Spring Break: Dispatches from Div III: and Ode to André

by Eli Plenk-

Let me start by saying that I’ve never stayed at Hampshire for Spring Break.  If I’m going to be completely honest it is because I fear the boredom, aimless intellectual masturbation, and equally pointless substance overindulgence that I seem to engage in when left to my own devices with 100 of my closest friends in the woods in late winter.  Usually I manage to narrowly escape this fate with trips to see friends in New York or family in Boston.

This year was different.  Facing the impeding doom of my Div III deadline, I realized I could not afford to take a week off from academic work.  To the contrary, I needed to birth 4-5 pages a day if I hoped to finish my Div in time to actually edit and write a conclusion.  So on the first Saturday of break, I found myself in a near empty mod, writing.  As photos of modmates awkwardly mingling with high school friends and eating pleasant dinners with their families began to pop up on my newsfeed, I sat in bed consuming my third chocolate bar of the day and alternating between episodes of Skins and paragraphs on the failure of modern nation-state-ism.

To make matters worse, it snowed.  “Happy spring break,” I thought to myself as I trudged through a mess of white to an eerily deserted library to write a long ass paper no one will ever read.  This was undoubtedly the pinnacle of my spring break angst.  I listened to Avril Lavigne on repeat, threw a portion of my Div across my living room, cried a little, and at one point even banged my head against a wall, hoping that something useful might magically fall out.

Soon after, I (re)discovered André.  It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that everything changed when I realized breakfast alcohol is not always a tacky oxymoron.  As acrid grape “juice” slipped down my throat and left my mouth with that awful dry feeling only absurdly cheap wine can provide, I began to write mildly awful but shockingly quick pages of text. “Where has budget champagne been all my life?” I thought.  Where has it been this whole year?  Why have I never mixed it with orange juice and argued it was part of a well-balanced breakfast?  Should I mention it in my Div III acknowledgements?  All questions I ponder in my post- André and post-break existence. Needless to say, my Div is almost done.

photo courtesy of google images

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