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Hmmmm. It’s been a funny old year, this one. As you read these words, you do so from the pages of the first SCAN of Summer Term, which falls, somewhat bizarrely, at the end of March. Look out of the window; does it look summery to you?
The culprit behind this 11 week term is that pesky little critter Easter, and its refusal to be pinned down to a specific date. If, like me, you endured the daily hymnal sing-song of a C of E primary school education, you too will know that “Christ was born on Christmas day”. It makes sense really; the clue’s in the name. There’s no need to get bogged-down in trivial technicalities, like the small matter of a switch from Julian to Gregorian calendars, or the complete lack of contemporary evidence. No, it’s December 25, without fail, each and every year, just like the school hymns said. Good enough for me.
If the birth of such a celebrated individual can be commemorated so immovably each year, etched upon the collective mind of all of Christendom, then surely the day upon which that same individual arose from the dead should be all the more memorable? There are people born every minute of the day, but I don’t know of anyone who’s been resurrected! No, the exact date of this particular event seems to have slipped by un-noted. Instead we have to rely upon lunar cycles and the wisdom of church officials.
On the face of it, this is no big deal. As long as the great British people get their public holidays, all’s hunky-dory in good ‘ole Blighty. The later, the better; more chance of sunshine. But it doesn’t half bugger up the world of academia. This late Easter has meant a fragmented third term, resulting in an extended eleven week second term, widespread confusion over submission deadline dates, and the strong possibility of some students having to sit their final exams before their coursework submission deadlines.
Surely the time has now come to just pick a damned date and have done with it? The second Sunday in April. There, how easy was that? Kids will know exactly when they’ll be free from school, adults will know how long until they can hit the beer gardens, and the student population can sleep soundly in their digs safe in the knowledge that their exams will fall three weeks into the start of a 10 week term. Break out the chocolate eggs, I think we’re on to a winner.