Dean's Blog

Summer Synergy

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Campus activity is picking up considerably as preparations for the fall semester are well underway with Corps of Cadets leadership and athletic teams are scheduled to arrive in days. The CGCS team is also busy preparing for fall classes and I know our current students are working hard to complete their summer courses and take one step closer to their degree. Keep up the good work but also be sure to enjoy the remainder of the summer.

Many of us are still riding high on a successful residency conference and wonderful time together on campus. I was impressed with our student and faculty presentations, roundtables, and panels and am already planning for residency 2015. Our conference was highlighted by a great talk and question-answer session with Dr. Condoleezza Rice. If you have not seen some of the articles about the event take look at several we have posted on the CGCS website, authored by fellow 2014 graduate Ron J. Jackson, Jr. I have received many favorable comments on the quality and insightfulness of questions our graduates asked during the session. Great work everybody! 

On the home front I continue to hope for an extended summer but despite the current warmth the inexorable orbit of the earth means we are noticeably heading into shorter days and cooler weather ahead. Of course in the North Country this means preparing your heating fuel for next winter; for many in Vermont that means “putting up wood.” In my experience the annual ritual may take several forms but is best considered something to attack slowly and progressively throughout the year rather than in a hurried attempt to cut, split, and stack wood as the snow begins to fall! Of course a good “wood man” is like a dear friend if you are not harvesting your own wood.

I have an abundance of trees that were felled by a past storm as well as my own hand as we clear the area around a building site for a cabin. Having lived through a severe storm last year with trees falling around us while in a tent, I have become a little more sensitive to those that may fall on a new structure in a similar and inevitable storm. Hence, about 12 trees of significant height and girth are coming down before they can fall on the soon to be cabin. The weather pattern in the area we are building is predictable so I know which trees need to go; they will provide a noble service of winter warmth.  

Summer is more than half over but I am far from finished in my wood cutting adventures; anybody looking for some exercise feel free to give me a call! Otherwise, it’s best to get back to your studies!