When I stepped off the tarmac at the airport some three or so months ago, the whole “winter” thing was pretty innovative and unique for someone used to a climate which tends to move between sort of warm, to warm or scorching hot “cook an egg on the sidewalk” heat waves. However, as amusing as it was to randomly snowball fellow exchange students as we walked down the street, the snow sort of lost its appeal when the stinging cold of constant and seemingly never ending winter days dragged on. And on. And on. I do believe that if I ever hear the words “polar vortex” again, I will either go crazy or curl up into the fetal position and rock back and forward in front of a heater (hard to tell which reaction I will have at this point). So alas, Spring has finally come. Yes, it actually has (well sort of if you excuse the fact that it sort of snowed/sleeted/hailed only a few days ago but none the less) and I do believe we have left the snow and freezing wing behind. So finally, the “Spring” semester is living up to its name and the warmer weather has itself brought about a sort of pleasantness which perhaps has come at just the right time – right after Spring Break, a little after the end of the mid-term stream of assessments and just before the next onslaught of assignments and exams leaving a small but well appreciated window of opportunity to do “spring-like stuff”. First off, it is quite simply the really small stuff – the fact that you can walk around without so many layers of clothing that you resemble the Michelin rubber tyre man or the Pillsbury dough boy. Secondly, it is the fact that you can actually begin to appreciate DC as a city with spectacular yet casual walks down to the monuments in the early morning or late at night no longer come with the danger of frostbite induced amputation which is always a good thing. Thirdly, I hear that DC is a pretty big thing for this whole “cherry blossom” business and indeed, soft pockets of light pink are beginning to gently appear in amongst the walkways and boulevards but more so than anything else, the great capital city finally seems to be coming alive after a long winter hibernation and festivals are coming up left right and centre. Finally, things just seem to be settling into a nice and pleasant pace all around, tempered perhaps by a certain lingering and not too distant realization that a semester really is short and time does actually fly by very quickly.