You can walk the sidewalks of campus and not run into any students. From the outside it looks like everyone is gone for the winter break. It’s a weird time of semester. You know that lots of students and faculty are still around, but there’s no regular routine, no out-pouring of students leaving classrooms and buildings on their way to their next class. Where is everyone?
Well, standing-room only at the campus library. Common rooms, study rooms, classrooms are filled with mostly silent students. Some are napping. Most are studying notes, computer screens, text books. Trashcans are overflowing with snack food wrappers and used cups. Chalkboards and dry erase boards are covered with equations and chemical symbols. Some serious studying is going on.
Study days and exam periods are quiet, tense and waiting. Waiting for the hard work ahead. Waiting for it to be over. Waiting to be able to leave campus for the break.
Just a few days left. But so much to do in those few days. The mind races while the body slumps motionless in a chair, head in hands or pen to paper, fingers to keyboards.
One by one, the papers get written, the exams get taken, the students leave campus silently, without fanfare. By week’s end, there’s a steady stream of taxi cabs leaving campus, students peering into the darkness, looking forward to time away from books and deadlines.
And now, the faculty hunker down, grading.
To all, a good night!