There?s nothing like putting on shades and coasting down a highway with friends, staying out all night at racy clubs or putting on skivvies and running around on a beach ? especially when you know that other students, somewhere, are slaving away doing schoolwork and attending classes.

Am I making you reminiscent of your last Spring Break?

?It?s too cold [for that stuff] during Spring Break,? Eastman freshman and oboe performance major Kevin May said. May and his friends planned a five-day fling with the state of Massachusetts during the Eastman equivalent of Spring Break ? Jury Week.

Don?t get me wrong ? Jury Week is dismal and terrifying, but only until your jury is over. If it goes great, you generally party hard for the remainder of the week, in order to relieve stress and reward yourself for all of the hard work you spent in preparation for the exam.

If it doesn?t go so great,you generally party harder.

?There?s no better release from a stressful jury than driving or sitting in a car, eating junk food and listening to rock music,? May said. He and five other Eastman freshmen did the six-hour road trip from here to Boston in about five hours.

Some of the highlights from their trip, which began last Wednesday morning, included visiting the famous ?Cheers? bar, seeing Boston Commons, playing on the beach and stealing road signs.

?We went to Gloucester and had chowder,? said freshman Joe Soucy, a bass performance major who also went on the trip. ?It?s a Boston tradition.?

Soucy, who lives 45 minutes away from the city of Boston, offered to have the group spend the night at his place. Another freshman, Dasha Bolotina, did the same. These plans made the trip more economical.

Flipping through May?s photo album, I could see that the gang took a trip that they?ll never forget. Since it?s only their first year as Eastman students, they potentially have three crazy trips to look forward to them in the future.

Sophomore Jonathan Herbert, a euphonium performance and music education double major, left only an hour after his jury on a different adventure. He and a friend drove to Pittsburgh and then Washington, D.C. to see the sights in both locales and visit friends.

Boring nights? No way.

?We went to Velvet Nation, a club,? Herbert said. ?We got back when the sun was up.?

However, Herbert didn?t fritter away his Jury Week having fun and neglecting responsibility. He had an interview for an internship on Friday.

Not everyone flees Eastman once the juries are over. Especially when the weather is as nice as it was last week, students can be glimpsed all over downtown Rochester walking and talking with friends, and sipping frozen drinks from Java?s.

Freshman Maya Maalouf went to a couple of movies after her violin jury. ?My friend and I snuck in,? she said.

Many students plan to either catch up or get ahead on their studies, especially since they know that final papers and exams are right around the corner.

However, it appears from my research ? including personal data collected from my first Jury Week experience ever ? that few succeed in this vein.

Whether you?re working, walking, cruising, snacking, tanning, swimming or clubbing, Jury Week antics are all well and good until someone gets hurt.

May didn?t escape his Jury Week vacation without injury. While rooting through his suitcase for a swimsuit one afternoon, he sliced off part of the end of a finger with his razor.

Now he wears a big bandage and says that it hurts to play his oboe.

Hopefully May?s wound will heal in time for his next jury.



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