Friday, April 23

Spring, '04

Spring is really starting. The trees are budding out. Crocus and daffodils are in bloom. And, just when you thought things were quiet, here comes “Spring Party Weekend” where the students blow off a whole lot of steam during their rite of spring. Alcohol sales in our county must be up 400%. Fireworks are going off downtown, bands are playing, and my ambulance corps just got toned out for a “Man Down”, which, given the location, will be an intoxicated student.

For things to start, things must end. I am watching things end with bittersweet feelings. My EMT class is in its final two weeks, with the state test set for the 20th of May. I finished the hospital time required for my ambulance course (perversely I had a great time hanging out in the ER). I have learned so much and on the whole it has been fun. The senior I have been working closely with is finishing her honors project and will be defending in the next 10 days. As usual, a student I have formed a close bond with will spend increasingly intense and frequent periods of time with me (as she prepares to defend her thesis) and then we won’t see each other for months or years. My sabbatical will end SOON, and I’ll be back to doing too much work (back on the disciplinary board, faculty rep to the NCAA, Director of the Scientific Perspectives Program [along with the new title “University Professor of the Liberal Arts”], athletic committee meetings, blah, blah, blah), teaching like a madman, etc.

I am psyched. One of the things I love about my job is that there are radical changes of pace and clear demarcations of time. Semesters to start and end. Winter, spring and summer break. 50 to 80 hour weeks and then weeks when I can work 25 to 40 hours on MY schedule. New students just waiting for someone to capture their attention and help them fall in love with learning, who in four years will be the students to whom it hurts to say goodbye. New challenges in the lab, classroom and administratively.

The final sign of spring came today. “Roger” came and took the snow-blower off my tractor and put the mower deck on. By tradition, we will have one more snow that is light enough that it will melt away without having to be cleared. From that point on, clear skies, warm days and cool nights, and SUNLIGHT! There is no denying it: Spring is here!

Ah, yes.