Monday, February 16, 2015

Snow day

Today is a snow day on our campus.  No one is sad about this, with the possible exception of the maintenance crews clearing the sidewalks and streets.  Unlike other winters, this is likely to be the only weather-related closing for the semester.

What does it tell us when students and faculty embrace an unplanned day away from lectures, labs, and office hours? Perhaps nothing more than the appreciation of finding something both unexpected and appreciated--an extra cookie in the package, a bonus in our paycheck, a coffee paid forward by the person ahead of us in line, or an anonymous flower left on a desk.

I wonder, though, if our highly structured and routine lives increase the likelihood of becoming dry and dull in our experience of and openness to the world around us.  I'm still surprised when graduate students write that an assignment for a creativity course is what gave them permission to try something new or revive a passion left unattended. Why do we need external motivators to rise above our lock-step lives?

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