American Liberal Arts Blog

Teaching the Liberal Arts in the American Context
Week Nine: Spring Break
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By Lee Trepanier, March 7, 2012 in Pedagogy and Teaching

This week is spring break – a tradition in the American university system that I don’t understand. It interrupts the semester for a week to give students an excuse either to work, volunteer, or engage in decadent behavior. Personally I would rather have the semester finish a week earlier than take a break mid-semester, which interrupts the flow of the course. For myself, I use the time to grade paper and get caught up on publication projects that need immediate attention.  I am curious what other people think of spring break. Any thoughts?

Image credit: Photo by blmiers2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmiers2/

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3 Comments
Priscilla MacDonald on Mar 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I personally need the break from the preperations and constant drama of teaching students who often do not want to do their work. They seem to think that learning history should not include writing about it! So, Spring Break is a time for me to regroup and rethink some of my assignments. For my students, it is a time to let loose and forget the drudgery of going to school every day and then going to work or home to take care of a family. They need that as much as I do!!!

Lee Trepanier on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

I wonder whether it would be helpful to have a fall spring break for a chance for faculty to re-assess their readings and asignments?

Barbara Miers on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm

about the author

Lee Trepanier
Lee Trepanier

I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Saginaw Valley State University. I teach courses in political philosophy as well as the Introduction to Political Science course. I received my B.A. in Political Science and English Literature with a Minor in Russian Studies at Marquette University and my M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science at Louisiana State University. My research interests are in Russian politics; politics and religion; politics, literature, and film; and political philosophy with a focus on the works of Eric Voegelin.