March 26, 2023: March Madness
A term originally coined years ago to summarize the NCAA spring Basketball Tournament, I have begun to feel that the term is applicable to much more than an athletic tournament. Right now, it seems an apt description of life.
As a life-long classroom teacher, I can attest to the fact that March is most definitely filled with madness. Once back from spring break, the school year is in its “final lap”. This means that standardized testing looms, remaining standards need to be covered, and students are already thinking about summer break. Additionally, the pile of required paperwork and documentation grows. This is a combination that most definitely results in chaos on so many levels.
As a writer, this time of year is filled with writing contests, award contests, and industry conferences. Deadlines loom, submission requirements must be met, and in-boxes fill with registration information. Selecting which ones to attend or submit to, and then making sure you meet all their varied requirements, can feel like a full-time job. And that is on top of finding time each day to actually write!
Although the spring season officially begins during March, we all know that the weather patterns can be some of the most erratic. From blizzards to heat-waves, March seems to have it all. Even here in the south, where snow is not a concern, temperature shifts can wreak havoc with everything from our gardens to our wardrobes. A friend refers to this time of year as her leather coat with sandals season. Getting spring gardens planted and growing strongly during these ping-ponging temperatures, can be demanding and taxing.
While pollen counts impact us for several months each spring, my unofficial observation is that it seems to peak in March. That means sniffles, coughs, headaches, runny eyes, and sore throats, are everywhere. And I mean EVERY WHERE! My classroom often sounds like a tuberculosis ward this time of year, and our poor school nurse has students lined up outside her door.
Then, just for fun, add the spring breakers from across the country that stream into Florida this time of year, and madness goes off the charts. Whether it is Bike Week, Race Week, Snow Birds, or the college kids, traffic increases, restaurants are mobbed, and theme parks and attractions are packed to the limit.
As someone who seeks out peace and organization and being in control, the craziness of March can indeed be difficult to reign in and manage. Perhaps that is when we have to just surrender to the madness.