It’s the time of the term that feels most odd to me: the two weeks between Thanksgiving and finals. I know that, after a week off, it’s taking me a bit to get back up to speed, and I have to think students are going through that as well. There’s also the added stress of finishing projects and having other exams before finals.
That week off seems to be the signal each year that we’re going from fall to winter. When I left we had a bit of snow on the ground, but the air didn’t have that bite to it. When I got back, I fell on my butt in the driveway on some ice. It’s just changed.
So now we run around frantically, trying to get those last things done—for what it’s worth, we as faculty have just as much to do at the end of a term, and there’s a bit of a herding-cats mentality to get student presentations done and assignments completed. Six class sessions, and then I wish them the best and hope some of what I’ve taught them has stuck.
This is my 15th year of teaching. The end of the term is as bittersweet for me as it is a relief for students. It’s covering every base and writing up summaries and reviews. It’s making sure all assignments are in and making sure students are okay, holding up to the stress. It’s also hope: hoping that they go on and use these skills to get where they want to go.
It’s a mad dash to the finish, one you probably remember well. It’s also a good test for standing up to the very hectic parts of real life, the things we all deal with every day as adults. These are, after all, the shortest days and longest nights of the year for a reason.
We’ve seen the first regular bits of snow, which also means that the temperatures are fluctuating above and below the freezing line. That means there’s loads of ice. I expect to see more crutches and wrist braces in the coming weeks.
Our official rock-and-roll correspondent—Dennis!—checks in with us this issue; check out his response to some Techspotting in a recent documentary on the Eagles.
With Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Sleep-In Sunday (okay, I made that up), and Cyber Monday (and considering how old and out of place the word cyber is, I vote we change it to Digital Monday) all behind us, we got a reminder for Giving Tuesday which is, can you believe it, today! From their release:
The Michigan Tech Annual Fund and the Student Philanthropy Council invite all alumni and friends of the University to join them in celebrating #GivingTuesday today, December 1, 2015. #GivingTuesday, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, celebrates and encourages giving for important causes everywhere. For more information go to http://givingtuesday.org/.
On campus we’re celebrating #GivingTuesday by asking everyone making a purchase at any University retail operation (Campus Store, MUB food court, etc.) to consider “rounding up” to the next dollar with the proceeds being designated to student scholarships.
In this season of thanksgiving, we hope our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends find places of peace and reasons to celebrate. We encourage you to give back to Michigan Tech, support our community, and remember the reason for the season.
To make a gift to Michigan Tech just go to http://www.mtu.edu/giving/. Thank you!
Our snowfall contest is indeed getting underway, with the December entry deadline coming up next week. Check out the links down in the mailbag.
And finally, just a bit of housekeeping from all of us here at TechAlum, I wanted to let you know we’ll have an extra week off after the next issue. It falls in that odd spot before New Years and the GLI, so we’ll push back that next issue by a week to January 5. Though if you really miss me, you can always drop an email and I’ll try to spin a story for you on the spot!
Thanks for reading.