April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.
This is the first line from the poem The Waste Land by famous English poet, T. S. Elliot. Although the whole poem is lengthy composed of five sections with 800 lines, many people recognize the term April is the cruellest month which is used as idiomatic expression. Contexually, the poem refers that April, the month of vitality and rebirth is cruel for Sibyl a Greek female shaman who wished to live eternal life but failed to earn youthfulness and was dead only left with her voice. As interpretations nowadays also suggest that it also can refer to contemporary people who also lost vitality in their life, the interpretation was acceptable experiencing the cruellest April this month.
April in Ewha is cruel since the school is filled with colorful flowers and greenness but students are hectic with assignments and midterms. Walking up the Ewha hills, light pink and white colors of Royal azaleas can be spotted here and there and especially on top of the Ewha Campus Complex collaborating with picturesque Main Hall and with cloudless sky, the place becomes the best photo zone in this period. Encountering the third spring in Ewha, I always found myself taking pictures of the scenery in campus unconsciously since I wanted to capture every single moment which seems a little different every year.
While this beautiful scenery starts from beginning of the April, it sadly coincides with the period when Ewha students are the busiest. Since midterm exams start on middle of April, lots of students are busy preparing for their exams, presentation and assignment. While students are getting more tired and exhausted each day, beautiful campus and flower blooms which contrast them somewhat make students sad, making April the cruellest month.
April of 2018 was crueller than other Aprils due to attacks of fine dust and severe weather changes. From end of March, high levels of find dust were observed along with yellow dust coming from China. The concentration of fine dust went up to over 300 micrograms per cubic meter in Seoul and even went up to the level which was unmeasurable in Sinchon area. People were wearing astronautlike masks that were specialized for filtering fine dust in order to prevent them from fine dust which were compared to be as lethal as second-hand smoke to our body. Safety guidance messages suggested people to stay inside and restrict outdoor activities enjoying due to fine dust which prevented people to enjoy warm weather.
However, after the fine dust level decreased only after two or three days of spring like weather, April once again became the cruellest month. The temperature decreased to two degrees Celsius, that people had to take out their winter clothes again to protect themselves from cold. Also due to rain and wind there was worry that all the cherry blossoms will fall down even before taking a look. The weather was so unpredictable and going on severe changes everyday that some people even joked that they were able to find four “seasons” in a month which was actually becoming true. Due to this a lot of people caught cold and are in bad conditions while there are beautiful cherry blossoms around.
With this severe cold weather, I also found a reason why April of is the cruellest month especially this year that it has taken away and shortened several weeks of spring time which I value the most. Having midterms left, now I am worried of the losing spring and having sudden weather change into summer after all my exams. Yes, April “is” the cruellest month.