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Five (Four) Senses of Reynolda Hall Lobby

12 5 14 rh lobbyFor the last blog post before finals, I bring you the Five Senses of the lobby in Reynolda Hall, circa 2 pm yesterday.  I was perched on one of the lobby couches right outside the Office of Academic Advising.  I had a clear shot to my right of the doors leading out onto the Quad, and a clear shot on my left to the Green Room and the doors leading back to the Mag Patio.  While this is not a picture I took yesterday (it’s a stock photo from our archive), this will give you a little sense of the place.


I see….

– Two female students camped at a couch and a table and chairs, respecitively.  Other than those two ladies, I am the only other person sitting here.

– The one at the table has a laptop open and is eating a Subway lunch as she works.  The one on the couch has her back to me so I can’t see what she is doing, but she seems to be doing a lot of stretching and yawning, so I am going to assume she is tired.

– A dean come through the front door from the Quad.  A few minutes later, I see a University Police officer do the same.

– People typically taking off their winter coats as they enter warm Reynolda from the cold Quad.

– The Christmas tree and the menorah through the windows of the door going to the Quad.

– Students come and go – very scattered, not too many.  The female students are almost always wearing boots.  Not just equestrian tall boots anymore, either – now there are ankle boots with heels (traditional or wedge).

– One male student comes in with no jacket.  This is surprising to me, as it is cold.  Most of the students coming through have a jacket, or a hoodie, or at least a sweater and scarf.  Not this guy.  T-shirt with a button down shirt over it (unbuttoned).  I have to believe he is cold, but he isn’t acting like he is.

– FINALLY I see a girl wearing Not Boots.  Plain flats.  For a couple of minutes I amuse myself by taking a boots vs Not Boots poll, and see that in the short time I was watching, six female students were in boots, three in Not Boots.

– A pretty female student carrying flowers.  She passes me and heads away.  About five minutes later, she returns sans flowers, so she has delivered them to someone in Reynolda.

– A very tall male student carrying what looks like the leftover wrappings of a 12″ Subway lunch.  Something about his face and easy smile makes me think he is very polite.  He just has a very kind bearing.


 I hear…

– Distorted voices that come from people talking in a building with high ceilings and staircases.  You can hear that people are talking, but it sounds garbled until they get close to me.

– A very purposeful STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP of boots on a girl who comes in the door and is walking at a brisk clip.

– Squeaky shoes on one staff member.  His gait is a lot slower than the typical pace of footsteps I am hearing.

– The ding of the elevator bell as it arrives on the 1st floor.

– A few “hi, how are you?”s as students pass each other and are greeting friends.

– But largely what strikes me is how very, very, very quiet it is.  Normally at this hour there should be a lot of people entering and exiting, chatting as they go.  It’s extremely quiet.  So much so that I can hear the clicking of the doors as they latch closed.  I can even hear the flush of a toilet in the women’s bathroom, which is around the corner and down the hall from where I am.  This is strange.

– The returning STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP of my purposeful walker – she’s come and gone.

“When do you go home?” said one student to another as they passed me.  “Tuesday” was the reply.

– A conversation between one of our professional academic advisers and a student he is meeting with – they are walking back to the Academic Advising office.

– Jingling keys in someone’s hand as they walk by.

– The extended BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP of an elevator door that’s been held open too long and is trying to force close.

– A horrific sounding cough coming from the Green Room.  The cougher comes out later, it’s a girl.


I feel…

– Cold breeze rush in as the door opens.

– Comfortable cushions on the sofa I am sitting on in the lobby.  This is the kind where you sit down and it’s squishy and you sink in a bit.  Would be an excellent napping couch if you weren’t self-conscious about sleeping in the entryway of an oft-used building.


I smell…

– Cold air.  It doesn’t smell cold enough for snow, but it has that cold, slightly-humid air smell to it.

– An occasional waft of food smell from the Pit below, but I can’t put my finger on what the smell is.  It just sort of has a cafeteria smell.


