Friday, November 27, 2020 | Category: Eduvation Insider
It’s another Friday at the end of another long week. (Maybe the weeks just feel longer because the days are shorter here in Canada, and the temperatures have been falling along with the white stuff.) It’s late Thursday night as I write this issue, and I’m going to keep it short and sweet. (Well, as sweet as I can muster… with some help from uVic!)
Today I highlight some more ramifications of the bursting Atlantic bubble, from athletics to winter break travel plans, and a groundswell of institutions extending their winter holiday break to boost the wellness of students, staff and faculty alike.
Plus I share a feel-good forward-looking initiative from Brandon University, and invite you all to participate in your own way…
CdnPSE reported at least 10 new cases yesterday…
Durham College reported another unrelated case of COVID19 at its Oshawa campus. (28 so far this fall.) DC
Nipissing U reports that a COVID19 outbreak involving its athletics centre has grown from 6 to 14 cases. One is a student in residence, who has been moved into a quarantine suite. (All active cases in the North Bay Parry Sound district are connected with the university.) CBC
uWaterloo reported a new case of COVID19 on campus yesterday. (11 so far this fall.) UW
Changes in provincial restrictions have CdnPSEs scrambling to adjust. Many have closed recreation facilities and dining rooms, or extended the winter break to accommodate potential self-isolation periods. Students planning to head home for the break may have unexpected quarantine requirements upon return…
Atlantic U Sport announced the inevitable Wednesday: it will not proceed with a 2021 winter season, although it will allow “member-driven” competition. Global
Dalhousie U (like many others) is reminding employees and students that, with the collapse of the Atlantic bubble, residents of the 4 provinces (and beyond) will need to self-isolate when travelling. They offer tips and precautions. Dal
Holland College is encouraging students to remain in PEI over the winter break, since students who live on campus will need to find alternate accommodations to self-isolate upon their return (now that the Atlantic bubble is gone until at least Dec 7). The first 2 weeks of classes in January will be delivered online to accommodate those in isolation, followed by a blended approach. CBC
Mount Allison U announced yesterday that the remainder of the fall term will be completed online due to the increase in COVID19 cases in Atlantic Canada. (NB withdrew from the Atlantic Bubble yesterday.) MtA
I’ve been ignoring a deluge of announcements about shuffling exam dates and semester start/stop dates, but clearly it’s at least worth noting that the pandemic has sparked another form of compassionate policy change: more and more institutions coast to coast have been extending the winter break, recognizing that students, faculty and staff are all stretched and stressed, and could use the time to recuperate (or quarantine)…
uAlberta (like innumerable others) has decided to delay the start of the Winter 2021 term by a week, until Jan 11. (This aligns with the restart of K-12 classes in Alberta.) UA
uVic is considering extending the winter break, in response to a student petition with more than 1,500 signatures. Concordia, Laurier, uToronto and uWaterloo have already made the change, and UBC’s president is reportedly supportive of the idea too. The Martlet
McMaster U is delaying the start of classes, as is Western U, Laurentian, Carleton, UQAM, uSherbrooke, Mount Allison, Acadia and StFX. CBC
Forward-looking is of course the default perspective for a futurist, but I’ve mentioned before that my take on the pandemic has been pretty consistently pessimistic (which is why my forecasts have been largely accurate). But a forward-looking pessimist may forget to take time to “look forward” – to reflect hopefully on the better future that lies ahead.
Now granted, I have been collecting hundreds of ideas on the subject, but somehow the crush of negative pandemic news keeps pushing the optimism to a back burner. I have been trying to keep the mood lighter on Fridays, as we head into the weekend, and the folks at Brandon U are here to help!
What Do You #LookForwardTo?
Yesterday, Brandon U launched a social campaign that is not just “future-focused” but also radiates positivity: it asks members of the BU community to share the things they #LookForwardTo when this pandemic is finally over. “These are tough times. But thinking positively about the future, and setting goals, can help us manage stress and anxiety in the present.” The campaign is being led by the BU Status of Women Review Committee, and recognizes that COVID19 has disproportionately affected women – emotionally, economically, on the front lines, supporting young children and preparing for the holidays. “Focusing on the future can help us get through the tough patches today by remembering that better days lie ahead.” BU
Contribute to a Quick Poll
No question, it’s healthy for us to spend a few minutes in reflection each day, counting our blessings and nurturing an “attitude of gratitude.” (It’s been proven to improve mental wellness and happiness.) But I’d like to encourage you to consider how you would like to answer this question too.
I’m pretty sure the good folks at Brandon U won’t mind if you contribute to their social campaign by using the hashtag #LookForwardTo on your favourite social channels, but I’d like to try something a little different too.
I’ve created one of my infamous real-time online polls for you, my faithful reader, to contribute an answer. It should be active now, and I’ll leave it up through Nov 29 2020:
You will notice you can enter your own sentence, but you can also “vote up” other answers you especially like. (Let’s be kind and not vote anybody down, OK?)
I look forward to seeing what you all come up with. It can be personal, or professional, or some of both – you can answer more than once if you like. I’ll get it started with one of my own (you’ll have to guess which one!).
Only AFTER you have taken a minute to answer the poll, here’s a lighthearted vid released by uVic this week…
University Budget Recipe
In the lead-up to Giving Tuesday on Dec 1, uVic theatre student Justin Little shares a delicious cookie recipe that seems just a pinch metaphorical. “The secret to a world-class university like uVic is to use the right mix of funding!” Donors, of course, are the sweetest ingredient, and donations on Giving Tuesday are the sprinkles on top. And like YouTube videos, “cookies are made for sharing.” (Oh, and for every view the video receives between now and Dec 1, uVic’s Giving Tuesday sponsors will donate $2.) YouTube
(If you’ve read this far, you can see why I thought it was appropriate to use the cookie masthead twice this week.)
I hope your Friday goes swiftly, and you have a wonderful and safe weekend!
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