Thursday March 6 – re-set
Several people reminded me that my shorthand sketch of Spring Break is not quite accurate – “The core business — research and teaching and learning and service — takes a break.” I would have more accurately described the “break” in Spring Break by observing that it is primarily a break from “teaching and learning on campus.”
1) Lots of faculty use this time to work on their research, a labor that is often less visible to the wider public than it’s central importance in the university warrants.
2) There are lots of service actions that are keyed to this week, most notably the remarkable Alternative Spring Break trips 35 UDM people are out working to help people who need the help; this year they are in:
1. Detroit (4 day trip, March 1-4) worked with Peoples Community Services in Delray and Alternatives for Girls.
2. Chicago: at Misericordia
3. Salem, West Virginia: at Nazareth Farm doing house repair
4. Sacramento, CA: work with Loaves and Fishes
5. Milwaukee: I can’t recall the name of the organization, but the focus is on urban poverty.
3) Lots of other UDM people come to work in their usual fashion to maintain theoperations on which UDM depends across the whole range of what an institution needs to stay healthy.
Nevertheless, there is an unmistakable de-compression around campus that creates some stillness. I don’t have this week off but I am glad for that stillness; I hope the rest of us who are working as usual are glad for it too. Besides, each day gains a few more minutes of daylight and snow is very gradually shrinking. Breathe a little.