No tasting today – sorry!

Have a good weekend, Deac families.  Call your kids, wish them luck on finals and tell them not to be too hard on themselves while prepping for them.

20121202lovefeast8482And don’t forget about the Lovefeast on Sunday evening.  Hopefully any interested students will go – and you can join in via the livestream that will be available on Sunday.


– by Betsy Chapman

ZieSta Room

20141121ziesta0075Nothing makes me happier than to see Wake Forest recognized for good ideas and student-centered focus.  Today is a great example of that.  Inside Higher Ed has a story about our intrepid and innovative Z Smith Reynolds Library and the addition of the ZieSta Room (get it? letters capitalized for ZSR, so clever!)  The ZieSta Room allows students to unplug from technology and studying and have a quiet place for a quick catnap:

“Napping students — exhausted by long nights of studying for exams or writing term papers — are common in campus libraries. But at Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library, sleeping students can now be found resting in comfortable recliners, instead of snoring into open textbooks.

Last month, the library unveiled a technology-free relaxation area called the “ZieSta Room.” The room — which originated as a proposal from a group of students — encourages students to turn off their electronics, put away their books, and take a quick study break, even if that means falling asleep. The space’s guidelines stress that the area is not a study space, and that the only reading taking place there should be done for pleasure.”

Read the full article here.  It’s a great story about the ZSR, but also talks about larger issues of college student wellbeing.  Our new director of wellbeing, Malika Roman Isler (’99) is quoted about Wake’s Thrive efforts to improve wellbeing.

In other campus news, I am sorry to say that I missed being part of the 4 pm photo yesterday at Wait Chapel (there was a phone call I had to take).  If any of our Daily Deac readers has a picture, please email it to and I will post it here.

One more day of classes.  Wow.  Where did the semester go?  With the end of the semester, you may notice an uptake in your students’ stress levels.  Not a surprise, of course; you may well remember your own days from finals and how you felt.  If your student is the type who would benefit from a pep talk, or a word of encouragement, or a care package, that can help lighten the mood.  And even if you don’t have time to make a giant batch of your Deac’s favorite cookies, remember that we have Deacon Greetings, where you can wish your student good luck, or send them messages of love and caring.  Make your own card here.  It only takes a few seconds for you to fill out the e-card, but that e-card might just make their day.

Finally, we try to mention this to parents and families every now and again, and pre-finals is a good time for a reminder.  While your students are living here 24/7, most of our administrative offices keep 8:30 am-5:00 pm office hours.  If you ever run into a situation where it is after normal business hours and you have an urgent need to reach someone because you have a concern about your student that must be addressed quickly, University Police is our 24/7 contact.  They can assess the situation and determine who best to address your concern. The 24-hour contact number for University Police is 336.758.5591 (non emergency) or 336.758.5911 (emergency). They can get in touch with on-call duty staff 24-hours/day.

Last Week of Classes

And you can sort of smell it in the air.  Our students know they have much to do before break, and there is a wide range of end-of-classes/pre-finals faces.  For some they look tired, for others they have a determined look about them, still others carry a nonchalant look like ‘I’ve got this!’

I’m not sure if it’s because of the weather (still cold and gray and misty today) or if people are starting to hunker down in work mode and get serious, but I saw a lot more sweats and casual clothing on our students today than one normally sees.

12 2 14 3 12 2 14 4 12 2 14The school is cognizant of the pre-finals stresses, and happily there was a cart advertising free hot chocolate on the Quad.  I took some pictures and then later as I was on my way, I overheard some students in the distance see the cart and say something akin to ‘THIS is why I chose this school – I knew it would be hard, but they also do things like this for us.”

More of that sort of help will be coming with Wake the Library, which will begin this Friday the 5th.  Students can spend time in the ZSR studying and working, but also having some opportunities for free food, relaxation stations, and some moments of fun and frivolity to lighten the mood.

