Celebrate all things Canadian at the next Thirst Friday, February 7, from 4-6 p.m., in the Garaventa Center (Franz 330). All faculty and staff are invited to enjoy Canadian-themed treats along with a generous selection of additional appetizers and goodies as you mingle with campus neighbors. Bonus: the first 18 people will qualify for an authentic Canadian beverage! For more information, contact Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center, at email@example.com, eh?
If students wanting or needing to turn in late work adds to your stress, consider offering a “Make-Up Work Day:” one 24-hour period, late in the semester, when students can turn in any assignment(s) they have missed, for up to full credit. This lets you off the hook for judging the truthiness of excuses, negotiations for partial credit, and keeping track of all versions of academic “late fees.” You decide the day, announce it in class and the syllabus, and that is the end of your commitment. Scheduling Make-Up Work Day late in the semester (e.g. two weeks before finals works well), helps avoid getting overwhelmed responding to both late work and on-time assignments.
Missouri Southern State University educator Laura Schisler, who first suggested this in Faculty Focus, reports many benefits after several semesters of refining this policy. While apprehensive that students would treat this as a way to avoid work earlier in the term, she found that they quickly learned that waiting until Make-Up Work Day was not viable with the rest of their workload. Those who turned in late work also missed out on formative feedback that might have boosted later efforts. Schisler advocates this policy only for homework and papers; she does not allow students to do late presentations or in-class assignments such as daily journals or on-demand writing tasks.
Once it has been announced, Make-up Work Day puts responsibility and accountability squarely in the students’ corner. It communicates awareness of the fact that things happens in everyone’s life, and yet is still manageable in a busy teaching schedule. Instructors no longer have to be Excuse Merit Arbiters or keep track of percentages lost as time lapses. The focus can go back to teaching, where it should be.
For more information or to add to her stress, contact Karen Eifler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the community are invited to step aside from holiday madness for 25 minutes of a silent prayer form known as Visio Divina, “sacred seeing,” in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher following the noon Mass, about 12:35-1 p.m., on Thursday, December 12. This ancient contemplative form of prayer asks only our quiet presence as we are guided through an experience of a sacred image from our illuminated Saint John’s Bible. Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and the Garaventa Center. Contact Karen Eifler (email@example.com) with any questions.
Did you know about the role of anticipation in preparing for Christmas?
“On that day…” is a phrase that features in many of the first readings through the beginning of the Season of Advent. The Season starts with a sense of anticipation. Those using the readings are taken into the Book of Isaiah and the longings of the people of Israel for the coming of the day of the Lord – the day when many of the anxieties and struggles of life are brought to a peaceful resolution. The readings point to a longing that Christians understand as finding fulfillment in the birth of Jesus, celebrated on Christmas. They also point to a longing that remains in our hearts to this day.
Jesus did come into the world in a manger one day in Bethlehem. Yet a return is awaited, a return in glory when the fullness of the kingdom of God is to be made manifest in its fullness. It is a return that will bring about the justice and peace and life that our hearts long for. The Season of Advent then seeks to draw our longing to the foreground and awaken a greater awareness of the anticipation that we hold in our hearts for the fullness of life that God seeks to draw us into. Consider the many aspects of this season leading up to Christmas – even the aspects that may seem to some as getting into Christmas before it is even Christmas. Throughout are images, songs, and emotions that point ahead with a bit of nostalgia for a something that we long for. Throughout is a sense of anticipation for something that we might not even be able to name. Throughout is an anticipation for the fullness that is yet to come, a fullness we long for and eagerly await its arrival.
Did You Know? is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.
The “UP Way” of being here for our students is unparalleled. Done with our whole minds, hearts and souls, it can also take quite a toll on us as teachers. As we head into the amazing perk of Christmas Break, the Tweet version of this TLC teaching tip is TAKE THE BREAK! The longer version is available in this brief article from the American Psychological Association. You’ve been told countless times on airplanes to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help others. That goes for college instructors too! These are the 10 tips suggested by the APA:
- Eliminate as many stressors as possible, and it’s almost always possible to stay away from campus for a few days, go email-free for hours at a time.
- Cultivate social support. Swap meals with a friend so you each get a night off from cooking. Say yes to an invitation or two to enjoy a cup of coffee or happy hour.
- Seek good nutrition: no particular diet is required here; just aim for a rainbow of colors on your plate. Maybe the long break gives you a chance to try new recipes or restaurants your can’t in the bustle of the semester.
