Yesterday, a lot of life was breathed back into the campus. All the faculty were back preparing for classes and getting last minute preparations ready. A fair amount of students were also back. The new freshman class was getting oriented to the place and orientation leaders were running around as well, doing an excellent job I might add.
Towards the end of the day all the faculty put on their academic regalia and processed over to convocation. I have to say that I really think academia is both great and humorous in all the tradition and pageantry that goes along with it. The St. Andrew’s Pipe Band of Vermont performed the processional and recessional on the bagpipes, and it was truly something to behold.
The best speaker of the entire ceremony was clear and away Pat Robins Chairman of Symquest who was receiving the Distinguished Citizen award. He talked mainly about service to the community which is something I have been thinking about lately. I know that I would really like to get more involved making the place where I live better. He also talked about how fear is one of the only things that can stop us. It stops us from undertaking risks and new challenges. His speech was an uplifting one and I can see why he received this award.
The only unfortunate part of the whole thing was that at some points the students started talking while people were giving speeches. I can understand their excitement seeing as how they are entering a completely new phase of their life and everything they are used to has changed. I also heard that last year only a handful of the new students showed up, so I suppose this is quite the improvement. I am probably just becoming an old fuddy duddy anyway.
There was one final thing that I thought was very cool. President Dave Finney made the students a promise that if they had a 3.0 GPA by sophmore year, he would pay for their passport to study abroad. Bravo sir.
I went camping this weekend at Camel’s Hump, a mountainous state park about 25 minutes from Burlington. I didn’t actually hike to the zenith of the mountain. I am going to save that for another adventure, but it is definitely on my list. Instead I decided to try out Primitive Camping. It was a great experience going off the beaten track where there weren’t a grip of other annoying campers with their RV’s or kids or high tech doo dads. Those things have their places and can be pretty fun, but I wanted a chance to get away from it all.
I was able to do just that. In fact my Blackberry (iPhone’s are useless in VT due to no AT&T coverage) decided to quit working right as I started my trip, so I truly was out there all alone with my thoughts, a good book and nature. I actually enjoyed being disconnected for a weekend, even though I was slightly pissed I missed Barack’s text about his VP choice. Having times when you can completely unplug, even if it is just for a few hours is really important. It helps you reflect on all the information that you consume and connect more with your inner life instead of the superficial (less important) go-go-go world that we often get caught up in.
I suppose I wasn’t completely alone out there though. I did discover some bear tracks and heard some critter meander by my tent the second night. It was a little scary. Probably because it was the first time I have been camping by myself. I have camped a lot in the past because of my involvement with the Boy Scouts (I was an Eagle Scout), but have not been able to do much at all after that. I am glad that I had this opportunity to reconnect with nature and unplug. I look forward to experiencing other Vermont outdoor adventures in the near future. If any Vermonters have any suggestions I am all ears.
The Information Literacy Librarian suggested that we make READ posters from the ALA website and I immediately hopped on board. In about twenty minutes after the e-mail was sent out I had already found my books, staged my picture and created the poster. I think goofy things like this are fun. But our director also suggested that maybe we could get the president of the college to make one and we could hang it up. We also thought we could have a display of other librarians or students who would want to make posters. These all seemed like great ideas and I hope they go somewhere. I like how something as simple as a poster gets people thinking.
I also used the poster to introduce myself in the Champlain College Library blog, “Check it Out.” It is a little difficult being the new kid on the block, but I have already met a number of faculty and staff members and they all have been very welcoming so far. I look forward to the start of the semester when I will be meeting a lot more people.