Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pre- or Post-Labour Day?


Having read posts from others already full steam into term, I'm curious if university start dates follow a north-south pattern in the States, or are the same everywhere in the country? Having basically "never left school", I look forward to Labour Day weekend with some reverence, as I've come to view this 'final weekend of summer' as a ritualistic time of saying goodbye to the old (for some reason that final camera shot in The Flamingo Kid, with the sun setting and that little kid wearing warmer clothing, gets me real melancholy), and as a time of renewal. It's a weekend where I've kicked back and hit the mental reset button for 20 years now before starting a new academic year on campus. Do all American academics have to get back to the grind before Labour Day?



  1. I've only been at one school that starts post-labor day, also the only school I ever taught at in the American northeast.

  2. My semester-system schools have always started prior to Labo(u)r Day, but my quarter-system school started mid-September.

  3. Lovin' the quarter system -- we start in the fourth week of Sept.

  4. Under the quarter system we started in mid-September, broke for the holidays the second week of December, back right after New Year's through until the second week of June.

    Under semesters we are back the second or third week of August (the snowflakes officially return a week later), end fall the third week of December, again back right after New Year's but end up in mid-May.

    Summer fits in there however someone decides to do it THIS year. There is no rhyme or reason to summer here.

  5. I've never attended or taught anywhere that didn't begin mid-August. Hot, sticky, 100+ degree August, usually. (When I was an undergrad I would giggle at the folks from out of state who brought their woolies and sweated madly until things finally cooled to the low 80s in October.) :)

  6. Ah: my childhood in the South and East Coast all began school in mid-August. My birthday (Aug 22) was usually the first week or weekend of school.

    My college years (Northeast and Midwest) have all started right at Labor Day: either the week before (if Labor Day is Sept 5 or 6) or the week after (if Labor Day is Sept 1 or 2).

    It threw me off, especially the whole getting done with exams on Dec 23 and 24 (Yeah, the undergrads always wait for the exams before leaving for Christmas... no wait of course they don't!!)

    I just thought my colleges were being jerks about scheduling, but maybe it is a north/south thing.

  7. In So-Cal, around late August (whatever Monday falls on the 20th or the 23rd), though the quarter speed freaks get until early September (because they have to hit their dealers and stock up.)

  8. At my Canadian school, we'll be starting on the 13th this year. There's a week-long fall reading break in mid-Oct, and then classes run until early-ish in Dec, with an exam period until a few days before Xmas.

    Winter-term runs from early Jan through early April, with a reading week in mid-Feb, and an exam period until late April.

    Summer sessions, for those who like to take extra classes, occupy terms of varying lengths throughout May, June, July (and, I think, a bit of August).

  9. All the schools I have been at have started before Labor Day.
    My undergrad school held class on Labor Day! However, all the administrative offices were closed.


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