Before the Year Comes to a Close

I looked at the Deacademics blog yesterday and they have a ticker that shows how many days of classes are left.  Yesterday it was 13, which seems hard to believe.  This semester has sped by.

Because time is running out, and the weekend is upon us, here is a list of some things I hope your students might do before they leave Wake Forest.  I realize at this late date that all these things cannot be done before the end of *this* semester – but hopefully sometime during their student years.

(Parents and family members, when YOU come to campus, you ought to do some of these things too!  There are certainly times when you are here and your student is in class/asleep/otherwise occupied, and you could take advantage of some of these things.)

Walk the path from behind Winston Hall to Reynolda Gardens.  Be sure to walk through the rose garden.  Continue up past Reynolda House  and walk the vast expanse of lawn in front of the house.  If you have time, wind around the side of the house back through the trails.

Take a blanket and do your studying somewhere in Reynolda Village or Gardens.

Go through Reynolda House, Museum of American Art.  Find the piece of art you like best.  Be sure to visit the top floor and the historic clothing section.

Visit the Start Gallery and see the artwork there as well.

Go to Wait Chapel and sit in the balcony when it’s empty.  It is silent and vast and wonderful.  A good place to think.

Stop by and see a favorite professor during his or her office hours.  Have a real conversation – not just about grades or the course content, but make an effort to get to know the professor, and to let him know you.

Walk through the Benson Center and look at the artwork on the walls.  Many of the pieces are from famous artists.

Swing on the swings outside Scales Fine Arts Center.

On a nice sunny day, eat lunch on the Mag Patio, at one of the teak tables with umbrellas.  Take your shoes off and relax there.  Trust me, it feels good.

Speaking of taking your shoes off, walk across the Quad grass barefoot.  There is no better grass than in the weeks leading up to Commencement.  Like a green velvet blanket.

Sit on the steps of Wait Chapel – or, alternately on the balcony of Reynolda facing Wait Chapel (by the entrance to the Mag Room) – at twilight and watch the sun set.

Go to a WFU athletic event you have never been to before – and cheer loudly and proudly.

Pick up a paper copy of the Old Gold and Black and read it from cover to cover.

Go to an artistic event on campus – a music, theatre or dance performance, or visit the art gallery in Scales.

Walk behind campus through Faculty Drive, Royall Drive, etc.  See where some of the professors and administrators live.

Make a midnight Krispy Kreme run.

See a movie in the Benson Center on a Friday or Saturday night.

Get rid of your t-shirts with other schools’ names and logos on them.  You’re a Demon Deacon – don’t advertise some other school.  Extra points if you get rid of Duke and Carolina shirts 🙂

Say thank you to your favorite Pit, Shorty’s, Starbuck’s, Benson Center Food Court, Mag Room employees.  Tell them you’ll miss them over the summer.

Buy that thing at the Deacon Shop or the Bookstore that you’ve been eyeing for months and just haven’t bought yet.  Extra points if it is kitschy.

Go to Skippy’s downtown and eat a hot dog.  It’s worth it.

Go to an academic lecture or seminar hosted by a department.

Go to your favorite places on campus – be they outdoors or indoors – and take some pictures.  Even better, take pictures of the same place at various times of day, as Monet did in his series of Rouen cathedral paintings.

Write each of your closest friends a real note or card.  Tell them what you love about them, share some of your favorite memories of things you’ve done together.  Say the things you don’t normally say, but feel in your heart.  Your friends will treasure those 20 years later.  You must trust me about this.

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