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Atmospheric science

Dean's Blog: Catch your breath

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm
Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

In my younger days, I used to run long distance: two Boston Marathons, one New York Marathon and one Los Angeles Marathon, to name a few. I know well that a runner needs to take in a big breath before they start their next lap of the race. And so do we.

Let’s face it—2020 has been a looooong year. Many of you haven’t seen a vacation day since before spring break and have been juggling work/family/health in unprecedented ways for a while now. We are thankful for your efforts, believe me. Our students are still learning and inspired. Our researchers press on and make new discoveries. And we continue to ignite the spark of scientific discovery throughout our communities. Despite the enormous challenges, it’s been a very productive year.

Now it’s time to take a break. Really. You deserve it. 

Catch your breath. We are indeed in a marathon, not a sprint. Use the winter break to restore your sanity, your humor, your state of mind. Take time to be with family and friends (yet, stay safe and do keep your social distance).

I tried to imagine things that you might be doing over break to help prepare for the next semester and thought I’d include some resources here to save you time, maybe even make some part of a 2021 resolution.

Laugh a little.

Keep moving – take a hike in the great outdoors. In an earlier blog, I talked about how hiking is a restorative activity for me. We live in a beautiful area where hiking is plentiful. Not ready to go outside? Then sign up for BurnAlong; Mason offers free membership to this online virtual exercise portal.

Keep your own science spark alive – Fighting that urge to do science? Join the millions of YouTube viewers who tried some of these science experiments or some science recipes from the college’s website as de-stressors or for family fun at home.

But it’s hard to unplug from work, right? Does your mind keep thinking about how to design or tweak your online course? Here are some online course quality ideas from the Stearns Center to help share best practices (but don’t do this one until into the new year).

Be well – Mason’s Center for Well Being is offering activities well into December and would be a great website to bookmark for 2021. Or check out the Burnalong wellness habits too.

No matter how you chose to unplug this winter break, please take time for you. We have an exciting 2021 ahead and we want you to be physically and emotionally rested, restored and ready to embrace it with open arms.

Sending my best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Visit the Dean's Blog for more insights from Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm.