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Snow Day!

Today campus is closed, Deac families.  Take a look at the Quad Cam and you can see why.  (Note: the Quad Cam is best viewed on a desktop, not a mobile device.  We’re having a glitch with the mobile users we’re trying to fix, bear with us.)

It’s been a little difficult to judge just how much snow came down yesterday.  From the vantage point of my house, the deck rail looked like it had maybe 5-6 inches by dinnertime.  However, much of lastnight was a sleet event, and you could hear the sleet clicking against the windows – sometimes with a nice roaring wind to accompany it.  Therefore, the snow got tapped down a bit by the sleet.

This morning has been a solid, heavy snow.  It is coming down in big, chunky flakes now.  And if yesterday’s snow seemed to be finer and not a wet, snowball-packing snow, today’s looks like it might be better for snowballs and snowmen.

ARAMARK/Campus Dining has announced some abbreviated dining hours due to weather, but rest assured your students will still be able to get food in the Pit.

Hope you are warm, dry, and safe wherever you are.  Right now what I wouldn’t give to be in sunny California!

It’s Coming

There is no doubt about it.  Snow is coming.  The only questions remaining are “exactly when?” and “how much?”  The Weather Channel is predicting 6-10 inches of snow, but we are still seeing some variations in accumulations.  So right now we are playing the waiting game.

As of first thing this morning, classes are on as scheduled.  Should there be a need to cancel classes or work on a different time schedule, those weather announcements are made in a number of ways.  Your students should keep an eye on their email and the WFU web site.  Be assured that campus has seen snow many times before and we do a good job ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible.

Some of you have been keeping an eye on the Quad Cam to see what campus looks like.  I’ve heard from a couple of you (particularly on mobile devices or tablets) that in recent days the picture was not always coming through live.  We’ve relayed that message to our tech folks and they are looking into it, so we appreciate your patience.

One of the most fun traditions of snowstorms on campus has gone the way of the dinosaur.  In the 80s and 90s, when you went to the Pit to eat, you got a cafeteria tray to carry your food.  (For sustainability reasons and avoiding water waste, we don’t do trays anymore).  But back in the day, students ‘borrowed’ the trays and used them for sleds.  There was a great hill between Carswell and Calloway Hall (which is now the site of a building, Greene Hall) where we used to sled, typically at night.  The Pit trays at some point would get buried in the snow, and we’d lose track of them.  So then days later when all the snow melted, the grassy areas all over campus were littered with trays.  It was a really funny image.

Stay warm and dry, Deac families!

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Finally, we have one other item to share with you.  The Daily Deac was contacted late yesterday by a Spanish class here who is looking to do a project for Valentine’s Day.   There is a limited opportunity to have this group deliver a rose to your student on Friday.  I talked to one of the organizers to try and gauge their plans for inclement weather and such, and she assured me that they were going to deliver these flowers snow or no snow.

So I am passing this along to you on behalf of Spanish 380.  This is the first time they have planned and organized such a project, so I can’t say I have ever used their service or seen how they work.  But because they were in a pinch to try and reach families, I said I’d give them a shout out in the blog.  The details they have provided are below should you be interested.

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Hello Fellow Wake Forest Parents!

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away! Many of you may have already sent packages, cards, and goodies. But for those parents who have not had the time or opportunity, NOT TO WORRY!

We are the SPN 380 Class offering you the opportunity to purchase DOOR DELIVERY OF FLOWERS to your child.

ORDER NOW while supply last. Only 50 red and 50 pink roses are available!

 

Why are some of the reasons you might consider getting a rose your student?

- It’s Valentine’s Day and you want to make sure your child feels the love

- Gifts make everyone feel happy and special

-It will make your child’s day and be an incentive to call home and thank you

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How does it work?

Click on this link http://www.floresforest.com/. Next, click on the “flores” tab. Upon selecting from one of our service packages, each customer has the opportunity to write a special message and select the delivery day. SNOW or NO SNOW, we will deliver. It’s a really thoughtful gift and just a few clicks of love away!

How can parents sign their students up for Flores in the Forest?

Parents and students can find more information and order from our website http://www.floresforest.com

 

Still uncertain about logistics?

You can contact the class professor Dr. Alan Jose at josea@wfu.edu or Clark Scroggin at scrocc11@wfu.edu.

 

We’re Playing “Guess How Much Snow?”

Greetings from campus, Deac families!  Your students got to see a bunch of snow yesterday, though none of it stuck to the ground.  It started snowing early – big, chunky flakes at first, and then it tapered off to smaller flakes throughout the day.  At times it was more drizzle than snow.

And like so much of the rest of the country, we are getting wildly varying reports of what kind of issues that Snowstorm Pax will bring us.  We are hearing everything from 1-3 inches with possibility of some ice on top of it, to 8-12 inches.  If you are from the North or the Midwest (or any part of the country that is used to dealing with a lot of snow), the prospect of 8-12 inches would perhaps not be a Major Event, but it sure will be in Winston-Salem if it happens.  Just an inch or two of snow routinely closes K-12 schools for days, so if we get The Big One there will be a lot of impact for those of us with young kids.

The good news is that campus is well-equipped and we have a fantastic Facilities department that works to salt sidewalks and plow campus roads, etc.  The difficulty we face as a small city in the South is that we do not have a small army of salt trucks and plows to get rid of the snow.  So if it really does come in the 8-12″ variety, it will be interesting commuting for a few days.

Last time I checked, it looked like the beginning of the snow could be sometime on Wednesday.  Looks like there could be some snow starting late morning, with another big wave at night.  For students on campus, they might wish to stock up on a few foodstuffs in their residence halls if they don’t want to venture out to the Pit or other eateries in the snow.  For those seniors living off campus, they might wish to make sure they have enough food in their refrigerators in case they need to hunker down for a day or two.

As a reminder, if there is a weather event that would require classes to be delayed or canceled, we announce that in a number of ways.  Please tell your students to be attentive to their email and/or the WFU web site.  And of course above all to be safe.

If we do get an enormous snow and classes are cancelled, do yourself a favor and check out the Quad Cam.  There are few things more fun than watching ‘grown up’ children playing in the snow like they were young kids again.   You might witness an epic snowball fight, or the makings of creative and amazing snowmen.  In college, just like in elementary school, snow days can make the students giddy.  And especially when you have students from Texas or Arizona or California or Florida who have never seen snow in their hometowns, it is a thing of beauty to watch them play in a really big snow.

Wherever you are, Deac families, we hope that you fare well in this storm.  We’ve heard about plenty of snow and ice related misery this year, both those to the north and south of Winston-Salem.  May you all keep your power and be safe!

 

Friday at Zick’s

20130820zicks10354I had a meeting on Friday afternoon at Zick’s, the on-campus pizza/pool/pub spot.  As we sometimes do at the Daily Deac, here is an impressionistic view of the 20ish minutes I had to peoplewatch and observe.

I see:

- One student at a the high bar by the windows, studying.  Though there were tall chairs there, he was standing up doing his reading.  He was wearing a white hat with what looked like the Wake name on it.

- Both pool tables are in use.  Two groups of two male students, casually dressed.

- Out the window,  there is a group of students mid-Quad who are filming something.  A blonde girl and a dark haired guy appear to be the crew, and the girl appears to be the one in charge.  There are three guys in North Face jackets and decent khaki type pants who are the subjects of the film.  [During the time I am there, the three guys leave and the girl and guy crew move the camera to a couple of different spots on the Quad to get B-roll.]

- Lots of good fashion peoplewatching.  There is a young man in a navy peacoat, and I find myself wishing for more peacoats on campus.  Really a style that suits almost anyone.  Girls – not surprisingly – are sporting a lot of tall boots, but I see the occasional short boot.  It’s still cold enough where some girls are wearing scarves, but they are loosely tied – more for fashion than warmth.

- Dogs.  During my time I saw what looked like a mother and elementary school son walking an adult German Shepherd and a small black puppy (a lab?)  Also saw a female student walking a dog that looked like a Bichon Frise.

- Three TVs in Zicks, all tuned in to sports stations (2 ESPN variations and a CBS Sports).  I am surprised the Sochi Olympics are nowhere to be seen.

- Sunlight.  It’s weak, as there are thin, stringy clouds in the sky.  Still, after all this cold weather, I’ll take the sun any way I can get it.

- Sudden bursts of people as it gets closer to 1:55 after 1:00 classes ended.  The traffic picks up for a few minutes then dissipates.

- A young woman enters with a to-go green recyclable Pit container.  She sits at the high bar, puts her head on the container, and appears to fall asleep.

 

I hear:

- Piped in music.  My Shazam app tells me that one of the songs is Shakira’s “Can’t Remember to Forget You” (featuring Rihanna).  The musical choices are largely peppy and upbeat.

- An overheard conversation that had kind of a grad-school feel to it.  A guy and a girl speaking, and they were covering subjects that seemed more academic and mature than the typical Friday afternoon visit.