Lastnight was Lighting of the Quad, and if you are not following Wake Forest University on Facebook, you should – they have some great pictures from lastnight, including some aerials.  You can also friend on Facebook Stu DentUnion and see some of their coverage, including a fun video of all the students with their lit candles.  The Lighting had reflections and songs, the lighting of the Christmas tree and menorah, as well as the trees in the Quad.  A good time was had by all.

20091206lovefeast2793Coming up on Sunday night at 8 pm is the 50th annual Lovefeast in Wait Chapel.  For many students, this is a not-to-be-missed event.  For all of our Deac families, you can join in and watch via simulcast on Sunday night.  You’ll go to the main WFU web page ( and you’ll see a link on how to join the livestream.   The Lovefeast truly is one of the most beautiful communal moments at Wake Forest.  If you want to read some coverage about what it is like, here is a link to last year’s Daily Deac about it.

Here’s a final few of shots of the campus, taken at different times (early morning and midday).  The weather has not improved one bit.

12 2 14 5 12 2 14 6 12 2 14 2


It Doesn’t Smell Like Snow

It doesn’t smell like snow – and those of you in snow-prone areas know there is a distinct smell in the air when snow is coming – but boy it sure looks like it could snow at any minute.  Yesterday was sunny and nearly 70, today is 40 but feels like 35 with wind chill and is gray and dreary.  There’s no nice way to say it – the weather is just gross today.  Hopefully the intermittent mist will end in time for the Lighting of the Quad tonight.

artisan fairSpeaking of the holidays, if your Deacs are looking for some easy holiday gift-buying for family members, we are holding our annual Artisan’s Fair on Friday in room 401 of the Benson Center.  Your students may not have any idea that an administrator or faculty member they know is also an accomplished artist, baker, jewelry maker, or seamstress (seamster for men?) – but on Friday they can browse the various offerings.  It’s always a great spread for gifts – or even if they just want to buy themselves a treat.

A couple of other activities on campus that bear mentioning.  Tomorrow (Weds.) at 11 am the Divinity School is hosting Ferguson: A Discussion on Race, Justice, and Hope for the Future.  The Women’s Center will host The Water Cooler at 4:30, an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to gather; this coffee and conversation hour happens weekly.  There is an Orchestra concert tomorrow night at 7:30 as well.

One final note about campus doings tomorrow.  At 4 pm, the campus is invited to join Gender Equality Allies for a photo project in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault on college campuses.  The Daily Deac covered a lot of the ‘Together Tuesdays’ pictures earlier in the semester, and these sort of group photos/awareness raising can be powerful moments.  I hope your students will join me there.  There is also an important message on our News page about sexual assault that I hope you will read.


- by Betsy Chapman 

Post-Holiday Readers’ Choice Recipes

Your Deacs are back and today they get to enjoy a wonderfully warm and sunny day.  It’s nearly 70, sunny, and gorgeous.  And tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the low 40s.  That’s way too much weather zigging and zagging for my taste.

Speaking of taste and the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked our readers last week to share some of their go-to meals.  I got a few very promising looking recipes – so if you are looking for a new salad, entree, or dessert, we have a few great examples at the end of this post.  Many thanks to those who submitted!

Tomorrow night is the Lighting of the Quad.  It will be on the Quad from 7-8 pm, and is described on the Events calendar as follows:  “Lighting of the Quad is time of holiday cheer and good tidings when the Wake Forest family can come together and celebrate the spirit and meaning of community.  At Lighting of the Quad, students, faculty and staff will enjoy treats, an a capella concert, student and guest speakers and the lighting of the university tree, menorah and individual candles held by all in attendance.”

Your students will want to go to this – it’s a nice way to share in the communal joy of the upcoming holiday season and be present with friends and classmates for good cheer.

Here’s the recipes from our Daily Deac reader-chefs.  Bon appetit!


Edamame Three-Bean Salad

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2  teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2  cup frozen corn (rinsed under cold water to thaw)

1 cup shelled soy beans (edamame)

1 (15-16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 scallions, cut in ½ inch slices

1/2 red pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, basil or a combination

In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil; set aside.  Combine the edamame beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, scallions, bell pepper, cilantro and basil. Gently toss in the dressing.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. 


