Somehow I don’t think that’s how the old Chevrolet jingle is supposed to go. With apologies to our GM alumni.
This time last year I was at my sister’s place in Miami. It was my very own spring break, just as it is for our students this week. The idea of it being hot in March was a bit foreign to me, but a week in the pool was nice. It was also the first week or two of spring training games for baseball. It turns out that it’s too warm and occasionally stormy in South Florida for teams to hold camp there, and there weren’t any games within driving distance. I watched some on television, some humid air floating through the patio in the evening.
It was a preview—of a single sport and of the long summer that was to come. Baseball is a ritual, a process, a renewal each year. What I love about the sport is that the entire season is a story. It’s the ride, not the destination for me. There are a few teams I keep track of—the Mariners, Orioles, Nationals, and Brewers—and a ballgame is my soundtrack for making dinner or falling asleep. It’s my context for an entire half of the year.
What I remember most clearly from spring training last year was, of all things, a television commercial they ran repeatedly on MLB Network. It was a collection of shots of players getting ready for the 2014 season. The music from it stuck in my head for most of that spring: it was Public Enemy’s track “Harder than You Think.”
So it’s time to leave you a preview
So you too can review what we do
Spring training and spring break come at the same time. The former is indeed the preview, where you don’t know anyone’s name who is playing after the third inning. Yet. Spring break, however, is indeed the review, a chance to review what our students have done, now with the end of the academic year in sight.
I got to spend some time a week ago talking with students from the Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise team. They were showing us one of their products for an upcoming story, but there were something like six total projects underway. They come in as requests from industry, solving specific problems to give a potential boost in the marketplace.
I have to remind myself—as they’re hard at work on solving all of the problems in the world—that they’re still students. Conversation was peppered with references to lectures, labs, and upcoming exams. They’re juggling so much, especially when you add in the special events on campus. It’s a good thing they get a break this week.
I’m ready to get going, for the snow to melt, to get on with what’s next. Our students take that bit of a breather this week, a chance to review where they’ve been and preview where they’re going.
What about you? What does spring mean? I’m getting ready to start up my flowers for this year—growing convolvulus and cardinal climbers this year. The ice will be gone from Great Sand Bay and McLain State Park. Glimpses of the sun are just a preview. There’s a lot I want to do; what do you have in store once the weather turns?
In other news:
Our latest issue of Research should be arriving in homes as I type this. Make sure to check out the online version if the paper copy is out of your reach.
Houghton and hockey are pretty tightly connected. Any of you familiar with the CBC will have seen commercials in recent years for Kraft Hockeyville, a competition between communities for local stadium improvements.
The competition has come to America. We have to win it, don’t you think?
If we can pull this one out for the Keweenaw, it would mean a big chunk of change for Dee Stadium improvements, a pre-season NHL game here at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena (I’ll compromise—let’s bring your Wings AND my Canucks), and the chance to showcase what we’re all about on a national level.
Here’s what you can do:
- If you’re in the area, come to the Dee at 6pm tomorrow for the kickoff event. Wear your favorite hockey sweater.
- Visit www.krafthockeyville.com to nominate the Dee Stadium and Ice Rink in this contest. You can nominate up to three times per email address and must be 13 or older. Nominations close March 18!
- Hit up our Facebook page for updates, and follow the Twitter account @PACKtheDEE.
Let’s do this.
Thanks for reading.