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The quest of one student to turn “Hump Day” into “Slump Day”

Matthew Shumaker, senior, proudly presents his “hump day” graph with a Friday peak. Photo by Wyatt Croog

Walking into his eighth-period class of AP Comparative Government and Politics on a Friday afternoon, senior Matthew Shumaker exclaims, “Ms. K-R, it’s hump day!”  While many see this moment as a violation of the day being synonymous with Wednesday, Shumaker speculates that the world approaches hump day with the wrong values in mind.

Something about the well-known GEICO insurance ad with the CGI camel glorifying “hump day” being on a Wednesday didn’t sit right with Shumaker every time he watched it. One day, after contemplating it for two hours while walking around his neighborhood, he made the decision to denounce Wednesday as “hump day.”

Shumaker isn’t very amused when he sees the traditional “hump day” graph.  Photo by Wyatt Croog

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Shumaker said.  “I don’t think that Wednesday is the peak of the week; it isn’t the magnum opus of what the week is building up to.”

“Hump day” on Wednesday makes sense to many people. The “hump” is an opportunity to celebrate getting past the exhausting days following the weekend and looking forward to the fun that the weekend brings because it falls in the middle of the conventional work week.  

Senior Charles Scherer affirms the notion that Wednesday is referred to as “hump day.”

“Once you’re at the top all you want to do is get down,” Scherer said.  “Friday is the bottom of the hump, and you get to go hang out with family and friends when that arrives—it can’t come sooner.”

Despite the fact that Wednesday is the halfway point of the work week.  Shumaker’s main criticism of a Wednesday “hump day” is that it doesn’t account for all seven days of the week, is overly literal and ignores potential Thursday and Friday inconveniences.  Happiness, Shumaker’s primary criterion for determining when hump day should occur, is occasionally in short supply on those days.

“Many think it’s a nice time to coast into the weekend like they’re on a waterslide, enjoying the rest of the week,” Shumaker said.  “But that’s not always true.  Sometimes you have a big test on Thursday and papers due on Friday—doesn’t sound like enjoyment to me.”

Shumaker thinks the best course for society is to shift the line’s peak to Friday and evaluate ideas based on how much happiness they generate. He refers to Wednesday as “slump day” because he believes it to be a depressing day. He believes that Friday symbolizes the weekend, which is what a Wednesday “hump day” is anticipating. The feeling of happiness increases once one enters the weekend with Wednesday appearing to be more of a rising action than a climax of the week.

A closer look at the graph that Shumaker considers his “masterpiece.”  Photo by Wyatt Croog

“It’s a joyful day,” Shumaker said.  “I can forget all the bad stuff that happened in my week and move on.  Some peaks are going to be higher, and some lower, but Friday is always going to be a fresh start and the high point of the week.”

Though many may be hesitant to support his views, Shumaker’s unconventional thinking stems from the Gonzaga community and those he looks up to in his life, his teachers. Pushing him to be the best version of himself, Shumaker credits Mr. Conor Scott and Ms. Emily Kokol-Rivera, both history teachers, as two educators who allow him to be open in his learning and recognize that he can ask new questions—even ones about “hump day.”

“Matthew is a creative soul that I am convinced I will see on SNL one day,” Ms. Kokol-Rivera said.  “His ideas seemingly come from nowhere and yet they always just seem to work.”

Shumaker’s perspective has also been largely shaped by the school, which has empowered him to put on his “glasses of life” and see the value in being part of something larger than himself.

“Gonzaga has made me look at what really goes on in society,” Shumaker said.  “I think the community embraces being able to take new approaches.  Being able to talk with the teachers and actually becoming friends with them is a really great thing, and it makes me excited to make the drive in every morning.”

Shumaker, who orders Chicken & Pancakes at IHOP and is nearing the end of his time on Gonzaga’s campus, has no intention of hitting the brakes on his innovative spirit anytime soon. He is the creator of The SHUCAST Podcast and the founder of Rat Patrol, a one-act play, but also considers himself a “world-crafter, brain-thinker, and title-maker.”

Despite receiving more criticism than support for his hump day hypothesis, Shumaker believes that Friday is a better day for “hump day.” He is excited to see how his idea will work in practice and is curious to see how it will change as a result of the many different types of work weeks that exist around the world.

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