Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And at last, renewal!

And Zap! 

ZAP!  Another year flies by!
Just like that, another academic year has flown by. Last Friday was the last day of classes; I gave my final exam today. Most finals exams occur early in the week, so while exams don't officially end until Saturday, the big exodus from campus is clearly underway.  

At long last, I think old man Winter has really left us. He held on tenaciously this year, but spring finally prevailed. We are not experiencing glorious sunshine yet; so far it wet, soggy and the flowers are late, but nonetheless, I think Winterzeit ist kaput! Thank goodness. When summer turns to fall, I feel a bittersweet melancholy as I know the relaxed pace and warm sunshine will fade under the strict taskmaster that is the academic year. But the arrival of spring brings me nothing but happiness. I know I will be warm for the next six months, I know that I'll be able to linger over a second cup of coffee on the deck in the morning, and best of all, I know I can put away most of my business suits for the summer.

As a  university administrator, I have  to dress like a grown-up. This means lots of suits, skirts, pantyhose and lady shoes. I don't actually mind any of these clothes, but for the last few weeks,  I have walked into the closet each morning and just stared at the clothes hanging before me. There is nothing wrong with any of them. I just don't feel like getting 'deaned up' everyday. Once dressed for the day, I am fine.  It is just morning inertia, borne from the fact that I am weary of the uniform of my career.  Maybe just weary, period.  I am sure that if I worked at Starbucks, I'd be sick of the polo shirts and aprons too. My suits, Starbuck's aprons, the cute little dirndls at the Bavarian Inn-- they're all costumes, worn to enhance our credibility in the roles we play. I am comfortable with my role at the University and really enjoy it, but that it is only one part of who I am. And, the rest of me really does not want to wear suits everyday! 

 But finally, the seasons are changing.  I am glad that the university is more relaxed in the summer, even in terms of dress. Maybe especially in terms of dress. 

It just took so long for spring to come this year.  Yet, looking back I see that the late spring did have some advantages.

If you are my Facebook friend, or a repeat reader of this blog, you know I did a lot of whining about low temperatures, wind, snow and sleet. And I am not the only one. EVERYONE I know was tired of winter and EVERYONE I know spent a lot of time complaining about the lousy weather.

Well, not quite everyone.

I was talking to a graduating senior the other day and made a comment about the snow flurries that I saw out my office window. Her response? “I am really glad the weather has been rotten. I have had so much work to finish for my classes and projects. Late spring really kept senioritis at bay.”  

Yes, I guess so.  I hadn't thought of that.

I got a haircut the other night. My hairdresser's car had broken down and was in the shop. The repair was taking longer than expected, and she was worried about getting it back before the weekend, because her kids' Easter candy was in the car. But, as she said,”At least with the weather so cold, I know it won't melt.”

True enough.   I hadn't thought of that either.

I am not completely oblivious to silver linings where they can be found. Here is one thing I did think of.

The last two weeks of the semester are a blur of retirement parties, award ceremonies, symposia, concerts, plays, senior presentations, and so on. I just checked my calendar and I had 49 meeting and/or events last week. Not surprisingly, in those last weeks of the term, I get so busy I forget to notice the world around me. And usually, that means that I totally miss the hundreds of daffodils that bloom in my yard. But this year, they waited for me. They are just blooming now, on days that I actually get home before dark and can take a few moments to admire those sunshine-yellow trumpets. Ah, yes. Renewal.

So, today despite my fussing about our late spring, I am grateful for the delay.  I am glad I will get to enjoy the full blossoming season of my favorite springtime flowers.   I love gardens in the summer, but I need them in the spring. What joy!

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