At the beginning of February, I said to my students, “It’s February. The month that lasts forever.”
Some of the students looked puzzled, but I have former students in the class, and they knew immediately what I was talking about. “It’s 94 days long,” said Photographer Student, smiling.
“It’s going to be February for months and months,” said Woman with Bright Scarf.
On bitterly cold days, students came into the classroom, tossed down their books, and said, “Can you believe it? It’s STILL February.” On overcast mornings, when the world outside was grey and white, sleep-deprived students sighed and said, “Yeah, it’s still February.” Our discussions in class kept leading to depressing environmental issues, which didn’t do much to brighten the bleak February mood.
Yesterday felt like a holiday on campus. The sun was shining, warm enough that I almost didn’t need mittens. Students outside the library started a snowball fight, grabbing handfuls of white from the melting snowbanks and chunking them at anyone going by. Monday mornings are not usually a high energy day, but students came to class excited and happy, brushing bits of snow off their clothes. “FEBRUARY IS FINALLY OVER!” Flannel Shirt announced as he slid into a desk.
“It’s March! The month of spring break! And Saint Patrick’s Day!” said Fancy Glasses.
Everyone chattered excitedly as they moved the desks into a circle and rummaged through their bookbags. We were scheduled to discuss a story by one of my favourite authors, Rick Bass. Slam Poet Student had brought a poem to read aloud to us. We had only two weeks left until spring break. Suddenly, everything seemed right with the world.