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Marlborough Time

Elissa ’14 stares forlornly at the ever-demanding Marlborough clock. Photo by Remy '14.

It’s the wee hours of a glorious summer night. You’ve flopped into bed, exhausted after an eight-hour marathon of a BBC miniseries (honestly, who wasn’t glued to the screen during Downton Abbey?). You’re in the middle of a fantastic dream about a dashing British star, when suddenly, you hear them. The bells. You wake up, shaking. No, you didn’t hear anything. It was just your imagination…

It’s the week before school starts. You’ve become absorbed in the hunt for the correct dividers, and you possess enough pencils to supply every office in the Pentagon. It’s 9:30, and you’re sitting at your desk, obsessively rearranging the order of your white outs, when you find yourself walking into the kitchen and eating all food within sight. That’s it. You can’t pretend anymore. You’ve just realized you’re on…. Marlborough time.

In previous years, the schedule was formatted so that break, lunch and the other class periods came and went at specific times. At 9:30, it was break; at 11:36, it was lunch. And to signal the beginning of any block, there was a delicate chiming of predictable bells. For many girls, these sounds signal the start of something immensely stressful, be it a test, the due date for a project, or a French class, all of which bring you a step closer to an ulcer.

Although we have done away with the old and ushered in the new, I know many of us are still stuck in the Marlborough time zone. Here are two ideas on how to (kind of) avoid the judgemental eyes of those around you when you’re haunted by the 2:00 bells, which are now at…. Well, frankly, I don’t know.

 1. Whenever the current bells come on (despite the fact that they do so erratically),start jamming out to some music. The Biebs is preferable. That way, when an innocent stranger happens upon you at bell time, they can witness your “awesome” dance moves.

 2. Eat. Constantly. Then you won’t have those impulses to eat at 11:36, because you’ll already be full. Although I think “full” is a difficult concept for a Marlborough girl to swallow (no pun intended).

With the old schedule gone, perhaps we will no longer be consumed by the Marlborough time zone. However, it’s far more likely that as the schedule evolves, we will evolve with it. Here’s hoping that our strange habits and severe paranoia never abate.