- Relax your muscles through stretches, a warm bath, a massage, etc. when the rest of the world is working.
- Meditate, pray, be mindful of a given moment. Light a candle and allow yourself to be taken into its bright flame.
- Flex your muscles. A brisk walk to enjoy the lights in your neighborhood, perhaps? The research on the link between moderate enjoyable physical movement and de-stressing is unambiguous.
- Protect your sleep. Just do it. Seriously.
- Get out in nature. This one combines several other suggestions on this list, and we live in a part of the world where we are spoiled with choices on natural areas to enjoy.
- Choose your own pleasurable activities and do them. Sing along to holiday songs while driving, binge-watch The Crown, savor a novel, paint some pottery.
- Reframe your thinking. If you feel yourself spiraling into imagining worst-case scenarios, stop and put your mind elsewhere. Set realistic expectations for yourself. Strive for acceptance of situations outside of your control. Here’s a novel way to disrupt harmful mental loops: alphabetize your favorite books or spice rack in your head.
You know this! None of these are rocket surgery, and it’s quite likely you dispense similar advice to your students when they are anxious. Take your own sage advice; you are every bit as important as those worthy young souls you tend so conscientiously.
For more information contact Karen Eilfer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All staff and faculty are invited to celebrate Thirst Friday in the Garaventa Center on December 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Along with the usual convivial mingling with colleagues from all over campus, enjoy a live jazz ensemble and a tasting menu of “Only At Christmas” noshes, crafted by several members of the campus community. Come for 10 minutes are stay till the lights are turned off, but do come! 17 extra credit points for anyone who brings a first-timer. Questions? Contact Karen Eifler, email@example.com.
Many people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent.
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, and his first miracle at Cana. During this season of preparation, early Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. More on the “anticipation” part of modern Advent practices in a future Did You Know segment.
“Did You Know?” is a mostly regular feature in upbeat in which dimensions of Catholic practices of faith are unpacked. If you have a question, please contact Fr. Jim Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Eifler (email@example.com).
In this IGNITE-funded video, education professor Julie Kalnin talks with Karen Eifler about using an orientation called “Backward Design” to plan lessons that foster deeper understanding rather than passive memorization. It is a good complement to Jeffrey White’s IGNITE video on course design and Terry Favero’s on painless formative assessments.
St. Joseph is the foster father of Jesus. He was engaged to Mary when, by the Holy Spirit, she became pregnant with Jesus – see the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25. Not much is known about St. Joseph beyond the fact that he remained committed to raising Jesus alongside Mary and that he is named as a carpenter. Scriptures relay that several times he received dreams that helped him to know how to help Mary care for Jesus. From these few bits of information, St. Joseph has become the patron of many groups, including carpenters, fathers, travelers, as well as patron of many countries and peoples. Interestingly he is also known as the patron of a good death. Joseph comes about this by way of not being referenced later in the Gospels. So it is believed that he died earlier in life, with Jesus and Mary at his side—a pretty good way to go.
St. Joseph is also the patron of the Holy Cross Brothers. Blessed Basil Moreau took on a group of teaching brothers, the Brothers of St. Joseph, founded by Fr. Jacques Dujarié, joining them with an already gathered group of priests to found the Congregation of Holy Cross. The brothers continued to look to St. Joseph as their patron and have ever since sought to emulate his devotion to Jesus and his commitment to service to God’s family.
Did You Know? is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around among the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.
It’s nearly universal among faith traditions to have beliefs and practices focused on departed family, friends, and strangers. The Catholic Church professes its links to those who have gone before us with two adjacent holy days: November 1 of each year is All Saints, and November 2 is All Souls. When Catholics talk about All Saints, they are referring to those whose faith and actions on Earth, infused by Divine grace, lifted them directly to heaven after their deaths, where they intercede for those still on earth. All Souls is a day for Catholics to pray for the souls of all the departed, especially, in Catholic lingo, those in purgatory (which is a concept to be addressed in an upcoming entry in this space), awaiting the final judgment of a loving and benevolent God. At UP, one marker of All Souls each November 2 is the laying of a wreath in front of the memorial (between Buckley Center and Franz) honoring all those who have served on our faculty or staff and have died. It is another manifestation of the essential communitarian orientation at the heart of Catholicism. Living or dead, we are all connected to one another.
“Did You Know?” is a sort of regular feature in upbeat about the host of wild and lovely things Catholics profess. If you have a question, send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Eifler (email@example.com).