Last weekend I ran to the store to pick something up, and I turned down an aisle and stopped short in shock. Gone were the patio lights, beach toys and gardening tools. Instead, orange and black Halloween trappings shouted from every shelf, rudely trying to pull me away from summer and launch me into fall.
Don’t get me wrong. I love fall and Halloween — I just don’t want to think about them in July! I am still deep in the midst of enjoying summer, and I’m not ready to give that up yet. There is still plenty of time for barbecues, beach days and sitting out on my deck. I don’t want to think about sweaters, frost and hot cider right now. Let me savor my summer while the days are still hot.
I love a hot Michigan summer. There’s nothing like heading out to one of our beautiful Great Lakes, throwing a towel down on the soft sand and soaking up some sun. The water is often cold, but that never stops me from taking a dip in the beautiful, blue waters.
Unfortunately, those waters are also tempting to destructive invasive species that threaten the health of our lakes. Luckily, Spartans are on the job and finding ways to protect our water. Currently, researchers are targeting the grass carp population in Lake Erie hoping to limit its spread to the other Great Lakes by using an electronic tagging method.
Another thing I love about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available at markets and roadside stands all over the state. I have voracious deer in my backyard, so the best I can do is grow a couple of tomato and basil plants on my deck. The deer are smart, but they haven’t figured how to get up the stairs yet.
Lauren Sawyer, a junior studying environmental studies and sustainability, is spending her summer working in urban agriculture in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit as part of her internship with the MSU-Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning and Innovation. Check out her Student view: Interning in urban agriculture to learn more about her experience harvesting crops in Motown.
When people learn I work at MSU, they sometimes ask if I get summers off. Nope…we’re working hard all summer long to prepare for all that comes with fall. While there may be a lot fewer students on campus, fewer classes being taught and a few more vacations being taken, there is still a lot of hard work going on during the lazy, hazy days of summer.
Experts like Michele Brock, the community programs director for the School of Social Work, are hard at work. She oversees five of the school’s social service programs. Read her Faculty voice: Social justice in action to learn more about her work and her exploration of negative stereotypes and myths that harm people with disabilities.
And everyone is preparing to have an incredible fall semester where we will finally get to be together again on campus.
I am looking forward to fall and the excitement that a new school year brings. I will be thrilled to see people on campus again in classrooms, residence halls, dining facilities, performance spaces, the stadium and on athletic fields.
But for now, I’m going to stick in the present and enjoy the summer around me. If you want to do the same, you should check out the latest weekly photo gallery for some lovely shots of campus.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing so I’m going to enjoy the beauty of the season for quite a bit longer. I’m not trading in my lemonade for a pumpkin spice latte until at least Labor Day.
I’m taking a lesson from Buddha who said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Revel in the moment. #SpartansWill
Photo by Derrick L. Turner