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.