This is about as good as it gets, a Hallmark day to be sure. The temperature is in the mid 70s (on its way to a high in the mid to upper 80s), there is a gentle breeze and the sky is “brand-new” blue. Perfect. People – college students mostly – are milling about in their spring clothes seemingly without a care in the world. Indeed, yet another school year is less than a month away from completion. Looks, however, can be deceiving.
This is an odd time of year. The beautiful weather, a sense of summer vacation in the air and a silent uneasiness come together like the calm before the storm. In fact, that storm is practically knocking on the door – but the weather is so nice. Maybe it can wait a day… two. Denial has set in and for some it may be too late to run. The “big” projects that so many classes require towards the end of the semester, the one that was assigned right after spring break six weeks ago, is coming due.
Whether it’s a term paper, an art project or some other kind of presentation, these projects have to be completed and soon. These things rarely take the time given to complete them, but often take more than a day or two. Such is the situation I find myself in this afternoon. Out of five classes, three of them had one of these assigned. Two have been turned in on time and one is due Thursday morning. Plenty of time if I start right now, which will pretty much kill a beautiful day. And probably the next two.
Although it does not appear so at first glance, it is apparent on closer examination that I am not alone. Everyone around me has their nose in a book, jotting down notes and typing on their laptop’s keyboard. Although not a time of desperation for those prepared, only those prepared are here. Those who are not will be running around like chickens with their heads cut off in the next several days. Then comes finals. The feeling here, just outside the library, is that of a quiet confidence - those who can see past a wonderful day and get down to business. Or perhaps it is because of it.
If I decided to exercise my God-given right to enjoy myself at the river, go up to the mountains for some t-shirted snowboarding or laze around the pool all day, could I really be at ease? Really? Knowing what I have before me, how much would I be able to relax? Can I get it done in half the time? Probably. A quarter (one day)? Maybe. And what if something came up? It did last Friday. What then? It is with an eye to the future that I can set foot in the library to commit myself to a few hours of boring research, writing and documenting. It is because I know that there will be more perfect days that will be more perfect the only way possible – when I have absolutely nothing to do but enjoy them.