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Kopp's Weekly - Fall Is Officially Here‏

Kopp's Weekly -  Fall Is Officially Here‏

Are you ready to spring into fall?

Dear Students,

Fall is officially here — yesterday was the autumnal equinox, the date when astronomers tell us the Earth's tilted axis points neither toward nor away from the Sun and the day and night are equal in length. That's always a surprise to me, as we've been in class for three weeks now and for many that lifeguarding job is a distant memory. Historically, festivals marked the passage from summer in to fall by expressing gratitude for a good harvest that ensures the well-being of families heading in to winter. For those of us who grew up in suburbs and cities, perhaps, it's difficult to identify with such gratitude, but hopefully we can substitute gratitude for our own fortunes.

As we head in to midterms, it's easy to lose sight of gratitude. But may I suggest that gratitude turns the proverbial half-emptied glass to half-full. On top of the many and very real challenges each of us faces, each of us may be reminded of the positive things we treasure and the people who make us happy. Gratitude can turn a focus on our problems to an appreciation of this magic place of a university, where exploration is encouraged and challenges help us learn to become stronger. Thank others who make differences in our lives. As a scientist, I have even tried to feel grateful for epic failures in the lab, because they point out the need for entirely different thinking. A lovely song on this theme comes from Susan Werner.

I know that we are all heading in to midterms, but if that space opens up in your mind, give thought to the subjects you get to master and the path you get to walk on.

Best wishes for the coming week,
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education,
College of Natural Sciences

PS: The College of Natural Sciences' fall festival is Natural Sciences Week October 1-5 run by your student group, the Natural Sciences Council. Events during NS week include a kickoff event on Monday 5-7pm on the East Mall, Tuesday's faculty talk about cyber-security opportunities and a tour of the Texas Advanced Computing Center Visualization Lab and a 6-8pm fair about Study Abroad Opportunities, Wednesday's 5-6:30 Student-Faculty Quiz Bowl and also a 7-9pm Star Party at the RLM observatory, Thursday's 6:30-8pm "Look to Land the Job" event co-sponsored by the Career Design Center, and Friday's 12-1pm lunch with the Dean's Scholars and also a presentation 3-5pm on "Roads to Research" co-sponsored with the Science Undergraduate Research Group (SURGe). Remember, that's not this coming week but the week after (10/1--10/5) and more details will be forthcoming. See the complete calendar here.

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Friday, 20 May 2022

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