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(April 11, 2002, Gazette)

It’s that time again

Jeffrey PardyI was going to write about the student union election in this article. I could have written about slating, which is when two or more candidates work together to increase one’s chances of being elected, and the scandal which almost saw Marcus Penny kicked out of the VP internal race. I was thinking about discussing the allegations of slander and mismanagement. I could have talked about Aaron Kennedy’s comment that he was “ashamed to be part of [this year’s] election” and that “the campaign itself was one of the dirtiest [he’d] ever seen.” However, I would have had to mention the fact that Aaron Kennedy’s campaign manager was passing out pieces of candy with little “vote Kennedy for VP finance” messages stapled to the wrappers. I would have also had to ask why Kennedy chose to put up a huge VOTE KENNEDY FOR VP FINANCE sign behind the Smallwood Centre voting booth and why he chose to go to Wrestlemania during the last weekend of the campaign instead of campaigning. I was going to ask Gilbert Salam what he thought about the election...


But then I decided not to.
I guess Gilbert never got my
e-mail.

I had a dream last night. I’m sure I dream every night, but unlike most nights I can remember last night’s dream in vivid detail. I was sitting in my computer room, half way through one of my last papers for this semester. My concentration was broken by the sound of a school bell, which had suddenly appeared on the wall. I pressed my hands against my ears to shut out the noise, but to no avail. The ringing simply grew louder and louder. I stood up, planning to knock the bell off the wall, but my legs were as heavy as cement blocks. I heard a series of cracks. The water pipes had snapped and the room began to fill up with water. I was immobile as the bell continued to ring and the room filled up with water. I searched for a way out of the death trap that was my computer room. Just as I was about to drown, I woke up and mumbled: “I need an extension! Please! All I want is one or two more days!”

Feel like you’re drowning in paperwork? You’re not the only one. I always get frustrated at this time of the year. I think it’s a combination of factors. First of all, summer is just around the corner. Who wants to be stuck inside doing schoolwork when, for the first time in months, we can see more sidewalk than snow? Secondly, it is the end of the semester. I need a lengthy break. It’s not that I don’t like what I’m studying. It’s just that I crave some real free time. The idea of four months of freedom is so tempting, I can’t help but daydream of a time when I won’t have to get up at 7:30 a.m. to go to class. Maybe it’s something in the air that makes me lazy and robs me of my need to work. April is the time when I start wandering around the library, aimlessly looking for ... what? I don’t know. Maybe some magic formula that will allow me to skip ahead to April 24 (the day of freedom). Maybe the copious amount of alcohol I have ingested over the last seven months has finally added up and is now impeding, or possibly eliminating, my chances of succeeding in university. Can I get a doctor’s note for that?

Without spiraling into a ludicrous commentary on the effects of “alcohol induced stupidity,” I do believe there is a sense of “seasonal melancholy” associated with April. The days seem to drag endlessly into one huge blot of blandness that will never go away, even though signs of spring are everywhere. Maybe its better that things are like this during exams. Who would want to study in June? Not I.

Perhaps this is a pointless thing to talk about when so many real problems exist like student debt, poverty, depression, and ... the ELECTION. However, I do think the environment definitely adds to the frustration and exhaustion students feel in April, or perhaps more appropriately “term paper season.” Maybe it’s more phenomenological than anything else. An indescribable primal instinct of the need to escape, to move, to release the energy we have stored up over the winter. That would describe the swell of impatience and boredom that seems to be hanging in the air. Being an arts student, I lack the tools to scientifically explain this conundrum. Regardless, I know there has to be some kind of correlation between depression, the amount of paper work due, the weather, and the unspoken agitation contained in April.