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Students have spent the week enjoying unseasonable warmth and blue skies The sky has changed from overcast to sunny, squirrels and birds are scampering around all over campus and students are getting their first chance in months to sample some of their newly purchased tank tops, sunglasses and shorts. This week, all Penn students, regardless of whether they're going to spend spring break partying in Cancon or relaxing at home, received a week-long going-away gift in the form of blue skies and warm temperatures. "It's kind of spring fever," College junior Carolyn Naylor said. Indeed, there's little doubt that the Penn campus -- and Philadelphia as a whole -- has come to realize that, at last, spring is in the air. Beginning Monday, hordes of students crowded onto blankets on College Green or lounged on couches in front of their Locust Walk fraternity houses. And each of the perennial signs of spring -- music blaring on the Walk, tables set up outside the Palladium -- have been present all week. Yesterday, despite morning clouds and brief afternoon showers, Penn students were still enjoying the pleasant temperatures in the low 70s. It's been quite a change from the look of Penn's campus during the winter months, when both Locust Walk and College Green were nearly empty and the city was hit with below-freezing temperatures in mid-January. Then, the few people seen on campus were wearing several layers of clothing, running to and from their classes and making every attempt to keep warm. Students and teachers alike have enthusiastically greeted the week's warm weather. In fact, many small classes have been taught outside on College Green and many students, in turn, have opted to do their studying outside rather than in the library or in their rooms. "It's just nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy the weather instead of being cooped up in your room," explained Wharton freshman Young Rhee, who took advantage of yesterday's weather to eat lunch on College Green with a friend. "It's been nice. I eat outside whenever I get a chance," Engineering junior Peter Withstandley said. "I've been spending more time outside." And even though the week before spring break is typically filled with exams and papers, some students have put their work on hold for the sake of baseball catches, pickup football games, frisbee tosses, guitar-playing sessions and dog-walking. "It just brings everyone out into the open," Naylor said. "People get really excited for school to end as the weather changes." The weather has not only affected the activities of Penn students on campus. The local beverage and ice cream shops, for example, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts, with lines of up to as many as 15 patrons at a time. Greg Sarkisian, who works at Amazon Juice in the Moravian CafZs food court, said the sale of smoothies at his store has sharply increased in the last three weeks. "It's almost an 80 percent increase in smoothie sales," Sarkisian said. Eric Yates, the owner of the Baskin Robbins on the 3900 block of Walnut Street, said he too has seen a large increase in the sales of ice cream and smoothies -- a phenomenon that started, he says, on Saturday night with the Penn men's basketball game at the Palestra. "From last week, sales have gone up easily 50 percent," Yates said. Still, the volatility of the Philadelphia climate has left at least one Penn student wondering just how long the warmth will last. "I am from Philly, so I am used to this weather change," College sophomore Liana Zatuchny said. "Philly weather goes up and down, so I would not be surprised if it started snowing again tomorrow." Zatuchny's assessment is not so far-fetched. Temperatures are expected to plummet into the mid-50s today, and the campus will likely be pelted by pouring rain tomorrow afternoon. But don't expect too many students to care. Many will already be soaking in the sun on beaches and cruises miles away.

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