Seriously April

It's April, that alternately refreshing and depressing month. It's a month that shows up throughout literature. It’s the month of Chaucer’s “perced roots” and Eliot’s “dull roots.” It's the month in which students begin to sense the end approaching. Their bare knees and sockless, sandaled feet reemerge from seclusion for the first time since that last warm day in September. My institution returns to classes in early January, which means that the semester is completed by mid-April.

The seniors, of course, are so close to the end that doing any work seems pointless. They will graduate, so why come to class? Why put forth the effort? And then there are the refrains of "can we have class outside?" I always tell them no. I can't compete with April. This month is just not conducive to learning. And everything conspires with its charm.

Even the rain seems young and restless. I have been listening to Louis Armstrong on the rainy days. It seems to fit somehow. And on cool sunny mornings on the way to work, I’ve been listening to Chet Baker’s sweet-voiced 1950s love songs. To keep a balanced perspective, I try to remind myself that Baker ended up a smack-addict stoolie, who, broke and alone, threw his ruined body out of an Amsterdam hotel window. About this month, Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote:
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot,
Babbling and strewing flowers.
Ye'p, it's April.


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