The pace of academic life in spring can be grueling. At the end of any semester, things heat up—suddenly the crushing weight of grading, prepping exams, viewing speeches, etc., is combined with the need to look forward, finish reports and prepare for what comes next.
There’s so much to do and only so many hours in a day.
It’s stressful, these final weeks of any term, but especially stressful in spring when a long break is coming, some students are graduating and everybody is making decisions about What Comes Next.
But, even if I feel like a hamster on a wheel moving at least twice as fast as it ought to, there is a lot to treasure in spring on campus. Recently at Mount Mercy University, for example, we’ve had a number of year-end events that are fulfilling and enriching.
Monday here was “Scholarship Festival,” a celebration of both the scholarly and creative work students have done this year. There were presentations, poster displays and creative writing readings.
My favorite? Paha! I always enjoy the readings done by young writers of their own works when this MMU creative magazine is published each spring, and Paha was a highlight of the Scholarship Festival.
Spring at MMU has featured so much more—Rainbow Fest celebrating the club that supports LBGTQ+ students; Eco Week, shining a spotlight on campus efforts to become more sustainable; smaller events, such as an English class chalking the walks with American literary quotes—and more is to come. Besides graduation and all the associated events, there will be concerts and retirement parties.
And even if it is cool and wet today, with more rain on the way, campus is suddenly green, the grass has been mowed several times and trees are waking up. It’s hard to even think of how dreary winter was–the mole people of MMU are emerging from the steam tunnels and can be spotted out in the outdoors.
The kaleidoscope that years end always brings can be disorientating and discomforting, but it is also energizing and exhilarating. Here’s to spring on a university campus!
Images of the kaleidoscope: