A week ago, I finally renewed my gym membership after putting it on hold during the pandemic. While I do love the workout facilities and the classes, I was most excited to get back to the gorgeous pool. For years, except for 2020, it's been a happy place for me every summer. Now, fully vaccinated, I was ready to get back into the swim of things.
And then the rain came. And then more rain came. And then torrential downpours that flooded the streets and bent the trees came. And then tornado warnings came that had me scurrying to the basement with two dogs and a portable phone charger. My basement is a storage area, not a lower-level living area, but at least we had just restocked the wine cellar.
The entire weather forecast for the area was rain, rain, thunderstorms, more rain, thunderstorms and more rain for as far out as the predictions went. It was gloomy, sticky, sweaty and pretty depressing for days on end. It’s still in the forecast. My grass and garden are fully watered so the rain can go away any time now. Yet, even with all that rain, there are some beautiful campus images in this week’s photo gallery.
Though I am truly grateful that while inconvenient, the weather has not been dangerous for me. I hope all in the Pacific Northwest and in other areas in danger are staying safe.
It’s felt a little like Groundhog Day seeing the same forecast every morning when I wake up, but I do see a glimmer of hope for the holiday weekend, so I’ll focus on that.
And, what else can I do? I can’t control the weather or a whole lot of other things. Rain happens and life throws us curve balls. All we can do is put on a raincoat and keep swinging.
Sometimes, after a particularly bad season, the sun comes out and things look bright again. There’s no doubt we’ve all had a really bad season for more than a year, but thanks to vaccinations and other efforts, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s shining on a more typical, in-person fall semester. Mask rules have been mostly lifted on campus, and things are moving toward more normal. Learn more in President Stanley’s recent letter to the campus community.
Fall activities are already being planned. The College of Music has announced its return to the stage, and I can’t wait to give performers standing ovations in person.
But first, I’m going to enjoy my Michigan summer. After all this rain, I’m guessing those pesky mosquitos will be out and looking for blood. I am a magnet for them, so I’m glad we have a researcher who has everything we need to know about mosquito-borne diseases.
In addition to the pool, I’ve got plans for exploring some of Michigan’s lakes, rivers and scenic areas this summer. Good to know that MSU scientists aren’t giving up on studying invasive zebra mussels and the damage they do and examining whether Michigan’s landforms are at risk of erosion. Did you see that scary video of part of the Pictured Rocks falling into Lake Superior?
It’s great to see people slowly and surely making their way back to campus. While exciting, it will also be an adjustment for students, faculty and staff as we figure out another new normal.
Leslie Gonzales, an associate professor of education, is an expert in the experiences of college and university professors, so I’m certain she’ll be studying how higher ed instructors pivot yet again. Read her Faculty voice: Centering equity in academia, to learn more about her work.
As we wrap up June and Pride Month, Ronald Moore, retired Hewlett Packard HR exec and graduate of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, says he benefited from the courage of those before him and that, “Each generation should carry the ball a little bit forward.” Read an interview with him to learn more about his coming-out journey.
As I look out my window now, I see a little sunshine. I’m going to take that as a good sign of things to come. I know not every day can be perfect and sometimes the rain is needed. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Into each life some rain must fall.” There’s been plenty in my life lately, but I’ve no doubt the sunny days are just around the corner. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner