Spring break has changed a lot in the past 30 years. Back when I was a student, spring break was a week off from school. Now, spring break seems to have become a time when a disproportionate number of people leave Michigan to head to warmer climes so that they can ... well, I'm not sure what, exactly. But so many people head south for spring break that schools have had to give up the Friday before spring break just because they were fighting a losing battle. Now, this year, for the first time, the school my kids attend have put Parent-Teacher conferences, and all the partial-school-days that go along with them, on the week just before spring break, thereby giving parents who desire an even longer break nearly two full weeks. How are we supposed to convince students that the work they do this week is important if the schools and parents don't treat it that way?
I don't think this is all because we need a break in March or that life has gotten too intense. I think it has to do with money. Too many parents have enough disposable income that this once-in-a-childhood type of trip has now become a yearly event. Not only is it yearly but this sort of trip is now expected and seen by kids as some sort of right that they deserve.
I'm certainly not immune to materialism. I like stuff a lot. But it is times like this that I am really concerned about the path that our society is on. As Bono says "too much is not enough."
10 months ago