Winter break is all I have. I don’t know about you, but this has been one of the hardest semesters of my college career. I have spent way too many Friday nights in front of my computer, in a library or in a lab, and I’m sick of it.
But around this time of year, no matter how many carpal tunnel scares I have, I get through it.
All I have to do is think about that glorious month in December or January when the only obligation I have is to finish re-watching all five seasons of “Lost” before the season six premiere.
But not this year.
This year, there is no solid month of bliss. We have about three weeks. And after four months of academic agony, there’s a big difference between one month and three weeks.
The last day of exams at UNC is Dec. 18. And if you have fantastic exam luck like me, you have an exam that day.
We start classes again for the spring semester Jan. 11.
That’s 24 days.
Thanks for that long, relaxing break, UNC. After giving you my soul this semester, I really appreciate what you’ve given me in return.
When I first figured this out, I thought that perhaps I was just being delusional and that last year’s break was the same amount of time.
Nope. Last year we ended fall exams Dec. 12, and we started spring classes Jan. 12.
And next year’s students will have to deal with this mockery of a break again. They’ll end fall exams Dec. 17 and start spring classes Jan. 10.
I don’t know what brought on this sudden scheduling conflict, but it’s not right.
So where did our week go?
In 2008, we ended spring exams April 6 and started fall classes Aug. 19. In 2009, we ended spring exams April 7, but we started fall classes Aug. 25.
It looks like we gained a week in the summer. Well, you can have it back, UNC.
Interim Registrar Roberta Kelley said calendar guidelines state, “It is important to start as late in August as possible. Students and faculty want to avoid the summer heat. Students and faculty want time to complete summer work and other summer commitments.”
Well, this student thinks she can handle it. Last time I checked, the sweltering North Carolina heat doesn’t vary much from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25.
It makes little sense to me to tack on an extra week to a three-and-a-half-month break and take it away from a one-month break.
I value much more highly the short break I get between grueling semesters than the extra week added on to an already long summer.
Other guidelines say that UNC should try to sync its calendar with Duke’s, since so many students take classes at both universities. Well, that didn’t happen this year.
Duke ends fall exams Dec. 13 and starts spring classes Jan. 14. That’s a 32-day long break. This may be the one time I’ll ever be jealous of Duke.
Because it looks like Duke understands the value of a break between semesters to relax and celebrate the holidays.
And it’s not just a break for students. It’s a break for faculty and staff (that means you, registrar).
And no one has time to fit in five seasons of “Lost” in 24 days.