Volume 24, Number 5:  March 2006

From the Chair  |  In Print  |  Panels & Presentations  |  Awards & Appointments  |  Miscellany  |  From the Editor

The Common Reader

From the Chair


Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote 
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote 
And bathed every veyne in swich licour, 
Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth 
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne, 
And smale foweles maken melodye, 
That slepen al the nyght with open eye- 
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages); 
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

During spring break, as I wandered the virtually deserted campus, the opening lines of the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales kept coming to mind.  Though Greenville was still experiencing "the droghte of March," for a brief while the temperature was moderate, the Bradford pear trees were in full bloom, and robins were sparring with one another in fierce battles held on the ground.

I then began to speculate about the annual "pilgrimages" that students make to the beaches in Florida, or more recently to various resorts in Mexico (at least those that havenít been destroyed by hurricanes).  And then the pilgrimages of faculty in our department came to mind.  At this time of year, a large group of our departmental colleagues typically heads south to Ft. Lauderdale to attend the annual conference of the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA), while another equally large group travels to attend the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).

These trips bring about a badly needed physical and mental rejuvenation.  Students are able to lie in the sun, party at night, and forget about the mid-term tests just taken and papers soon to be due.  Faculty are able to attend provocative presentations, dine with old friends, and forget about papers to be graded and classes to be prepared.

A pilgrimage, however, entails a return to one's point of embarkation.  Welcome back from spring break!

--Bruce Southard

previous issue
next page

Copyright © 2006, ECU  Department of English.