I always divide the spring semester here in the north into three distinct phases: Winter, The Melt, and Rites of Spring. We are concluding the winter phase this week. We are seeing the end of the frigid temperatures and we are unlikely to experience truly severe winter weather this semester (at least after tonight's predicted storm for the New York region). We are about to enter The Melt.
The Melt is the season in which things turn to mud as the snow melts and the crocuses emerge. The coming weeks will be a time of widely variable temperatures that go along with stresses associated with the mad mid semester rush as we head toward the Rites of Spring.
The final phase of the semester, the Rites of Spring, is accompanied with all of the closing elements of the academic year: class final presentations and research projects, committee work, and research reports. Students are looking toward graduation and their new lives just as the glories of a northern spring come to full fruition.
But first, The Melt. It's time to keep the nose to the grindstone.