Friday, May 01, 2009
1.People walk much faster, and with visibly pinched expressions.
2.Student complaints about instructors are suddenly skyrocketing, and expressed with earnest urgency.
3.I've already inadvertently interrupted a few couples in the midst of, uh, expressing their couplehood, usually in stairways. What it is about stairways, I honestly don't know.
4.The rubber chicken circuit is back!
5.Lots of random sneezing, as every tree blossomed in the same 24 hours. It's getting to the point where I can identify certain people by their sneezes. They're like fingerprints.
6.Last-minute consultant visits for program reviews. Somehow, May always catches people by surprise. In my experience, it typically follows April.
7.Apocalyptic rhetoric at meetings. That usually peaks in the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas rush and between Spring Break and Finals.
8.The smokers linger longer outdoors.
9.Faculty have retreated to their offices, where they disappear under herniating piles of grading. I have occasional visions of some future archeologist finding the skeleton of an English professor surrounded by plastic-covered papers full of “could of” and “alot” and “Being that...”
10.Those last few purchases of the fiscal year always require multiple budget-line moves, each with three or four levels of approval. They're sort of like logic problems gone horribly wrong. A train with fourteen passengers leaves Chicago heading North at 60 miles per hour. How long before the passengers drown in Lake Michigan?
How does Spring play out on your campus?
Just about exactly like that. Only, we have the added attraction (conservatory) of hundreds of kids dudded-up in their recital clothes hanging around waiting to play their "juries"--year-end assessments of adequate-or-not progress in their musicianship. The term "jury" is well-chosen but should be used with the modifier "hanging-jury."
On the other hand, the deadline for purchasing was yesterday and we were indeed frantically moving dollars between lines in budgets, and between budgets themselves. The Budget Office sent at least 10 email warnings of the purchasing deadline, but inevitably several folks were indignant over this precipitous and allegedly uncommunicated date (never mind that it has always been the last day of April).
I removed the link after remedial courses began taking up 2/3 of my load. It just seemed cruel then.
I thought I was the only one who saw this brand of fragment regularly. God bless you, I see I'm not alone! Being that I thought I was.
(Sorry, DD: it's the spring mischief in me.)
#1 we have tables permanently staked out on the top floor of the library and subsist on coffee and granola bars.
#2 my inbox is flooded with students asking me, the TA, to go behind the professor's back and allow them to turn in extra work for credit, because, "how could I possibly have only a C?"