This year in the College we have introduced a second "reading week" - essentially a week in the semester where there are no classes. Our first reading week was back in March - it was week 8 of the semester and coincided with the week that has St Patrick in it. It was also approximately half way through the semester. Our second reading week is this week - it is the 12th week of the semester and leaves just two more weeks after this. This week we would have lost a day anyway as the College closes on Good Friday (I don't know what for - it is certainly not on religious grounds). I'll reserve judgement on how well or not the second reading week works. I for one would have preferred the semester to end a week earlier instead. Next year I understand that the two reading weeks will be consecutive as Easter is so early in 2018. As far as I know it is common in many other colleges to have reading/study weeks around Easter time.
As I've written before, taking a rest or taking a break between activities (ABBA) is important. A 12 week semester is a long time and weariness creeps in on both student and faculty. There is merit in taking a "break" in the middle of the semester. The College Library is busy this week - our 4th year Computing students are close to their final exams and are studying hard. Many other students are taking the time to work on assignments and end-of-semester projects. Even though a second reading week prolongs the semester, I know that some of my own classes welcome the "break". I don't know how many students take a holiday or do no College work during this week.
Easter has lost its religious appeal for many people. While Easter Monday is a national holiday in Ireland, Good Friday is not - many businesses stay open and of course many shops will be open. Only the pubs will be closed, though this is sure to change next year if our politicians are to be believed. Very soon Good Friday will be like any other Friday, with just a tiny proportion of us going to church. I still like going to Easter Services and will do so again this year.
Happy Easter everyone!