Five-and-a-half days, each with its own personal torture, dragging like a clock unplugged, moving slowly, painfully, toward the very last day of school.
We all remember the feeling of being stuck in classrooms on warm spring days, the kind made for playing baseball and running through sprinklers.
It always seemed as if the end of school would never come, that it was a number stuck on a calendar of stone. And nowhere was it worse than the sixth grade, that time of life wedged awkwardly between childhood and whatever comes next.
Wednesday was just such a day at Daniel Island School, when a gaggle of 12-year-olds sat squirming, listening to me patter on about writing, the passion of the poetic line and the eternal power of words.
Surely they would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else. So I asked them what they would do when the school door was finally flung wide open and they were free to go.
Ryan Rothkopf says she's going to Publix and pig out on candy. Gabi Rauls says she'll just sleep.
Harrison Griffith is headed for the beach, Mac Mayer wants to eat sushi and Bridgett Conley hopes to travel back to Boston.
Bryce Skipper wants to visit New York City. Bricen Bennett is headed for Spartanburg to play paintball. Ethan Carter plans to go snowboarding in Utah. Nick Murphy wants to relax and not worry about school for a while.
Sarah Kate Demos says she'll be out on a boat. Josh Hood will be surfing. Meredith Goss wants to visit her dad in Darlington. Tori Leigh just wants to sit in the grass and eat ice cream.
Hayley Jordan looks forward to getting a tan. Bryce Benaux wants to watch the Gamecocks play baseball. Loralei Jackson is going to Lake Wylie in Charlotte. Christian Drummond wants to sleep in and Jacob Elsey is going surfing.
Steven Bennett wants to sleep and Alicia Brushard wants a break from homework. Laura Mitten says she'll visit an amusement park, while Duncan Levay goes to the library to study science. Avery Carhart says she'll write a book.
Rhodell Mack is going to Disney World while Matthew Bochette relaxes in the Florida Keys. Jackson Pogue will play with his two Scotties. Aaron Manley wants to count his money and spend it at the mall. Ross Hotchkiss looks forward to Paintball Charleston and Riley Carrigan can't wait to practice for baseball tryouts.
Most of the other students craved time at the beach or in a pool, and didn't seem to care in which order those pleasures came.
In the eyes of a sixth-grader, anything other than being in class is an adventure that lives somewhere just beyond the school door.
Guarding it, of course, are the teachers, who are perhaps more anxious for the school year to end than the students, if that's possible.
Reach Ken Burger at 937-5598 or on Twitter at @Ken_Burger.