The daze of finals melts into days of liberation!

The daze of finals melts into days of liberation!

No matter that I work in a campus administrative office that serves the public 8-4:30 daily 12 months a year (excluding holidays), the ebb and flow of campus life conforms to the beginnings and endings of semesters. Today marks the last day of final exams for the Spring Semester 2013. The daze and stress of final exams evaporate, borne away by the fragrant, mellow mist of liberation that wafts across the building and grounds as the onerous season surrenders its lease.

As I walked outside the building earlier this morning and viewed the sidewalks, a week ago this time teeming with students and faculty scurrying to and fro during class exchange but today almost void of traffic, I sensed that mellow fragrance. Yes, the offices will open Monday morning, and sure, summer school will start up in a few weeks, but for now it’s time for ending.

Ending the semester. Ending the grind of grading papers and reporting grades. Ending the tedium of managing off-campus and after-hours courses. Ending the academic year.

True, these annual spring-time endings are not as final as the exams the students just took, because beginnings are right around the corner. After all, the cycle of the academy grinds like a great stone wheel on the axis of its sacred semestral traditions.

But at least for this brief, liberating season, our unbearable daze is transformed into bearable days. At least for this season of ending.

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