Re-leaf! Spring is back, and so is my joke de vivre

Louise Kim, Flower Fiend

Spring is here (well, it would have been this week, if not for climate change) and it is the only thing keeping me going. This Monday, I almost broke down seeing small buds on the callery pear trees (maybe also because of my agenda for the next two months). It may be -20 degrees outside, but my heart sings with a once-lost joy when I walk past the daffodil blossoms. After living nearly exclusively indoors for the past many months, I’m finally ready for some warmth and fresh air! 

There are few things more exhilarating than strolling across Alumni Field during passing time instead of sprinting around the campus to get to your next class in two minutes. Alas, I have lost my primary excuse for tardiness.

Before, you could only glance out the window of your math classroom into gray blankness for a few seconds before looking back at the whiteboard for mental stimulation (or the bottomless dread of being completely lost). Now, your eyes can follow the squirrels as they race up tree trunks… wait a minute, those are just sixth graders. But why are they holding acorns? 

My camera roll from last spring has two genres of photos: vibrant flowers and leafy shrubs, and selfies of me crying at one a.m. Will the trend continue this year? Only time will tell. I am sure of three things: I have dearly missed that scenery, I have waited patiently, and I hope to be rewarded.

Spring is a time for special sightings. Starlings sing and flutter around, ladybugs congregate in odd corners, and seniors wander around Shakespeare Garden, searching for their lost motivation. If you’re at the right place at the right time, you might even witness a student breaking down on Spence Patio, rather than in the bathroom stall. The location has its benefits. Students stop crying relatively quickly — they inhale all the pollen, and being able to breathe becomes a bigger problem at the moment.

You can enjoy the breeze as you eat chicken tenders with friends, frantically type your history paper due G period on your phone, or have an existential crisis about the meaning of suffering… The possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately, as for many other things in life, there are downsides to spring. Picture this: the birds are chirping, the sunlight is warm, and I went to the field with hopes of getting some work done. The vibe was so nice. Too nice. I fell into a slumber and missed my next three classes.

The next irritant: yellowjackets. No matter how strongly some people argue that they’re helpful to the environment, they are simply creatures that have one goal: to menace the population. If they must teach us something, it is fear. Fear them.

The third is garbage, both the half-drunk water bottles and the students who don’t throw them away. Need I say more? It’s a matter of simple respect for literally anyone and anything. Shame, shame, shame!

The fourth is the flying projectile — namely, the frisbee and the football. I hope you are having fun, but please be mindful of the junior crying at the edge of the field. Getting hit in the face with a plastic disc might be their last straw.

And finally, the looming, massive mountain of work upon which we will hike until the end of the year. End-of-year papers, class presentations, and an innumerable number of tests, quizzes, and everything in between. Admittedly, I sometimes feel guilty when I am distracted by the beauty around me and neglect my work, but I’ve heard that self-care is important for productivity. I have heard the outdoors revered as a panacea for everything from high blood pressure to stress. And so I shall venture outside of hallowed halls into our campus’ green expanses, picnic blanket in hand. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be frolicking on Alumni Field — until I get hit in the head by a rogue football. They seem to find me quite often.