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Since Wednesday's surprise snowfall turned Cambridge into a wet, uncomfortable and slippery place, spring break has started looking better and better to shivering Harvard students.
Whether they plan to spend it building houses for the homeless, partying in New Orleans or checking out the possibilities of iguana pate, the desire for escape from the gloomy weather of Cambridge is a campuswide constant.
Katya E. Fels '92 echoed many students' sentiments when she said the main point of her vacation was "to get away...to get far away." Fels is planning a 10-day trip to Paris to visit a friend.
"I'm excited to do stuff with someone who knows Paris really well," Fels said, adding that she is not planning to be a typical tourist. "Maybe we'll climb the Eiffel Tower, but other than that..."
Tara E. McCarthy '92 is looking for a good time closer to home. She and eight friends are going to spend the week at a New Orleans bed and breakfast with a pool.
"We're pretty psyched that there's snow on the ground now, so that we can leave it," she said.
The group of nine plans to drive two cars to New Orleans and to spend a night in a Virginia barn on the way.
"We want to get walkie-talkies so that the two cars can communicate," McCarthy said.
Her ideas for the week in New Orleans are less specific. "We're going to listen to a lot of music and drink a lot," she said.
Also in search of warmer weather, Hyuk-Soo Son '92 is renting a house in Naples, Florida with eight or nine friends and said the group is looking forward to a complete break from the bustle of Harvard.
"We're planning to hang out at the house and just relax. We're going to have a great time," Son said.
"It'd better be sunny or we'll be really pissed," he said.
Alexander M. Johnston '94 is also heading south, but with a very different purpose. He is one of 11 Harvard Habitat for Humanity members, who have chosen to spend their vacation building or repairing houses in Stuart, Florida.
The group will work eight hours a day, either pouring the foundations to two houses now under construction or repairing existing houses.
Johnston was quick to distinguish his intended vacation from the stereotypical Florida spring break. He anticipates making it to the beach on one evening at most.
"Florida...it sounds deceptive," he said. "You know, spring break in Florida--but we really won't have all that much time to relax."
In pursuit of a "hands-on" research experience, Francine C. Wiest '93 is going on an 11-day trip to Costa Rica with her biology tutorial group.
According to Wiest, class members will spend most of their time doing field research and working on specific projects they have chosen.
"We're going to talk to people on an iguana farm, talking to them about iguanas as an alternative form of meat," Wiest said.
Not everyone has exciting plans to help them make it through one more slushy Friday. Lisa C. Giglio '92 cancelled a trip to Mexico when she realized that she needed to spend the time on her philosophy thesis.
"I'm grateful to have a spring break to work on my thesis," she said. "But watching people head off to tropical lands is not a whole lot of fun."
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