What Spring Break really means


Scott Duncan


Wilmington, Ohio —As we look around we can see the subtleties of spring approaching.  The birds are returning to the north as the frigid winter snow turns into rain showers.  The hours of daylight are slowly increasing and baseball teams have started their training again.  While spring blooms, a century old tradition observed by young people worldwide, known as Spring Break, is set to begin.  At Wilmington College some will head to the warm sandy beaches of Florida for a week of relaxation and scholastic debauchery, others will head to Europe to for a cultured trip with faculty.  Athletes will follow their teammates and coaches to early season tournaments; some education majors are headed to urban schools to student teach and most will take the opportunity to get extra hours at work.  With a tradition like this it would lead anyone to ponder what genius and virtuoso thought up this spring occasion.

The origin of Spring Break in America, also known as March Break, Spring Vacation or Mid-Term Break, ironically started with Christians giving young men and women in school or college time off for Holy Week, which starts on Palm Sunday, includes Good Friday and ends on Easter. It was also convenient that this break most often fell approximately midway through the second semester of classes.  Since the creation of this religious break many educational institutions have shifted the dates away from Holy Week and towards the exact midpoint of their semester.  Sardonically this break which started as a consecrated right of Christians is now, for many young adults, seven days of decadence, corruption, and immorality.

Spring Break has also become a facet of the school year.  For many students, Spring Break—along with other breaks like Holiday Break, Thanksgiving Break and Summer Break—has become the best time of the year.  College undergraduates, graduate students and professors alike have grown custom to taking a week long recess to recharge their batteries for the rest of the semester regardless of whether the week consists of work or vacation.

Just how much does the break mean to them and what do they expect to get out of their time off?

Junior Education major Stephen Donoghue, along with five other future teachers and their professor Michele Beery will leave for Orlando, Florida Saturday where they will spend the week student teaching, observing current teachers and mentoring urban youth.  They will also take some time out to visit the “Happiest Place on Earth”—Disney World.

“If we did not have Spring Break it would mean I could not escape from Wilmington and the weather of Ohio for a while.  I hope that I can also get an awareness of different teaching methods and see how established teachers handle their job in an urban setting,” Donoghue said.

Business Professor Angela Mitchell will travel with a group of College students and professors to Amsterdam, Paris and London.  Mitchell who is almost childlike in her excitement shows that professors and staff are just a giddy as the students they teach to take a break from the collegiate norm.

Mitchell said, “If we did not have Spring Break, the semester would feel that much longer because we would not have that time to renew and refresh.”

Brandon Arehart, (junior, baseball player) will follow his teammates and coaches to the warmth of Fort Meyers, Florida where the baseball program will begin its season with games against Newberry College, Anna Maria College, Kenyon College and Theil College throughout the week.  They will also take a day for some team bonding and relaxation on the sunny beaches.

“ The whole team waits for this trip every season.  You get the chance to wake up and only think about baseball. It’s pure team bonding, between the bus ride, staying in the same hotel and eating every meal together we build team chemistry,” Arehart said.

Wilmington College freshman and football player, Tyler Johnson, will take a break from the day-to-day grind that includes off-season running and weight lifting, along with classes to head to Panama City Beach for a week of entertainment and unwinding with friends.

Johnson stated, “It’s just a chance to get away from school life and tests.  We’ll be able to relax and not have to worry about the other stuff that comes with being a college student and athlete. Without break it would feel like I have no freedom and no reward for the hard work I have put in so far this semester.”

With so much meaning to this week long break it is understood that it would be nearly impossible for students and staff to function without this custom they have grown so fond of and it is accepted that Spring Break has infinite meaning to everyone.

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