All Wesleyan undergraduates received an email this morning announcing the cancellation of October classes. There was no one reason for the decision, says President Michael Roth, but the largest contributing factor was that the Wesleyan administration hasn’t been “feeling it.”
“This semester’s been kind of a wash,” said Dean Louise Brown. “Some people feel okay about school. They read and write what professors tell them to. But many students feel aimless. They don’t care about their classes and sometimes they don’t want to go to them.” After talking about her October plans to have a few dinner parties and spend more time with her dog, Brown added, “Everyone could use some time to figure stuff out.”
Both professors and students have welcomed the change. “My syllabuses have been kind of a slog,” said Professor Timothy Nelson of the Government Department. “All September we’ve been going over ethical justification of war and its application to Balkan conflicts, and I can’t help but think, ugghhh.” Physics Professor Natasha Bethem agreed, saying, “I wish I were in bed. My feet were so cold this morning.”
The sudden hiatus presents a problem to upperclassmen with research projects, particularly in the sciences. But that’s not a big deal. Henry Wu ’11 said, “So my bacteria die. What does that really matter, long-term? There’ll be more bacteria. Better to go home, see some people, catch up on Mad Men. I haven’t been to the doctor in a while.” The prevailing attitude seems to be that there’s more to life than
Wesleyan, and that’s all too easy to forget.
The administration stresses that things will be better than ever when we come back. Some class material will be sacrificed, but only the unimportant stuff. “This won’t happen every year,” Roth said. “The University just thinks, having felt it out, that we should press the reset button, so to speak. Take a nap. Have you seen the foliage this autumn? Have you woken up in an orchard and eaten an apple straight off the bough? Now you have time. We all have time.”