The longest month on the trimester system? May.

Spring term always brings its own special brand of exhaustion when you’re on trimesters. While we have a break between Winter and Spring Terms, it’s woefully short. Particularly so this year — 12 days from the last day of Winter Term finals to the start of Spring Term. (7 days from the date grades were due until the start of the term, which leaves little to no down time given that there sadly are no course prep fairies on which to offload that work.) Essentially, we have been at it since January 5.

We’re all dragging.

Part of the issue, I think, is that each day is sooooooooooo damn full — with end-of-the-year, wrap-up-the-year, and oh-no-we-need-to-have-a-meeting-about-this-before-the-end-of-the-year activities. Along with the normal, steadily increasing workload as the term progresses. Each day feels like 2 or 3 days, at the end of which we collapse in collective exhaustion, only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

We’re also in the midst of a Covid outbreak on campus, one bad enough that we went back to masking and a “high” alert level. Information’s been slow, and infuriatingly we’ve been largely left to make individual decisions on what to do with events already on the books. Last week alone, I had to make two quick decisions about two big events — our spring Comps Gala (which we moved mostly online with takeaway food), and our Sigma Xi induction ceremony (which we held as planned because it was too late to cancel our catering order). Activities that seemed safe just a couple of weeks ago no longer feel safe — particularly when I see some students kind-of-sort-of masking and hear rumors that some students aren’t masking in our building when faculty and staff are not around.

(That last part enrages me. Sure, faculty and staff aren’t around, but facilities workers are. And it’s a really sh*tty move to make them feel unsafe — especially given everything they did and continue to do to make sure our campus is a clean, safe place to work and learn, for way less pay than they deserve.)

In an online conversation with friends yesterday, one friend mentioned the number of “delicate” emails they were composing, to which another friend replied that every email right now needs to be delicate. It’s true. We’re all raw, all frayed, hanging on by our fingernails until the end of classes, the end of finals, commencement, the submission of final grades. Hoping desperately that no one asks us to do anything that requires us to dig into nonexistent reserves — and knowing that we will, in fact, be asked to do much more, with nothing in the tank, before this is all over.

One thought on “The longest month on the trimester system? May.

  1. We were there a month ago. Unfortunately there’s still a steady stream of student COVID cases even with Commencement right around the corner. Sending virtual (masked) hugs!

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