Single day holidays, such as the one just past, may provide a needed professorial respite, and occasionally, when they happen to fall on a Monday, allow the extension of a weekend, but the benefits to be derived are small in comparison with the interruption of work and the disorganization of lectures which is involved.
The single day holiday is especially unfortunate in the case of laboratory courses, since the amount of ground to be covered is not lessened by the vacation, while the closing of the laboratories means that the lost work must be crowded in during some other period. As for the lecture courses, no great rest is involved in their remission, since the amount of intellectual travail assigned is not noticeably less. The student himself gets out of the normal organization of his time, without any great gain during a day that has more resemblances to a lethal Blue Sunday than a vacation.
On the other hand, if the student foregoes his legal or bank holidays, the time saved could profitably be added on to the Christmas or Easter vacations, which are at present so short as hardly to fulfill their purpose and do not allow boys living at a distance to go home if their conscience or their dean prohibits travelling time. Perhaps Thanksgiving Day might remain as an old Puritan tradition, but since Columbus Day, Armistice Day, or Patriot's Day are now little more than an occasion for speech-making, they hardly seem legitimate excuses for a holiday, considering the dislocation they create.