As Gerard Manley Hopkins reminds us, “Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –” and, though the weather remains largely wintry, UNCG students, faculty and staff have returned to campus in force for the spring semester. We’ve now passed the add/drop date and classes are entering their regular rhythm, though students should keep in mind that the option to withdraw without an “F” on their transcript remains open until Friday, March 3.
Midterm grades are due a week before that, on Feb. 24, “when weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;” anyone who notices grades that seem unlikely to result in a passing grade would be wise to consider plucking those particular lush weeds from the garden of their schedule, lest their GPA suffer the consequences.
Like “the racing lambs” who “have fair their fling,” undergraduates planning to graduate in May should also keep an eye on March 3, since it’s also the deadline to apply to graduate. (This author would advise you, from experience, not to wait until then.)
The following day, March 4, “that blue is all in a rush with richness,” since classes officially adjourn for Spring Break. “What is all this juice and all this joy?” I’d hazard a guess that it’s a university’s worth of students, faculty and staff left to their own devices until classes reconvene on March 13.
Undergraduate advising opens the same day, and students are advised to “Have, get, before it cloy,” or indeed before advisors’ schedules fill up and the opportunity to register early and get into preferred classes recedes.
Graduate students, incidentally, as “the echoing timber does so rinse and wring the ear,” should note the deadline for doctoral candidates’ oral examinations on March 15, as well as the March 22 deadline for filing dissertation and original signature pages with the Graduate School.
March 27 marks the beginning of fall registration for continuing students, when “thy choice” of classes is available and “worthy the winning.” For popular classes, it’s often worth staying up until registration opens at midnight in order to secure a spot (though this author, and likely much of the student body, will desire some well-earned sleep at this point in the semester).
Another break will soon follow, as April 7’s Spring Holiday “strikes like lightnings.” After this, the semester enters its wind-down phase, with no major deadlines or events until April 26, the final day of classes. This is followed, naturally, by Reading Day on April 27, a day set aside for students and instructors to prepare for final exams and to work on final projects.
Final exams last from April 28, “before it cloud,” through “innocent mind and Mayday” and on to May 4, which also marks the day of graduate students’ graduation ceremony. May commencement follows swiftly, on May 5 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Finally, May 6 marks the deadline for submission of grades.
By this point, of course, spring will have sprung in earnest, having officially begun with the Vernal Equinox at 5:24 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 20, a week before fall registration opens. Strictly speaking, it then has its run of the Northern hemisphere until the Summer Solstice on June 21, though the first classes of UNCG’s Summer session naturally begin earlier, on May 10. In fact, the entire first summer session takes place in spring by this metric, with final exams on June 14 and the second summer session commencing immediately on June 15.
At this point, however, we’ve exhausted both the spring and the Hopkins’ poem, and with that I end the conceit and wish all luck for the rest of the school year.