Chopped Salad

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

1 cucumber, seeded and diced, medium

2 large tomatoes, medium diced

2/3 lb fresh mozzarella, medium diced

8-10 olives, roughly chopped

Italian salad dressing to taste

*all quantities are flexible, depending on your family’s tastes. We usually have Campari tomatoes in the winter, but grape tomatoes are also easy. We try for even proportions of cheese and cucumber and tomato and garbanzo, with olives as seasoning with the salad dressing. Simply chop, mix everything, toss with dressing and enjoy. It holds up well on a buffet table, and if there are leftovers, it’s a great sandwich filling in pita bread.


Taco Soup

2 lbs ground beef

1 onion, chopped

Brown these, together in large pot, and drain. Return to pot.


Add the following, without draining:

1 can corn

1 can hominy (optional)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can black beans

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

2 pkgs Ranch dressing mix

2 pkgs taco seasoning

Simmer 30 minutes and serve over tortilla chips with grated cheddar cheese on top.  Can add a dollop of sour cream and/or slice of avocado, if desired.  Always better the 2nd day.


Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage ( use all hot or half sweet, half hot)

1/2  tsp dried red pepper flakes   (can double for more spiciness)

1/2 cup diced onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2  tsp salt

12 oz. bow tie pasta

3 tbsp. minced fresh basil or parsley

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  After taking casings off  sausage, add sausage and peeper flakes to skillet. Cook sausage until no longer pink. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender. Add tomatoes, cream and salt.  Simmer until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.

Cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite. Drain

Bring sauce to simmer. Add cooked pasta and cook until heated through and sauce thickens…about 2 minutes. Serve with parsley and Parmesan cheese.


Judy’s Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup white wine

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 cups cooked chopped chicken  ( I cook a whole chicken in crockpot and then debone or you can use breast)

2 unbaked deep-dish pie shells

Sauté onion, celery and carrots in butter for 10 minutes.  Add flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.   Add chicken broth and half-and-half. Stir well. Add peas.  Add white wine.  Stir and cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  I also add a chicken bouillon cube sometimes when I add the broth.  Add salt, pepper and chicken. Simmer on lowest heat.

Pour chicken pie filling into one pie shell. Top with second crust. Seal edges. Prick top with fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.


French Apple Pie


Pillsbury Ready-made pie crust

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

dash of salt

5-6 thinly sliced peeled and cored apples (Golden Delicious)



1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firm butter

1/2 cup granulated brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put ready-made pie crust into 9-inch pie plate. Double the pie crust on the edges so it doesn’t burn, and press down on with a fork.  Mix all ingredients together, except the apples. Then mix the apples and put in the pie plate.

Mix together topping ingredients until crumbly and place on top of pie. If you have one of those pie crust protectors, use that so crust doesn’t burn. If not, try covering the crust (only) with aluminum foil.

Bake 30-40 minutes. During last 10 minutes of baking, remove pie crust protector or foil and cover entire pie with foil.  Best served warm. Bonus: add whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!  SERVING SIZE- 8 to 10 people


Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup canola oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat the oven to 325. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color (1 min) scraping sides as needed. On low speed, mix in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the butterscotch chips.

Scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and space cookies at least 2.5” apart. Bake the cookies until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (~16 mins). Cool on baking sheets for 5 mins, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


 — by Betsy Chapman


AMA (Ask Me Anything)

We’re winding down to the end of the semester and with Thanksgiving over and finals approaching.  Students are going to be hunkered down making the last push on papers and test prep, and as such it’s probably going to be a slow couple of news days.

ask_me_anything_reddit_logo (1)For those of you who are techno wonks, you may be aware of the website Reddit, which has a subsection called AMA (Ask Me Anything).  People go online and start a thread telling a little about themselves, then offering AMA (ask me anything).  I checked recently and saw titles like these: “I am a career waiter who clears 100k/year working in a restaurant in Beverly Hills. Ask me anything” or “I work in a psychiatric hospital AMA” etc.  So in those threads, people comment with questions, and the author responds back.

