Thursday, January 7, 2010

A new semester and Smugglers' Notch "rocks"

For the last three days I have gotten up early, had breakfast and headed to Jeffersonville and Smugglers' Notch or as those of us who enjoy the great skiing simply call it - Smuggs........ When we got 33.1 inches of snow last weekend, which set an all time record for Burlington, Smuggs got almost that much. I have been skiing there for 28 years and it just gets better every year. I love the fact that Saint Michael's College is one of the only, if not THE only college/university in the country which includes the opportunity (for a very nominal fee) of a season's pass at a great ski resort. I know that a large number of our students take advantage of this opportunity and while faculty/staff don't get the same benefit of the nominal fee, many of us also ski there. The President, the Chair of the Board, our VP for Human Resources Mike New and his wife Patti and many others of us who live and work here celebrate our weather instead of complaining about it. I have also been out snowshoeing a couple of times and hope to either ski or snowshoe at least a couple of times every week - it is always fun to introduce students to the fun of snowshoeing as many of them have never tried this sport. With the start of our new semester just a couple of days away, it was good to get outdoors and enjoy the mountains.

On Monday the new semester begins. Tomorrow (Friday) there are workshops on campus sponsored by our Information Technology folks who will make sure that all of the faculty are up-to-date on the latest technology available to us in the classroom. Between spending some time on campus this week doing letters of recommendations for many of our seniors and revising syllabi I am ready for the new semester. Men & Masculinities class has 15 men and 15 women - all seniors and I appreciate the opportunity to work with such eager students. I talked with Bryan Brunton and Pat McGuirk at the rink last weekend at their hockey tournament and they are both looking forward to this class - while I have had many of these students in class prior to this semester, there are still several I have never met so it will be fun to get to see how they respond to a class with an equal balance of men and women which specifically deals with men's issues. Sports Psychology is always exciting as we look at the intriguing connections between sports and psychology. My Practicum class went very well first semester and as we get together again for second semester I get to review what their site supervisors had to say about their first semester WITH each of them and I am looking forward to how they view the challenges of working in social services. Since many of the students told me in their semester evaluations that they want to spend some time this semester finalizing their post-graduation plans I have already spoken to Chris Clary, Director of the Office of Career Development who will come into class to work with my students on updating their resumes and help them figure out how to accomplish their career goals - since this semester will go very quickly, especially for our seniors, having folks from Career Development come into the classroom makes good sense.

I hope that everyone had a safe and fun holiday - I sure did. Of course, I WILL again remind all of my students that the H1N1 has NOT gone away yet so they still need to be reminded to take the appropriate precautions. I am getting my shot on Saturday now that they have lifted the restrictions and everyone is eligible for the shot. While classes begin on Monday, I leave on Wednesday for four days in Atlanta for the NCAA National Convention along with Geri Knortz,our Athletic Director. Stay tuned as I will probably blog from Atlanta.

As always, please take good care and keep all of our soldiers, veterans and their families in your thoughts and prayers.


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