Spring Hasn't Sprung

THRILLSEEKER

SPRING lever. It's not just a phrase, but a serious ailment. And I think I've got it.

Every year it's the same thing, the same annoying symptoms. I know that the fever has hit when I get that first urge to rip my normally rather inoffensive down coat into shreds. Then there are those mornings when I stand despondent in front of my closet for hours, yearning to grab a pair of shorts, but knowing that 45 degree really merits corduryos. Spring fever even affects my literary sensibilities making me leap with murderous intent toward anyone who darea to mention T.S. Ehat and April in one breath

The most frightening manifestation of this dread disease is what I've come to call temperature mania." It's that everwhelming desire, nay passion, to know the exact temperature in both Fahrenhett and Celsius. The worth of everyday comes to be measured in degrees and the mention of rain can throw a damper (pun intended) on the entire week Forget papers, studying for finals, even extracurriculars. What really counts is that it is sunny and warm and the smell of spring is in the air.

New England Telephone rather unfairly contributes to the spring fever epidemic. Practically every day since the first tulips shyly presented some tightly closed buds, I have felt myself being propelled to the phone in quest of a pronouncement on the day's weather. Actually, it has become kind of a ritual. The alarm goes off. I ecstatically leap--okay, so I blurrily stumble--from my bed and head straight for the phone. After doing my sun dance and propitiating the various rain deities, I slowly dial the prophetic seven numbers: 936-1111. This, of course, is not easy with all ten fingers crossed and a rabbit's foot in my hand, but I manage.

Then the oracle is spoken. That god of all gods, accuweather meteorologist Rich Heller, describes the prevailing weather patterns. As he patiently explains the day in terms of barometric pressure, cool fronts and zonal flows. I feel my blood rising. Finally, I can stand it no longer. "Spring!" I scream as I throw the phone clear across the room in disgust. "Spring!" I scream as my roommate sleepily pokes her head from she bedroom. Still raving, I run from the room. In the distance a neutral voice repeats again and again: "Have a good day, and thank you for calling."

Now, don't get me wrong. I am usually very calm, a rational person, not prone to fits. Really. But there is something about a New England winter that makes me really desperate for warm, sunny weather. And I think that five months of freezing rain makes most people feel the same way. In fact almost all of us display a few of the symptoms of spring fever. It is, after all, called spring finals. And we do have our spring formals just about now.

Harvard's Winthrop House has its own inimitable way of fabricating spring. On the first Saturday that dares to show a shaft of sunlight between the thickly knit clouds, we drag out the grills and declare a barbeque. Eager and willing to celebrate this long-anticipated new season, impatient Winthropians don Hawaiian shirts and sun-glasses. Music comes blasting into the courtyard from some heavenly sphere--or is it really only that fourth floor window? Miraculously, a tire swing appears in a nearby tree. Idyllic, you say. Just exactly how a spring day should be, you say. Well, you're wrong. Something is amiss with this picture.

Imagine this courtyard full of carefree, scantily clad young people, and then realize that once again New England weather has played a sadistic trick. For what we have here is a mob of goose bumpy, shivering, bluish victims of spring fever. Poor fools myself included who insist that it is spring just because the calendar tells us that it is April Just the other morning Rich Heller wisely warned us that it was going to be only partly sunny and that although it might be in the 60's inland, those near the coast must grapple with 50 degree weather Sometimes I wonder why anyone would want to be an accuweather meteorologist. Sure you get a lot of phone calls, but ultimately people curse you or simply ignore you. Rich Heller must know something that we don't.

I was planning on winding up with big conclusion on how clusive spring was in New England and how trying it was always to be on the lookout for good weather. A perfect theme for this time of year I thought to myself After all my freshman year it rained for two week straight in April And nobody really does anything in spring reading period but complain about how lousy it is outside.

Of course, the moment I started writing this article it became srring We're talking blue skies, flowers, shorts spontaneous games of frisbee and yes even temperatures rising into the 80's Even though I realize that this is all very well and good for our emotional well being, our spring fever finally cured, it does leave me in rather a lurch for an ending. Well, all I can say is enjoy spring while it lasts. Because knowing New England, it will be summer in a few days And then you'll be sorry. *