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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

A Spring Awakening

Kyle Ott

(4/2012) As the cold blanket of winter slowly recedes and the frosty wind which bit our cheeks and the tips of our noses returns from whence it came, it seems like the entire world has shaken off the old season, just as the surrounding buildings and trees have shaken off the last vestiges of snow. Everywhere I look, Mount St. Maryís is bursting with life and vibrant energy. The first thing I see when I wake up in the morning isnít a sky thatís angry and gray but a sky that shines a brilliant royal blue and grass that shines a lustrous green. As I walk to class I notice that my classmates have shed their winter coats both literally and figuratively. Dark jackets have been replaced with pastel t-shirts; snow boots have been traded for streamlined sandals, and sundresses have begun to pop up like the wildflowers that line the sidewalk.

But itís not just what my friends and peers are wearing that heralds the arrival of this wondrous time of year, but the activities of our students indicate the change in season. While we were in the depths of winter ,Mount St. Maryís resounded with stern silence, as eager college students sat huddled in their rooms braving the cold with time spent around the television watching whatever happened to be on and clinging to steaming cups of Ramen noodles for warmth. Now that the cold has finally retired permanently, the students on campus are out in force. Instead of silence ruling the quad, legions of students have swarmed to the open ground to play football, baseball, soccer or an epic game of Frisbee. Near the Terrace thereís a yellow tightrope strung between two trees that students walk across like giddy acrobats. Even when nothing is being done, people are taking advantage of the warm climate by lounging on chairs, picnic tables, grass and sidewalk to soak up the sun and feel the caress of a warm breeze.

Even the nature of our schoolwork has changed for the better. Students have migrated en masse from the twisting labyrinthine halls of the library and the quiet confines of the dorm lounges into the warm light of the spring day. At any given moment you can easily hear the sound of dedicated fingers typing on a keyboard over the din of a soccer game. And you can just as easily find a person writing a thesis statement for an upcoming research paper under the shade of a tree as see a person playing the guitar.

For myself, Iím taking advantage of this drastic new change of weather and making the most of it that I possibly can. Instead of falling into my old winter routine and moving to the same desk in the library to do my work I decided to go outside, and found myself in for more than the calm morning I expected. The day in question was one that was dominated by blue skies, a shining sun, and gale-force winds capable of blowing skin off bone. As I made my way towards an empty picnic table, I couldnít help shake the feeling that a grappling hook and climbing gear would have been more suited to studying than the laptop and pencil I brought. Even after reaching the table I was forced to engage in a veritable juggling act, trying to avoid losing my book to the mini tornados that seemed to come in waves. Adding to the difficulty was the distinct lack of heavy objects to hold down the books, papers and binders that were at constant risk of being hurled off the table.

Despite all my struggles I couldnít help but realize how positive an experience it was. Yes, I almost lost my hard-written responses to Alexander Popeís The Rape of the Lock: And Other Poems, but I had gained a fun experience. (I continue to joke that anyone who wants a fresh perspective on the works of Pope or any other poet should experience them while the wind takes cheap shots at your term papers and your face.) Which brings me to the point of what is obviously a dramatization of the experiences I had on one of my first spring days here on Mount St. Maryís campus. Something that had seemed as rote and routine as doing my homework for a class took on a whole new light thanks to what can only be described as a drastic change in weather. With that in mind itís quite easy to look forward to other challenges, new experiences and fresh perspectives that Spring will bring. So no matter where this new season takes you hopefully youíll make the most of what is a brand new awakening. Iím Kyle Ott; wonít you sit and read for a while?

Read other articles by Kyle Ott