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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BRRRRRRRaving the Cold!

An Arctic blast stifling the nation has penetrated the Trinity Bubble. Temperatures that are below freezing have led to rolling state-mandated (sounds eastern European) black-outs. By mid-day the San Antonio area, including TU, has dealt with three such interruptions. The Crisis Management Team met in the morning and decided since there were no health and safety issues (icy roads) that school would remain open and that professors would decide individually if they could instruct their classes depending on when the black-outs occurred. Most schools and businesses seem to be taking similar approaches.

I am pleased to report that there have been minimal issues under the circumstances and the faculty, staff, students, and parents are taking the situation in stride. Pictured above is a student in the Commons preparing to go back outside after a meal in the dark. The power went off around lunch time and students who had purchased their meals were able to eat. The serving lines close during the 20 minute outages because the registers stop working. Those already in line can have their meal card information taken manually. If the power were out longer, then all of the students would be managed this way.

A packed audience from around the city was on campus for a presentation by Dr. Christine Drennon as part of the Food for Thought lunch/lecture series. The program was conducted, in part anyways, in the dark, and without Power Point. The professor rocked it anyways.

This is as close as our students get to a snow day. It is nice to have a break in the action and something else to focus on. Reverend Nickle has been wanting us to have a "Technology Sabbath," which would be a voluntary holiday from our gadgets. This is getting us there, though students can still text during the black-outs. Our students would still prefer we just call it a day, in spite of reports we may need to deal with this for several days. Witness this actual e-mail exchange between me and a student:

In light of the recent power outages, which have deactivated my alarm clock, and the numbingly cold weather that nobody is prepared for... Why aren't classes cancelled again?

Uhhh. You are from Alaska.

Hahahaha foiled again. I tried.

Kendra really IS from Anchorage! And today, I think we all feel as though we are too.


Lindsay said...

You know, I think Kendra really had something there. Besides the epic alarm clock failure, as a result of Snow(ish)mageddon 2011 and its consequent lack of power, I was not only unable to dry, but also curl my hair this morning. I ask you, Dean Tuttle, how can you expect me to go to class when my hair is limp and lifeless? These are the questions that haunt me.

Ulises Pastran said...

I'm really happy to hear that people in Coates had their meal card information taken manually, if they were already standing in line. This sadly didn't happen at Mabee dining hall. Students were just asked to move into the tables area and wait until the power came back. This is the one time I really with I would have stayed at Coates for lunch.

Zawacki said...

"No, it's cool, I don't need to dry my hair so that it doesn't get frozen solid. And I can totally still see the blackboard when there aren't any lights on. And I definitely don't need to be able to get coffee or food during my lunch break. You're right, Trinity, we should totally still have class today." - one of many facebook statuses seen today.

David Tuttle said...


In our defense, cancelling classes for what could be several days would mean adding classes spring break or May. Keeping things rolling now seems like a better idea.

I suggest we all just agree to give one another a pass on how our hair looks. Lindsay, I have seen you on early morning runs with no make-up and bad hair and you are still just lovely in your natural state. Ulises, now I know how to track you down: Turn off your meal card. Z- Facebook feedback does not good policy make. I would be in Farmville otherwise.

Ulises Pastran said...

Luckily enough there is a kitchen only a few steps from my room, and although my cooking skills are right about par, I would still be able to feed myself. Good try though :)

Alaska Momster said...

Nice try Kendra...I guess His Deanness has all bases covered with any excuse that comes his way.
As a true Alaskan (whose polar bear skin has obviously worn thin over your last 3 years at TU) one would think you would be enjoying the unexpected's a reminder for you from back home.

Now that is COLD - hot coffee doesn't stand a chance.

I may not be able to see Russia from here but I can see you getting to class tomorrow....on time too! ;)

Happy Groundhog Day
Momster love from Alaska

TU Career Services Team said...

Yesterday's high in Anchorage was 35 - Just saying