- From a distance, the chatter of the staff working at Zick’s in the kitchen/ordering area.  Generally it’s pretty quiet.

- An enthusiastically loud “Que Tal?” in Spanish as a new group of students comes in and spots people they know.  They slide into a booth.

- The sharp crack! of the cue ball as one of the pool playing groups breaks.  Followed by softer, more subtle finesse strikes as they try to sink the balls.

 

I smell:

- Pizza.  It is not an overwhelming greasy smell, more an appealing and faint whiff of pizza dough.

- Cool fresh air as the front door opens and people walk in or out.

 

I feel:

- Smooth table surface, dotted with a few crumbs I brush off before my meeting guests arrive.

- Quick, cold bursts of wind as the doors open and close.

 

I taste:

- Regrettably, nothing.  It was a post-lunch meeting.  I can say, though, the pizza smelled really good.

 

That’s the view from the afternoon.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Fall Family Weekend 2014

Mark your calendars, Deac families (who are not seniors).  The date for Fall Family Weekend 2014 was just announced yesterday.  It will be held October 24-26, 2014.  If all goes according to plan, that will be optimal fall foliage time, so in addition to coming down and seeing your Deacs, you can hopefully also see the foothills of NC at their most spectacular.

It will be many months before we have a full Family Weekend schedule of events.  Family Weekend is planned and executed by Student Union, the major programming organization at Wake Forest.  They typically announce the schedule for the weekend and open registration in mid-July.  Of course, as soon as more information is available, we will post it on the Parents’ Page and link you to the Student Union website.

Speaking of big events, seems like a lot of buzz right now about the Sochi Olympic games starting.  I have not been able to find mention of any Wake Forest alumni competing at Sochi – but I did find this fun connection between alumni and the Jamaican Bobsled Team.  If you aren’t a regular peruser of the Wake Forest Magazine online web site, you should bookmark it.  From time to time they have “web exclusives” and this is one of them:  ‘Cool Runnings,’ part 2 – Deacon fans help Jamaican bobsled team return to the Olympics.

As always, Friday is “Black and Gold Friday” and we hope you are showing your WFU spirit by wearing black and/or gold clothes (or even better, official WFU gear).  Hope you have a great weekend, Deac families!

 

Wake ‘N Shake

20120324dance7334Wake ‘N Shake is coming March 22nd and I hope your students are marking their calendars now to participate.   Here’s some background information about this event from their place on the WFU website:

“The Wake ‘N Shake Dance Marathon at Wake Forest University is an annual 12-hour event benefiting the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive. Wake Forest students stay awake and on their feet for the entire 12-hours to raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Dancers participate in a variety of fun activities such as crazy games and competitions, a group line dance and enjoy entertainment by musicians, dance groups and other student and community organizations. Cancer survivors and families/friends of cancer victims inspire dancers by sharing their testimonies throughout the event. Dancers are faced with both mental and physical challenges in an effort to symbolize the obstacles faced by those diagnosed with cancer. Wake ‘n Shake was started by students in the spring of 2006 with 300 dancers raising over $30,000. In the Spring of 2012 over 1000 dancers raised $105,000 towards the Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive.”

There is a new Wake ‘N Shake promo video that is a blast, and gives a hint of the kind of fun your students can have at this event.  And there is a standalone Wake ‘N Shake website with a blog, pictures, information on how to participate, and more.  I would particularly commend to you their About Us page, which says very eloquently why our students are so passionate about supporting Wake ‘N Shake and cancer research and support.

Wake ‘N Shake is good clean fun.  What 18-22 year old doesn’t like a late night party, dancing, and music?  But it is also a fine example of how students can play very meaningful roles and develop important skills outside the classroom that will help them for the rest of their lives:

For those who are organizing the event, they have the opportunity to help learn about websites, advertising across various platforms (word of mouth, flyers, web, etc.), how to manage volunteers, event planning, teamwork, delegation, and more.

For those participating on teams, they are exercising school spirit, supporting their friends and classmates whose lives are touched by cancer, becoming more educated about healthcare issues, and more.

And the end goal is a good and just one – to help raise money for cancer research and support.

As with Hit the Bricks, this is one of the prime events of the year to exercise our Pro Humanitate muscles.  Encourage your students to put on their dancing shoes and get involved.  They can help be #superdeacs this year.

On Resilience and Doing the Hard Things

Here at the Daily Deac we try to keep an eye on articles that are about college life and student development.  Both of these were fluttering across my Facebook feed this weekend, and while these two articles are not specific to college students, the titles alone spoke to me:  ”Emotional Resilience: What Makes the Difference Between Surviving & Thriving?” and “You Have to Do the Hard Things.”

