The afternoons was spent in free swim time. My two brothers and the two neighbour boys, Robbie and Jamie, would spend the whole afternoon together.

In the winter time, the day would be spent skating on the rink that my father would make in the backyard. Or, to earn a bit of money to spend, we’d go around the neighbourhood shoveling sidewalks or driveways.

As I got older, the weekends would be spent helping out in our family store. I also had part time jobs that would take up the weekend hours. Once in a while, a weekend would mean a visit to my grandmother or other family.

As I got older, weekends slowly became a non-existent thing. A weekend would actually just meant, a couple of days of no work, sometimes throughout the week (NOT Saturday or Sunday), and rarely, if ever, two days in a row. By law in Ontario, in a 7 day period, employees were seldom required to work more than 5 days in a row. Part time work rules were a little different.

Once I did start working in a regular full-time job, Saturdays and Sundays became the weekend again. Actually, just like being in school, when that clock struck 5pm, that was it. The weekend began on Friday night, and ended when you went to bed Sunday night.

Now, working in Taiwan, weekends have taken on a different meaning again. It’s work time. Most people I know in Taiwan, work on the weekends. So, I’ve basically done the same thing. Once in a while I do get a couple of days off, but the weekends, or Saturdays and Sundays, are still class times.

Many students go to school through the week, bushiban in the evenings, which only leaves the weekends to have private classes in English. This is where I come in. I do have a couple of bushiban classes, but for the most part, my weekends are spent helping private students to improve their English skills.

I think that in todays world, and depending on where you work and/or the work you do, a weekend can be whatever you want. I’ve found that having a couple of days off through the week, as opposed to a Saturday and Sunday, have a lot more benefits.

You want to do some shopping, usually it’s a bit quieter in the stores during the weekdays. You need to see a doctor or a dentist? It’s a lot easier getting an appointment throughout the week than on a Saturday or Sunday. You want to go on a short trip somewhere? Many hotels and businesses give discounts during the week just to get the business.

Whatever you consider to be a weekend, take advantage of it. Get something done around the house. Go for a tour around the county. Take a day or two and visit a new city. Being here in Taiwan, taking a couple of days, and going to Hong Kong or China or Singapore is a good possibility. Or just sit at home and catch up on your email.

Just remember though… in todays world, there are a lot of people out there who don’t get a ‘weekend’. Take advantage of those precious days off.


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