They happen to all be boys.
By 3:30, they have all settled down and are working. They are working on essays about hero myths, using terms like impossible task and deity intervention, creating thesis statements that make a claim about modern culture based on the content in our hero stories. This is not easy work, and these are, for the most part, struggling writers. I ask questions, listen, and press on. They can do this if I will listen hard enough. 3:45 rolls around and three of the four have a solid idea. By 4:00, one has committed to staying until he finishes--until five, even.
I was planning to leave at 4:00. For once, I didn't have pressing work to grade and I let myself leave early on those precious nights. I look forward to it all day. I tell them that I was planning to leave at four--before thinking--and then correct myself: "I'll stay with you until five--until you finish."
At 4:30, when I ask how he's doing as he's typing away, Lonnie says, "Good. I didn't understand it before, but I get it now."