As with everything else, read these with your normal filter.  Some of these ideas might appeal, others not.

Let’s start with the idea of doing the hard things.  Wake Forest students are highly aware of the idea of success.  It took a lot of work to get into Wake, and our students are largely a very driven group and focused on outcomes and accolades.  For some of them, it can be daunting to be among a group of their ‘success peers’ – people who are just as [insert adjective here - smart, accomplished, good looking, talented] as they are.   For others, they might see that a high tide rises all boats, and being among the very best helps them rise to the occasion.

Early in their tenure here, many students find that they have to ramp up their work and study habits to have the academic success they want.  They are learning that they do have to do some of the “Hard Things” that this article discusses.  Two of them might be especially unpleasant to this success-oriented student body:  ”You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot” and “You have try and fail and try again.”

While I disagree with the use of the word ‘idiot,’ I do agree that every student will make mistakes (just like we adults do!) and that we have to fail and try again.  Those moments stink, you and I both know that.  No one relishes them.  But the way we respond to those failures and ‘teachable moments’ can help us be better tomorrow and the next day.

In those moments of stress, pressure, or failure (whether they come from grades, assignments, finding a path to a career, romantic relationships, etc.), there are campus resources that offer support (Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, Academic Advising, and so many more).  But it helps to have some internal support as well, and that is where the idea of emotional resilience can come into play.

This article talks about ways that all of us can help cultivate the resilience we need to get through difficult times.   The ideas are not revolutionary – be connected, be present, be positive, give back, be kind to yourself.

Do these articles have any relevance?  Might they make a difference to your student or others?  I am not sure I am sold on all the “Hard Things” (some of them seem a bit extreme).  Hard work does tend to pay great dividends or reap great rewards.   And there should be a delicate balance between aiming to give your best effort and not expecting perfection, which none of us can achieve.  What is the right balance between happiness and success?  Is it in being resilient?

We welcome your thoughts and reactions at parents@wfu.edu.

 

Happy 180th Birthday to Mother So Dear!

wfubday 1The week may be starting on a rainy note, but this is a week for celebrations nonetheless.  Wake Forest is having a birthday this week!  Mother So Dear (as she is lovingly called in our alma mater song) turns 180 this week, and I think she wears that age with grace and distinction.

180bdayposterWe are honoring Wake Forest’s birthday in a number of ways this week, and your students can have some fun and free food.

You can help us today by wishing Wake Forest a happy birthday on any of your social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Use the hashtag #wfubday when you post!  It would be great if we had a lot of Wake Forest families joining in on the action – you are an important part of life at WFU!

So urge your students to get in the spirit this week as we celebrate Wake Forest’s past, present, and future!

Wake City

Today was pretty much back to normal on the weather front.  The snow is 100% gone in places that see a lot of sun; the north side of Farrell Hall still had snow on the ground, since the sun had not gotten to that side of the building yet.  But it is a lot warmer and I expect to be back to soggy wet ground in a number of hours.

I am on a number of distro lists for various organizations on campus, and today I received an email looking for participants in a weekend activity that might be really eye opening and engaging.  If this sounds like something your student would be interested in, please pass it on to him or her.  In addition to learning something about unemployment and government assistance, your students could make some new acquaintances if they attend.

“Hello Volunteer Community!

Next Saturday, February 8th, we are hosting an interactive poverty simulation, Wake City. We will give each participant a unique identity and they will navigate through a mock government assistance program. This event should be incredibly rewarding and a great way to become more educated on a system so prevalent in our country.

WE WANT YOU TO PARTICIPATE!

The event will last from 1-2:30 in the fourth floor of Benson. The game will be followed by a reflection where we will discuss the shortcomings of the system and propose ways we think it could fixed. We will include members of the Winston-Salem community who participate in this system in various ways in our discussion. ”

More information and registration available online.

This is an example of learning outside the classroom that can help inform your students’ opinions about real world issues.  It may help spur their thinking on solutions to unemployment, increase their understanding of and/or compassion for those going through it, or just provide some great food for thought.

 

 

Pictures of the Day

Campus is opening on a delayed schedule today – 10 am, to allow people to get to work.  The snow began to melt yesterday in parts; depending on whether you are looking at a sunny spot or shady, you might have snow or just really wet muddy grass.

Our excellent University Photographer, Ken Bennett, braved the elements to get some shots of the snow as it came down on Tuesday.  Hope you enjoy these views of campus.

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