On the eve of Week 10, heroic UW freshman Oliver Maloney cradled his knees to his chest, stomach churning. “Social sciences 6210,” he repeated quietly. “6210.”
Maloney, son of Mandy and Rick Maloney, is among the few brave members of the University of Wisconsin’s Class of 2021 who will be removing a screenshot of his Spring 2018 semester schedule from his iPhone 6S background. Though Maloney has been grappling with this decision since Week 7, after taking a Week 6 tumble down a Humanities stairwell while aggressively double-clicking his home screen button to check the room number for his discussion, he was forced to take action.
This comes at a controversial moment in UW history, as the school cautions parents that more students than ever before plan to participate in what is increasingly seen as a political demonstration of student rights and autonomy.
“Well, I know I have economics Monday and Wednesday, and I definitely have biology the same day, because I always get a chance to grab a meatball sub right before,” Maloney said. “I think it’s 30 minutes later. Or is it 45? Shit. How long do you think it takes me to eat a sub?”
Reflecting on what has been a tumultuous journey, Maloney fondly recalls navigating to his MyUW page, the satisfying “click” sound notification upon administering the screenshot and setting it as not only his lock screen, but also home screen, background.
“I think it’s like, pretty important to keep it accessible on both screens, you feel me?” Maloney said. “But now it’s Week 10. I got at least two of these five nailed down. And I can afford to miss three discussions per semester, anyways.”
With five courses spanning three buildings and four days (Maloney has no class on Fridays), Maloney has spent several hours poring over his screenshot, forcing himself to draw out his schedule from memory.
“But none of that 9:55 bullshit, though,” Maloney added. “Fuck it, I can be five minutes late.”
He knows the road ahead will challenge him in ways he can hardly foresee. Maloney anticipates the pressure of relapse will be most powerful as he approaches his Anthro 104 discussion classroom, noting he has been compulsively triple checking the room number on the door every Tuesday afternoon (he is unsure exactly what time).
“I do have a plan for those situations,” Maloney said. “Three words, twelve letters: drop that shit.”
Maloney plans to change his background to a photo of his dog Kirby or perhaps his high school swim team.