Editorial: Long live the week off for Mardi Gras



(Alex Bramwell/Dreamstime/TNS) Photo credit: Tribune News Service

You’ve heard the cliché: Everywhere else, it’s just another Tuesday.

But even in New Orleans, that glorious Fat Tuesday is just that — Fat Tuesday. The rest of the week means just another Wednesday, just another Thursday, just another Friday.

Not at Loyola.

Here, we elevate Mardi Gras to its rightful place — as one of the top holidays on the calendar.

We even put it above Thanksgiving, if we judge a holiday based on the amount of days off school.

The freedom given by having a week off in February or early March (depending on when Mardi Gras falls) gives Loyola community members an opportunity you can’t find many other places in the country or, as we said, even the city.

That’s most noticeable right next door, so don’t be surprised to hear Tulane students complaining about only having the Monday and Tuesday of Mardi Gras week off the next time you’re standing behind some of them in the line at Starbucks.

Now, that’s not to say having a week off for Mardi Gras is all fun. It can be tough coming back from having a month off for Christmas only to have a few weeks of classes interrupted by the Mardi Gras week and then having to do the same thing over again when Easter rolls around. By then, many students have left to look forward to are finals — without ever feeling that they really got into any sort of flow during the semester.

Worse yet, students are often faced with professors cramming work in before the break that’s only rivaled in the fall semester by the days right before Thanksgiving.

And then there’s the most cruel and unusual of all — making projects due immediately after coming back from break.

We could probably editorialize on that point alone, but the fact is, when you take it all into consideration, the positives far outweigh the negatives of having a long break for Mardi Gras.

And it’s not just so that we get the chance to go out and see the parades and have time to recover from whatever debauchery college students will inevitably find themselves in. That’s nice and all, but it’s the time we get off after Mardi Gras that really gives us a chance few others get.

That’s three days of no classes, while even the rest of the city starts back on a normal schedule.

What that gives members of the Loyola community is a rare opportunity to travel during what’s a low season across most of the country.

That gives us the chance to go home and see families or travel to popular destinations without having to deal with the crowds or serious expenses that normally come with traveling to those places during normal holidays.

But there are other options for those not jet-setting.

Maybe you just want to relax. You get the chance to do that. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to work and make some money without being distracted by classwork — you know, so you can save for that big trip next Mardi Gras. You can do that too.

So with Carnival season in full swing, go out and enjoy it. Enjoy the days off for Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras. Go out and see the parades on Mardi Gras day. Don’t sleep in. Experience the day that actually makes the season and take part in some New Orleans history.

And then for the rest of the week, do whatever you want, courtesy of Loyola.

Happy Mardi Gras!