I get a fair number of one-off questions from Daily Deac readers, and thought it might be fun to offer AMA as an option.  So if you want to play along, here goes:

“I am the Daily Deac blogger, twice over alumna, and have worked at Wake Forest for 15+ years.  Ask me anything.”

If you have things you want to ask the Daily Deac, e-mail your AMA question to and I will respond here in a future Daily Deac – provided we get enough questions and they are in good taste and suitable for a web site :)


– by Betsy Chapman


Deac Family Recipes

Hopefully each of our Daily Deac readers enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, with family, much to be grateful for, and of course plenty of good food.

recipe bowlSince it’s a long holiday weekend and the office is closed – and food is on everyone’s minds – I thought it might be fun to see if we can gather some Deac Family recipes.  So today is an invitation for you to submit your favorite recipe.  Doesn’t even need to be a Thanksgiving recipe – it could be any of your favorites.   Because we all have busy lives, it may work best if you choose something that doesn’t have 1,000 rare ingredients or take hours to prep – but something that is a go-to winner for your family.

You can send your recipes in via email at (or hit ‘reply’ if you are a subscriber to the Daily Deac and you get it via email).

If we get a bunch of Deac families responding, I will put the recipes together and publish them as a future Daily Deac.

Enjoy your leftovers!


– by Betsy Chapman


happy-thanksgivingOn behalf of the Parent Programs office, we wish your family a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.

We wish you:

A table full of family, friends, and loved ones

Bellies that are full and hearts that are light

Good health and a positive spirit

A feeling of closeness with people you can’t be with today – may they feel your love from afar

Happy memories and excitement for the future

Peace, joy, love, and compassion

And as a former colleague of mine used to say “I don’t have to be rich, but please let me always have $1 more than I need”

Wishing your family all the blessings of Thanksgiving.  We are so very grateful that you have become a part of our Wake Forest family!


– by Betsy Chapman

A Letter to My Advisees

The Daily Deac is out today, getting an early start on Thanksgiving.  I sent this message to my academic advisees lastnight, and thought I’d share it with you today.

While your students are home with you, you might have your own words of wisdom you want to share with them.  Talk – and listen too.  Have those big conversations.  Connect, and reconnect, with them and their lives.  Tell them you love them unconditionally and that you’re proud of them.  That’s never the wrong answer.


All – most of you I assume are on your way home for the Thanksgiving holidays, or soon will be.  I wish you a wonderful time with family, friends, and loved ones.  May you get a lot of good food, some rest, TLC from the ones you love, and some relaxation before returning to Wake.

Once you get back, it will be a short couple of weeks until finals.  Do the best you can to prepare for finals – but not at the expense of your wellbeing.  Please take care of yourselves.  That means eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, managing your stress, and being safe and moderate in your extracurricular activities.  If you need a pep talk or a cup of coffee or moral support, please know I am here for you.  Use the resources on campus if you need support – and if you don’t know where to get help, just ask me.

In addition to taking care of yourselves, I’d urge you to take care of each other too.  Whether that is a small random act of kindness, listening to someone, offering a kind word, speaking up for someone when no one else will, or protecting someone who needs it – do whatever you can in your sphere of influence.  Make your hall/your classes/the organizations you belong to – and even Wake Forest – a better place.  Do the right thing and be kind whenever possible (and remember, it is *always* possible).

Wishing you the very best Thanksgiving and all the blessings of the holidays –



– by Betsy Chapman

Cool, Grey, and Quiet

The exodus of our students is well underway.  I took a walk around campus midday and it was cool, grey, and quiet.  The parking lots are starting to have a lot of open spaces, and you can see some students toting luggage to cars.  People look like they are ready to go home.

For those who are staying on campus, we have some updates on campus services.

Safe travels to all!