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Kopp's Weekly - Getting ready for Spring Semester

Kopp's Weekly - Getting ready for Spring Semester

Finding and building communities is essential to the good college life.

Dear Students,


I hope you enjoyed a much-needed rest over the holiday. I enjoyed reading and catching up with extended family. My daughter seems to be making up for her "Vitamin Glee" deficiency by watching as many back-episodes as imaginable. Though life always seems easier on TV, especially in musicals, the Glee show grew on me as it celebrates a diverse set of geeks.

The show's recent plot reminded me of my first holiday break in freshman year. I hadn't made a lot of good friends yet in college, and my return to my hometown to reconnect with old high school friends didn't turn out to be everything I'd hoped for. I returned back to my college campus with some trepidation, hoping to find peers to hang out with, but not yet really connecting with the right group. For me, the solution came finding a group who like relished the campus classic film society, running down to Orchestra Hall to hunt for last-minute tickets to the Chicago Symphony, and rummaging through record stores for second hand LPs (a preoccupation my crowded living room still suffers from to this day). For others, it was science clubs, debate teams, etc, but thankfully I found a good fit that Spring.

I have been thinking a lot about community since the heartbreaking news of Newtown. It is sobering how 27 lives touch so many people and how far-reaching is the township's loss. I had similar reactions during our own campus-wide evacuation scare in September. As we all left campus, my feelings were about all the people I was running in to in halls, on the sidewalk in the rain, and reconnecting with students I'd had in class the previous summer.  I gave thanks for my community and all of you, who form the environment in which I get to contribute and receive so much. This semester, I hope each of you forms or strengthens your own community. Your true peers are those who will celebrate with you when you are up, listen when you are down, and work with you each step of the way as you grow.  Check out student organizations, explore, and find your community.

Best wishes as you finish out your holiday break, and safe travels as you return,
---Dr. Kopp

PS:  The Natural Sciences Council, your College-wide student organization, seeks your input. Monthly it puts out the Catalyst, a student online newspaper.  It seeks your input on what makes for useful and interesting content, and through what media you best like to receive information from and about the College and UT.  Please take a moment and fill out their survey.

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Friday, 22 October 2021

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