January 05, 2006

Spring Semester Meme

Ten things I don’t like about spring semester:

1. First of all, the name is misleading. There is nothing spring-like about the weather we get during spring semester. I will walk to class over snowbanks, across ice sprinkled with salt, and through piles of slush. We might get a few nice days at the end. Maybe.

2. It contains the month of February.

3. It is three times longer than fall semester. Well, okay, maybe it just seems longer.

4. Committee chairs who never got around to scheduling meetings in the fall make up for lost time by scheduling meetings every week.

5. Grading papers takes longer in cold weather. Seriously. Studies have proved this.

6. A fifteen minute drive to campus can take over an hour if the roads are really bad.

7. Second semester seniors.

8. Static cling.

9. Dry skin.

10. My feet will be cold until April.

Ten things to look forward to during spring semester:

1. I get to teach contemporary nature literature.

2. Most of my students will be former students who are take my courses because they want to and not because they have to.

3. Skiing every weekend.

4. The days keep getting longer and warmer.

5. I have a laptop computer now so I can work in front of the fire.

6. My March trip to the monastery.

7. Spring Break.

8. The FourSeas Conference in the Big Midwestern City that has the Baseball Team that Always Loses.

9. I get paid reread and teach some of my favorite books.

10. Spring Semester leads to summer.


peripateticpolarbear said...

As always, optimistic jo(e)

Dr. Lisa said...

yup, I have a bunch of grumpy seniors with senior-itis, too. Trying to be optimistic....well, when you get through all that slush, spring is awfully pretty.

wolfa said...

I have never, ever understood that American tendency to call a semester that includes Jan, Feb and Mar *spring* semester. We called it winter semester, which is just sensible. (All summer courses were summer, even those in May, though.)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

And here I was, thinking that Vancouver Island was the only place that referred to what I know as the "winter semester" as "spring." I just chalked it up to the fact that Victoria has no winter (we really only have two seasons here, and the only difference is that spring has more flowers, and fall has coloured leaves). Apparently it's an American tendency. I guess I can still consider it to be crazy, right?

And I'm looking forward to this semester, because of where I'm now living. Apparently, the flowers start blooming like crazy next month. (As opposed to those stubborn roses that keep going all year.) There is a rhododendron garden at my university, and it's a big hotspot with the senior tourists (as in real, and not university, seniors). I plan to live there, for the duration of the semester.

Maybe I should post some of this on my own blog.

negativecapability said...

I would love to see your contemporary nature literature syllabus, if you wouldn't mind e-mailing it to me.

Sfrajett said...

I vote for dry skin and second-semester seniors! Ugh! And I am totally jealous of your fire and your skiing, as a resident of the midwestern city with the baseball team that always loses.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Frangos make up for a lack of fire and skiing, Sfrajett! We've established elsewhere that jo(e) has no Frangos.

Laura said...

So that's why it's taking me so long to get through this stack of grading. And we're still technically in winter semester for two more weeks.

jo(e) said...

Negative Capability: Sure, I'll email it to you next week as soon as I update it.

Phantom: True, I have no Frangos. It is the gaping hole in my life.

timna said...

Jo(e) can get Frangos at 4C's in that big midwestern city. I volunteer to taste test for you.

Teri said...

dry skin. cracked fingertips. burning hands. itchy back.
it resonates.

Scrivener said...

I just have to say that if you live in a place where the winters are so bad that static cling makes it into the top ten list of worst things about the semester, that's some seriously terrible winter. That, or you've got some sort of weirdly fetishistic issue with static cling. I wonder which.

Scrivener said...

Also, I'l trade you my second-semester first-year students for your second-semester seniors any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

I've read you forever, but always felt too scared to comment.

I have always hated "spring" semester. Too long, too cold, too exhausting.

I am sorry that February makes you hurt. I keep telling myself that it has been ten years since Grandma died, so I really shouldn't feel that ache every November. Really. Time to not hurt anymore.

This strategy never works. The week before Thanksgiving, a hollowness sets up residence for a few days.

I listen to Joni Mitchell, too. Sometimes I wish I could skate away with her on that river, especially in November.


jo(e) said...

SuperB: Yes, you've described it exactly. Somehow I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who does that.

Scrivener: I think the thing that makes static electricity especially annoying is that I have long hair so I actually get shocks sometimes when I take off my coat. The cool thing is that if I brush my hair in the dark, I can see all these sparks.

jackie said...

Dry skin. Yes. Body butter from the Body Shop is my best friend in the winter/"spring" months.

My current anger towards this coming semester is because enrollment trickles in compared to the fall, so I'm constantly checking my courses to see if enrollment is healthy or not. I hate adjuncting.

Sarah Sometimes said...

1. what are frangos?

2. I am afflicted so badly with static electricity in the winter that I fried one of the ports in my computer the other day when I touched the mouse and got (gave?) a big shock. I have not yet figured out what to do about the computer. But the static electricity seems to have gotten less now that I am wearing my new Rockport shoes which must have some kind of super-duper rubber soles.